W.L. President Anna Schlegel Reflects on 2018 and the Secret Sauce for 2019

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As the year is quickly moving toward its end, I wanted to give insight on how Women in Localization rolled this year. As President of the 2018 Board, I observe and pay a lot of attention as our Members, Board, Committees, Partners, Sponsors and Advisors drive leadership in our globalization profession. I try to read the tea leaves while also keeping quiet and listening.

I recently sat down all alone – a rare occurrence! – with a cup of coffee, no kids, no noise, to make a list and reflect on what we accomplished this year. The list grew kilometric in just a few minutes. Once you pull it all together, it is to be celebrated and bow – I bow to the list! How did we get this focused, this purposeful and show so many results? Why do we want to belong and lead our industry so much?

In our list of accomplishments, I had an “aha!” moment. Holy smokes, this year alone we drove 64 innovation sessions. 64. Sis quatre. Six-four localization innovation sessions. The carefully planned events, led by local Chapters, discuss all aspects of globalization: technology, platforms, quality, vendor management, mentoring, innovation, and engineering, but they were also celebrating our women, with discussions on how to manage it all. We all know the answer to that one…run for the hills!

We continue our strategy to let more and new faces try leadership through our organization. Our Board sponsored 15 Committees this year. That translates into 15 new leaders who formed Committees to lead our business, to drive our goals, to cross collaborate and to take care of our ever-evolving organization. Dynamic as a noun explodes here.  Some of those Committees have nearly a dozen people on them. The Committees are led by Executive Directors who are charged with leading their area and developing solutions for the organization. Some of these Committees have been around longer than others. For example, Marketing and Chapters are more established and help guide new Committees as they ramp up. We are also kicking off two new Committees, one for Mentorship and another for Global Growth. We are also thinking of starting a Committee for metrics… You see? We don’t rest. There are too many dots to connect and a plethora of incredibly capable women to lead. The Board connects all those dots to empower and train in leadership. Sometimes we get it right, sometimes we get it wrong. But it is our values and ability to collaborate that gives us the framework to lead and steer our organization.

With 2019 right around the corner, we are now in succession planning mode. Who are the next leaders, do we move some chairs around?

We just celebrated our 10th year anniversary and became a non-profit. We launched Chapters in Singapore, Poland, Utah and Beijing. We opened an Office of the Chair that mimics all supporting key roles of a large organization. We participated in every single industry event with our awesome partners GALA, and Slator, and LocWorld.

Our focus for 2019 will be all about our Members. Get ready for that, as well as much more training for Members, and more opportunity to participate in our leadership fabric. And of course, as good globalizers…more Chapters!

I will announce a new President come January 1st and I am so excited to see new leaders shine through. If you are interested in an open position let us know. We are here to mentor, sponsor and help you with your localization dreams!


Anna N Schlegel

President, Women in Localization


Personal & Professional Wisdom

My Journey into the World of Globalization and Localization

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Things started happening in October 2017 when I was a Director of Engineering at Perforce Software. I was given an opportunity to take the lead to drive and implement the localization of our core products and documentation to improve our footprint in the APAC market. Being in engineering and building products is one thing, but localization had never been a part of my expertise or domain, and I had no idea where to start, what to expect, and how to reach the goal of building a localized product. Quite overwhelming!

But as it turned out, the timing was perfect because I had just started volunteering as the Chief Compliance Officer with Women in Localization. In the middle of this chaos, I realized that I was surrounded with countless experts from the localization industry who could help me understand this process and put me on the right track.

Author: Monica Bajaj

During this journey, I learned several impactful lessons about the power of Localization and Globalization:

  • Localization is sometimes confused with translation. In fact, there is a big difference between both. Localization is a process of making sure that a product or the document/content is easily adaptable for a specific location or market. Translation means converting from one language to another. Translation is just one phase of localization.
  • Localization is not just mere translation. It is about refining or constructing the content, thus meeting the cultural and business needs for each locale. This, in turn, helps improve customer satisfaction. It also helps increase the customer base and the overall revenue in the globalized market. Due to localization, cultural barriers are lowered, which in turn helps to scale the customer base.
  • Software localization comprises several content types: Localizing content, product manuals, logging messages, error messages, training material, online help, graphics, formatting, regulations, etc.
  • Internationalization of software must be an integrated part of the product lifecycle from the initial stages of software development so that there are no language issues once localization gets underway.
  • Choosing a localization vendor is extremely crucial to the success of getting your product localized. Software localization is very important for your organization if you want your product to be usable and accessible in new markets. You want to make sure that your LSP (Language Service Provider) is staffed fully, has the right talent and can deliver high-quality localized software on time and within budget. When the timelines become aggressive, they should also be able to scale the teams at their end and handle the functional quality assurance around localization.
  • The localization process needs preparation and oversight. While you work with translation vendors and monitor the costs associated with the translation, it is equally important to verify the content from an engineering point of view, seeking the help of a linguist. Using the right tools, streamlining the localization and translation process and revalidating is extremely important for the success of a localized product.

