24 April TLF Localization meeting summary

Front l-r: Clement Ilunga, James Gachara, Martha Bhoke, Dr. Miriam Osore, Salome Nduku, Ann Asuga Rear l-r: Michael Zagobe, Denis Gikunda, Mumina Ibrahim, Stanley Ngumba, Juanne Ogina, Trufosa Ogoda, Deo Gumba Tamarind Linguists’ Forum (TLF) was initiated by Tamarind Translations Ltd in Kenya to provide a common meeting point for professional translators and interpreters in East Africa. The purpose of the forum is to develop their skills and strengthen their role as professionals. The second TLF meeting was held on 24 April. The topic was Language translation in ICT localization. Google Kenya’s Localization Project Manager – Africa, Denis Gikunda, was the guest speaker. In a presentation hinged on Google’s localization activities across Africa as undertaken by their Nairobi office, Mr. Gikunda outlined the relevance of localization towards the increased access of ICT services by communities in Africa. Translation is the key to the presence of local content in the information superhighway that Google endeavors to enhance. He cited the arrival of the Fibre Optic Cable in Kenya as one more reason for an increased need for local content as ICT services will be more readily and widely available. In Google’s localization work, translators play an important role in ensuring the accuracy of translations through the company’s elaborate Quality Assurance procedures. In line with the Wikipedia model, Google works with Trusted Volunteers, often university professors, students, translators and other interested individuals in local communities, to coordinate localization projects of various Google products via the Google In Your Language program, www.google.com/transconsole. Google also works closely with localization service providers for a variety of translation projects. Members had a lively debate on the various challenges related to localization in Africa, and Kenya in particular where 42 ethnic languages are spoken. Lack of relevant policies, funding and general underrating of the need for localization in the public domain were examples of issues raised. However, initiatives – such as the PanAfrican Localization project – are signs of recognition that the importance of translation is taking root on the continent. The members expressed gratitude to Google East Africa Business Lead, Mr. Joe Mucheru, who together with Mr. Gikunda had made this exciting discussion possible. The TLF members continue to discuss this topic in the on-line Group Forum. The next Forum will be in May 2009, date to be confirmed. ICT = Information and Communication Technologies Thank-You message from Mr.Denis Gikunda Tamarind Linguists' Forum follow-up Hi all! It was a great pleasure meeting at the Tamarind linguists Forum last Friday. Many thanks to Theo and the TT team for the invitation, coordination & hospitality. I look forward to meeting up with all of you in future forums and working together in some shape or form. I am interested in getting your feedback on the talk, and following up on anyone who wanted to respond to my call to action re: volunteer translations. The form below is intended for just this, so kindly fill out, it should take you but a few minutes. Your feedback & participation will be go a long way in increasing awareness of the need for translation & localization in Africa . I also wanted to follow up with some resources that I mentioned in my talk: Google in Your Language (Google's Volunteer translation platform): http://www.google.com/transconsole Google Translate (Google's Machine translation service): http://translate.google.com Official Google Africa Blog (where we announce africa related launches, updates and give credit to volunteers): http://google-africa.blogspot.com What members say... It was a pleasure for me to attend the Linguists forum which was very insightful and to meet so many people. - Anne Asuga Thanks again its been wonderful to have known more about Tamarind Translations,only a few days but i have been enlightened in a big way through the Forum. - Bhoke Marter The forum was a big eye-opener for us. We learnt enormously from it - Deo Gumba Localization tools are as good as their users In all industries, including the localization and translation industry, new tools are continuously designed and sold to streamline the key processes used in the business. The overall goals of these tools center on improving efficiency, saving time and reducing cost. Organizations that depend on the management of projects involving the expertise of multi-specialized professionals require a strong leader at the helm, no matter how sophisticated the tools. This is true for a general contractor for a large construction site, for a program manager for a manufacturing or software company, or for the project manager of an elaborate NASA shuttle mission. This individual is responsible for making sure that the end product of these cross-functional teams is delivered successfully. The same holds true for the localization industry where the project manager must select appropriate resources with the proper expertise to complete the project per the required specifications, properly using the localization tools available to facilitate this effort. Translation memories are one of the tools heavily used by localization teams with great success. A more recent tool added to the internationalization arsenal is the translation management system or TMS. This enterprise-level localization tool is used to facilitate packaging and distribution of translation kits, centralize the data repository for translation assets, and facilitate communication and collaboration among all the project stakeholders. Used properly, a TMS can greatly increase the efficiency of file and terminology exchange, as well as the communication and clarity of project requirements. But in order for the project to be a success, the proper resources must be selected for all phases of the project. Translators must be chosen with native language expertise in the subject matter and style of the material being translated. Desktop publishing teams must be versed in the proper file types, language nuances during layout, and attention to detail for the final quality assurance. Translation memories, terminology glossaries and other reference materials must also be selected properly. And last but not least, the project manager must structure the workflow and communicate the proper details to ensure that end results meet the client’s requirements. Localization tools can be a tremendous help in organizing and packaging data as well as providing a central point of communication. But they are no substitute for a skilled and knowledgeable localization team. Successful use of a TMS only complements the proper localization resources in the execution of localization projects; it does not replace them! (Source : Localization Professional Blog)

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