Happy International Translation Day

International Translation Day: Who We Celebrate

While cupcake day, puppy day, and best friend appreciation day may get more love on social media, here at Terra Translations our favorite day of the year is International Translation Day! Every year on September 30th we take a moment to remember why we do the work we do. 

There are many rewards of working in the translation industry. We help break down barriers, increase communication worldwide, and improve the safety and quality of life for many. But most of all, we’re reminded on International Translation Day of why we are so grateful to work with so many amazing translators. Our vendor manager Antonieta Martínez Barrios wanted to share her gratitude for our outstanding team of translators and give a deeper look at the work they do every day. 

Who is Antonieta?

Antonieta is the vendor manager at Terra. She is in charge of recruiting and contacting new translators and editors to join our freelance and in-house teams. Her background in translation has been a huge asset to Terra. She devotes half of her time to vendor management and the rest of her time to translating literary pieces. “I actually love both sides of my working life,” Antonieta said. “Being a vendor manager gives me the opportunity to meet interesting people from different backgrounds. Being a translator allows me to devote time to literature, which is one of my greatest passions,” she continued. 

What does a Translator Do?

According to Antonieta, a day in the life of a translator involves plenty of reading, typing, and collaborating with colleagues to work through tricky translation problems. Diligence is key. Alongside running issues by trusted coworkers, Antonieta said she frequently checks both online and physical paper references to ensure her work is of the highest quality. And of course, a little caffeine never hurts, “When I devote a day to translating, it usually starts pretty early and there are at least two cups of coffee involved,” she said. 

Why We’re Grateful

The translation team at Terra works unbelievably hard and we are so lucky to have such a top-notch team. Our translators consistently meet quick deadlines, produce quality work, and handle unexpected technical emergencies. “A crashing CAT tool can also become a nightmare on any given day,” Antonieta warned. 

In a time where technology threatens to replace professional translators, we are so appreciative of the value our team brings to the table. Antonieta perfectly nailed the sentiment of the exceptional worth our translators have, “Human translation will always be necessary because of the simple reason that all text audiences are human. There is nothing like the human rationale and touch,” Antonieta said. She also noted that skilled translators are more important than ever before, “I feel that at this moment in time, there is so much information spreading every day. Younger generations are so eager to reach this information. Translation becomes essential to keep up with world news, apps, and technologies that need to reach a global audience,” she said. 

Many experts who specialize in difficult subject matter make up our translation team. Antonieta specializes in literary and legal translation. Our CEO Marina is an expert in creative translation and video game localization. Silvina, one of our in-house linguists, is skilled in medical and healthcare topics. Our teammate Nahuel has many years of experience translating technical texts. “There are so many specializations and mixes of language combos that each translator and editor’s profile is unique for us,” Antonieta said. 

Happy International Translation Day!

Translators and editors are everything to Terra. They are part of our family and we deeply value them. Without our translators, Terra wouldn’t exist. We are extremely proud of the top quality work they do. We want to wish all our linguists a fantastic day where they can relax or celebrate by translating and editing something they feel passionate about!

CLINT 2019: The Takeaways

Our team recently attended and presented at CLINT 2019, a two-day event organized by Translated in Argentina (TinA). The event took place at Universidad Siglo 21 in Córdoba. Almost 300 attendees came together to learn and share their knowledge about the translation industry. 

There were opportunities to engage with company owners, account managers, project managers, and freelance translators from around the world. Not only did speakers from Argentina present, but also some from Spain, the United Kingdom, Sweden, the United States, and Brazil.

What We Presented

Our Human Resources Manager, Natalia Quintás took to the stage to present on managing high performance teams. There was such a large turnout for her presentation that some attendees had to sit on the floor. The audience seemed surprised to learn that our team works remotely. They were eager to learn more about how we communicate effectively on a daily basis. They took a specific interest in how we manage employee time and project progress. As well as how we handle performance reviews and deliver feedback. Despite allotting time for a Q&A portion of the presentation, many guests approached Natalia afterwards to ask even more questions about her presentation.  

