On September 13th, language industry leaders gathered together in San Francisco - the world’s technology capital - for SlatorConSF18. I had the opportunity to participate in this amazing event to glean a full day of insights, network within the industry’s inner circle and kick-off my own research project.
I am currently researching how translation tools are evolving to localize corporate videos to a standard comparable to that of the entertainment industry. By attending a number of industry events, my plan is to connect with the vanguard driving change. I will report on the innovations that promise to set the framework for the future of the audiovisual media industry, as well as explore its likely adoption by the ultimate clients.
SlatorConSF was a chance to learn more about newly released features and future enhancements the leading technology providers intend to offer. For media localization, we can expect that standard Computer Assisted Translation (CAT) tools seek to cater to media localization by reading “.SRT” subtitle files and including a video preview, within the translation tool. This may not seem groundbreaking in itself but it signals that convergence of tools is imminent.
The day’s agenda was filled with inspiring and informative sessions. Ferose VR, Senior VP and Head of Globalization Services at SAP took us on his talk Beyond The Business of Translation. He gave a moving example of how the Same Language Subtitling (SLS) initiative helped millions of people in India, progress from the stage of barely literate early-reading, to functional and fluent reading ability through the PlanetRead Project.
Technology was the focus topic as presenters unpacked for us decades of research into Machine Translation, Neural Machine Translation and Productivity. Translators will stand, as individuals augmented by technology, on the shoulders of those who came before. Some may fear that technology will replace us entirely, but according to our panelists, humans will be always needed. There will always be verticals like marketing, gaming, subtitling and dubbing that call for highly creative, talented translators. Translators are gold, and they should always remember that.
Voice is the next frontier in global enterprise solutions. It is an area where the pace of technology’s advance is accelerating. Take “Google Home” for example, the number of conversations it holds with users daily has risen exponentially since 2008. Voice search is impacting how SEO experts craft content to capture opportunities in long tail search.
From fragments of each speaker’s views, a mosaic comes together: though the language industry is growing and offers a lot of opportunity to entrepreneurs and founders, competition remains fierce and M&A will transform the ecosystem. Technology is the fulcrum.
The keynote close, Anna Schlegel, Head of Globalization and Information Engineering at NetApp, explains that the journey to take your company global requires persistence, laser focus, an incredible team, and great mentors. You may have to repeat your message often in order to win over internal stakeholders to the globalization cause.
(some photos were taken from https://slator.com/event/slatorcon-san-francisco-2018/ where originally published, photo credit was not attributed)