As a new person in the field of localization, I asked industry veterans what they found particularly rewarding. Helping people understand material by making it available in their native language and cultural context was one of the industry highlights. Working with people around the world and also people speaking multiple languages was another.
Interestingly, industry frustrations were concentrated around making these rewarding things happen. Project management of localization projects, and technical aspect of extracting the materials targeted for translation from variety of formats where the materials “live” seem to be significant issues.
I was wondering if customers of localization companies understood the benefits of the process. The companies that approach localization vendors definitely understand the advantage, as those who do not, probably happy to operate in a single language environment. The interesting part was the need of localization customers to be involved into the process; if the client is not involved, the project is less likely to be successful.
An industry veteran shared a very interesting case for machine translation – to help in company’s internal communication. A technical specialist would be able to decide if the project referred in the communication related to his area or not even if the translation is not perfect. Machine translation, even imperfect as it is, can bring the understanding of the message just one step further, what could be enough to decide if the person’s area of expertise is affected or not.