Following the success of the first EduinLoc Town Hall meeting, we’re back with a new session to keep inspiring the industry to evolve and thrive, especially when it comes to educating the leaders of the future. In the first meeting, we interviewed Stephan Cocron and we heard his very interesting insights on education and the localization profession in the United States. This time, we want to focus on Europe. That is why we have invited an experienced localization professional and a seasoned academic and researcher so that they can have an open conversation about the opportunities and limitations of our industry and the education at a university level. Join us to listen to this thought-provoking conversation and be part of it during our Q&A session and networking conversations that will happen right after the event.
- Welcome & housekeeping rules [5 min]
- Conversation between industry and academia [20 min]
- Q&A from the audience [10 min]
- Networking session [55 min]
Following the success of the first EduinLoc Town Hall meeting, our second session – Europe Edition – was held on June 24th 5 PM to 6:30 PM (CEST) to keep inspiring the industry to evolve and thrive, especially when it comes to educating the leaders of the future. In this meeting, we interviewed Alina Secară, Senior Scientist at University of Vienna, and Esther Curiel, Localization Operations Manager at Indeed, and heard their very interesting insights on education and the localization profession in Europe. Their open conversation about the opportunities and limitations of our industry and the education at a university level helped start a discussion among all the other participants at this Town Hall.
Check out a detailed report on conversations in our networking session!
Are academic institutions
keeping up with
the pace of change in the industry?
Alex Bernet from The Localization Institute recorded the interesting conversation between Alon Lavie from Unbabel, Stephan Cocron from Salesforce, and Milena Smalinsky, a student from Vienna, Austria. Alon asked Milena whether she was being taught and exposed to all of modern technologies at the university? Milena answered that technology was taught only in a broad sense with very little specific instruction or actual practical usage of any of the tools. Stephan Cocron also added based on his experience that most people who’ve majored in translation or language specialities lack specific skills which contributes to the problem. Students usually show a lack of industry experience when in the process of seeking work/ getting hired.
Stephan thinks it’s great that there are some online educational programs available but doesn’t think that certain roles or career paths are being adequately mapped and detailed to students. He sees three paths to existing roles/ needs for global companies: product managers, technical program managers and QA managers. It would be great to see more prescribed academic paths with exposure to necessary technologies. At present, no masters degree is available in any of these.
Stephan asked Milena whether universities in Europe are more theoretical and academic focused. Melina answered that they are very research oriented and many students are looking to go into research or academia themselves. Not very industry focused and little time is spent wondering about how to prepare people for industry jobs.
Stephan wants to see more access to mentoring. He thinks EDUinLOC is a great start. They all agreed that we have a lot of industry veterans and wise, experienced people joining the initiative and ready to share but need to attract more students, newbies, etc. Stephan suggested eventually having people set aside time for “Open Office Hours” where people like him would make themselves available to meet with students and newbies to answer their questions and discuss where they want to go and what they want to do in the industry and how to get there.
Perspectives from professors and industry professionals
Jill Nellis from The Localization Institute recorded the conversation between Alina Secara, Zrinka Primorac Aberer, Andre Hemker and Ulrich Henes – a conversation between industry and academia.
Andre Hemker, who was a Master’s of Translation and then Wordbee CEO, brought us with his unique perspective in both academia and industry. From the industry perspective, we are solving day to day problems, working with clients with challenges. Students can benefit from industry experience, for example, you could assign students to compare translations and use that as a learning tool. In this process, it would be great if students can use CAT tools from the start.
On the other hand, academia doesn’t need to hide the fact that they are working with industry – we are offering education. Translation is a hands-on activity and we need to train our students but also offer them the opportunity to research the industry. We have little time to train students in specialized fields. That is one of our problems.
We should tell the students early on that there are so many professions connected to the field of localization: sales people, account managers, support people, software developers, project managers, proofreaders, solutions architects, QA specialists, marketing, websites, software, front-end developers, etc. We can get students to realize: Maybe there is something for me! Students need perspective and ideas for the future. There are so many options, and academia could expose the students to this.
Academia would make the connection that languages are a portal to amazing jobs and careers. A translator could eventually end up being the head of a large localization department at Facebook.
What kind of specialization should academia offer? Just give them a mindset that they are in the full power of how they can integrate themselves into a field with their translation degree. It is necessary for students to understand translation processes and see themselves in a particular role. Maybe different universities offer different specializations.
How to embed technology
The table was hosted by Jan Grodecki, with attendees from both academia and industry, who are :
- Dragos Ciobanu, Professor of Computational Terminology and Machine Translation at University of Vienna; undergraduate teaching
- Tabea De Wille,Localization Researcher, Lecturer and Consultant, University of Limmerick
- Gina Fevrier, Sr PM, BMC LPM, Florida
- Tom Alwood, Consultant, University of Maryland
- Gökhan Doğru, University of Barcelona, Masters Program, Consultant
They pointed out we need to respond to the requests from industry:
- More Agile
- Quality Management
They agreed that usually the taught projects are not realistic; classes should present real live projects based on standard scenarios.
When it comes to tools, many providers offer academic programs and free licenses for educators and students. We should also make students be aware of open source options, such as for example OmegaT, Open TMs, GLobalSight, and Okapi Framework. For beginners there are free courses offered on LinkedIn, DigiLink, EDX, Dublin City University, and Portsmouth. Tom Alwood also shared best practices at the University of Maryland and reported that they teach CAT, TMS, for translators.
They pointed out that the biggest learning effect would be the crisis mode, yet it is not feasible for classes. A common scenario in many universities is that linguistic programs do not teach localization and students can’t take credit for other language related courses, which is something that we still need to work on.
Gina Fevrier is interested in how to MT content, e.g. eLearning. There are many modern technologies in this regard, for example, Amazon Polly Plugin for website MT.
Participants also pointed out that it is important for us to distinguish between Education vs Training. For example, syllabus needs to be updated dynamically, to be flexible to a degree (Tabea) and approval processes (Gokhan), adjustable semester to semester (Tom), and with proper assessment (Dragos). Gina and Oksana gave some details on the success story of The Localization Institute.
Kateřina Gašová hosted the QM roundtable, sharing general best practices in quality management, over specific repetitive/challenging scenarios related to accepting/providing feedback, or differences in quality definitions for different quality expectations and content use-cases as well as differences in quality evaluations of subtitles as opposed to standard content, post-editing and quality, etc.
Eva Klaudinyova, Peng Wang, Stephan Corcron, and Ulrich Henes joined the table and discussed best practices of quality management in a MT driven translation process. Kateřina pointed out that language data analysis and getting insights from the analysis is important for us to control the quality of MT. Peng added that when we analyze the data, it is important that the analysis is fair and reasonable for all stakeholders.