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Thursday, April 17, 2014

MultiLingual is the leading source of information for the language industry and businesses with global communications needs. Published eight times a year plus an annual index/resource directory, it is read by more than 12,000 people in 67 countries. Information and current news are also provided by and the free electronic newsletter, MultiLingual News.

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Current Issue

Magazine Cover
April/May, 2014


Columns and Commentary

Post Editing:

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....

Macro/Micro: What the language industry can learn from yoga

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?...

Perspectives: Solutions for revolutions and other disruptions

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....

Core Focus

Technology-assisted interpreting

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....

Language technology drives quality translation

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....

Post-editing MT: Is it worth a discount?

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?...

Cloud security for SaaS translation providers

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....

Dreams of better terminology tools

Terminology is at the very heart of our linguistic landscape. In everything we do — fixing our cars, preparing meals, taking medication, even enjoying our hobbies — we come into contact with specialized language units. In language science, these units are called terms. Terms are not just important for scientists or professional language workers; they play a significant role for all of us. By being more aware of terminology and its evolution, we can take better care of the treasures of our language.

As language workers, we see that correct, consistent terminology is becoming more important and complex than ever, thanks to the multilingual environment we live in. For instance, we have 24 official languages in the European Union. In many spheres of the linguistic landscape, texts must be translated in each of the official languages. Terminology is the key to making translation clear, consistent and precise....

Evolution of cloud-based translation memory

While ten years ago we only had four or five solutions using online TMs, today we can find more than 40. We now classify CAT tools in two different categories: desktop-based or cloud-based. For higher flexibility, we find both approaches being addressed by some developers such as WordFast or Kilgray (memoQ).

One of the most important changes that we can appreciate in these ten years is the proliferation of this type of solution, with a clear trend toward cloud-based solutions. Proliferation means competition and competition means lower and flexible pricing. Today a group of translators can offer this technology to its clients while in the past only big corporations had the infrastructure and money to do so. It is still true that the level of development is very different and that this will be reflected in the price, but high-end solutions are still more affordable today than they used to be....

Industry Focus

Localization maturity in emerging market languages

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....

Canada's languages: More than English and French 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....

Localizing for Brazil, a nation on the rise

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....


Diversification in the Language Industry

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....


The importance of culturally savvy leaders

In order to remain competitive, global business leaders need to be able to adapt to diverse national, organizational and professional cultures. A leader who can accommodate and master these challenges practices what we refer to as geoleadership.

Differences in language, cultural preferences for pace, intonation, spatial distance and more play a role in any intercultural communication. The seemingly worldwide acceptance and use of “common” technologies, both hardware and software, can create an illusion of familiarity....