How Our Team Participated

Twelve of our team members attended the event. Alongside giving us some much appreciated face to face time, we were able to split up and attend multiple talks on different topics. We attended various sessions that happened simultaneously. Our team members walked away with a lot of knowledge and new ideas from the different sessions that we could share with each other.  

One of the prestigious foreign speakers that our team was most excited to see present was Pablo Mugüerza. He specializes in medical translation and is the author of an educational course that staff members Silvina Oddino and Celeste Moreno recently took about the translation of clinical trial protocols. Two of our in-house linguists, Bibiana and Alejandro, had the opportunity to take advantage of his deep knowledge and expertise. Pablo titled his presentation as “Cutting-edge medicine translation: immunology, genetics and cancer”. 

Other members of our team took a particular interest in the sessions related to audiovisual translation, including the subtitling of cultural references and the use of inclusive language in subtitles. Post-edition was another topic that sparked a lot of interest among our team. We all learned more about the common mistakes found in machine translation and how to fix them quickly and efficiently. Even though professional translators are knowledgeable on how to fix any mistakes, when it comes to machine translation, the process can be very time-consuming. And the truth is in some cases, a simple “find and replace” action can save a lot of time. 

What We Learned

While we learned many valuable lessons at CLINT 2019, our team’s overall take away from this event was the importance of being agile and adaptable. In this information age, everything changes increasingly fast. We need to become comfortable with being uncomfortable. It is in times of disruption that the most brilliant opportunities arise.

The conference wrapped up with the introduction of TinA’s new board members and a fun raffle. We could not be more proud to announce that Human Resources Manager Natalia Quintás and Operations Manager Manuela Lamas are two of the newly chosen members of the board. Through their active participation in the association’s initiatives, Terra will contribute to the advancement of the translation industry. And we will participate in the on-going training of future language professionals.

 

Terra Translations’ Team to Present at CLINT 2019

As part of Terra’s ongoing commitment to improving the translation industry, our Human Resources Manager, Natalia Quintás, will be sharing her expertise at the second Translation Industry Conference in Latin America (CLINT, Congreso Latinoamericano de la Industria de la Traducción). Ten members of the Terra team will be attending the conference as well. The team’s goal is to take advantage of all the different sessions and share their gained knowledge with the rest of their colleagues when they come back.

The conference will take place at Universidad Siglo 21 on September 14th to the 15th, 2019, in Córdoba, Argentina. Professionals throughout the translation industry will come together to learn, grow, and celebrate the contributions Argentina has made to the translation industry worldwide. 

About the Event

The event is hosted by Translated in Argentina, which is the first non-profit association of language service companies and professionals in Latin America. Their objective is to promote the local language industry, provide resources, and build awareness within the Argentinian business environment. Translated in Argentina believes that translation businesses in Argentina deserve an opportunity for exchange, discussion, and promotion. 

About Natalia’s Presentation

Natalia is excited to share her perspective on managing high performance teams during her presentation. She believes that recognizing your individual teammate’s strengths is the secret to running a thriving business, particularly when working remotely. Natalia describes a high performance team as a diverse team with different strengths. This variety in skills is something Natalia sees as very valuable. 

During her presentation, she’ll outline some of the ways Terra helps their diverse team members succeed, “We work with a personality test called the Enneagram Test. It’s very new in Human Resources, but it’s very interesting because it describes nine types of personalities.” Utilizing the Enneagram Test is just one such tool at Terra’s disposal. Natalia hopes that her presentation will help others succeed with virtual teams, as Terra does. “I am very proud of the work we do at Terra. I think it’s very important to showcase why we shine in the industry and share our knowledge regarding virtual teams,” Natalia said. 

She is also planning to discuss professional competencies, explaining what they are and which are required in the translation industry, “I think that it can be interesting not only for managers, but also for translators,” Natalia noted. She is thrilled to have an opportunity to both present and attend the conference, “I am excited to meet more professionals in this diverse industry and to continue learning about the many complexities of the translation industry.” 

