Tag Archives: Rosetta Foundation

Back to the Origins of the Localization Conference

Today I attended the LRC X8 Conference in Limerick. LRC is the longest running localization conference in the world. It is run by the Localization Research Centre which based at the University of Limerick.

LRC Director Reinhard Schäler was present (has he ever not been?) having returned modestly triumphant from Berlin with an award from META-FORUM given to The Rosetta Foundation “for their ground-breaking work in overcoming language barriers, enabling global conversation and making information available to individuals irrespective of their social status, linguistic or cultural background.”

The first session I attended was on Kilgray’s Language Terminal presented by Madeleine Lenker. When we set up VistaTEC in 1997 one of value adds to our translation partners was that we removed a lot of technical and preparation related tasks by carrying out all of that work centrally and just sending out translation kits. It struck me how much of this is now done by end-user translation tools which are often free. So individual, and perhaps technically inexperienced, translators can take on the translation of, say, InDesign documents and be able to make full use of translation memories and translation oriented editors. In my opinion Kilgray have been very astute in focusing on the needs and feedback of the translator community.

Post lunch food coma was kept at bay by Andrzej Zydroń talking about the Translation Interoperability Protocol Package (TIPP) and XLIFF:doc and David Filip giving an XLIFF 2.0 overview.

TIPP recently achieved the first ever, lossless round trip between two Translation Management Systems (XTM 7.7 and MemoQ 2013). This is very exciting in my view. It puts the focus on the ability to use the right tool for the job whether “the job” is the whole process or just a part of it.

XLIFF 2.0 has a small core and several “modules” (optional namespaced data that can be ignored but must never be destroyed): translation candidates [mtc:]; glossary [gls:]; format style [fs:]; metadata [mda:]; resource data [res:]; change tracking [ctr:]; size restriction [slr:]; and validation [val:].

Emma Keane of Symantec presented on the importance of trusted partners to their outsource terminology strategy. Emma emphasized how critical it is to the success of their terminology management program that they have transparency around who the individuals helping to define their glossaries are. A lively debate ensued around the transparency of language/linguistic service providers.

Veronica Carioni and Victor Coutin of Vistaprint ended the days talks on the subject of web site localization. Vistaprint is a USD250m business who’s leading product is business cards! Vistaprint created Cultural Style Guides which divide Europe into regions and includes details, based on marketing communications strategies, appropriate imagery and audio. Marketing people, localization specialists and copy writers work together on these. A really clear, open and engaging presentation.

The ever provocative Reinhard closed the day by asking if there is such a thing as a national stereotype any more or if, in this highly globalized world, are they more age range stereotypes, personal interest or social group stereotypes?

GALA Innovations in Language Technology

I presented on the Internationalization Tag Set 2.0 and gave a demonstration of Reviewer’s Workbench at yesterday’s GALA “Innovations in Language Technology” pre-Think Latin America event. It seemed to go well: I couldn’t spot anyone sleeping.

Highlights of the various presentations

Vincent Wade, CNGL – Research at CNGL

Prof. Vincent Wade, Director of CNGL set the stage for the afternoon by talking about the challenges of volume, variety and velocity and the arrival of Intelligent Content followed by an overview of the research activities at the Centre.

Steve Gotz talked knowledgeably (as he always does) about the differences between invention and innovation. Seemingly our industry has been guilty of only doing incremental innovation rather than disruptive invention. Luckily CNGL can help with the latter.

Tony O’Dowd, Kantan – Machine Translation and Quality

Tony talked about the dichotomy of machine translation quality metrics used by system developers versus the measurements that are more of interest to those downstream from the raw MT output: Post-Editors, Project Managers, etc. He proposed an interesting way of bridging this divide.

Reinhard Schäler, Rosetta Foundation – Collaborative Translation and Non-market Localization Models

Reinhard talked about the great work that is being done by volunteer translators and how this highly collaborative model could influence the future of the industry in the medium to long term. He also covered the Open Source Solas localization platform which is the backbone of the Rosetta production environment and includes a component called “Solas Match”: a dating application for “connecting translators to content”.


Between presentations there was some stimulating and interesting discussions around the impact that disruptive technologies could have on the industry, the challenges of carrying out innovation in the industry, the future of Language Service Providers and non-market localization.

There’s probably not enough of this type of conversation that happens in the industry, particularly between the service providers, possibly because we are all concerned about differentiating our offerings. However, as Arle Lommel pointed out to me, if those differentiating factors can be assimilated by someone else within the space of an afternoon, it probably wasn’t much of a differentiator!