Tag: multilingual

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User Experience Takeaways: Still Hungry for Localization Change

Blogos, Localization Culture, Personalization and Design, Translation

Readers of MultiLingual magazine will know about the “Takeaway” section towards the back of the publication. It’s a kind of bully pulpit-meets-12 Step meeting “burning desire” platform, along the lines of U.S. public radio station KQED’s Perspectives program.

I have written a few MultiLingual “Takeaways”, and made other contributions, on user experience-related topics that frankly do my head in: Why the Globalization, Internationalization, Localization, and Translation (GILT) industry appears to run scared of user experience, or indeed are user experience and the GILT worlds even compatible in terms of coming up with a common language they should be trying to speak, for example.

Head. Stone wall. Bashing head off.

Maybe.

So, I am delighted to say that someone, namely Lynne Bowker of the University of Ottawa, Canada, has been paying attention to my words. Lynne has researched and written a paper published in Localisation Focus called “Translatability and User eXperience: Compatible or in Conflict?”, citing my MultiLingual sources, amongst others!

Localisation Focus: Localization and User Experience: Are they Compatible?

Localisation Focus:  Lynne Bowker explores translatability and user experience. Are they compatible?

Lynne has also spoken about the subject at various events. Watch out for other places where this hot topic might surface and join in the debate!

Nice.

I am always delighted to cause trouble inspire others to take an argument further for the benefit of the community. The whole point of “Takeaway” really.

Thank you, Lynne.

And, if you have an idea for the “Takeaway” section of MultiLingual, contact the editor.

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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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Being Jesuitical About Translation Subjects

Language in the News, Localization Culture, Translation Technology

I recently found out about www.sacredspace.ie, a multilingualDrupal-based,  prayer website run by the Irish Jesuits (or to be more correct, the religious order of the Society of Jesus). Currently in redesign (the site that is, not the order), it has millions of visitors every year, with over three quarters of a million visitors recorded during Lent in 2011 alone. It’s one of the most successful Irish-run multilingual websites that I can think of, going about its other-worldly business in a quiet way (as I suppose it’s intended to).

Sacred Space: Multilingual Prayer website run by the Irish Jesuits.

This got me thinking. Translation of religious texts (notably the Bible) has been a mainstay of translation activity for centuries, as well as being a textbook case in message globalization. Multilingual translations of religious text provide quality corpus for machine translation (MT) development. Anyone who has that dreaded phrase “lost in translation” as a Google Alert will have been driven crazy in the last year about the number of times the new  translation of the Roman Catholic Church missal turned up (I have to say, having read and used the translation, that I can understand some of the angst, and the debate continues).  I also fondly remember exchanges I had as Gaeilge with linguists of the Church  of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at various localization conferences around the world.

Yet, we rarely hear any organized discussion about religious, spiritual, or other matters of faith when it comes to translation. When was this topic last featured at an industry conference or in a magazine article? And, why is that? Risk of offending the audience? Presenter discomfort? Inappropriate for public discussion? Considered irrelevant? What?

If you think faith translation doesn’t matter, then think again as organized religions of all sorts increase their presence worldwide, in Africa, Asia, South America, and so on, and as millions of people turn to spirituality and other belief systems in these hard economic, soulless, technocratic times. It’s really a global growth area.

Don’t people, globally, have needs for spiritual information in their own language as much as they do for information about health or economic development? So, what’s the translation process? What tools are used? How much is this religious translation business worth? What are the quality standards? Come on, there’s even an MT system called Moses.

Done squirming? Find the comments.

Peace.

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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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