Natalia’s Goals

Natalia is excited for herself, as well as for others attending the Translation Industry Conference. “I hope that a lot of people can enjoy the conference, participate, ask questions, and dive deep into human resources issues.” She sees the tools the conference will provide as a way to improve both the skillset of human resources experts as well as make the workplace better for employees, “If they take a sincere interest in the topic and attend this masterclass, they will be more successful in this industry. I truly believe prioritizing your team’s needs and happiness is what makes the difference.”

Women-in-localization-los-angeles-chapter

Women in Localization Los Angeles Chapter Launch Event at Netflix

By Marina Ilari |

The Los Angeles chapter of Women in Localization saw its beginnings at the end of April of 2019 with the forming of the management team, composed by Kristy Sakai, Sue Bolton, Nora Snee, Nika Allahverdi and Marina Ilari (myself). After several virtual meetings and a couple of in-person meetings, the chapter was ready to organize the first networking event in Los Angeles. And on Wednesday 21 of August, it was held at the amazing Netflix headquarters in West Hollywood!

There is nothing more exciting than having an event at Netflix in which your password to get in is “Women rock”. That definitely set the tone for the rest of the incredible evening. The reception office welcomed attendees among the display of Emmy awards, Beyonce’s wardrobes, and even a cute statue of Eleven from Stranger Things.

Networking and h’oeuvres

The first part of the evening was spent on the first floor of the venue, with an open bar and tall tables, creating an easygoing networking environment.

The excitement of the attendees was evident as people started to arrive early and formed groups of conversations while h’ouevres were being served. There was a total of 150 attendees from all areas of the localization industry, from linguists and dubbing specialists to localization companies. Everyone I personally had the chance to talk to mentioned how great it was that Women in Loc finally had a chapter in LA!

Los Angeles chapter overview

After an hour of networking and appetizers, attendees were invited to a theater where a presentation took place. The first woman to talk was Sue Bolton, LA chapter manager of Women in Localization and part of the event planning committee, who began giving an overview of Women in Localization —which to date has 22 chapters across the world, and which mission is to foster a global community for the advancement of women and the localization industry. Sue proceeded to introduce the rest of the LA chapter management team and gave a summary of what we’re planning for the future; which includes a calendar of events and the opportunity to network through our social media channels. She also opened the doors to volunteers and sponsors. The Women in Localization organization is made possible through the support of sponsors who can provide a venue for the events, as well as drinks and food for attendees.

Followed by Sue, we had the honor of hearing words from Loy Searle, current president of Women in Localization. Loy shared more about the values and the culture of the organization, and encouraged everyone to connect with each other and support each other!

Dubbing at Netflix

The Women in Localization presentation was followed by a presentation by Brenna Bold, who talked about Dubbing at Netflix — what the dubbing process looks like, what it means to Netflix, and what it means to its global audience. Brenna shared how Netflix is innovating and elevating dubbing one line at a time. She also shared a video of the movie Mowgli, which was dubbed into several languages, and the clip had an extract of each one of those languages. It showed the great care that was taken for the voices and characters to sound and evoke the same emotion for viewers around the world, regardless of their locale.

Right after the dubbing presentation, we were introduced to two members of the dubbing team at Netflix who shared their journeys into localization. Not only were their life stories inspiring, but also they were not conventional paths to the industry, which goes to show just how diverse the localization industry can be, and how rich it is made by the contribution of different specializations and skills.

Join us

During the last part of the event, attendees were escorted back to the main area to continue mingling and talking to colleagues for approximately another hour. And, at around 9:30 pm, the event reached its end. But most importantly, it marked the beginning of the exciting opportunities to connect and network in the Los Angeles chapter!

