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LSP Vendor Management Is Upping its Game
Finding, qualifying, and testing translators and interpreters represents a sizable investment for most language service providers (LSPs). That challenge is even greater for the fast-growing ones, any venturing into new markets, and those starting new service lines. For most LSPs, that means adding or enhancing the vendor management function to locate

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Blockchain's Future in the Language Industry
Blockchain is a method for concatenating blocks of transactions, which are stored securely using encryption in a distributed system that prevents bad actors from unlawfully changing records. Most media reports focus on blockchain’s use in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, where it originated. However, the language industry will be more directly

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Understanding Translation Buyers Drives Successful Sales
A cornerstone of successful sales and marketing is understanding the individuals to whom you are selling. Not just the kind of company, but the individuals who make decisions. A pitch that meets the needs of a young and relatively inexperienced localization manager at a small startup will be very different from one that works for a procurement manager

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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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A Few Notes in ISO 17100 Could Mean Big Trouble for Industry Certification
When enterprises contract with language service providers for translation, they expect professional linguists with strong credentials to work on their project. Because the issue of who is a “qualified” translator has major implications for clients, LSPs, and vendors alike, industry stakeholders have long tried to standardize the procurement

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CSOFT Swipes Left for Translation, Right for the Source to Mobilize Translation
The language services and technology sector has long been in the vanguard of high-tech trends, actively putting memes like cloud-based collaboration, crowdsourcing and community translation, and big data- based statistical machine translation into practice. Earlier this month CSOFT EVP Carl Yao briefed us on his company's (#23 on our global list of

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Should Buy-Side Localization Managers Own the Localization Budget?
Many buyers scramble to stretch flat budgets to cover an expanding number of markets, products, and publishing platforms each year. To collect updated data about how they manage their language service spend, CSA Research conducted interviews with managers and directors responsible for translation and localization budgets at 37 global companies in 10

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Landing the Budget to Translate: Not Easy for Buyers
Research from Common Sense Advisory shows that a typical buyer organization’s investment in translation and localization is minuscule compared to the revenue it enables. The budget for these areas generally represents less than 1% of total investment in marketing or R&D, even when staffing and technology costs are included. When managers

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Smaller, More Frequent Transactions Will Drive Translation Market Growth
The need for translation comes in many forms. It may be a brochure, a user’s manual, a contract, or an e-mail. Some jobs are big, but most are small. They may be fully predictable, tied to formal marketing campaigns and product launches. Or they might be last-minute reactions to new market requirements. Demand varies greatly in terms of languages

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Can Fair Trade Translation Exist?
Is it fair for a project manager (PM) at a language service provider to have to work 120 hours in a week – and without extra pay – to meet a deadline? In our recent research on project management, we learned that 11% of respondents regularly work more than 50 hours per week. Some reported chronic or severe overtime. Likewise, is it fair

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Low-Cost Solution Arrives for International Payments
Cross-border payments create challenges for language service providers (LSPs) as well as the freelance community. Beyond simple payment terms, when an agency decides to work with a translator in a different country, the linguist has to agree to a preset payment currency, payment method, and bank transfer fees that are often to their disadvantage. The

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Groups Seeking to Set Translation Standards Seek Input
Reaching buyer-supplier agreement on what constitutes a translation service offering was the first topic on the agenda at a presentation at this year's ATA- TCD conference in Orlando, Florida. Former ATA president and CEO of CETRA Language Solutions Jiri Stejskal and Brigham Young University professor Alan Melby presented an overview of the work taking

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It’s Time for Buyers to Re-Think RFPs
Buyers and suppliers of language services may not always see eye-to-eye on every issue, but there is one area where they do agree: Both sides continue to experience a high level of pain with the request for proposal (RFPs) process. Common Sense Advisory conducted a detailed analysis of 91 RFPs collected from buyers and providers representing the private

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Translation Prices – Up, Down, or Unchanged?
Common Sense Advisory’s 2010 report on pricing found that demand for language services continued to grow while the price for most translation and localization fell (see “Translation and Localization Pricing,” Jul10). Language pairs involving French and German were the only ones to escape substantial price drops since our 2008 report

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Elanex Accelerates Translation Portal with Intelligent Workflow Automation
Our research has long shown that demand for translation continues to grow at a fast clip. On the other hand, stagnant translator productivity endangers the supply of high-quality translation services. To bridge this demand-supply mismatch, we recommended that buyers and suppliers of translation invest in the human workforce, improve processes, and use

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Translation Demand-Supply Mismatch
Given the US$31.4 billion in language service revenue booked in 2011, it may seem counterintuitive to state that high-quality human translation may soon become a scarce, if not more expensive, offering. However, in our recent report on translation providers, we saw a coming shortage caused by burgeoning demand for translation, a chronic shortfall of

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A Review of Language Service and Technology Predictions for 2011
Predictions are a popular pastime for industry analyst and research firms in every sector, and the market for language services and technology is no different. How did we fare with our predictions for 2011? Marketers of everyday products feature built-in language support. Based on our research on global product localization, we predicted that

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Online Marketplace Set to Debut for Language Services
Way back at the dawn of eCommerce, several industries launched electronic marketplaces for their buyers and sellers. These auction-based business-to-business (B2B) platforms from the late 1990s brought together the buyers and sellers of products such as metal or industrial components. The marketplace operators gathered product and inventory information

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Alpha CRC Acquires Engineering Expertise
Earlier this month, Alpha CRC of Cambridge England acquired SQA Partners in Tallinn, Estonia. Director of Sales and Marketing Paul Mangell told us that the acquisition was part of his company’s strategy to provide an integrated, end-to-end globalization solution for its clients. SQA will add 80 full-time staff to Alpha CRC’s team of

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Predictions for 2011: Increased Visibility for Language Services
Each year since 2005, Common Sense Advisory has issued predictions for the language services industry based on our extensive qualitative and quantitative research. In 2011, language will appear more prominently on the radar of global and domestic organizations than ever before: Marketers of everyday products feature built-in language support

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U.S. Government Seeks English-to-English Translators
Yesterday, CNN and other news outlets reported that a U.S. federal agency sent memos to translation providers requesting their help in locating nine translators. The language pair needed: African-American English (AAE) into North American English. Is such a thing really necessary? And, how likely is it that the government will actually be able to locate

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LSPs Reluctant to Use Competitor's Technology
Last month we wrote about upheaval in the translation automation sector following declarations of independence, a nascent surge of open-source projects, the continuing development of purpose-built solutions at LSPs, newly refurbished partner programs, and even software from Google. We asked for your opinions on the importance of vendor independence

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News Flash: There's No Avoiding Death and Taxes
Vendor management for language services involves more than finding and paying some freelancer translators or LSPs. Right after tax season in the United States last year, we received the following message from the president of a language service provider: "A couple months ago we were notified that because we issued a 1099 to a Texas freelancer, we must

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SDL to LSPs: "Kill the Other Guy!"
Back in grade school, we played a game we called "Kill the Guy with the Ball," in which one courageous boy -- this was not a co-ed game, at least in the 60's -- would take the ball and run with it, in any direction, and everybody else would chase him, screaming bloody murder. Before the inevitable tackle, he would wing the ball, in any direction, and

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That Clinking, Clanking Sound of Money -- and Its Impact on Translation
Over the last 2 years, the dollar has lost more than 18% of its value against the euro (sinking from $1.20 to 1.42 per euro). This foreign exchange (forex) reality means that the cost of translations into Western European languages paid by American companies has gone up by the same rate. Conversely, translations into English done by American translators

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