Can Internationalization be Pursued Within Your Own Country?

At the root of the word internationalization is the word international, implying that internationalization is strictly a foreign endeavor. This, however, is a common misconception. In the 2010 Census, over 50 million people indicated they were of Latino or Hispanic origin (16.3% of the total US population), of which roughly 50% identifies itself as having limited English skills, meaning that there are important considerations to make for companies in  marketing and branding efforts. Part of these efforts, of course, are involved in the localization of products and content for different locales (including different locales in your own back yard).

Localization sells in such a way that most businesses have yet to grasp. People are most comfortable buying in a language that they understand, so businesses need to take advantage of the emerging buying power of non-English speakers.  Ideas? Prepare your website for new locales or write your site in a clear, concise voice so that it can be more easily translated by an automatic service like Google Translate.

In the coming weeks I will touch on other ways companies can capitalize on emerging locales. Stay tuned!

Is Globalization Endangering Increasingly Rare Languages?

This blog post is a summary of a post written by Nigel Hollis for the M&M Blog.

The trend in language and globalization suggests that rare languages only spoken by a few people in specific areas are dying off. Nigel Hollis suggests the opposite is happening is some areas as teenagers in places like the Philippines, Mexico and Chile are reviving their local languages through social media. This attraction to dying languages is an interesting way for young people to identify with a group and feel like they belong. I often see this phenomenon within groups of friends after you have spent a great deal of time with them. You develop your own language or “code”; different phrases have different meanings, inside jokes are developed, and only the people within your group understand the full meaning behind everything you say.

But this developing trend has important consequences that global businesses need to consider. As I have touched on before, social media acts as the face of a company; the place were consumers and potential consumers communicate with each other and with the company about their wants, needs and concerns. Hollis notes groups want to affirm their cultural identity in the face of globalization. People like to stay in their comfort zone, so it is important for companies to provide a forum where their customers feel comfortable. Applying a specific strategy in each locale is paramount to the long-term success of a global business.

For the full article, please visit http://blog.creamglobal.com/right_brain_left_brain/2011/07/digital-media-facilitate-localization-as-well-as-globalization.html

Internationalization Software Globalyzer 3.6 Release

The latest Globalyzer Release Features new Programming Languages, new Rule Sets, Additional Support to Help Software Development Teams Share the String Externalization Work, and an Internationalization Scorecard

Lingoport, a provider of i18n tools and internationalization consulting services, announced yesterday the release of Globalyzer 3.6. Lingoport also announced that it will participate in an online panel presentation along with Zynga, IBM, and Hewlett-Packard, to discuss software development and localization on Wednesday, August 3rd.

Globalyzer—a client/server software internationalization system—assists development teams in internationalizing source code as an integral part of future releases. Globalyzer finds, fixes, and monitors issues quickly so that software applications are ready for localization and worldwide customer requirements.

The latest Globalyzer release features many new enhancements, including new supported programming languages: Qt and ActionScript plus enhanced XML and MXML support. Globalyzer 3.6 also adds shared string externalization support to help development teams working together on internationalization efforts as well as an internationalization scorecard, enabling managers to track key internationalization metrics over time.

Adam Asnes, founder and CEO of Lingoport, notes: “We are very excited to announce that Globalyzer is further extending support for programming languages like ActionScript, used in Flex and Flash applications, and enterprise global readiness analysis that we’ve seen become more important among our customers. We also keep adding features to help teams of developers support internationalization, as that’s an endeavor that runs across teams rather than just individual developers.” He continues: “More than ever, Globalyzer assures that a software application is global-ready as part of the development cycle, thus enabling companies to enter new markets faster while raising quality and lowering worldwide development, translation, and support costs.”

Lingoport’s software i18n tool now also features an internationalization scorecard. The scorecard system provides a dashboard of internationalization status and progress using XML data collected via scan history using Globalyzer’s Command Line. The i18n scorecard was recently discussed in an hour-long webinar presentation and featured guest-speakers Mike McKenna, Sr. Manager, International Engineering, from Zynga, and Leandro Reis, Senior Globalization Program Manager, from Adobe Systems. A recording of the presentation may be viewed at: http://www.lingoport.com/internationalization-webinar-video/#17

The Globalyzer 3.6 release notes are available on Lingoport’s website at:http://www.lingoport.com/software-internationalization-products/globalyzer-3/release-notes/

University of Washington to Offer Localization Certificate Program

The University of Washington Professional & Continuing Education is offering a Certificate program in localization which provides an overview of and practical experience with this rapidly growing field through a three-course, nine-month program. The courses are offered in the evening and can be taken in the classroom as well as online. They provide a strong foundation in terms of concepts and tools, engineering practices, and project management. Students gain valuable practical experience, hear from guest speakers working in the industry, research and use current translation & localization tools, as well as delve into both the engineering and the project management side. The classroom section is a traditional offering while the online section uses AdobeConnect to allow online students to hear the instructor live, see the instructor’s presentation, and interact with the class via chat. Online sessions are also recorded.

General program areas include linguistics & translation, business norms & cultural issues, user-interface design, formatting, project workflow & roles and an overview of the technology & tools. In addition, the program includes guest speakers and a panel of practitioners some of whom graduated from the program to talk about their career and what is needed to get a job in the field. Specific consideration is given to topics such as alphabets & scripts, character encoding, text processing, graphical representation of text, spelling variants for different countries where the same language is spoken, cultural appropriateness, language translations, symbols, aesthetics, local content as well as customs considerations.

Past students have come from diverse backgrounds, including foreign language learners, translators, software testers, technical writers, linguistics, software developers, project managers, and localization engineers.

The program has an advisory board which includes UW faculty & staff, as well as industry representatives from Microsoft, Lionbridge, Adobe, Getty Images, Google, MultiLingual Magazine, Adaquest, and several others. Students who complete all three courses receive a Certificate from UW Professional & Continuing Education. From a career perspective we can also attest to the fact that students who enrolled in the program received both internships & jobs soon after completing the program. These positions included companies such as Microsoft, Real Networks, Amazon.com, SDL, Big Fish, Nintendo, Übermind, and Moravia.

Applications are now being accepted for the program starting October 5, 2011. Additional program details and course descriptions can be found here: http://www.pce.uw.edu/prog.aspx?id=6040

A Robotic Introduction to Bridging the Gap between Software Development and Localization

So, you’ve developed a new software application, and have high aspirations in terms of selling your application to a global audience. Now what? Problems often arise between developers, localization managers, and business managers due to perceived lack of support, time, and money.

This lack of understanding can lead to great frustration within the development tiers. Join us for an hour long online panel discussion and learn how some of the best known industry thought leaders are contributing to bridging the gap between software development and localization.

Join us Wednesday, August 3rd at 9:30am PT for a discussion led by a panel of experts on Bridging the Gap Between Software Development and Localization. Registration is available at https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/964415249

What Are Online Filter Bubbles?

What are online filter bubbles and how is Google’s algorithm becoming the new media gatekeeper? In an enlightening talk from Eli Pariser at a TED conference in May, search engine users are shown how their tendencies are used to shape what appears on their search results. The results of this are profound in that the media gatekeeper has migrated from the newspaper editor to the user to the search engine algorithm writer. Have a look…