Fast forward one year, and we now have the tools, people, and processes in place to deliver quality localized products on schedule (or even ahead of it). What an achievement! But this journey would not have been successful without these three key people who came along with me in making this story successful:

  • Anna Schlegel, Head of Globalization, NetApp, Founder and President Women in Localization
  • Edith Bendermacher, Senior Manager, Globalization and Localization, NetApp
  • Jeanne Wiegelmann-Alfandary, Documentation Lead, Perforce

Jeanne Wiegelmann-Alfandary

We all connected, got educated and helped in getting this program implemented.  I consider this a great example of women empowerment. As a member of Women in Localization, we are living through our values and mottos to make this world better in terms of giving back, mentoring, sharing expertise and, at the end, delivering world-class products.

Women that Rock

Localization at Mayo Clinic Means Putting the Patient’s Needs First

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If you are a Fortune 500 company, your reasons for investing in localization often include expanding and growing your global sales. But if you are Mayo Clinic, the #1 ranked hospital in the United States according to U.S. News & World Report, your primary objective for localization is to ensure the needs of the patient come first.

Gianna Martella, Senior Editor for the Global Business Solutions Unit at Mayo Clinic, said Mayo Clinic fulfills this goal by providing accurate and actionable health information for patients.

With its full website in English, Spanish and Arabic, and microsites in Simplified Chinese and Portuguese, Mayo Clinic’s briefs about medical procedures, symptoms, conditions, diagnosis, treatments, and definitions of medical terminology, offer patients easy to understand and actionable health information. In addition, documentation like forms, instructions and applications have also been translated for patients with limited or no command of English.

“We know that much of the medical content available through the Internet can be less than accurate, and some of it is written in such a way as to be alarming,” said Martella. “We aim to offer the lay person access to trusted health information in languages other than English, believing that informed patients and consumers tend to make better decisions, which results in better outcomes.”

Possessing advanced degrees in languages, translation, and literature, Martella worked for many years as a freelance translator, certified court interpreter and owner of her own small translation business. With this extensive experience, Martella said that her position as a Senior Editor was a logical progression in her career. “While the term ‘localization’ was fairly new to me, the idea of adapting local cultural concepts and regionalisms when translating content was not new.”

“Because we want to reach as many people worldwide as we can, we are using a very neutral version of the languages into which we translate,” Martella said. “We stay away from slang and from regionalisms. Since the content from our group has been written in a warm and conversational tone, in Spanish we use the informal form of the second grammatical person. However, we avoid that if culturally inappropriate.”

While Mayo Clinic strives to translate and adapt content for as many people as possible, there are several obstacles that must be overcome when localizing their specialized content.

“One of our challenges is to ensure that the quality and accuracy of our English content is mirrored in the translations, and this can be challenging when you are a large organization with campuses across several states,” Martella said. “Another challenge is the time needed to update translations after the English originals have been revised. While we would like for our audience to be able to access the updated translations immediately, there are several quality and accuracy checks required before the content is ready in other languages.”

Martella’s localization wish list includes incorporating technology into Mayo Clinic’s translation program. “Mayo Clinic is a non-profit, so ‘unlimited budget’ is not in my vocabulary,” said Martella. “That said, I wish for affordable machine translation capabilities that are provably and reliably accurate to assist – but not replace – our human translators, who are essential to producing trusted health information in other languages.”

In her role as Senior Editor, Martella interacts with people in several different groups at Mayo, such as Content Syndication, Office of Patient Education, and Language Services, an office where translators and interpreters provide linguistic services directly to patients. “There are many things I like about my job with Mayo Clinic,” Martella said. “My job is very interesting, I get to learn something every day and I work with some very dedicated individuals.”

