Localization World: The Future Is Technology
In today's digital age, you will be hard pushed to find someone in a developed country who doesn't have access to the internet.
High-speed connections are now fast, reliable and cheap thanks to the considerable investments made in improving infrastructure. This means having an online presence has never been more important.
Brands cannot expect to attract customers on a multi-national scale if they are not delivering compelling messages in a consistent manner. This why when considering localization services, firms also need to think about technology.
The biggest development
Christine Luxton, conference and exhibits manager at Localization World, said technology affects every aspect of the localization process. Whether it is machine translation, translation proxy technology or speech to speech translation, advancements in this sector are underpinning every major development.
"With all these new technologies there are also new standards so that these different technologies can talk to each other. The sorts of topics that affect everyone – for example big data – translate into localization because for statistical machine translation, the more data you have the better," she added.
Ms Luxton also believes the internet of things – a structure that seeks to connect everyday objects through Wi-Fi and low-cost, low-power chips – will have a major role to play in the future of localization.
She thinks the technology, which is being supported by governments all around the world because of its undoubted potential, will lead to many more applications in non-traditional devices and so there will be an even greater need for localization.
The importance of technology
Ms Luxton was speaking after the recent Localization World Asia event, which was held in Bangkok, Thailand between February 24th and 26th and sponsored by EQHO. The theme of the event was disruptive innovation and this can be seen with technology, as it has the potential to revolutionize the localization industry, particularly with regards to the efficacy of machine translation.
A major leap forward for the sector, according to Ms Luxton, was when companies realized there were markets they could exploit that didn't speak English.
"Once upon a time someone would develop and release a piece of software and say they released it from Silicon Valley, then they probably didn't realise that someone somewhere else in the world spoke a different language," she remarked.
As a result of this realization, companies began to appreciate the need for literature concerning their products and services to be translated into different languages so they could be properly marketed outside of their own area.
This is where agile localization – the process for project management and development in terms of improving efficiency and accuracy – comes in. Ms Luxton pointed to the sea change in thinking this process has brought, as it has allowed brands to focus on simultaneous releases.
"The world [became] savvy and said 'We want our copy of the product when you release the version in your home language' … and so the agile process is one of the things that helps that to occur," she added.
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