Roundtable September 2019 with Karen McMillan Tkaczyk

Round the World in Four Weeks: Translation, Localization and Globalization

The localization industry grew out of the need to make technology products globally accessible. This month will be all about the implications of working with global audiences. My world, the professional translator’s world, is all about facilitating communication between people. Translation is not a commodity. In a global economy, the world becomes more integrated, but technology cannot successfully produce all of the communication humans need and want. Translators are a junction point. This month we will discuss from the basic – defining globalization vs. internationalization vs. localization – and the small – how to write for translation and localization – to the large – what machines are already doing for us and where we see the industry in 20 years.

September Roundtable includes the following curated content, in addition to resources and an interactive forum for engagement on the topic.

Week 1: Live Webinar: Around the World in an Hour?
Week 2: Article: Writing for localization
Week 3: Panel Discussion with Aki Ito, Catherine Christaki, and Jost Zetzsche
Week 4: Case Study and Ask me Anything

The localization industry grew out of the need to make technology products globally accessible. This month will be all about the implications of working with global audiences. My world, the professional translator’s world, is all about facilitating communication between people. Translation is not a commodity. In a global economy, the world becomes more integrated, but technology cannot successfully produce all of the communication humans need and want. Translators are a junction point. This month we will discuss from the basic – defining globalization vs. internationalization vs. localization – and the small – how to write for translation and localization – to the large – what machines are already doing for us and where we see the industry in 20 years.

Weekly Content

STC Roundtable Webinar: Around the World in an Hour?

It’s all about words. And their context. It’s often called the largest industry you’ve never heard of. This week we will set the scene for our month. What is the massive languages services industry that enables people to compete in a global market? From dubbing and global market research to software localization and defining locale, Karen will introduce you to the big picture of how localization professionals tailor texts about your products and services for all the markets you wish to sell to.

Article: Writing for localization

This week we will think small! We will focus on the writers in our #TechComm audience and think about writing for localization. What does it take? How can you write in a way that will make localization more effective and reduce costs?

As inspiration, I cite this article written by me and published in “The Chronicle” of the American Translators Association. Obviously, I translate into English and this article shows that. What about those of you writing in English knowing that your work will be translated? Let’s discuss. What are the features you need to focus on? If you were writing specifications for a localization project at this level, what would they include? We will discuss what kind of writing will produce better translations, make localization easier, cause fewer glitches, and save your company money.

You can download this set of tips on what it takes to write well for translation. Karen is ready to discuss good writing practices on the forum.

Panel Discussion: To Infinity? Or are we staying closer to home?

This week we are thinking big. Where is the localization industry going? Is consolidation among massive language service providers inevitable? Will only subject-matter experts in a world of post-editing machine translation? Or do we see something else entirely?

Our panel will answer these and other big picture questions about where globalization, loc This week we are thinking big. Where is the localization industry going? Consolidation is inevitable? Only subject-matter experts will survive? Machine translation, artificial intelligence?
Our panel will answer these and other big picture questions about where globalization, localization and even the lowly (Lowly?) translators will be in 20 years.

Panelists

Catherine Christaki

Catherine Christaki has been a full-time English-Greek translator since 2001 and a co-owner of Lingua Greca Translations since 2012. She specializes in software, app and web localization (lead Greek translator for Apple since 2011). In 2013, she translated the popular guide for translation buyers, Translation: Getting It Right, into Greek.

Born and raised in Greece, studied Modern Languages and Translation in the UK, and currently lives in Guelph, Canada (proud Canadian citizen since 2018). She is active on social media, especially on Twitter @LinguaGreca, and writes the translation blog Adventures in Technical Translation. She’s been a mentor for ATA’s (American Translators Association) members since 2014, and is currently the Chapter and Membership Manager for Women in Localization Eastern Canada (which she co-founded in April 2019).

Aki Ito

A native of Japan, Aki Ito is an experienced localization professional who has worked in the industry since 1996 in sales, operation management, and consulting. Aki has served as a member and chair of the board of directors of the Globalization and Localization Association (GALA). He served as the team interpreter for the Colorado Rockies in 2000. He currently serves on the editorial board for MultiLingual magazine and the technical communication advisory board for the University of Minnesota. Prior to his involvement in the localization industry, Aki was an account executive at Dell in the United States and Japan, selling personal computers and networking solutions to multinational companies for their worldwide implementations. Aki has an MBA in international marketing and a BA in international relations.

Jost Zetzsche

Jost Zetzsche is a translation industry and translation technology consultant, an author on various aspects of translation, and an ATA-certified English-to-German technical translator. 1999 Jost co-founded International Writers’ Group, LLC, on the Oregon coast. Originally from Hamburg, Germany, he earned a Ph.D. in the field of Chinese translation history and linguistics at the University of Hamburg. The Translator’s Tool Box, his computer guide for translators is now in its thirteenth edition, and his technical journal for the translation industry goes out to more than 11,000 translation professionals.

Case Study and Ask me Anything

This week we’re getting practical. How do we apply this? We will present a localization case study and Karen will be open to an Ask Me Anything discussion in the forum to close our month.

Resources

Background reading:

Blog posts that may spark ideas and whose posts may be worth following:

MOOCs:

Writing for translation:

(The best resource I know for how to write English for translation)

  • Kohl, John R. The Global English Style Guide: Writing Clear, Translatable Documentation for a Global Market (SAS Publishing, 2008).

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Curator Bio:

Karen McMillan Tkaczyk:

Karen McMillan Tkaczyk first trained as a chemist, then after having children changed course and became a freelance technical translator and editor. Since 2006 she has been translating, editing, and proofreading her work and that of others, from French, and producing English for the UK and the USA. Karen is a Certified Translator (American Translators Association, French into English) and she is a Fellow of the UK’s Institute of Translation and Interpreting. Karen also has more than a decade of in-person training and public speaking under her belt and she transferred her skills to giving online training once that technology matured.

Karen is originally from the UK and has lived in the US since 1999. She can speak extensively about English dialects and how to localize them, but she can only speak with a lilting Scottish accent. In 2018 Karen rejoined STC after a hiatus; she presented at Summit 2019. She is heavily involved in the American Translators Association, and currently serves as its Secretary. She tweets as @ChemXlator.

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