If you are interested in the Women in Localization Los Angeles chapter make sure you connect with us:

• To learn more: www.womeninlocalization.com

• To register: Women In Localization Sign-Up Page (Register under AMER-USA-Los Angeles Chapter)

• To follow: 

• Facebook: Women in Localization Los Angeles

• Twitter: Women in Localization Los Angeles

• LinkedIn: WL LA LinkedIn Group

• Tag posts with #WLLA

Women in Localization

Terra’s CEO Joins Management Team for Women in Localization Los Angeles Chapter

As a female-owned company, we feel a responsibility to support women’s careers and initiatives. Which is why we could not be more proud of Terra’s CEO Marina Ilari for her participation in Women in Localization (W.L.). W.L. is a leading professional organization for women in the localization industry. Marina was recently appointed as a part of the management team of W.L.’s new Los Angeles chapter. This new role will allow her to continue to support women in the localization industry as well as the industry as a whole. Marina is committed to the wellbeing of our industry, particularly when it comes to helping women succeed. 

About Women in Localization

Silvia Avary-Silveira, Eva Klaudinyova, and Anna N. Schlegel founded W.L. in 2008. This professional organization aims to foster a global community for women in the localization industry. Their mission is to provide an open and collaborative forum for women to share their experiences and expertise. Their goal is to help women move forward in their careers. W.L began in the San Francisco Bay Area in California and has since expanded globally. They now boast over 5,000 members internationally and encourage members to connect around the world. 

Who Is Marina Ilari?

Marina Ilari, CEO at Terra Translations

Not only has Terra’s CEO Marina always supported women’s initiatives, but she has generally contributed to the success of the translation and localization industry. For two years she has participated in The American Translators Association’s (ATA) as a Translation Company Division Administrator. ATA was founded in 1959 and is currently the largest professional association of translators and interpreters in the United States. They’ve grown to more than 10,000 members in 90 countries since their inception. Marina reflected on her new role, “I was honored to be invited to take part in the management team for the Los Angeles chapter of Women in Localization. I was particularly excited to work with the amazing four women that are part of the management team with me. We are planning some very exciting events in Los Angeles!”

Why Terra Translations Supports Women in Localization

In order to best serve our clients and community, we believe diversity is key. We can attribute the success of our team to the wide variety of talent that we are so fortunate to work with. Currently, 80% of our staff is made up of extremely hard working women. Supporting women is always top of mind at Terra. We were founded by women and we’ve received certification as a women-owned business by both the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Women Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). We believe that our clients are best served by a diverse team and plan to continue our efforts to support women and minorities.

“At Terra, we value and support fellow women-led businesses,” Marina Ilari, CEO of Terra Translations. “I’ve been lucky to work with some incredible women who have been great mentors and teachers. I feel that when women get together to support each other there is nothing we can’t achieve. I look forward to promoting inclusion among all translation and localization professionals, and continuing to advance the industry as a whole.”

A Reflection on the 2019 ALC Conference: The Pie Keeps Growing

By Colleen Beres

On May 1st, the Association of Language Companies (ALC), kicked off their 2019 annual conference at the Omni Shoreham in the beautiful Woodley Park neighborhood of Washington, D.C. A buzz of excitement and the first hints of spring humidity impressed upon the leaders of language services companies (LSCs) from around the world as they gathered in our nation’s capital for four days filled with camaraderie, education and advocacy. As a first-time attendee of this event, I was surprised by the inclusive and transparent environment of what was, for all intents and purposes, a concentration of my competition. Because of this special environment, by the end of the conference, I held tightly to four major takeaways about the future of the language services industry and how LSCs can maximize short-term and long-term growth.

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1) Expect Exponential Growth of Demand for Language Services

To put it simply, business is booming. Digitalist Magazine estimates that worldwide annual spend for translation services will grow to $45 billion by 2020. As companies continue to cast wider nets into the global economy, they are required to translate content into an increasing number of languages to effectively target new pools of consumers. But even more than a global audience, our world is producing more content than ever before. Combined, these two factors alone can support why demand is growing so quickly. In an overview of trends extrapolated from the ALC annual survey, Konstantin Dranch of industry beacon Nimdzi Insights, shared that two-thirds of LSCs surveyed reported growth in 2018. This is the time for companies push operations hard, expand portfolios with current customers and outline strategies to scale up so that they are prepared to do so when necessary. The pie is growing, and it is big enough for all of us have second helpings.

