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Tag: locworld

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Takeaways from LocWorldWide

Language Industry News and Events

LocWorldWide, held July 28-30, was the biggest localization event yet to pivot to an online forum. The content was originally scheduled for Berlin in June, and then, of course, the pandemic happened. The virtual event offered an interactive exhibit hall, multiple chat functions, and networking over video. Sessions included a mix of prerecorded and live video streams.

Larry Hochman

Larry Hochman gives his keynote address at LocWorldWide.

The topics selected for the in-person event translated with varying ease to the virtual world. The sessions covered familiar LocWorld ground such as the Process Innovation Challenge, machine translation, quality management, localization engineering, and more. Former European Business Speaker of the Year Larry Hochman gave a keynote exploring the existential takeaways COVID-19 offered — “when trust is gone, it’s over,” he stated, tying together a lesson applicable to government handling of pandemics, romantic partners and business.

Business itself was a popular topic. In one session exploring localization and marketing, Nataly Kelly of HubSpot noted that if you heat-mapped an organization, metaphorically speaking, localization would be a hot spot due to the intersections with every geography and department the company works in. Working in localization is like getting an MBA, she said, so it’s no wonder that some people go on to start their own companies afterwards.

Apart from the content, some attendees expressed bewilderment with the digital tech side of the conference. “I’m trying to distinguish between the limitations of the platform and my own inabilities to use it well,” one participant quipped. The main takeaway from the event, as the first of its kind, is that there are limitations on what works in the digital world, at least with the current platforms for virtual conferences.

What worked well:

  1. Sessions with podcast-style flair.
  2. The ability to surf different concurrent sessions, or watch recorded sessions after the fact.
  3. The camaraderie of “well, this is weird and different” with familiar faces from past conferences.
  4. Virtual networking on the Remo event platform.
  5. Participants expressed happiness that the price tag was a fraction of the cost of paying to fly across the world and attend an in-person event.

What didn’t work well:

  1. the iVent interface, which seemed beset by user experience issues and bandwidth problems — sessions timed out occasionally, there were sound issues at times, and so on. Organizers expressed the same frustrations on the back end, since the platform seemingly did not deliver on everything it had promised.
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MultiLingual creates go-to news and resources for language industry professionals.

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Localization Unconference: The First 10 Years

Language Industry News and Events

Localization Unconference (#LocUnconf) is 10 years old tomorrow!

The first Localization Unconference was hosted March 14, 2008 in Silicon Valley at Saleforce’s San Mateo location.

The original and first localization unconference logo from 2008

The original and first localization unconference logo from 2008

Unconference Strong

I am delighted to say that the event is still going strong and is now worldwide; organized by and attended by people interested in localization and related areas of our industry who want to meet and make connections by discussing hot topics or things that normally don’t get on the regular conference circuit agenda.

I can see from the Localization Unconference website now, for example, that there are already events planned for Toronto and Berlin in 2018. There have been many other events all over the world since 2008.

And, of course, the event is now part and parcel of the regular Localization World agenda. All thanks to an awesome team of passionate organizers driving it forward.

Guinness: Inspiration for the Unconference

I was inspired initially to reach out to others from a localization-related unconference section of Mashup Camp when it was held in Dublin’s Guinness Brewery in 2007. I blogged about my thoughts on MultiLingual’s blog (or Blogos as it was known then) and put the idea out there. The original blog is still there!

I’m indebted especially to Shawna Wolverton of Salesforce who also saw this opportunity to innovate a little bit in the localization meetup space and drove these sparks of ideas forward into the first event. That was a success but the event also later spread worldwide, mostly organized by locally-based, different volunteers.

Incidentally, I still have the 2007 Apple MacBook Pro 2.2 GHz 15-inch Core 2 Duo that I used at Mashup Camp (and shown in the blog post) and at the first Localization Unconference. Go different badges but they wear them just the same, as Aztec Camera would say.

Apple MacBook Pro from Mashup Camp and Localization Unconference still working!

