Tag: Women in Localization

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Mental Wellness a Focus for SDL, Women in Localization

Language Industry News and Events

Women in Localization and SDL will coordinate to organize workshops and events centered around the mental wellbeing of industry workers and the general community.

SDL, the intelligent language and content company, has partnered with Women in Localization to raise awareness of mental health issues and promote mental and physical wellbeing of people working remotely during the pandemic. Founded in 2008, Women in Localization is a global community that supports women through its mentorship and coaching program, local Chapter events, training initiatives and resources. Its goal is to promote and advocate equality among members and across the localization industry. The campaign will be delivered across events organized by Women in Localization as well as SDL’s own initiatives.

According to a recent study at Stanford University, 42% of the US workforce now works from home full-time, and similar estimates have been made for workers in who have decided to work from home during the pandemic. The drastic changes in working conditions, coupled with the isolation of lockdown and political and financial instability, pose a serious threat to the mental health of the global population, with more than 40% reporting mental health conditions since June 2020.

“Those affected by mental health issues often suffer in silence,” said Virginia Clark, VP of Global Talent Development at SDL. “Our goal is to change that by hosting a series of events for our colleagues, and members of Women in Localization, where everyone feels safe, and has an outlet, to express how they feel and how they’ve personally been impacted. Training and guidance will be offered to help everyone overcome the many challenges presented by the pandemic.”

SDL, through its Platinum sponsorship of Women in Localization, plans to host a series of events through the SDL Women’s Forum alongside Women in Localization’s own events and local in-country Chapters, to encourage colleagues and members of the community to connect and share experiences about permanent shifts to working from home. SDL will also create further initiatives for its employees like virtual yoga and fitness classes, along with ongoing workshops and training focused on “Wellness in the Digital Age.”

“A big thank you to SDL for working to address the important issue of mental health during COVID,” said Women in Localization President Loy Searle. “During these very challenging times, this effort is very meaningful and can have a profound impact.”

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Friday Roundup | Oct 2, 2020

Friday Roundup

Women in Localization announces renewed sponsorship agreement with RWS Moravia

Women in Localization, the leading professional organization for women in the localization industry, has announced RWS Moravia has renewed their gold-level sponsorship for 2020. Women in Localization started offering annual sponsorship packages in 2019, and RWS Moravia responded by supporting the organization’s mission to foster a global community for the advancement of women in the localization industry.

“RWS Moravians have been active in Women in Localization for years now,” said Pavel Soukenik, RWS Moravia chief client acquisition officer. “We’re committed to Women in Localization because we believe in the power of diversity and the importance of women’s contributions to the industry. What was achieved and our current progress would be impossible without women’s expertise and leadership, and Women in Localization is an important part of that.”

Kynamics secures a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate’s Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP) language translation capabilities funding award

The $192,520 in Phase 1 funding would yield a portable, standalone system. The Language Translator solicitation seeks capabilities facilitating communication in real time with non-English speakers and those who are unable to communicate verbally. The effort is in support of United States Coast Guard (USCG) missions.

“[These awards] have given the Coast Guard an opportunity to connect with innovative small businesses, such as Kynamics, to develop language translation technology that may enhance operational mission execution,” said Wendy Chaves, chief of the Coast Guard Research, Development, Test and Evaluation, and Innovation Program.

“We’re excited to see how the Kynamics project unfolds as we move through this first proof-of-concept phase with USCG,” said Melissa Oh, SVIP managing director. “We’re also delighted to include a minority female-founded company in our portfolio.”

YouTube ends crowd-sourced captions days after International Week of the Deaf

YouTube has ended its “Community Contributions” feature for videos, which let content creators crowdsource captions and subtitles for their videos. YouTube announced the move back in July, which triggered a community outcry from the Deaf community, hard of hearing, and fans of foreign media, but it does not sound like the company is relenting. In one of Google’s all-time, poor-timing decisions, YouTube ended the feature just two days after the International Week of the Deaf, which fell the last full week in September.

Once enabled by a channel owner, the Community Contributions feature would let viewers caption or translate a video and submit it to the channel for approval. YouTube currently offers machine-transcribed subtitles that are often full of errors, and if you also need YouTube to take a second pass at the subtitles for machine translation, they’ve probably lost all meaning by the time they hit your screen. The Community Caption feature would load up those machine-written subtitles as a starting point and allow the user to make corrections and add text that the machine transcription doesn’t handle well, like transcribed sound cues for the deaf and hard of hearing.

YouTube says it’s ending crowd-source subtitles due to spam and low usage. “While we hoped Community Contributions would be a wide-scale, community-driven source of quality translations for Creators,” the company wrote, “it’s rarely used and people continue to report spam and abuse.” The community does not seem to agree with this assessment, since a petition immediately popped up asking YouTube to reconsider, and so far a half-million people have signed. “Removing community captions locks so many viewers out of the experience,” the petition reads. “Community captions ensured that many videos were accessible that otherwise would not be.”

Buddha translation from ancient Tibetan to English a 100-year task, say volunteers and scholars ten years into the job

In 2009, a group of more than 50 Buddhist scholars, teachers, and volunteers estimated that only about 5% of Buddhist texts had been translated. They were concerned that, in 50 years, only a handful of people would be left that can understand and interpret them. In response, over the next 90 years, experts in ancient Tibetan plan to translate all available Buddhist texts into English and to make their work freely available.