2) Protect Quality by Cultivating Meaningful Partnerships

Because the horizon is so bright, it will be a challenge for the supply of qualified language professionals to grow at the same pace necessary to meet demand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of translators and interpreters is projected to grow 18% from 2016 – 2026, which is more than twice the growth expected for the aggregate of all other occupations. LSCs rely heavily on freelance partnerships. When considering the demand projections, LSCs need to not only focus on maturing relationships with company employees, but also with external partners.

Ted Wozniak, President-Elect of the American Translators Association (ATA), shared three major tips that, while seemingly obvious, are necessary reminders of how to effectively develop and protect relationships, specifically with freelance translators. He stressed that we need to cultivate and cherish relationships with language partners in order to leverage their precious supply of talent. How? First, get rid of an “us versus them” mentality. This ideally symbiotic-like relationship can only be fostered if freelance partners are embraced as members of the team, whether it be for one project or continuously – make introductions, pay in a timely fashion, and create opportunities for networking. Second, follow The Golden Rule – do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Simple. And finally, make it personal. The most effective way to engage someone is by using their name. Therefore, tactics that employ the use of “Dear Resource” are not encouraged. Language is not a commodity and those who wield the craft and talent shouldn’t be treated as such. Ted suggests that if a mass email is being distributed, be transparent about it and express that the need is urgent, therefore capacity only allows for mass communication.

Talented language professionals are people first and the greatest assets to guaranteeing our continued success is to treat our people, fully employed or contracted alike, with respect and dignity.

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3) Working Together Makes Our Industry Stronger

I’m relatively new to the language services industry, so my goal in attending this event was to procure a better understanding of macro trends, to create valuable connections that could develop into partnerships down the line and to learn from my much more seasoned industry peers. Before the conference even started, the ALC organized roundtable discussions with topics varying from sales and growth to HR and staffing. There was almost a “What happens at ALC, stays at ALC.” sentiment; very successful CEOs and executives let down their guards and shared their best and worst tales of successes and failures. Does this mean that it was all sunshine and rainbows? Can we anticipate the demise of the free market within the ALC member community? No. Certainly no one was handing off clients to be altruistic, but again the scope of work is so large that offering insight can only bolster a stronger and more structured community. Especially if you are in the small to mid-size LSC, I suggest you proactively seek out opportunities to foster relationships and organized forums. Whether it is the ALC, GALA, Women in Localization… etc. get involved and take a seat at the table. You never know who will be willing to help you once you help them.

4) Embrace Technology to Create Efficiencies… or Die

The conversation of technology in localization cultivates sentiments of both progress and fear in the hearts of many language professionals. While Machine Translation (MT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) have existed for some time and have created efficiencies never imagined, like automation in many other industries, it has progressively woven in qualms of professional extinction as it all becomes more advanced. The robots still aren’t likely to take over, but I have some thoughts on what will happen. First, the demand for highly specialized talent is going to swell. With the need for linguists to translate repetitive or simplistic text eliminated, the text that they will be called to analyze will be more complex and more subjective. Second, LSCs will need to rely on their commercial teams and “boots on the ground” even more. According to the ALC survey, companies confirmed that in-person connections made the most impact when working to create longstanding and fruitful B2B relationships. Finally, account managers and project managers need to be an extension of the commercial team. Their responsibilities far surpass successful project execution; it is vital for account managers and project managers to foster revenue growth with established clients by promoting additional service offerings and increased volume. Technology is here. LSCs can either adapt and be equally innovative, or they will die. Period.

