Today I attended a localization technology roundtable that featured speakers from 5 different localization technology vendors: Adam Anses from LingoPort, Kirti Vashee from Asia Online, Kent Taylor from Acrolinx, Robinson Kelly from Clay Tablet, and Adam Blau from Milengo. It was a terrific round-up of interesting and advanced technologies, presented by some of the most well-known and knowledgeable people in the industry. In addition to the 5 technology companies, Salvatore Giammarresi, Localization Director at Yahoo! gave the keynote. The roundtable was very well-attended and extremely informative.

Here are a few things I learned at the roundtable:

  • Learn CFO-speak. You must be able to articulate to your CFO and upper management how localization increases revenue.
  • We’re exploding. More content was created in 2005 than in the preceding 40,000 years.
  • Organizations have lost control. 70% of content is now user-generated.
  • People are talking. For every assisted technical support call, there are 10 answered through self-service, and 30 are answered in communities.
  • Talk is expensive. There are 51 ways to say “The end date must be later than the start date.”
  • Loc guys know interesting tongue twisters. “I am a mother pheasant plucker, I pluck mother pheasants. I am the best mother pheasant plucker that ever plucked a mother pheasant.”
  • Moms know this: Internationalization is software engineering that enables localization.
  • Let it flow. Clay Tablet streamlines content sharing from the content creation environment to various translation environments.
  • Don’t pick. LSPs should be technology agnostic.
  • Get your snazzy on. Content Authoring systems are compelling; Translation Memory is not.
  • There are a lot of smart people in the localization world. (Okay – that one I already knew, but it is worth repeating.)
Val Swisher
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