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Friday, May 22, 2015

Core Focus

Perspectives from translation program graduates

Nancy A. Locke

Ten years. It seems like yesterday. And yet ten years ago, the world was still reeling from the devastating one-two punch of the tech bubble implosion and the 9/11 attack on the Twin Towers. Both events had a chilling effect on the economy. The language industry did not escape the global slow down as companies reassessed their globalization strategies, axed important projects and choked off important revenue to a nascent industry with already thin margins. Some language services providers took a direct hit. Most spectacularly, Lernout & Hauspie, once a language industry superstar, crashed and burned in October 2001. Many other companies struggled to keep afloat, and major players such as Bowne Global disappeared. Optimism was at an all-time low; layoffs and rumors of layoffs cast a dreary pall over the industry.
In Canada, however, where federal language policy plays a key role in creating the demand for language services, a quiet campaign to put the language industry on the map finally started to show results. Bureaucracy-bound, the campaign moved at glacier speed. The upside of glaciers? They’re hard to stop once they get moving.
So, despite the dreary economic context, in 2002, Canada proudly announced the creation of one of the first master’s programs in localization, offered at Université du Québec en Outaouais (UQO), and an innovative undergraduate localization certificate created under the aegis of the translation program and offered by the continuing education faculty at Université de Montréal (UdeM). In 2003, for the first time ever, the federal government recognized the importance of the language services by allocating funds for the creation of an industry association.
The excitement of those years has since evaporated. . .

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Above excerpt taken from the April/May 2012 issue of MultiLingual published by MultiLingual Computing, Inc., 319 North First Avenue, Suite 2, Sandpoint, Idaho 83864-1495 USA, 208-263-8178, Fax: 208-263-6310. Subscribe

April/May, 2012