As I reflect on the four days in D.C., I’m happy to say that I achieved all my goals set out before the ALC conference started. It was a highly educational experience and I made some incredible friends in a very short amount of time. Language is powerful and LSCs are charged with an immense responsibility to create a common voice to cultivate relationships, to drive business and to unify the world. May we continue to work together to embrace and nurture that responsibility.

“The limits of my language means the limits of my world.” ― Ludwig Wittgenstein

Colleen Beres is a Business Development and Strategy Consultant for Terra Translations. She earned her MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management in Finance and Management & Organizations. Colleen has spent the past 15 years of her career utilizing qualitative insight and quantitative data to help safeguard businesses and organizations while promoting successful growth. You can reach Colleen directly at colleen@terratranslations.com.

medical-devices-translation

Why the Translation of Medical Devices is Crucial

Every patient deserves the best care possible. Having a language barrier does not warrant an exception. That’s why it is so vital the translation of medical devices documentation is performed by qualified translation professionals. The process of medical translation deserves the utmost care and professionalism at all times. There are many reasons the proper translation of medical devices is so crucial, the following reasons are a few of them.

Global Reach

With the global over-65 population expected to rise up to 1 billion by 2020, medical devices that improve the quality of life should show steady growth in demand. As will the need for proper medical translation services that ensure user manuals, marketing materials, and medical communications are accessible around the world.

According to OEC, the United States of America is the top exporter of medical devices and mainly exports to the European Union (EU). This means that medical device companies should consider working with qualified translators to make sure their products’ documentation is understandable for the end user. There are 24 official languages spoken in the EU and most countries in the EU require translations into a minimum of one of their official languages. Sometimes more languages are required. Belgium is a prime example. They require French, German, and Dutch translations.

Why Compliance Matters

Compliance is a key element in the localization of medical devices. Manufacturers need to follow the regulations of the countries where they want to market their devices. To market medical devices and their accessories in foreign markets, companies need to remain compliant with international and local regulations in each country.

So how do you balance language requirements if you are exporting medical devices to multiple countries? Generally, there is a strict regulatory approval process for medical devices. You need to review each country’s regulations as they can differ. However, the one overlapping requirement is to provide medical device documentation translation. Any content that goes hand in hand with a medical device must be submitted in the required languages. This content can include:

  • Packaging, labels, mailing materials
  • Usage instructions
  • User interface and software
  • Marketing materials
  • Technical information
  • Patient literature

This is where things get tricky. 22 out of 28 of the EU member states require companies label their medical devices in an official language. Even if the device is intended for only professional usage. That means you may have to translate a device’s supporting documents into all the languages commonly spoken in that region. If you’re looking to distribute your device in the EU, there are six EU member states that accept labeling medical devices in English. However, the device has to be for professional use only. Also, there are some regulatory authorities that might allow limitations to the translation of medical devices requirements. One could be that you only have to translate the device identification label, operating, and safety information. Exceptions like these are why it’s imperative you have a clear understanding of each country’s requirements.

Safety First

Why are the language rules regarding medical devices so stringent? When the lives and well being of patients are at stake, there is no room for error. Simply, being bilingual is not a sufficient skillset to safely handle the translation of medical devices. The patients, doctors, and general public, all deserve high-quality and accurate translations of the content associated with medical devices.

Project Management Bootcamp attendees

Project Management Bootcamp: The Lessons and Takeaways

Santiago Lávaque and Rocío Fernández Cirera at the PM Bootcamp hosted by AASL

Some of our devoted team members had the opportunity to attend the PM Bootcamp on March 30, 2019 in Córdoba, Argentina. The one-day event was hosted by the Asociación Argentina de Servicios Lingüísticos (AASL). The educational event was divided into three main workshops. “The Transition to the Autonomous PM”, “The 20:90 Evolution”, and a roundtable discussion “What is a 4.0 PM?”.

Alongside attending the workshops, guests were encouraged to network with the one hundred or so other attendees. Most guests were Project Managers, but some were company owners or linguists. Our Project Manager Rocío Fernández Cirera and our Operations Manager Santiago Lávaque attended the bootcamp in representation of Terra Translations.

