This section sponsored by: Sovee
Key performance indicators should be used to manage a business by helping assess progress against stated strategies. They must then be relevant to that particular business and its strategy, and supposedly have a significant impact. Therefore, they should be revisited frequently to drive appropriate actions.
In today’s knowledge economy, company value is no longer driven primarily by physical assets, but is increasingly attributable to nonfinancial business drivers. Success and future value creation depend on the effective measurement and management of these critical nonfinancial or intangible resources that comprise the intellectual capital of the business....
I suspect many of us in the localization industry would be thrilled to be invited to the table to help overcome such a challenge. But with a few notable exceptions, we generally are not. I wonder why? As insightful cultural and linguistic experts, often with significant networks and resources in the global markets in which these brands operate, more of us ought to be involved upstream instead of downstream. Besides, as a Japanese man who grew up loving American culture — and eating my fair share of Big Macs — I ought to know something about Japanese McDonald’s, both as a customer and as a localization specialist....
The first time I played a video game, I was 18. Prior to me being 18, my entire family was so nerdy we didn’t even have television. You see, being homeschooled until college without technology is basically like growing up in the 1950s. Especially if you’re homeschooled by people who grew up in the 1950s. Basically I just quilted, wrote Star Wars plays for my siblings to enact and read J.R.R. Tolkein books all day — and I am exaggerating only very slightly. So that first time I played a video game, I lost spectacularly. I was too much of a nerd to be any good at video games...
Richard Sikes & Angelika Zerfaß
Upon first launch, the user is greeted by a welcome screen containing links to the most important work areas within the software, either from the ribbon or from a navigation panel on the left-hand side. The top of the navigation panel contains an area that displays applications from OpenExchange. The prominent positioning of this display is a not-so-subtle hint at the importance SDL has placed upon OpenExchange as an extension of the core product functionality. Four applications are listed by default, followed by a link to the OpenExchange website.
Although OpenExchange has been available to licenced Trados Studio users since the 2009 version (Service Pack 3), providing users access to a variety of helpful utilities that could run alongside Trados, the 2014 release has made use of a new Integration application programming interface (API) that allows developers to embed their applications directly into the Trados user interface. OpenExchange applications thereby become part of the overall user experience, extending the core product functionality with a palette feature set that is essentially limited only by the time, resources and interest of third-party developers....
Stereotypes are rampant across all forms of popular media, and we’ve seen them evolve for the better over time yet some have a long way to go to see improvement. But what exactly is a stereotype? Strictly from a dictionary definition, it’s “the widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing.” Most usually, this image or idea doesn’t reflect the reality of the person, place or thing, and thus it can potentially perpetuate a misperception of that entity, usually to its detriment. After all, it’s rare that a stereotype is actually a more positive reflection than the reality....
I personally find Beam Technologies’ approach to all this refreshing. Instead of picking up their leftover toothbrushes and going home, Beam Technologies is staying positive. And they’re also letting Procter & Gamble do the heavy lifting when it comes to client education. “We’ve hardly spent a dime on marketing,” Frommeyer told me. But February 2014, the month of the announcement, was Beam Technologies’ best sales month ever. Since the announcement, the company has been interviewed by The Wall Street Journal, Christian Science Monitor, Bloomberg Media Group and also yours truly. When asked to describe in one word how this disruption has affected his business, Frommeyer’s word is “money.”...
We don’t always know every service provider’s process, and that’s okay. It’s enough that the quality is there ... right?
During my tenure in the language services business, I’ve found this to be a loaded question when it comes to machine translation (MT). Many clients request content translation with quick turnaround without asking how it gets done. For these buyers, as long as there’s a quality process firmly in place, and the final product makes the grade, it’s a successful transaction. Assuming all conditions are right, a solution involving MT can cut costs for the vendor as well as the client while accelerating delivery and ensuring superb quality....
Targeting new regional markets is always a challenge for game producers, as high-quality translation is often not enough for the product launch to become rewarding. To ensure the game is successfully introduced to the target audience and to eliminate possible retail risks, it is important for the product to be perfectly adapted to all the regional requirements and standards, taking into consideration a significant number of social, cultural and legal aspects. Proper localization requires a considerable amount of resources and effort; therefore, detailed step-by-step planning is crucial for a successful project....
