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Global Watchtower
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MT Is Changing the Industry, Just Not in the Way Mainstream Media Thinks It Will
Machine translation (MT) has caught the public eye once again. The Wall Street Journal recently predicted that “the language barrier is about to fall” – within 10 years. We might note that this is one barrier that has been “about to fall” for far longer than the actual Berlin Wall stayed up, and that it’s been an

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Innovative Ideas to Communicate with Patients in Healthcare Settings
The interpreting field is a hotbed of creativity due to technological advances and the desire from large-scale buyers to spend their budgets wisely. In this blog post, we explore two new solutions for medical patients with limited language proficiency (LLP), which can substitute for on-site or remote interpreters in select healthcare settings –

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A Look Back: XTRF Leverages Venture Capital into Market Momentum
In April 2014, we wrote about XTRF’s first round of venture capital (VC) from Experior in Warsaw. Now two years later, we looked back at how this event changed the company, and by extension, the language industry. We reviewed data in our own research database and also spoke with XTRF management. We found that by internal or external measures,

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FREME Services Power Vistatec Automated Content Enrichment
The digital universe grows by a massive amount of structured and unstructured content every day. This flood of data comes in a broad range of standardized and proprietary formats and languages for uncounted application needs around the planet. Much of this data never leaves the silo for which it was created, but business analysts and information scientists

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Crown Commercial Service Contract Award Shows Not to Underestimate Small Players
Thebigword’s big win in the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) framework contract wasn’t the only major shift in the United Kingdom’s language services market. The Crown Commercial Service (CCS) framework, known as RM1092, is a supersize government contract that merges for the first time translation, face-to-face, and telephone into one framework

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Has thebigword Managed to Catapult Its Way to the Top 10?
Thebigword won a £120 million lot in a tender to provide over-the-phone and on-site interpreting to the British Ministry of Justice (MoJ) over the next four years. Josh Gould, its chief commercial officer, expects revenue to jump by 60%, which could boost the company from its current #17 position on CSA Research’s list of largest language

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Standard Translation Project Timelines Keep Shrinking
In our recent research on quoting practices at LSPs, we found two recurring themes: 1) the increasing price pressure caused by clients driving the race to the bottom (see our recent blog post on that topic); and 2) the drastic reduction in timelines to conduct projects. In this post, we’ll explore this second issue. We asked our

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The Babel Fish Swims Closer to Reality
Today we celebrate The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (H2G2, for short), the Douglas Adams novel that created the most enduring model for machine translation, the babel fish. May 25th is Towel Day, a commemoration of Arthur Dent's unplanned and sudden exodus from Earth, first described in a 1978 BBC radio series. On that day, Ford Prefect, alien

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Localization beyond Localization: Apple Bets on Chinese Music
On May 16 in California – May 17 in Beijing – Apple released what appeared to be a minor update of its music-creation software GarageBand to version 10.1.2 (MacOS)/2.1.1 (iOS). Usually, sub-point updates are maintenance updates to fix small bugs and do not merit our notice, but this one warranted a press release from Apple. Why? This

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The Impact of a CEO’s Gender, Language, and Education on Growth at the Largest LSPs
Every June, CSA Research publishes a list of the world’s largest language service and technology providers. This year, when we invited the 191 firms that we ranked in The Language Services Market: 2015 to participate in the survey, we went an extra step and reviewed the curriculum vitae of each company’s CEO or managing director. In this

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Will Smartling's Purchase of VerbalizeIt Change the TMS Market?
Today Smartling announced its acquisition of VerbalizeIt, a translation software developer and service provider. CEO Jack Welde told us that he bought the 12-person company for its combination of technology, talent, and customer traction. More specifically, he wants to differentiate Smartling from other translation management system (TMS) players

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Welocalize Acquires Nova for Global Reach and Another Regulated Industry
Welocalize CEO Smith Yewell called us two weeks ago to brief us on the acquisition of Nova Language Services. It is the U.S. company's 16th purchase of a smaller LSP since 2000, and its second since recapitalizing nearly a year ago. We discussed: The acquisition. Nova is a language service provider based in Barcelona, Spain. It has been in