The Lessons

There were many valuable lessons learned during the day’s workshops. For Santiago, a highlight of the day was a reminder to embrace new technologies like machine translation, “We should start seeing it as an ally and not an enemy. It’s also important to explain this to linguists so that they are on board with the change. And to provide them with the right training so the transition is smooth. Project Managers should be able to determine in which situations machine translation is a good fit and in which ones it isn’t.”

Another big takeaway from the day was the idea that Project Managers should have the proper tools to provide them with the autonomy and freedom they need to make decisions. Santiago agrees with this lesson, “This way they can strengthen their independence and provide a more comprehensive project management.”

Rocío walked away from the day with lessons that will help her improve her project management skill set as well, “The focus of the training was how to better work as a Project Manager, taking into account tools, organization, relationships with vendors, and the needs of clients.”

The Takeaways

Alongside valuable learning opportunities, there was also confirmation of our team’s commitment to high quality translation services. Santiago was proud that the processes, tools, and methods recommended, are ones our Project Managers already utilize. “I validated our current processes and approach to project management, in relation to both clients and translators. Most of the solutions or workarounds they suggested in the sessions are things we are already doing and have incorporated naturally over time,” Santiago said.

Rocío feels positive that our team’s efforts are paying off. “Terra Translations has steps and processes in place that other companies don’t have,” she noted. But of course, there is room for improvement. Terra Translations continuously strives to improve and fine-tune the way we do things. Rocío feels proud of our team because of this and feels reassured we are on the right path.

Change, adapt, and evolve: GALA Munich 2019 conference

By Marina Ilari |

The Globalization and Localization Association (GALA) conference of 2019 took place in Munich from March 24 to 27. I was particularly excited about this conference because it was my first time in Germany! Full disclosure: I do not speak any German. As a linguist, I was looking forward to learning some phrases in this foreign language (I might have failed at trying to pronounce most words, but after practicing insistently, I did end up learning how to properly say “Neuschwanstein,” the name of the castle we visited during the GALA pre-conference tour).

This year, the conference focused on artificial intelligence, specifically the latest innovations which have evolved to meet the rapidly growing demand for services in the global translation and localization industry. I was expecting to hear a lot about machine translation and how it´s changed the way that we work, a topic that held little promise of novelty for me despite its importance. I was pleasantly surprised, however, that most of the sessions touched on the importance of the human factor in translation, and how it will continue to be an essential part of the industry.

Below I would like to share three main takeaways from the conference and the sessions I attended.

We´ll always need translators

Human translators will always be necessary in our industry. The expertise of human beings—whether it pertains to cultural awareness or to niche expertise in key verticals— will only become more important as new technology develops and the organization and flow of business becomes increasingly complex and accelerated.

Henry Dotterer, the founder and president of ProZ, predicts that there will be “no more anonymous translators,” and that individual translators will have a more prominent presence in the translation work of the future.

Zack Kass, from Lilt, expressed during his presentation that “We´ll always need translators who are domain experts.” Translators working in a specific niche, experts in a domain, will continue to be essential, as there are even higher expectations for the translated content than there is for the original content being produced by companies worldwide.

Our industry is evolving

The translation industry is going through major technological changes impacting the way we do business. Technological innovations run the gamut from incorporation of rule-based systems, use of expert systems, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and deep learning. This technology is here to stay, and learning to adopt it will become more and more important if companies wish to sustain growth over the next century. According to a study by Common Sense Advisory, companies that aggressively embrace technology, such as the use of MT, have shown greater growth (companies not embracing technology grew 2.3% whereas those embracing technology grew 7.9% from 2013-2016).

Today we translate less than 3% of the content available in less than 10 languages. As the future of global brands depends on localizing and globalizing their business, the volume of this content will, inevitably, go up. We can expect an overall increase in language services, and translation companies need to be prepared for this by utilizing a more proactive —instead of reactive— approach.