Bill Black & Simone Crosignani
The past 12 months have been particularly significant for the video game industry. The market is now extremely diversified, thanks to a broad range of gaming platforms that differ in cost, technical features and user bases. This unprecedented heterogeneity has allowed for a wide gaming scenario: on one side of the spectrum we have witnessed the final consecration of indie games, titles created by talented developers who often work solo or in smaller teams....
It was a chance we could not miss. Up until 2011 my company was essentially a single language vendor, translating a wide range of content from or into Russian, with a focus on huge Chinese and Korean online role-playing games for Russian players.
Suddenly it all changed — mobile and casual games boomed, while the massively multiplayer online role playing game market got saturated and stabilized. Hundreds of new mobile developers and publishers appeared, often with little expertise in internationalization and no staff to manage localization in-house, let alone to manage each target language separately. The new client typically wanted only one or two providers to handle a whole line of game titles as well as regular updates and marketing phrases. Most of them wanted this done simultaneously into ten or more languages, for players in the Americas, Europe and Asia....
Anna Maya Tomala
The term crowd brings with it rather negative connotations. Except for certain venues such as music shows, no one likes to be crammed together with a bunch of other people. Crowd is mostly associated with lack of space, lack of air, highly infringed individualism and thus group mentality, mass production and mass consumption.
However, with the development of the crowd-oriented systems, the cloud-based solutions now so popular in our industry have been incorporated as the best model for putting together great numbers of individuals, revving them into production mode and providing them with collaboration platforms for intellectual exchange and data sharing....
What is new with 2.0? To start with, the new version is not backward compatible with 1.2. This allows for a new structure with a different representation of the segmentation, as well as an important feature often requested: modularity. The specification splits the format into a base namespace called the Core that all implementations must support and several specialized optional modules. This separation ensures the stability of the format while providing the possibility of future enhancements....
I applaud any initiative that recognizes terminology data as a knowledge asset. Provided that it is properly structured, terminology data is indeed a knowledge asset in a most discreet and repurposable form. Bridging so-called flat terminology and structured concept models is a welcome approach in the multilingual communication field. Yet for far too long, terminology management systems designed for computer-assisted translation, which have dominated the landscape of terminology tools, have not bought into this concept. The functionality necessary to produce a hierarchically structured knowledge base is missing from these systems, even though for years some users, myself included, have been advocating for extending translation-oriented termbases into knowledge-rich repositories....
Yasin Steiert & Afaf Steiert
The majority of the video game market originates from two regions: North America and Japan. Though household titles such as Call of Duty, World of Warcraft and Battlefield 4 are set up to have language packs for different parts of the world, mid title games still are unlikely to have a globalized target market due to inexperience. That trend is naturally changing with the economy of the industry. According to IT research firm Gartner, the global video game industry is expected to reach $111 billion by 2015, up from $93 billion in 2013....
In this issue, we cover two things central to localization: emerging markets and translation technology. Emerging markets are the goal, at least in the sense that localization is always looking toward what was previously unexplored, while technology is crucial to the method....
When Charles Darwin wrote The Origin of Species in 1859, he forever changed the view that the natural world was an ordered system that had existed as-is for countless years and would remain immutable until the end of time. “Survival of the fittest” became a basic axiom, not only in biology, but also in other spheres of human endeavor.
The business world in particular has embraced this principle, and its imperatives currently rule the vast majority of commercial ventures, from multinational corporations down to the small shops on Main Street....
Maybe it’s the yogi in me that thinks a little love can fix it all. “All we need is love” and so on. But there is something noteworthy in the traditional yoga salutation Namaste. It means the light in me acknowledges the light in you. So how can we get this segment of the freelance community to see the light?...
Rosalind Smith & Mohamed Aly
People today have become so accustomed to our globalized world with its easy access for one and all, and to the ease of internet communication in general, that we tend to take it all for granted. Few dwell on how easily we could be cut off at a stroke, unable to work, carry out projects, answer our clients, obtain valuable information and receive payments.