Martella feels that Mayo Clinic continues to be successful in its primary goal of putting patient needs first. “I believe it is very important that Mayo is working on localizing our content because of its value to the users,” Martella said. “It is also a wonderful opportunity for me, because Mayo as an institution recognizes the value of translations that are accurate and well done.”


Demystifying Global E-commerce

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On October 4th 2018 Capita Translation and Interpreting (Capita TI) kindly sponsored and hosted our W.L. UK Quarter Three event in their beautiful new offices in central London. The topic was global e-commerce, from the viewpoint of our three fabulous guest speakers, presented in a relaxed and informal environment where we could meet fellow women (and men) in the localization industry. Here’s how the evening unfolded.

As with previous Women in Localization events, we kicked off with some drinks and nibbles and a chance to network and mingle. After introducing our sponsor and learning about Capita TI’s extensive range of services, our Chapter Manager Inger Larsen explained the background and purpose of Women in Localization. We’re here to support women and help them progress their localization careers. This event is just one of the many ways in which we hope to achieve our goal. And the topic global e-commerce was chosen from our Facebook poll where we asked you what areas you’d like us to focus on.

Our first speaker on the topic was Laura Pearmain. Laura is a Solutions Architect at Capita TI. She gathers customer localisation requirements and recommends different technologies to meet them, and contributes to efficiency improvements across the business. Laura gave us great insights into the nuts and bolts of global e-commerce. Beginning with explaining what it is, she went into detail on how it works – and how to ‘get it right’. Localization is key – customers want to buy in their own language. But there are various ways (and technologies) to make sure the local language content is served up quickly and accurately. You should think about how much local adaptation or additional content you may want to add, as this will impact your CMS selection – and how you’re going to get the local content in and out for localization. Technology is crucial for achieving both speed and consistent quality.

Having got to grips with the localization agency side of things, it was time to hear from Rachel Ball. Rachel is the Translations Manager (EMEA) for Ralph Lauren but had previously worked at a translation agency. We were keen to hear about her transition to the client-side challenges of global e-commerce. Handling high volume and repetition, while remaining accurate, excellent and true to the brand were some of Rachel’s daily challenges. As well as planning upstream and being mindful of hard (seasonal) deadlines that were often squeezed with localization being the last stage in the process. Ralph Lauren’s goal is to be ‘omnichannel’, providing customers with a seamless experience from online to offline; desktop, mobile, phone or real store. Localized content has to therefore be scalable, consistent and resonate on all channels – for each and every customer.

Last but not least, Semra van der Linden (a Product Manager on Expedia’s Market Expansion program) took the stage and told us a little about Expedia’s approach to getting e-commerce off the ground in non-traditional emerging markets, including the Middle East and Latin America. Agreeing completely with our previous two speakers, regarding not only the processes and people involved, but also the value of localizing e-commerce content, Semra also spoke about the very real (and commercial) need for speed. Locally nuanced language and content are the ‘holy grail’ but Expedia will launch with MVP (minimum viable product), scrutinise performance, measure ROI and then evolve the product offering and localization in line with local requirements. Good advice to agencies when proposing solutions to clients – listen to their commercial objectives and tailor a solution that will grow with your client’s ambitions and tactics.

After opening up the floor to questions from the audience, we brought the speaker section of the evening to a close and continued to mingle and chat over drinks and nibbles. People started to head off at around half nine, brimming with new ideas for global e-commerce and delighted with the new contacts they’d made.

Our next Women in Localization event is going to be in the New Year and the topic is Machine Translation. Drop us an email if you’d like us to keep you up-to-date with the details. Looking forward to seeing you there!



Women in Localization 10th Anniversary Gala an Opportunity to Give Back

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SUNNYVALE, California, USA, November 13, 2018. Women in Localization (W.L.), the leading professional organization for women in the localization industry, is thrilled to announce their 10th Anniversary as an organization dedicated to supporting Women in Localization. They celebrated their anniversary by giving back to Translators Without Borders and inspirational wisdom from Silicon Valley leaders, Anna Yen and Lisa Stone.

Members and supporters of Women in Localization gathered the evening of Friday, October 5, 2018 to celebrate the organization’s 10th Anniversary at Fairview Crystal Springs in Burlingame, CA. The gala event marked a decade since Women in Localization was founded to provide women and their allies in the localization industry with opportunities for networking, education, career advancement, mentoring and recognition.