Talent, not technology, is the key to success in the digital future

During one of the presentations someone shared a quote by Scott Snyder: “The digital future is a moving target… Start by having the right people with the right skills in the right roles… this will far outweigh picking the right technology algorithm… Make sure you get the human part right.”  I couldn´t agree with this more. Our human talent is essential to the success of our company. As the industry continues to evolve and as we continue to implement technologies that help us automate processes, the expertise of our team members (project managers, account managers, vendor managers, etc.) is the added value we can provide to our clients. The evolution of the industry dictates, however, that the technical knowledge of all stakeholders will need to be advanced. Easy and repetitive tasks will continue to be more and more automated and machine-centric. The expertise of our team members will come into play in projects that are more complex. Investing in the professional development of your company’s team, including comprehensive training in cutting-edge technology, is fundamental to the growth and success of a company.

As Andrew Hickson said during his presentation in Munich, “But what if we train our employees and they leave? Well, what if we don´t and they stay?”. Indeed, employees are our greatest asset. Training them is the bridge to help our company adapt to change and grow, and ultimately, to add value to our clients.

ISO Certified Translation Services: A Commitment to Quality

Working with a professional translation service can open up a new world. For truly global access, you need to work with a translation service committed to providing you with the highest quality assistance. Your business deserves accurate and timely service. But how do you know, before spending valuable time and money, if a vendor will provide that for you?

The Benefits of ISO 9001

If you choose to work with ISO certified translation services, you’ll know you’re working with a service provider committed to client satisfaction and constant improvement. ISO 9001 is an in-demand quality management system. So in demand, that 70% of our customers consider it very important that we’re certified in ISO 9001:2015. We aim for high quality standards and a constant pursuit of excellence. Which is why our team worked tirelessly to become an ISO certified translation service. Not to mention the fact that ISO 9001 maintains international standards designed with input from 159 national standard institutes across a variety of industries.

Why This Certification Matters

The ISO 9001:2015 standard guides organizations in the design of a process based Quality Management System (QMS). The set of requirements that make up this certification improves the development of tools for process control, organizational performance evaluation, and continuous improvement.

There are eight principles that makeup ISO 9001’s strict quality management principles. These principles allow companies to create valuable products for their customers.

1.  Satisfying your customer’s quality requirements.
2.  Helping leaders create consistency and unify their team to serve their purpose.
3.  Keeping employees engaged and productive through clear communication, respect, and recognizing their achievements.
4.  Defining a process that allows a business to run smoothly and communicating how employees fit into that system.
5.  Encouraging leaders and employees to continuously look for areas they can improve upon and give them tools that allow them to innovate.
6.  Learning how to use data to make decisions that can be relied on.
7.  Nurturing strong relationships with the companies that help a business run smoothly, such as suppliers.
8.  Implementing a successful system approach that aids in achieving your goals in an efficient and organized way.

Our Experience with ISO 9001

Terra Translations has seen first hand how beneficial offering ISO certified translations can be. We found that process based management was essential to growing our organization. It generates a virtuous circle of continuous improvement through planning and verifying.

Being ISO 9001:2015 certified allows our team to benefit from the system’s tools by providing high quality service to our customers. As our mission is to provide high quality translation and localization services, this quality management certification has served us well since adopting it in 2017.

A Commitment to Progress

Choosing to work with a brand that adopts ISO certified translation services standards ensures your business will evolve. ISO standards are generally updated every five years, with 75% of their world network required to update their processes. This goal of progress is one that Terra Translations embraces. We make continuous improvement to our work system and methodology that maximize our efficiency in every area of our business. We are also certified by IRAM, which represents the Argentine Republic in ISO. Working alongside the government, industry, consumers, and technology, IRAM studies technical standards and makes quality recommendations. We credit our commitment to improvement to our entire team, but especially to our quality assurance managers who are responsible for meeting our strict quality standards.