What We Learned at LocWorld

What We Learned at LocWorld

The LocWorld conference was a great success with over 400 people from the localization industry getting together to share their knowledge and discuss the opportunities that lie ahead. One thing became clear: we’re part of a fast-evolving industry, thanks to the passion of the people involved, and excited about building its future together!

The Donnelley Language Solutions, which is now part of SDL’ team was on hand throughout the conference and engaged in insightful conversation with our peers who stopped by our booth where we shared traditional Polish delicacies!

Here is a recap of our key takeaways:

  1. Gaming is a big topic for the localization world. This was the first year that LocWorld organized a pre-conference for this industry, The Game Global Forum, which brought together more than 100 attendees — an indicator of the growth potential in gaming and opportunities ahead. It became clear that this is a huge industry with very specific challenges that localization companies need to understand in order to offer a solution that is tailored to their needs. Projects are huge, long lasting and post-mortems are key elements to improve after each iteration.
  1. Blockchain is the new kid on the block and is, in general, the buzzword in every industry. Blockchain has already helped several technological revolutions to blossom, like cryptocurrencies or ICOs. It remains unclear how it will impact the localization industry, but its already catching the attention of some governments. For example, the Polish government, represented by the Minister of Enterprise and Technology, incentivizes innovation with 4% corporate tax supporting cryptocurrency transactions. At Donnelley Language Solutions, which is now part of SDL, we have taken the lead in servicing ICO-seeking companies.For companies that rely on a new technology, it is fundamental to build trust with their investors and users. Our Managing Director, Christophe Djaouani, explained in this article that “regulations, local rules, and many other local adaptations are a path down which ICOs are going just like IPOs did in the past. Some doors just open if you answer correctly. Smart money requires smart documents.” We’re expecting to see many other private and public organizations get involved. It’s coming into the localization discussion where companies are trying to make sense of this opportunity but it’s still in its infancy. Stay tuned!
  1. MT and NMT are still a hot topic. Everyone seems to want to better understand what NMT is capable of, and if it’s applicable to their processes. While the communication of companies that only provide machine translation is much bolder, multi-service LSPs are more pragmatic and analyze its usage on a case-by-case basis. There are many elements to consider: file format, edition frequency, content type, etc, and each MT implementation needs to be understood with this context in mind. That said, MT or even NMT is still far off from being a magic wand for content translation at an industrial scale. Other new technologies which caught attendees’ attention are conversational interfaces, such as voice systems and chatbots, which offer a different way to engage with audiences. Most marketing departments are eager to jump on these new technologies, but in order to get it right, there should be a proper strategy and the right processes behind it. And localization companies should be able to help our clients to get ready for it!
  1. In the end…the human touch is what matters the most. Even digitalization is definitely changing how we interact with humans and businesses. The personal touch is becoming more important than ever as people are looking for companies with clear a vision and values they connect with, to build a long-lasting relationship.We loved the quote from Margaret Ann Dowling: “Localization companies are missing the storytelling narrative: it is not about conversions and A/B testing, it’s about creating content that helps people to become what they way to be”. Our key takeaway from her presentation was: “You have to be a “What You See Is What You Are” brand – be authentic.”

But the conference wasn’t all about work! It was also a fantastic opportunity to see old friends from the industry and welcome newcomers, and we also had time for some fun!

Thanks to everyone who contributed to making this conference a huge success, and to everyone that attended our tour of Warsaw on June 9th! We loved spending time with you and showing you this beautiful city that’s so dear to us!

We’re looking forward to seeing you at the next LocWorld!