In addition to marking the milestone anniversary, the event was an opportunity for Women in Localization to give back through a fundraiser for Translators Without Borders.  Thanks to generous support from members and generous corporate sponsors, including Gold Sponsor Moravia, Women in Localization surpassed their target donation goal of $4,000 by 25%, presenting a check for $5,025 to Translators Without Borders Board Member Iris Orriss during the event.

The fundraising check is presented to Iris Orriss (R) by Silvia Avary-Silveira (L) and Fadwa Asaad (center).

“A phenomenal amount was raised, and unrestricted donations like these are the lifeblood of what we do,” said Rosie Marteau, Development Senior Officer at Translators Without Borders. “The generous support from Women in Localization provides us with vital core funding that supports many of our ongoing initiatives around the world. Furthermore, this unrestricted funding helps us develop innovative language solutions for humanitarian response and development.”

Through their shared bond with translators and linguists, the collaboration between Women in Localization and Translators Without Borders is a perfect match. In June Silvia Avary-Silveira, CFO and Co-Founder of Women in Localization, contacted Translators Without Borders to suggest working together on a fundraiser. “Many of the members of Women in Localization are friends, donors, and allies of our work at Translators Without Borders,” said Marteau. “Of course, we naturally jumped at the chance to support Women in Localization’s fundraising efforts. We felt touched by the initiative and Silvia’s kind words about her belief in our work.”

“When we were planning our event, we decided early on to do a fundraising campaign to benefit a non-profit organization of our liking,” said Avary-Silveira. “So, when Fadwa Assad, our Executive Director of Sponsorships, suggested Translators Without Borders as our beneficiary, our board voted yes unanimously. It just made so much sense.”

While the funds will support many activities, portions are earmarked for Translators Without Borders’ Language Equality Initiative called Gamayun. This cross-industry project aims to improve fairer access to language technology and ensure the progress of machine translation benefits all people, not just those who speak and use the Internet in “commercially viable” languages.

“We are developing voice and text machine translation for marginalized languages, and making these available for use in humanitarian contexts, such as apps to help refugees access local information as they move,” said Marteau. “Ultimately the goal is for people in need to be able to communicate their own needs proactively, which will dramatically shift humanitarian communications.”

The evening’s festivities kicked off with a cocktail reception, followed by a formal sit-down dinner and discussion between distinguished entrepreneurs and longtime friends Anna Yen and Lisa Stone.

Loy Searle (far R), Women in Localization Vice President, hosted a panel with keynote speakers Lisa Stone (L) and Anna Yen (center) where they shared their wisdom and experience.

While Yen’s diminutive stature gives her male co-workers an initial impression of vulnerability, they soon discover that she is a force of nature not to be underestimated. Thanks to her strong character and no-nonsense communication style, Yen quickly earns their respect. “I work best with powerful men and it’s because I treat them like my brother,” Yen said. “I’m honest and always share my opinions, and it’s helped me to get what I want.”

Reflecting on their long careers in tech, Yen and Stone provided insight on how they achieved success in Silicon Valley. Both agreed that networking and mentorship are critical factors to success, and women should strive to always be learning and reach outside their comfort zones to embrace new challenges.

As a global organization, the celebration extended around the world to Women in Localization’s many international Chapters. Chapters in Argentina, the Netherlands, Barcelona, Singapore, Japan and the Pacific Northwest discovered a perfect mix of local speakers and delicious food worked well to mark the occasion. The Beijing Chapter had double the reason to celebrate, marking both the 10th Anniversary and the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival at the same event. The Polish Chapter live streamed the gala event, watching the revelry unfold in real time. And, finally, to continue the festivities as long as possible, the Pacific Northwest Chapter extended the celebrations two more weeks by inviting LocWorld38 attendees to a networking get-together in Seattle.

The Women in Localization Board of Directors extends their many thanks to the committee members who worked hard on the festive event, including Silvia Avary-Silveira, Fadwa Asaad, Erica Haims, Fabiano Cid, Sabine Rioufol, Magdalena Enea, Sheena Makhecha and Tanya Badeka.

“Our 10th anniversary, our new status as a non-profit organization, further global expansion, we are not only leaders in our industry, but we are leading the equality game in our profession,” said Schlegel as she welcomed the gala attendees. “Here’s to the next 10 years!”

Women in Localization Argentina Chapter celebrating the organization’s 10th Anniversary.