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Artificial Intelligence for Interpreter Bookings Now Available to Language Services Buyers
The interpreting technology front has been particularly active lately. After LanguageLine announced the release of a new video remote interpreting solution, thebigword launched a new interpreting management product called IMS Direct. Announced today, the software-as-a-service solution (SaaS) is for buy-side organizations and addresses the need for automation

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Who Owns a Language? Why Klingon Matters
Who owns a language? This question recently emerged when Paramount Pictures and CBS claimed copyright to the Klingon language. Klingon is an “artificial” or invented language, one of hundreds of such tongues dating back to at least the early medieval period. Linguist Marc Okrand invented it for the movie Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

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Is Heavy Discounting the Only Way to Land Business These Days?
In their search for the best possible deal, prospects and clients put tremendous pressure on language service providers to reduce their prices. In our recent series of interviews on quoting, we inquired how LSPs decide when to cave in and offer a big discount – or simply walk away from the deal. It’s no easy decision. Not all buyer demands

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Merrill Brink International Purchased by Former Owners and Private Equity Group
United Language Group (ULG) will acquire Merrill Brink International, the language services division of Merrill Corporation. Two members of ULG's management team, Jeff Brink (CEO) and Hans Fenstermacher (COO), called to brief us on the acquisition which had been widely discussed in the industry prior to last week's disclosure of an internal Merrill

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The Name Game: The Importance of Up-to-Date Locale Knowledge
Countries don’t often change their names. The last major round was in early-to-mid 1990s when: 1) Members of the former Warsaw Pact removed “socialist” or “people’s” from their names; 2) the USSR split into 15 independent countries; 3) the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic (“Czechoslovakia” or ČSSR for short)

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MarketFlex™: Evaluating Business Management Solutions for Translation-Focused LSPs
Selecting the right translation management technology can mean the difference between growth and stagnation for language service providers. But choosing a TMS to manage their myriad business, process, and linguistic functions requires a lot of work. LSPs have to evaluate both the features and functionality of shortlisted products and assess the software

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Smartling Buys Jargon to Enhance Mobile Localization – and Support the Physical Web
When contacting LSPs and language technology developers about our annual global market study, we pinged dozens of companies that have yet to complete the survey. One was Jargon, a startup developer with an innovative approach to mobile app localization – a real sticky point for many organizations. They struggle to reach prospects and customers

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New Vendor Payment Option for the Language Services Industry
Paying vendors across borders has long been an issue for language service providers. These companies often use bank wires (through SWIFT codes, ACH transfers, or EFTs) to process payments to linguists in other countries. But these options are riddled with bank charges that eat away at the profitability of the recipients – LSPs or freelancers –

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Localization Can Bring Big Rewards, but Pirates Are Waiting
CSA Research has consistently shown the benefits of localizing your products (see “Can’t Read, Won’t Buy,” Feb14, which polled 3,002 customers from 10 countries on their language and buying preferences, and “Consumer Language Preferences by Country,” Jan16). It makes your offerings accessible and attractive to a larger

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The Top 10 Languages That Reign Online
CSA Research conducted our annual study of the market for outsourced language services and technology for the 11th consecutive year. Participants listed their three fastest-growing language pairs, as well as the three that face the most price pressure. Looking at the language pairs with a global perspective presents the overall trends within the

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How Tightly Do You Manage the Sales Estimation Function?
How much does translation cost? That’s not an easy question to answer. LSPs spend a lot of time on the sales estimation activity. This process, often referred to as “quoting,” requires developing estimates of the price and turnaround time to complete jobs. That means determining which resources they need to do the job, matching them

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Welocalize Extends Its Reach to Digital Marketing
Welocalize has begun exercising the increased financial clout that came with last year's recapitalization by Norwest Equity Partners. We spoke to CEO Smith Yewell about the purchase of Adapt Worldwide, a digital marketing agency based in London. The acquisition underscores the top end of the language sector's expansion beyond traditional localization

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LSP Metrix™ Helps Buyers Better Select and Manage Language Partners
Language service providers come in all shapes and sizes — no single element defines the best LSP. Buyers often ask CSA Research how to identify the most appropriate vendors for their needs and what they can do to assist suppliers that seek to meet evolving requirements and expectations. Based on the successful adoption of the Localization Maturity

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