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Archive by author: Arle LommelReturn

Senior Analyst

Focuses on language technology, artificial intelligence, translation quality, and overall economic factors impacting globalization

Divided by a Common Language

One of my guilty pleasures is reading paranoid political and military thrillers. One of the kings of the genre is Lee Child, whose hero, Jack Reacher, is an ex-military drifter who roams the United States, righting wrongs and saving the oppressed, usually with a maximum body count, gallons of strong coffee, and plenty of derring-do along the way. Reacher is like a distillation of American cinematic strong-men, from Charles Bronson to Sylvester Stallone and Bruce Willis. But the author is British...
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A Sleeping Giant: The Language Industry in China Moves Forward

A major translation event few language professionals heard of occurred in Xi’an, China on April 27. Sponsored by Xi’an International Studies University (XISU)’s Collaborative Innovation Center for Silk Road Language Services, the 2019 Annual Meeting of Postgraduate Degrees in Translation conference for educators in masters of translation and interpreting (MTI) programs in China brought together approximately 600 professors and localization professionals for a day of discussion about education...
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Language Selection Roulette: How Data Builds Better Strategies

When people think of changing their lives, they might put up a map of their country or the world and throw darts at it, trusting that chance – or their favorite deity – will guide them to a better life. Unfortunately, they usually discover that this approach plants their new home firmly in the middle of the ocean or an undeveloped forest rather than a desirable neighborhood or vacation destination. However, when it comes to selecting the next language to add to a website, many enterprises do e...
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Getting Derailed: Why Standards Initiatives Fall Short

The Holy Grail of the language industry has been to standardize the transfer of jobs between the various tools and content management systems – and thus improve the outcomes. Linport, the latest initiative in this area, was born as the Container Project in 2011 at the final meeting of the Localization Industry Standards Initiative (LISA). Despite early promise, Linport has yet to make major inroads into the language industry. Other prospective standards, such as Translation Web Services from OA...
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February 27, 2019| Arle Lommel | Standards | For LSPs, For Buyers, For Technology Vendors | |

Localization Depth and Corporate Language Strategy

Based on an examination of more than 5.5 million individual webpages from major brand websites, CSA Research has identified the languages with the greatest depth of localization. Depth follows economic opportunity, with major European and Asian languages leading the listings, but partial localization is the norm, with most brands localizing only a small portion of their content. The results provide guidance for localization groups in formulating their content strategies.
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Translating the Library of Babel

In his short story “Library of Babel,” Argentine author Jorge Luis Borges describes a building of seemingly limitless extent that contains, in no particular order, every possible 410-page book that can be written using Roman letters. Stephen L. Peck’s novella A Short Stay in Hell is the narrative of an individual who has been condemned to wander a literal version of the library in search of the single book that best describes his life: When he finds it, he will be liberated from hell and allo...
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Brown M&Ms and Bad Locale Tags

In the 1980s, the American rock band Van Halen became famous for including a requirement in contracts with concert venues that they provide a bowl of M&Ms candy with all of the brown ones removed. At the time, this was widely seen as an example of how out of touch rock musicians were with reality, but it actually served a purpose. The band’s manager explained that if venues took care of the small details, he could be reasonably certain that they had also addressed more important things. However...
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October 17, 2018| Arle Lommel | Standards | For LSPs, For Buyers, For Technology Vendors | |

Intelligent Content Goes Global

Intelligent or smart content has been a dream since the late 1990s. The concept refers to text, data, and audio-visual materials that contains machine-interpretable information describing its structure, giving some guidance as to its meaning, and defining its relationship to other content. Various technologies have tried to deliver on the promise of content that machines can act upon. Today some approaches are beginning to bear fruit, but significant hurdles remain in the base technologies and t...
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September 19, 2018| Arle Lommel | Intelligent Content, Chatbots, Standards | For Buyers | |

Making the Web World Wide: The W3C Launches a New Internationalization Initiative

Last month the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) announced its new Internationalization Initiative as a way to boost its long-running activity in this area. CSA Research spoke with Richard Ishida, who leads these efforts, to learn more about its plans and what they mean for the language industry. He described an ambitious effort to identify – and resolve – technological barriers that keep the web from living up to the world wide part of its name. However, the success of this effort will rely on ...
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“Hey Google, Can I Search Your Car?” Court Rules That Free MT Isn’t Enough for Legal Scenarios

In recent months, we have increasingly heard from enterprise localization groups that their executives are pushing for the adoption of neural machine translation (NMT), driven largely by a very successful public relations campaign from Google that has touted the very real improvements in NMT over the past two years. Unfortunately, some business leaders have seen media coverage and concluded that they no longer need language professionals and can simply replace translators with the “magic” of AI.
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