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Whatever Happened to Content Source Optimization?
For many years now, localization managers at enterprises have known how they should create content tailored for particular markets, even if they haven't actually done it. Instead, the model that evolved in the 1990s invested in optimizing existing content for translation. Starting with text typically created for their home market, teams of editors religiously

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Five Questions LSP Sales Teams Frequently Ask CSA Research
Growth is an evergreen topic for language service providers. Those that struggle to increase revenue want to figure out how to formalize their sales function, while those that already have positive sales numbers want to grow more or do it more sustainably. CSA Research observes common dilemmas that LSP executives have to resolve. Here is a sampling

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Will Europe Maintain Its Leading Role in Machine Translation?
Based on press coverage of recent advances in machine translation (MT), it may seem as if all the major developments happen in the United States. However, since the 1980s, much of the basic research in this area has either happened in European projects or been headed by alumni of groups in the region such as the German Research Center for Artificial

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E-Commerce in India: Beyond English and Hindi
The Indian e-commerce market continues to grow as the government there encourages its expansion and works to ensure that the country’s local languages are integrated into its Digital India and Make in India programs. Unlike its neighbor to the east – China – the Indian playing field is open to international companies, as the ongoing

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Financial Benchmarks to Move Business Process Globalization Forward
One of the most frequent questions that CSA Research analysts are asked is how a translation team can help the rest of the company do a better job marketing to, selling to, and caring for local markets around the globe as well as multicultural ones in their home country. After all, it's usually not their mandated responsibility to support enterprise-wide

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As the World Turns: The Changing Fortunes of Online Languages in 2017
Big changes are afoot in cyberspace. In recent years, populations in Africa, Asia, and Oceania surged online with the aid of cheap data plans and government investments. In Myanmar, for example, the mobile grid went up in 2014 and a total population of 53 million now shows 33 million subscriptions, with 80% smartphone penetration and over 50% with active

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Don’t Google That: CSA Research Finds that Women Excel in Localization Positions
It was the memo heard around the world, the one that led Google’s CEO to cut short his vacation to deal with a firestorm of criticism, and the one that reignited the perennial and fiery debate about sexism, women’s role in the tech industry, and political correctness. The document (available here in its entirety) laid out the case that Google’s

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Developers Find New Ways to Bring MT into Enterprise Content Strategies
The explosion of enthusiasm for MT that followed Google’s announcements about neural machine translation (NMT) last year shows no signs of abating. CSA Research has seen a few trends in our observation of new entrants and existing players: Security is increasingly important. Issues around security and where data is housed are becoming

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Using Big Data to Save Money on Translation
Buyers of language services crave the ability to measure translation quality in an objective way, get easy-to-digest reports on how it is tracking over time, and be able to drill down as needed for process improvement. However, quality control remains a mostly human-driven process – even when supported by QA technology – because humans have

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Time for the C-Suite to Catch the Multilingual Content Train
It has taken social and mobile – plus the empowerment of consumers to influence the message – for content to finally grab the undistracted attention of executives. But they’re not only wrestling with content in its simplest forms controlled by employees. They must also take into account material created “in the wild” –

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Digital Transformation and Language Combine to Power a US$43.08 Billion Market
Two years ago, CSA Research determined that the language sector faced a perfect storm as industry players incrementally improved efficiency, innovated services and processes built on newer technology and streamlined practices, and confronted disruptive intrinsic and external changes that were transforming the market. These factors have converged to

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How Augmented Translation Affects the Language Services Industry
In the last year, CSA Research has been covering a new paradigm for translator productivity, one we call “augmented translation.” The term comes from “augmented reality”: applications that overlay images of the world with relevant information. Although Pokémon Go is the best-known example, the approach has become important

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Is There Such a Thing as a Recipe for Sales Success?
Language service providers (LSPs) – in particular small and mid-sized ones – often ask, “How can we increase sales? Where do we start? How can we build the best sales team?” The smaller ones often have a negative experience as they start formalizing the sales function. Sales training programs, including our own in the past, were