My 2007 Apple MacBook Pro from Mashup Camp and Localization Unconference is still working! Those laptop stickers are upgraded regularly!

I also still have the original lunch voucher from the Salesforce-hosted event. I guess I didn’t eat at the event (I brought donuts from Chuck’s in Belmont, San Mateo if I recall correctly) with all the excitement.

Original Localization Unconference Lunch Voucher from Salesforce

Original Localization Unconference lunch voucher from Salesforce

I wonder is that voucher is still good for one lunch?

Whatever. The Localization Unconference is good for a lot more than one!

The next 10 years

So, here’s to more Localization Unconferences. And here’s to the power of the localization community, its volunteers, participants and the idea of self-enablement.

Stay tuned to the Localization Unconference website for more information and to MultiLingual Insights for reports on happenings, past and present.

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Ultan Ó Broin (@localization), is an independent UX consultant. With three decades of UX and L10n experience and outreach, he specializes in helping people ensure their global digital transformation makes sense culturally and also reflects how users behave locally.

Any views expressed are his own. Especially the ones you agree with.

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Conversational UI Language Design at LocWorld35

Language in Business, Language in the News, Personalization and Design, Translation Technology

Oracle Applications User Experience (OAUX) team member (and Microsoft Alum) Karen Scipi (@karenscipi) presented on the subject of Conversational UI in the Enterprise at #LocWorld35 Silicon Valley. Karen covered the central importance of  language design for chatbots and other conversational user interfaces (CUIs) for global work use cases.

Karen Scipi presenting on Conversational UIs in the Enterprise at Localization World in Silicon Valley 2017 (Image credit: Olga)

Karen Scipi presenting on Conversational UIs in the Enterprise at Localization World in Silicon Valley 2017 (Image credit: Olga)

Karen even developed two chatbot integrations for Slack introducing her topic. One was in English, the other was in Italian.

Italian LocWorld Chatbot Conversation Example

Italian LocWorld Chatbot Conversation Example (Source: Karen Scipi)

What’s a Conversational UI?

Chatbots and the alike are a very hot topic, wrapped up in the artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), natural language processing (NLP), and robotics part of technology’s evolution. However, user experience design insight and an empathy for how people interact with each other through technology in work, at play, or in everyday life makes the difference when creating a great user experience in any language.What could be more 'natural' than talking to a computer? Click To Tweet

CUI means we moved from a “user”-centric concept of design to a human-centric one. After all, what could be more “natural” that talking to a computer? Both humans and computers “converse” in dialog, and it’s the language design knowledge for such a conversation that’s critical to delivering a natural, human-like interaction between the two.

Examples of CUIs include Facebook Messenger, Slack bots, TelegramAmazon Echo and Alexa devices, and so on. Interaction can be via voice, SMS messaging, typing text on a keyboard, and so on.

In the enterprise there are a broad range of considerations and stakeholders that localization and UX pros must to consider. Fundamentally though, enterprise CUIs are about increasing participation in the user experience of work, making things simpler.

 

Oracle Conversational UI image showing the interaction and participation of humans and the cloud - in any language! (Source: OAUX)

Oracle Conversational UI image showing the interaction and participation of humans and the cloud – in any language! (Source: OAUX)

Localization of Conversational UIs

To an extent, the localization or language part of the CUI interaction is determined by the NLP support of the chatbot or other platform used: what languages it supports, how good the AI and ML parts are, and so on. However, language skills are at the heart of the conversational UI design, whether it’s composing that  user storyline for design flows or creating the prompts and messages seen by the human involved.

This kind of communication skill is much in-demand: It is a special type of talent: a mix of technical writing, film script or creative writing, transcreation, and interpreting. It’s a domain insight that gets right down to the nitty-gritty of replicating and handling how humans really speak and write: slang, errors, typos, warts and all. CUI language designers must even decide how emoji and personality can or should be localized in different versions of a chatbot.

Where’s the Conversation Headed?

