This impressive group of Women in Localization met at LocWorld Tokyo earlier this month. Miyuki Mori, the APAC Geo-Manager for Women in Localization, helped coordinate the group’s activities and supported and contributed to the organization of LocWorld. In the interview she tells us about herself, about her new role and about LocWord and localization in the crucial Asian markets. Well done Miyuki, you did an amazing job!
1. What is your name and what do you do?
My name is Miyuki Mori. I am a freelance marketing and business consultant in the localization industry in Japan.
2.What is your role in Women in Localization?
I have been part of the Japanese Chapter of Women in Localization from the very start and from this year I am Geo Manager of the APAC region.
3. Localization in Asia is growing very fast and I can see that, thanks to you and the other competent and dedicated Women in Localization, our presence there is really taking shape. What is your plan as Geo-Manager for APAC in the next year or so?
2018 will be a year of growth for Women In Localization in Asia. We have a new chapter in Beijing that just launched in April and the Singapore Chapter is opening in May. With the two openings, we will have a presence in Japan, Korea, China (Beijing & Shanghai), and Singapore. Also, the chapters are planning not just to meet within respective chapters, but going out to industry events to present and network. My main goal is to support each chapter in these new types of activities.
4. LocWorld Tokyo has just finished and I know you were there. How was it?
With 250 attendees, the event was very active in discussion, presentations, and networking. Half of the attendees were from Japan and others from all over the world, Asia, Americas, and Europe.
5. Was there interest in Women in Localization and what were people asking you? What are their expectations from our organization?
The Women in Localization table was very successful, always filled with people gathering and chatting. Some people didn’t know about us, but a lot of people already knew our organization and were delighted to find us at LocWorld. Moreover, several members of our organization were at the conference, women from Japan, the US, Singapore, Shanghai, Catalunya, and Argentina.
6. What came out of LocWorld in terms of possible new trends in our industry? Anything in particular that you found striking or unexpected?
The most popular sessions were the ones about the developing technologies in our industry. Google with AI (Artificial Intelligence). Also, the global trends and how to best utilize MT (Machine Translation). And sales, of course, is always one of the most common topics throughout LocWorld.
7. Localization for Asia, in particularly for Japan, is notoriously challenging and Women in Localization had a great panel discussion about this issue in LocWorld Silicon Valley. Was this a dominant theme in Tokyo as well? What were the main tracks and presentations about?
The characteristics of Women in Localization is that we have everyone in a localization process chain, from client marketing, LSP, to freelance translators as well as experts on standardization and MT. We all have different perspectives. The purpose of our panel was to share our learning and also discuss other perspectives that the audience is interested in.
8. Machine translation is moving fast in some areas of specialization and in some languages, but not in all. How is the state of the art in Asian languages? Did anything new emerge from LocWorld?
MT is moving fast in Asia just like any other part of the world and the discussions at LocWorld were that in pretty much every language, MT has areas of business where it can be easily applied and some other areas that are more challenging. In the discussion around MT at LocWorld, what emerged is that there should be a good understanding between LSP and client on the quality vs cost/time.
9. Now tell us something about the Women in Localization chapters in Asia. We recently opened the Beijing Chapter. How are they doing and what are the chapters planning in terms of events this year?
The Beijing team has been invited to present and to panel at China Translator Professional Forum and the team took this opportunity to share the news of the opening of the chapter. There will be two more events scheduled for 2018, details TBD.
There will be another chapter opening in Singapore in May. Please look for our press release.
10. In Silicon Valley and US in general it is a time of change for women. It seems like companies are more receptive of women’s needs and wants and they have started putting in place some structures to avoid discrimination in career and pay. Is something similar going on in Asia and Japan too? How is the situation in this part of the world?
I can only talk about Japan on this – not for all of Asia. Japan has not been a women-friendly country and still now, according to OECD and other global reports, it has not changed significantly. However, in the localization industry there are women who have been empowered and are in important management positions. Hopefully, this trend will continue and I am sure that Women in Localization can contribute a lot to the progress in this area.
11. What are you looking ahead for in your career and your new role with Women in Localization? What does your 2018 look like?
Working as APAC manager has given me a lot of opportunities to work in a truly global environment and I enjoy it so much. This is my first year and I have learned a lot, next I am planning to have someone work with me so that we share the knowledge and we successfully grow our chapter.
12. What is the best bit of advice you can recall in your career that you think is worth passing on?
Start small and don’t forget the little details even after the project has grown bigger. The details will make the success.