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The United States Reverses Course on When Translators Are Employees: Sort of…
Note: This blog post is not intended to provide legal advice. For clarification of your legal obligations and rights, please consult with qualified legal counsel. Labor law is usually not the sexiest of topics, but once in a while something happens that has profound effects on the language industry. Following a series of state-level legal decisions

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Will Robots Leave Your Project Managers in the Dust?
Translation projects are no longer what they used to be. Back in the day, language service providers would land big-budget clients with predictable volumes of large projects that came with a variety of add-on services. But these aren’t so common anymore: Most jobs are small, rush, basic, and unpredictable in frequency. This has put tremendous

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Gender and Family Survey Reveals a Female-Friendly Industry, But There’s Room for Improvement
Today CSA Research released the first in a series of reports that examine gender and family issues in the language industry. Based on our survey of 2,195 professionals who work with language services, this free report provides insights into the role gender and family plays in the field. We developed this pro bono research with the support of GALA and

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Staying Alive: How To Be a Tech-Savvy LSP in 2017
Technology is crucial for language service providers (LSPs), not just for growth but even for survival in a rapidly changing market landscape. Earlier this year, we reviewed technology survey answers for 728 providers and interviewed a cross-section of 30 translation and interpreting companies in 12 countries. Using this combination of quantitative

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Translation Quality Tools Heat Up: Three New Entrants Hope to Disrupt the Industry
For several years, the field of quality checking tools has been largely stagnant, with incremental updates to established tools. Recently, TAUS’ Dynamic Quality Framework (DQF) and the EU’s Multidimensional Quality Metrics (MQM) have set the stage for new developments in quality assessment methods thanks to their new methods and push for

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When Linguists Do More Than Translate or Interpret
CSOFT (#22 on our global list of the 100 largest LSPs) has banked on mobile being a driving force behind language needs. In December 2015, the company released Stepes (pronounced /'steps/), a human-powered mobile translation app designed to mobilize professional translators and Uberize the world’s bilingual population in the process. Last year

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Benchmark Your Globalization Journey Using Localization Maturity Model 3.0
How many times have you heard that "localization is special" or "globalization only affects a few departments?" Probably more than you can count. Why are these attitudes still held by otherwise informed middle managers and executives? Because localization or globalization doesn't register as a business process for them. How can you gain their attention

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AMPLEXOR Acquires Sajan: Why Some Acquisitions Matter More than Others
Last week Luxembourg-based AMPLEXOR (#9 on CSA Research's 2016 list of largest LSPs) acquired U.S.-based Sajan (#30) for US$28.5 million. This amounts to US$5.83 per share for publicly-traded Sajan, a 46% premium over the current share price. Because Sajan will go private, it has substantial disclosure and shareholder protection requirements under the

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The Constant Challenge of Source Content Quality
Turning something that's perceived as cheap or ugly into a more valuable or beautiful object has been the goal of alchemists through the centuries. Many languages have expressions that echo their quest to turn lead into gold. An English proverb maintains that you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. The French take a different animal to task

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Will the Language Industry Outpace the Growth of the Global Economy?
The language services and technology market is US$40 billion and is growing at 5.52% per year. Business media such as Fast Company and Inc. cite these figures, as do language industry publications, trade associations, supplier websites and press releases, business books, and academic articles. These numbers are also referenced in bank loan applications

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When Language Technology Promises Vacation Romances – But You Better Have a Backup Plan
Imagine yourself in a café in Paris or on a beach in Cancún, running into some gorgeous human specimen you just can’t help but approach. You walk up to the person, offer them a hearing device, and point for them to put it in their ear while you pop one in yourself. Then you launch an app on your smartphone and start communicating

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A Cynic’s Guide to “Winning” at Machine Translation
Every new development in the field of machine translation (MT) is accompanied by a set of numbers that purport to show dramatic improvement in terms of quality, usually BLEU or METEOR scores. These measures use a scale from 0 to 100 to quantify how similar the MT output is to one or more human translations of the same source text based on a mechanical

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