Women in Localization Announces Improved Website

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Co-authors: Leah MacDonald, Mimi Moore, Erica Haims

In conjunction with its 10-year anniversary and announcement of non-profit status, Women in Localization (W.L.) is proud and excited to announce its new and improved website. Featuring new branding and a refreshed “dashboard” feel, the landing page is now a centralized location for Events, News, Volunteer Opportunities and Tweets.

W.L. intends for the website to be a valuable resource for knowledge and opportunities for members and localization industry professionals. The updated Events page features a global events calendar to raise awareness about W.L. chapter and industry events. For example, October 2018 has been a busy month, featuring a W.L. UK event on the 4th called “Everything You Need to Know about Global E-Commerce”, the W.L. 10th Anniversary Special Event on the 5th, a W.L. Singapore event on the 8th called “Expanding Localization Footprint in South East Asia Market”, the TAUS Conference on the 10-11th, and a networking event held by the W.L. Pacific Northwest chapter on the 17th to kick off LocWorld Seattle on the 17-19th.

The News page has become critical to the W.L. organization, featuring timely and important bulletins, such as announcements about W.L.’s non-profit status and addition of new global chapters. In 2018 alone, W.L. added new chapters in Singapore, Beijing, Utah, and Poland, bringing the total number of global chapters to sixteen with 4,500 current worldwide members.

A dynamic and growing organization like W.L. is always on the lookout for new volunteer talent to join its ranks. W.L. volunteers not only get to try their hand at new tasks and gain new skills, but they also have the opportunity to meet new people and network with their peers. “We call this Finding your Tribe,” said Anna Schlegel, W.L. President and Co-Founder. Current openings and application details are listed on the Volunteer Page and vary across W.L.’s multiple and varied committees: Marketing, Technology, Education/Membership, Global Expansion and Chapters, Events, Sponsorship and Strategic Partnerships.

A primary focus for the Education and Mentorship committee this year has been to increase the amount of useful content available on the website. The new Resources page features valuable sites to review when conducting industry research. Curated by W.L.’s Education and Mentoring committee, details on conferences, podcasts, and educational possibilities are available at a click of a button.

Under Martyna Pakula’s guidance, the Education team has established a solid foundation that will be expanded in coming months. Coming soon in the website’s next phase is W.L.’s new Mentoring program and a job listing page. Key players in this effort are Carolyn Whittingham, who established W.L.’s mentor/mentee matchmaking program and CatherineRose Mountain, who performed double duty by assisting with the website and compiling useful content for newbies in our industry. Recognition is also due to the efforts of Marian Valia, who created training and coaching content for the chapters and individual members.

“We didn’t just create a logo and choose a bunch of colors for the new website. Our brand was built on our friendship, our history and memories, and our expectations for what we thought Women in Localization could become and our website reflected that process on an even greater scale,” said Liesl Leary, W.L. Board member and CMO.

Reinventing the new website was no small undertaking and many committed volunteers devoted their time and skills to accomplish the task. “We couldn’t have done it without the dedication of so many great contributors like Chantal Graham and Naomi Senior (Brand Design), Alison (Ali) McCabe (Graphic Design/Web Producer), and Wei Wu (Web Development) who were tireless in bringing those values to life,” said Leary.

Other notable contributions were received from Vilma Campos (W.L. CTO), Silvia Avary-Silveira, W.L. Board Member Sponsorship and Vicente Avary-Silveira, who all contributed their time and expertise.

While there is always more to do, great gains have been made in 2018 and we expect to achieve even more in the months and year ahead. Thanks to everyone who contributed to the new website for their hard work and commitment. They truly represent the best of Women in Localization!


WLChina – Beijing Chapter – September Salon Event

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On September 14th, 2018, Women in Localization Beijing Chapter hosted a salon to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Women in Localization (W.L.).

Many enterprises like Pactera, Beyondsoft, RWS, VMware, Canon, Didi, Glodom were invited to attend this event. Also professors and students from Peking University, University of International Business and Economics, Renmin University of China, Beijing Language and Culture University showed their presence as well.

At 2:40pm, Ellen Ma, leader of the Women in Localization Beijing Chapter, kicked off this event. Ellen first warmly welcomed the guests from both businesses and universities. Then she gave a brief introduction to the W.L. and shared the good news that W.L. has now been officially listed as a non-profit organization. Also, Ellen emphasized the spirit of W.L. and hope everyone in Localization industry can have more interaction and communication through this platform.

