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Tokyo user meetup report

Memsource User Meetup Tokyo family photo

Almost 50 translation professionals took part in the Memsource User Meetup in Tokyo on November 27. Translation buyers, agencies and freelance translators learned new software features and networked during this event.

User Meetup: Training + Networking

The meeting was split into two parts.  In the training part, Junko Kato, a Certified Memsource trainer and Support team member based in Japan, showcased the Shared projects functionality. This function allows buyers to instantly on-board new providers and share translation memories and projects with them, while retaining control over their data. Junko also highlighted the Automation widget which functions as a customer portal. With it, buyers can drag and drop files for translation, and get an instant quote. On the back end, the widget sets up customized projects and automatically notifies PMs and linguists , so that the work can start faster.

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Junko Kato and Josef Kubovsky deliver training

Josef Kubovsky, Memsource Head of Sales, conducted a short presentation explaining new business models made possible with emerging translation technology. Solution providers are a new type of translation company who offer language services bundled with software. For the buyer, they become a consultant and a supermarket for all language needs.

The model for enterprise buyers is changing as well. They start accumulating language data on their side, even if they outsource translations.

In the networking part of the meeting, Junko Kato ran a questions and answers session. Enterprise localization specialists, agencies and freelancers exchanged contacts over a course of refreshments. At the end of the meeting the bravest took part in a prize draw which entailed a game of Janken, the Japanese version of Rock-Paper-Scissors.

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Networking session and prize draw after a game of Janken, Japanese refreshments

Japan presents an opportunity for European SLVs

Information gleaned from this meeting suggests that the translation market in Japan is in a state of transition. Following the huge success of Japanese manufacturers such as Toyota and Hitachi, it is now the turn of services sector companies and IT startups to go global. According to Donald DePalma, Chief Strategist at Common Sense Advisory, new buyers in Japan go step-by-step, and they usually take on new languages one at a time. However, it is obvious that to compete with Silicon Valley startups they will need more languages, move vendors for different combinations and better technology to connect all their providers into a single ecosystem.

At present, a significant chunk of the market is dedicated to patent translations from Japanese into English as global companies compete for intellectual property land grabs. Rates in IP translations in Japan are quite high, sometimes up to $0.30 per word or more.

From a technology perspective, the market is historically dominated by desktop systems, and it is common that translation teams work in isolation. However,** as collaboration and data exchange between teams become more important, many translation professionals are switching to Cloud solutions**. Tech-savvy companies are exploring machine translation post-editing and engine customization to boost their productivity and prepare for the ongoing explosion in the volume of content to translate.

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Q/A session in progress

The Memsource team would like to express gratitude to attendees of the meeting. We look forward to seeing you in Tokyo next year.