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Archive by author: Benjamin SargentReturn

Member of the Technology Advisory Board

Focuses on translation management systems and content management technologies

TAPICC – Because No One Has Time for Closed Systems

The history of standards for data and file exchange formats in the language industry goes back to the Localization Industry Standards Association (LISA) in the 1990s, which spearheaded the efforts around TBX, TMX, and GMX. The Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) organized the DITA, ebXML, XLIFF, and many other business data exchange standards. Linport is yet another initiative for localization data exchange. Most recently, GALA has been coordinating a ne...
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The Sound of Silence - Extinct Languages Disappear Without a Trace in Brazilian Museum Fire

The Museu Nacional inferno in September shows how easily physical artifacts disappear. The famous museum’s 20 million artifacts included not only insects and fossils, but garments, tools, and documents of indigenous peoples collected over hundreds of years. Tragically for anthropologists, linguists, and musicologists, it also contained recordings of conversation, ceremonies, and songs that were not duplicated in any other collection: Interviews etched on century-old wax cylinders; indigenous mu...
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Translation Proxy's Role in Global Content Strategy

Offering a website, mobile app, or enterprise application in another language can require a laborious and costly development project with specialized translation technology, workflows, and personnel. Some major brands have taken a simpler approach, instead relying on a translation proxy server that works alongside their websites or apps. In this model, the proxy intercepts requests to the application, determines the language, and then turns to a database of stored translations or to machine t...
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Google Hits a Globalization Trip Wire: Censorship

Only months after rising up to squelch a product being developed by Google for the U.S. military, employees of the tech giant are protesting again, this time after reports surfaced about a Google Search product being readied for the China market. The new Android phone app would automatically filter out results from blocked websites, return blank results for blacklisted search terms, and meet government surveillance requirements. According to The Intercept’s reporting, CEO Sundar Pichai asked hi...
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Whither Now, TMS?

Translation technology has reached an inflection point, swept up in the big trends affecting every industry: big data, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence (AI). Language platforms are being renovated or replaced as enterprise buyers and innovative language service providers seek to align their language systems with the rest of their technology stacks. Dated monolithic translation management systems (TMSes) are giving way to microservice- and cloud-based architectures, with machine learn...
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Got Tech? Growing LSPs Require Specialized Gear

The question – since the earliest days of the computerized language industry – has been whether translation companies are so different than other service business that they can’t use generalized software. The argument was that generalized applications, such as FileMaker or Microsoft Word, with vastly more engineers, features, and user communities, would prove more useful in the end than would industry-specific applications and business platforms with small R&D teams and limited feature sets. ...
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Digital Convergence Opens Career Options for Localization Experts

In the evolving world of digital marketing, there is a shift happening that can benefit the careers of localization professionals with content backgrounds—and content experts with localization experience. The shift comes about as companies gather the strands of digital marketing, such as e-mail, landing pages, SEO, apps, blogging, click advertising, social, and paid social, into coordinated or integrated campaigns. Coordinated content deployment maximizes both stickiness and virality; creates a...
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Build Versus Buy for LSPs - Its When, Not if

From their earliest stages, LSPs face the question of whether to build or buy the software on which they run their business. Triggers can include the need for differentiation, the need to tailor work processes for different customers and job types, or the requirement to stitch together disparate systems for monitoring and reporting. The question of when to begin proprietary development is important because if they wait too long, they may miss growth opportunities. But jumping too soon can result...
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Time for Commerical Software Vendors to Embrace Content and Agilize Workflows

New technology developments are stirring up the language industry, but the buzz mostly centers around neural machine translation (NMT) and artificial intelligence (AI). Something else is afoot that most observers are not discussing: the shift from monolithic to distributed systems. Microservices addressed via REST APIs promise to increase agility by allowing swappable engines. During a recent CSA Research Colloquium at LocWorld, we put this new solution architecture in the context of enterprise ...
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Blockchain's Future in the Language Industry

Blockchain is a method for concatenating blocks of transactions, which are stored securely using encryption in a distributed system that prevents bad actors from unlawfully changing records. Most media reports focus on blockchain’s use in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, where it originated. However, the language industry will be more directly affected by the advent of smart contracts, where blockchain methods allow applications to automatically negotiate and enforce transactions; for exampl...
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