Later, Professor Cui Qiliang from UIBE were invited to the stage and shared his perspective about this kind of event. He believes that salons like this are helpful to the students who are now learning localization and conducive to those who are now engaging in the localization industry. And more cooperation between companies and universities are expected in the future which will promote the industry development.

Then a warm-up game was hosted by Sarah Qiao, who is in charge of the social media of W.L. Beijing Chapter. Every participant enjoyed the pleasant and relaxed atmosphere as if we were back to the childhood.

The next session is discussion. We have prepared some questions regarding work and life. The participants were divided into groups and then they selected two questions and began heated discussion.

Then every group had one member shared the discussion results about the questions. Some shared their career development and lessons they’ve learned. Some shared the secrets of work-life balance. And suggestions were given for students present about how to equip themselves with necessary skills.

The last session is mooncake making. As Chinese Mid-Autumn festival was just around the corner, we have prepared the special session of making snow skin mooncakes. Under the guidance of the baker, everybody was absorbed in rolling the dough, wrapping the doll with various of filling and shaping the mooncake with the mould. Everyone was having a great time making mooncakes and talking to others. Some say under the cozy atmosphere in-depth communication were easily made.

The salon concluded successfully at 5:30 pm. Participants were satisfied with this event and hope there will be more events coming.

Women that Rock

Celebrating International Translation Day 2018

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Author: Myra Goldie

Correction notice: This article was originally published with an error, referring to Blessing Uzuegbu as a single mother.

This Sunday, September 30th marked International Translation Day, an annual celebration that acts as an opportunity to pay tribute to the life and work of translators and interpreters who aspire to make the world a slightly smaller place by breaking down language barriers. The day is celebrated with a series of dedicated events, seminars, and symposiums across the world.

Four women shared their experiences building careers in the translation industry, and while their job titles, experience, stories, and backgrounds differ wildly, their sentiment was the same.

“As a translator, you are bridging the gap for humans. You are helping people’s businesses, education, careers.”

It’s impossible to ignore the passion and gratitude behind Blessing Uzuegbu’s voice as she speaks about her career as a freelance linguist for the Igbo language. Her words come across clear and proud, despite the slight fuzziness of a Skype call coming into Prague from Nigeria.

As a mother in a country of increasing unemployment rates, Uzuegbu did what any of us would do in uncertain times; she turned to the internet. She wasn’t looking for anything in particular, any job would do. But when she came across the concept of working as a translator, she knew she had struck gold.

“I never thought about translation as a career, but as I was researching it on and, I thought, I’ve always loved writing and learning, and am very good in English. I can do this.”

9,000 km away, Svetlana Uleva had the same thought.

“I can do that,” Uleva said when her father introduced her to a professional translator. Despite considering a career path in engineering roads, her love of literature was enough to convince her otherwise. She began her translation studies in Russia, and in her second year traveled to California in order to immerse herself in the culture and to, “begin dreaming in English.”

The trip was fruitful enough to draw her back to California after graduating, where she’s been ever since. “You learn the mentality of the country through the language, and moving was the next step,” she said. “It was the right move, professionally and literally.”

At first she gruelled in unpaid internships and interpreting jobs that were unfairly paid, because she believed, “it wasn’t about making money, it was about making myself.” Uleva committed to and honed her craft by constantly reading articles, attending webinars, completing courses, and closely following industry trends.

“To be a translator means non-stop learning.”

Which is the same concept behind Claire Languillat’s 25 years as a French linguist. While it was the promise of travelling the world that initially drew her to the industry, continuous learning is what has kept her engaged. “To be a translator you must familiarize yourself with a variety of things beyond just the languages themselves. I read and research constantly — medical, marketing, technical, computing, and so on,” she said.

The laundry list of things to keep up on seems daunting, but Dutch linguist Maria van der Heijde-Zomerdijk insists that it is one of the things she cherishes most about the profession. “I love the fact that I get to search many different disciplines. I get ‘to look in the kitchen’ of many different industries,” she said.

And indeed she has looked into many kitchens throughout her 20 year career editing, proofreading, software validation/testing and voice in a number of fields (medical, telecom, software, marketing, education to name a few).