The conversational UI market is growing globally as messenger apps take over. Localization and language pros cannot ignore the conversational UI space.

Karen will be speaking next at the Seattle Localization User Group (SLUG) in December (2017) about Conversational UIs in the Enterprise.Localization and language pros cannot ignore the conversational UI space. Click To Tweet

 

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Ultan Ó Broin (@localization), is an independent UX consultant. With three decades of UX and L10n experience and outreach, he specializes in helping people ensure their global digital transformation makes sense culturally and also reflects how users behave locally.

Any views expressed are his own. Especially the ones you agree with.

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Live from LocWorld

Language Industry News and Events

MultiLingual boothThe keynote at LocWorld32 just took place in Montreal, Canada, discussing how to engage customers profitably.

“This,” said keynote speaker Donald Cooper of localization “is a huge growth industry. I can’t think of another industry that’s growing at 7% a year.” Cooper speaks internationally in 40 industries worldwide, offering advice on business growth and management.

“I know a lot of people who are passionate about what they do every day,” Cooper said. He noted that passion is important, but it won’t guarantee success. “As business owners, leaders or managers, our first job is clarity.” Being clear from the top down about specific requirements, needs and expectations is the first step in successful business.

This was well-received by an industry whose whole point of existing is communicating clearly and appropriately with customers, in their own language and according to their own mores.

MultiLingual is celebrating LocWorld by giving away an “R2D2-turned-Death-Star” (according to descriptive fans) floating bluetooth speaker. Any number of exhibiting vendors are celebrating in a similar fashion. The conference theme is “Engaging Global Customers” and few things seem to instantly spur global engagement like weird-interesting-and-prestigious free stuff. Very little translation is required; the idea of gifts (or more accurately in this case, swag) seems pretty universal in business.

Other themes to be covered in the next two days are community engagement, customer experience, icon usage and gender in localization. Keynote presenter Donald Cooper will be on-site today offering free business consultations as well.

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Katie Botkin, Editor-in-Chief at MultiLingual, has a background in linguistics and journalism. She began publishing "multilingual" newsletters at the age of 15, and went on to invest her college and post-graduate career in language learning, teaching and writing. She has extensive experience with niche American microcultures across the political spectrum.

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Running on Empty: The Irish Language Lesson from #LocWorld31

Language Industry News and Events

Another Localization World Dublin has come and gone. Again, running featured as an (unofficial) activity  for participants. Again, the expressed interest in doing so paled in terms of actual turnout. At least there is a pattern, a turnout of around 20% or so.

We did have a couple of good runs though.

Localization World 31 10k Dublin running crew taking in some culture en route (the ladies ran the next day)

Localization World 31 10k Dublin running crew take in some culture en route (the ladies ran the next day). Image: Ultan Ó Broin.

This made me wonder about claims made about how much the Irish language is spoken in Ireland. Official Irish census figures bear no testament to the frequency with which Irish is actually heard on the street (1.77 million people out of a population of 4.5 million speak Irish? Are you kidding me?).

Irish is far from dead sure, but varying levels of fluency and the emergence of an urban “pidgin” Irish (savvy, modern vocabulary, zilch grammar) and an official “State Broadcaster” Irish (all grammar, accent, and antediluvian terminology) means that Irish speakers often cannot even communicate with each other when boundaries get crossed.

Irish, or Gaeilge, in official terms, is endangered.

Of course, everyone says they have the capacity and the will to speak irish. Except when the rubber hits the road, they don’t.

A bit like running.

And, just like running, the excuse is often that there are more important things to do.

Running seems like a good idea. A bit like Irish.

To the real runners out there: Rith ar nós na gaoithe #keeponrunning.

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Ultan Ó Broin (@localization), is an independent UX consultant. With three decades of UX and L10n experience and outreach, he specializes in helping people ensure their global digital transformation makes sense culturally and also reflects how users behave locally.

Any views expressed are his own. Especially the ones you agree with.

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