In fact, your whole operation can come to a grinding, screaming halt, leaving you feeling helpless, faced with this unforeseen and totally unexpected state of affairs....
The rise of emerging markets is bringing new languages into the spotlight and readers of this magazine are regularly introduced to the idiosyncrasies of less-common languages. Instead of focusing on the unique characteristics of each language, a greater understanding is achieved by understanding that all emerging market languages have common characteristics, and that there is a continuum of development as resources, tools and processes adapt to the needs of localizers.
The definition of an emerging market is vague, with the International Monetary Fund, The World Bank, stock markets and other organizations maintaining different lists. For translation, the focus is primarily on Asian and Eastern European languages, since South America and Africa are at least partially covered by familiar languages such as Spanish or French for many commercial purposes....
...in April of 2008 Inuktitut became an official language of the Territory of Nunavut with the passing of the newly created Official Languages Act. This new law replaced the former Northwest Territories (NWT) Official Languages Act. Under the NWT Official Languages Act, created in 1984, English and French were classified as the two official languages in the NWT, and there were nine First Nation and Inuit languages that this act recognized. At the time, it was a major improvement for the communities who spoke these languages, this being their first official recognition from any government entity. However, the NWT Official Language Act merely recognized the presence of these languages and made no major effort to encourage their availability or usage in official settings....
Louise Law & Ellen Donaldson
Recent research by PricewaterhouseCoopers indicates that Brazil will become the fourth largest global economy by 2050. With a population of 202 million and a steadily growing economy, combined with the aforementioned up and coming global sporting events, it is no great surprise that marketers and companies are looking to Brazil to seize business opportunities for product and consumer global market expansion.
For Language Service Providers (LSPs) this means more work on the horizon for localization of content into Brazilian Portuguese. As more global businesses enter the Brazilian market and as Brazilian consumers get even greater spending power, globalization managers and LSPs need to make sure they are ready for this key emerging market.
There are a number of well-documented downsides to Brazil’s spotlight, however, that pose both challenges and risks for market opportunists....
Hernani Costa, Gloria Corpas Pastor & Isabel Durán Muñoz
The chances to develop tools for interpreters increase with regard to the preparation phase prior to any interpreting service, when interpreters need to acquire as much information and specialized knowledge as possible in order to get ready for their work. Once interpreters know the topic, the setting and all the features of the interpreting service, they can start compiling terminological resources such as glossaries, managing documents and so on. The correct management of these tools will usually mean better output. Another scenario prone to technology development is training, where all kinds of software and applications could be used to train interpreters at various stages and in different modes....
Aljoscha Burchardt, Arle Lommel, Georg Rehm, Felix Sasaki, Josef van Genabith & Hans Uszkoreit
The translation and localization industry has long used technology in the form of translation memory (TM) and terminology management systems, but for a variety of reasons it has not embraced other forms as readily. Most language technologies today have been deployed as monolingual applications without the multilingual support required by translators.
Machine translation (MT) is currently the best-known example to the public at large, driven largely by the success of free services pioneered by AltaVista’s Babelfish and then made truly mainstream by Google Translate. The translation and localization community’s acceptance of MT for production purposes has been considerably more reluctant and cautious, but even here it is making significant inroads....
Professional translators, language service providers (LSPs) and clients alike clearly understand that MT can prove an effective means to improve productivity and therefore reduce turnaround times and translation costs. Sure, one could debate whether MT should indeed be used in any translation project or whether it should be restricted to specific projects. Yet the decision on whether to adopt MT usually boils down to one simple question: assuming that the desired quality level is guaranteed and that the processes allow for the use of such technology, will MT improve translators’ productivity?...
Accessibility isn’t worth very much on its own without the ability to control who accesses what. Role-based accounts provide for greater security because it serves as a gateway for everyone who might touch the translation process, from linguists to project managers. Each system user is set up with a profile that lays out what he or she can see within a translation management system, for instance.
In the coming months, we will likely see heightened sophistication with how much these role-based accounts can be fine-tuned. Some providers of cloud-based workflow technologies are working on getting more detailed with who can access what information once logged in to the system — such as translation project requestors in a given department only having access to certain types of projects....