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Insights from LocWorld41, Silicon Valley

LocWorld41, Silicon Valley localization and translation events

This year’s US LocWorld event was held last week in the world’s technology and innovation hub, Silicon Valley. With up to 10 different tracks and over 30 presentations, not to mention the pre-conference sessions, the event was jam-packed with localization insights for global companies, LSPs both large and small, and everyone in between.

Read on to discover our key takeaways from LocWorld41, Silicon Valley.

If you aren’t measuring localization ROI, you need to start.

A topic on everybody’s lips at LocWorld41 was how to prove the value of localization. With a strong focus on data this year, presenters provided how-tos and tips and tricks for calculating localization ROI, giving conference attendees a practical guide to gauging and demonstrating the actual value of localization.

Two key considerations:

  • What it will cost, what you will get out of it, and what are your chances of success vs failure.
  • Identify the metrics that matter most for your company such as turnaround time, page views, or leads generated.

But tracking the right data isn’t the only issue localization managers are facing. We in the industry know that localization is an essential component for a successful global company but convincing your entire organization may seem like an uphill battle. That’s why fostering relationships with all stakeholders in the localization process, be it the development team, the finance team, or the marketing team, is essential. These connections will help you collect the right data, will encourage localization advocates in your company, and help you solve issues before they happen.

Machine translation is moving forward and we need to keep up

It was clear from the conference that machine translation (MT) has changed the game, yet people are still lagging behind. In his presentation on NMT implementation, Gaëtan Chrétiennot, CEO of Six Continents, revealed that many potential MT users are still stuck at MT selection and also struggle not with the technology itself but with those who have to learn to use it. Another problem is the skepticism around MT quality. The panel discussion “The Fantastic Best-quality Engines and How to Find Them: Evaluating MT in 2020” aimed to simplify the MT selection process and demonstrated different ways for MT users to evaluate MT such as Memsource’s MTQE (machine translation quality estimation) feature.

Innovation is key for keeping our momentum

What remains clear is that our industry is always innovating. This was most clear at the Process Innovation Challenge. Six presenters showcased - in just four minutes - their latest innovations, from editing translated text directly within the user interface to integrated neural machine translation for ediscovery. Memsource CTO, Dalibor Frivaldsky, unveiled Memsource’s latest innovation to be rolled out early next year, which automatically suggests linguists for translation jobs, saving time by reducing manual tasks and eliminating the risk of human error. The winning innovation, presented by Lori Silverstein of SPi Global, showcased the application of AI in dubbing. Dubbing traditionally has a long turnaround time and because of this, only a selection of content can be dubbed and is not always available in the desired language. While this solution won’t replace human dubbing, it can enable more users to engage with content in their own language faster than before.

Where do we go from here?

SPi Global’s AI dubbing follows a growing trend in the industry. The topics of live interpreting, speech to text, and vice versa are getting more and more traction - and technology providers and language service providers are catching on. Another notable trend was the transformation of the industry. In one of the CEO panels, there was much emphasis on how the role of project manager and translator are no longer cut and dry but are transforming into new, more robust positions. And companies are moving in the same direction - becoming solution providers rather than service providers. Companies in the industry will be covering more topics, merging with new fields, and embracing new technologies in order to stay relevant in this constantly evolving global arena.

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Author: Lara-Ashleigh Pieterse
Author: Lara-Ashleigh Pieterse

Content Manager at Memsource.