Both Languillat and van der Heijde-Zomerdijk share an interest in the medical industry that was sparked by translation work. Van der Heijde-Zomerdijk even miraculously found herself on the other side of her medical-related work. “A number of years ago, I had translated the instructions for use of the device that  a couple of months ago was implanted in my back,” she shared.

While it certainly helps, the full-circle effect doesn’t have to be so literal to be felt. While in one way or another, every woman expressed the positive impact the career has had on their life through its flexibility and promise of there always being something new to learn and to share, Uzuegbu put it best.

“We are the sharers of information which connects the world. We are the innovators, the entrepreneurs, problem solvers. We are learning and teaching at the same time — it’s a privilege, really.”

Past Chapter Events

Lightning Talks: Hacking to solve i18n issues, right-to-left shenanigans, internships at Facebook, and more

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In August, the Silicon Valley chapter of Women in Localization held an event featuring speakers from Facebook, Survey Monkey, Wikimedia Foundation, Oath, and Welocalize, hosted by Mozilla. Each talk was just a few minutes long, but packed with information.

The following speakers and topics were featured at the event:

Data driven localization internships
Speaker: Shweta Sathe, Facebook

Hacking to solve i18n issues
Speakers: Esther Perez and Nirav Trivedi, SurveyMonkey

Right-to-Left Shenanigans: Where BiDi fails us
Speaker: Moriel Schottlender, Wikimedia Foundation

Localization platform at Oath
Speaker: Yuriko Yamasaki, Oath (formerly known as Yahoo!)

Measuring ROI: Getting the most from your localization spend
Speaker: Samantha Reiss, Welocalize

You can read more about the speakers and why they chose to present on these topics here.

See the video of the event below.

Personal & Professional Wisdom

The Indian Market: Building A Case for Local Languages

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India has become a giant marketplace in recent years. She is becoming a critical player in e-commerce as she starts the transition to a cashless society with online services like Paytm. This major transition arrived with a changing trend in globalization and with the increase in internet connectivity and the resultant e-commerce. Inevitably, the focus strongly shifts to localizing in more than just English and Hindi, to be able to cater to the rest of India who speaks the another 21+ languages. This large consumer group in India, the fast-growing middle class, increased access to mobile phones across all strata and is seeking more content that is in their local or vernacular or the official state language in most cases.

Some strong factors to localize for the Indian Market in local languages are as follows:

Only a small percent of the Indian population speaks English

As a former British colony, India does use English as one of its official languages. According to the most recent census of 2001, there are 1,635 nationalized mother tongues, 234 identifiable mother tongues and 22 major languages. Of these, 29 languages have more than a million native speakers, 60 have more than 100,000 and 122 have more than 10,000 native speakers. There are a few languages that do not have a script but have a group of native speakers. While Hindi is the national language, only 41% of the population speak Hindi. So if content is available in Hindi alone, you are not looking at the entire potential audience.


India has a Significant (and Growing) Online Presence

According to Live Internet Stats, in 2016, 462 million Indians used the Internet, which is 13.5% of Internet users worldwide, but only 35% of the population of India. As infrastructure improves and more and more Indians gain access to the Internet, the number of Indian Internet users will grow phenomenally.

A report released by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) noted that the number of native-language speaking Indian users is growing by 47% every year, largely due to growing prevalence of smartphones in rural areas. The remaining population is on its way to Internet access in the next decade, indicating an enormous potential customer base. With this “mobile revolution” there has been an explosion of mobile devices with several service providers contributing to mass access. This in itself justifies the huge demand for localized content in all the spoken languages.


E-commerce Shaping Localization Needs

India will be one of the largest emerging markets in coming decades. India’s economy is galloping at an incredibly fast pace, with its GDP rate at 7.5% in 2018, demonstrating it is also a huge market for International products. An option to provide apps in Regional languages alongside English will drive more adoption of technology.

People who do not speak English are averse to online transactions or use of technology because they do not understand English, and they feel alienated. But if commercial websites were to be made available in the local vernacular language, it would be worth the investment. Increased localization in the regional languages is required to enable more users to participate in online transactions and to make computers “user friendly” through the language of their choice.

Anagha Patil is a global project management expert with 15+ years of experience in localization best practices, vendor management, business development, customer success, linguistic testing and QA. Her international experience includes managing and creating cohesive and motivated teams in Asia, Europe and North America. Anagha is a member of Women in Localization’s marketing committee and recently joined the Data AI team at Amazon.