The target date for the completion of this massive undertaking is some time in 2110. It is estimated there are more than 230,000 pages to translate and, a decade after that first meeting, 10% has been completed. “There’s the Koran, the Bible, and the Torah, and in a way Buddhism is different; it has these vast bodies of literature, all of which are considered scripture, [so] it’s not so easy,” says John Canti, the editorial co-director of 84000 (the name of the project).

“It [the Chinese version] was translated to convey the meaning, but it was not a literal translation as [with] the Tibetans. The Chinese tends to be very beautiful, poetic translations, especially the later ones, but [is] a bit further from the original text, whereas the Tibetan translations tended to be very close and the expressions would be the same, sentences would be broken in the same place. So a lot of the original structure of the text would be preserved.”

KnowBe4 launches enhanced Phish Alert Button with language localization feature for Microsoft 365

KnowBe4, the provider of the world’s largest security awareness training and simulated phishing platform, announced the launch of an enhanced Phish Alert Button (PAB) with a Language Aware feature. The PAB, an email add-in designed to help users easily report suspicious emails and actively fight malicious attacks, now includes a Language Aware feature that supports 22 local languages. With this latest enhancement, admins can enable specific languages in their Phish Alert settings to automatically display a preferred language based on users’ system language settings.

“Hackers are wasting no time figuring out the best ways to target users with email attacks, and it is our job to stay one step ahead of them by making enhancements to our products which help to better protect end users,” said Stu Sjouwerman, CEO of KnowBe4. “They are innovative with their attack methods, and COVID-19 concerns have sparked the perfect atmosphere for exploiting users’ weaknesses in carefully crafted email attacks. This language localization addition to the PAB gives users a more personalized defense against hackers.”

AAA Translation contributes to healthcare equity during pandemic

AAA Translation, a company dedicated to providing professional translation, interpretation, localization, and global consulting services, is increasing access to important health and safety information for non-English speaking residents in St. Louis and beyond. With a client base comprised of local, national, and global organizations, AAA Translation is a trusted partner to those expanding into new markets and increasing their cultural footprint. Amid the pandemic, organizations all over the world have turned to the translation company for help. By increasing access to vital communications, the team at AAA Translation is helping the nation’s healthcare systems support the health and wellbeing of community members. After all, if non-English-speaking communities do not understand best healthcare practices in the face of a pandemic because of a language barrier, the healthcare of entire communities is affected.

“Translation is the great healthcare equalizer—especially in these times,” said Susanne Evens, CEO and Founder of AAA Translation. “The only way we can be one humanity is by understanding one another. Whether AAA Translation is called to translate a safety brochure in Brazil or translate communications that provide vital information surrounding the global pandemic to our fellow citizens, we are committed to bringing access and awareness to everyone.”

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MultiLingual creates go-to news and resources for language industry professionals.

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Multilingual moms rock

Localization, Technology

UX and diversity

Anytime you’re doing UX research, you should be including gender and roles in that research. That includes gender-based and language-based roles in your user research. And bear in mind, “roles” are not always about 9-to-5 jobs, as any full-time parent will tell you.

Alexa: A well-known feminist. But multilingual options are a must for voice-first customers (Amazon Echo image via Internet fair use).

Multilingual options are a must for voice-first customers (Amazon Echo image via Internet fair use).


For example, the Social Lens Research Voice Command Study offers valuable insight into how multilingual moms experience voice-driven conversational interactions. One conclusion is that “Multicultural moms are more likely to use voice commands across more devices, locations, and for more reasons.”   

These US moms are the real power users of voice assistants when it comes to voice-first design thinking. Fascinating stuff; with device-neutral and flexible context of use across languages. And there is of course an important business message to be gleaned from this study: “Include Spanish/bilingual language options. Adapt to how your users actually talk and what words they use in both languages moms who are constantly online and own multiple devices are the current power users of voice.” 

Gender Fender

Here’s another example: the Fender Stratocaster electric guitar — Leo Fender’s classic innovation through design.

User experience storytelling. Electric guitars at Star's Music, Paris. Image by Ultan Ó Broin.

User experience storytelling. Electric guitars at Star’s Music, Paris. Image by Ultan Ó Broin.

I was fascinated by the notion that the comfort aspect of the design was influenced by the shape of the musician’s body. I presume, at the time, playing an electric guitar seemed like a “man’s job,” so the new guitar reflected male player body shapes.

And indeed, St. Vincent (singer Annie Clarke) has responded with her own electric guitar, especially designed for women“Clark wanted to design a more practical guitar than the historic Fender Stratocaster or Gibson Les Paul,” LIFEGATE explains, quoting Clark as saying “I would need to travel with a chiropractor on tour in order to play those guitars.”

One size does not fit all

Remember that context of use research must be multi-dimensional — gender, roles, language, and more must be taken into account or you will miss key parts of your customer base. Think diversity.

You may have examples of other gender and language dimensions that need to be included in your global UX research. Please leave a comment if so!

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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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