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Archive by author: Alison ToonReturn

Senior Analyst

Focuses on translation management systems, plus helping CSA Research’s clients gain insights into the technologies, pricing, and business processes key to executive buy-in

Interpreting in a War Zone

As long as human beings have used spoken language, someone has needed to interpret when people with different tongues want to communicate. Whether in friendly situations or in times of strife; by trained and professional linguists or simply someone who happens to speak two or more languages, individuals, businesses, organizations, and the military rely on the human skill of hearing one language and speaking another.
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Dashboards: What Are You Driving?

A dashboard – in a vehicle – is familiar to every one of us. So familiar that we don’t even think about it. You never just sit and stare at it. You don’t spend hours reading it and figuring out what all the numbers mean. Instead, you see and understand it, and your body and brain adjust and take action based on what the display shows – from speeding up or slowing down to pulling into the next service station for fuel or to add air to your tires.
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How The Pandemic Accelerated Change at LSPs

Ask people working in the localization industry if the move to working from home affected them, and many will tell you that they were already “remote” – set up to work from home, due to the nature of their jobs. Language service provider have no physical products to ship, no warehouses to store goods, and no fleets of trucks or ships to coordinate for deliveries. Coordinating language services in this day and age is essentially an ebusiness. On the surface, the switch to working from home app...
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Bad Translation? Audit Your Content

If you’ve ever heard someone tell you that, “The translation is bad!” and yet nobody is able to articulate why, you’re not alone. You have checked the quality that your linguists deliver – all is good. You and your LSPs set up a localization quality assessment (LQA) process and rigorously measure spelling errors, typos, and other errors: you can confidently state that the translation is, in fact, highly accurate. Yet the in-country teams still report poor-quality translation. This is a comm...
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Where Is Your Translation Technology?

Long gone are the days when only the biggest enterprises or language service providers had their own translation management system (TMS) hidden away in a private datacenter. The cloud has made TMSes and machine translation (MT) accessible to all. Technology costs have gone from prohibitive for smaller LSPs to within reach for everyone, including newcomers to the industry. Some commercial solutions even have innovative pricing models that make the technology affordable – or even free – rather t...
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The Linguist of the Future: Skills that Cannot Be Replaced by Automation

In recent conversations, many enterprises and language service providers have expressed concern about the long-term careers and livelihoods of linguists and of LSP intermediaries. A large high-tech enterprise relayed to us that machine translation (MT) is becoming the dominant source of its global content. Language service providers regularly mention their prices being driven ever lower by fierce competition. Long-time language industry workers worry about the Uberization of a profession that of...
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The Peaks and Valleys of Life as a Nomadic Remote Worker

COVID-19 has changed the way people work – possibly forever. Those who could easily do so – office workers, financial staff, IT, and many others – have been working from home since early in the pandemic. Retail businesses were forced to make a quick acceleration in their online shopping experiences – meaning that at least some of their staff are now able to do their jobs from somewhere other than a store, warehouse, or delivery van. People are becoming accustomed to working from locations ot...
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Writing for the World – Optimizing Your Global CX

For those who have worked within the localization industry for a while, the concept of “writing for translation” might feel old school, already-learned-and-forgotten-about: something that technical authors take for granted. Just like developers always think about internationalization of software code and processes, right? (We know how well that works!) That’s why a refresher course in how to write content in a way that optimizes the global customer experience is a really good idea – especial...
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Language Access for Limited English Proficiency (LEP)

One of the most heartbreaking results of COVID-19 pandemic has been hearing about people falling ill, suffering, and too-often dying, without their family and loved ones around them. Imagine how much more terrible this must be if the patient – or family members – cannot easily communicate with caregivers, nor fully understand what they are told. Combine these challenges with statistics showing COVID-19 disproportionately affecting racial and ethnic minorities and the picture is grim.
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Business Continuity Planning: Where Is Your Translation Memory?

We have frequently and long been asked who owns translation memories (TMs)?” In today’s COVID-19 environment, the better question might be “Where are my TMs?” If you rely on one or more LSPs to manage and maintain your translation memories, terminology, and other linguistic assets, now is a good time to revisit your disaster and recovery plan (DRP) for technology, and business continuity plan (BCP) for the entire organization’s processes. Even if you host and manage your TMs centrally withi...
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