SlatorPod is the weekly language industry podcast where we discuss the most important news and trends in translation, localization, and language technology. Brought to you by Slator.com.
#96 The Creativity of Transcreation with Tag Collective Arts’ Rik Grant#95 Launching the Most Comprehensive Open-Source Globalization Strategy Playbook
Natalia Levitina and Karen Combe, Members of the GILT Leaders’ Forum,  talk about GILT’s Globalization Strategy Playbook, arguably the industry’s most comprehensive, open-source guide to globalization, internalization, and localization yet.The co-authors recall the various stages of their career in the localization industry and their journey to becoming part of the GILT Leaders Forum. They reflect on their experience writing the 30,000+-word, six-chapter playbook with 10 co-authors from the localization buy-side, and how they drew on key learnings from their professional backgrounds.The duo discuss the role of primary and secondary stakeholders, from end-users and management chains to procurement and vendors. They advise what language tech tools buyers should choose and prioritize when it comes to the translation management system (TMS), translation productivity (CAT), and machine translation stack.Natalia and Karen round off with the playbook’s potential for people in the language industry to learn from and build on top of, given that it is open source and on GitHub.First up, Florian and Esther discuss the language industry news of the week, with Meta’s (formerly Facebook) CTO Mike Schroepfer tweeting about machine translation as their team won in 10 out of 14 language pairs at the WMT 2021.Esther talks about French investment firm Amethis acquiring a minority stake in UAE-headquartered Tarjama. Meanwhile, Airbnb announced it had launched Translation Engine, which allows users to automatically read translations of reviews and descriptions.Florian then touches on the implications of a formal opinion issued by the American Bar Association, entitled Language Access in the Client-Lawyer Relationship.
Nov 19 2021
1 hr 1 min
#94 Diego Cresceri on Pricing MT Post-Editing and Becoming President of Elia
Diego Cresceri, CEO of Creative Words, joins SlatorPod to talk about his journey in the language industry, from founding the language service provider (LSP) to becoming President of Elia.Diego recounts his beginnings as a Translator, Project Manager, and eventually branching off on his own to create Creative Words. He also shares the motivation behind the founding of Creative AI for multilingual data services and how it functions alongside Creative Words.The CEO discusses the evolution of post-editing machine translation (PEMT) and the LSP’s approach to pricing PEMT by the word. He also shares their marketing strategy through social media, Google SEO, and partnerships with associations such as GALA, ATC, and Elia.Diego talks about his new role at Elia and their aim for members to actively grow through visibility and engagement. He reflects on the uncertain future of the language industry but says he expects it to remain fertile with innovation.First up, Florian and Esther discuss the language industry news of the week, with popular American YouTuber MrBeast tweeting about the success of his dubbed videos and foreign language channels.Esther talks about EGA’s latest research project on the impact of media and entertainment localization on consumers in France, Italy, Germany, and Spain. Meanwhile, KUDO announces an integration with Microsoft Teams, where users will be able to access on-demand multilingual interpretation from their current platform.Florian gives an update on AMN Healthcare’s Q3 2021 results, which saw revenues surpassing expectations at USD 878m, 59% more than Q3 2020.
Nov 12 2021
54 mins
#93 Véronique Özkaya on Why Argos Multilingual Acquired Venga Global
Nov 5 2021
53 mins
#92 Blazing-Fast Machine Translation With Kenneth Heafield
In this week’s SlatorPod, we’re joined by Kenneth Heafield, Reader in Machine Translation (MT) at the University of Edinburgh. We originally connected with Kenneth on Twitter in a discussion about Slator’s coverage of a research paper on Carbon Emissions in MT.Kenneth talks about his experience going back and forth between academia and industry, reflecting on the pros and cons of working for Big Tech. He discusses his recent research with efficient translation and language modelling as well as other MT topics that are undervalued by the industry.Kenneth shares his thoughts on the popular preprint platform arXiv and how news outlets should cover research that hasn’t been peer-reviewed. He gives tips for those interested in attending natural language processing (NLP) conferences, particularly on how to navigate the complex system.Kenneth concludes the podcast with an exciting demo of Translate Locally, an MT app that runs locally on a desktop or laptop CPU, allowing cloud-like translation speed without sacrificing privacy and browsing habits.First up, Florian and Esther discuss the language industry news of the week, with Argos Multilingual acquiring rival Venga Global and roughly doubling its size to become one of the top 25 LSPs in the world. One LSP that missed the top spot by a hair is RWS, whose full-year revenue is exceeding expectations, with consensus placing the figure around USD 965m. Meanwhile, Slator’s very own Anna Wyndham joins the Pod to talk about our highly popular article, “10 Areas Where Translators Are (and Will Remain) Essential Experts in the Loop,” published last week. She highlights a selection of mission-critical scenarios in which translators are the true experts in the loop, despite the advancement of tech.
Oct 29 2021
1 hr 6 mins
#91 Judging Google Translate, TransPerfect’s Road to the Billion, Media Loc Hub Spain#90 On XTRF and Scaling a Translation Management System with Andrzej Nedoma
Andrzej Nedoma, Co-founder and CEO of XTRF, joins SlatorPod to discuss the journey of the translation management system (TMS).Andrzej begins with XTRF’s early days as a spin-off of family-owned LSP Lidolang and building the company with Co-founder, Dominik Radziszowski. He talks about the rationale behind pivoting from licenses to SaaS in 2014 and the funding decisions with Experior Venture Fund.The XTRF CEO unpacks the process behind investment firm K1 acquiring a majority stake in the company and their relationship with sister company XTM going forward. He talks about the similarities and differences between LSP and enterprise clients.Andrej shares the key shifts in the TMS landscape over the past decade and XTRF’s most important innovations in the last five years, including building their Business Barometer. He rounds off with XTRF’s roadmap over the midterm.First up, Florian and Esther discuss the language industry news of the week, with two UK-based life sciences companies teaming up, as LSP Conversis acquires local rival Zebra Translations. Esther reviews Slator’s latest Language Industry Job Index, which climbed by 3.8 points in October. Florian touches on Slator’s Language Industry Buyer Tracker, which includes a new Localization Producer for Games at Netflix.Netflix also got called out for botched Korean into English subtitle translations for the TV drama Squid Game, which is on track to become the streaming giant’s most-watched show of all time — indicating the rising demand for English-dubbed content.
Oct 8 2021
54 mins
#89 How the Pandemic Changed Interpreting Forever With Anja Peschel#88 Dubbing, Subtitling, and the Future of Media Localization with VDMS’ Simon Constable
Simon Constable, Global Language Services SVP of Visual Data Media Services (VDMS), joins SlatorPod to talk about dubbing, subtitling, and the pandemic-induced transformation of media localization.Simon starts with his route into the media & entertainment and languages space, where his international experience spans 25 years. He delves into VDMS’ localization services and the dynamics between owning a studio versus working with the best fit for a specific project.The SVP discusses the combination of language technologies and automation workflows used for subtitling and dubbing. He reflects back on VDMS’s learnings in the last year and how the pandemic affected demand and production for content owners.Simon explores the different types of content, from recording voice-overs for cartoons to dealing with unscripted reality TV shows. He briefly touches on the challenges of remote dubbing and the level of demand for English as a target language. The Pod rounds off with VDMS’ growth plans over the next couple of years, after securing investment from Endeavour Capital in 2020, and Simon’s industry outlook.First up, Florian and Esther discuss the language industry news of the week, with translation management system provider XTRF receiving an investment from K1, only nine months after K1 acquired a majority stake in XTM.Still in the investment space, Florian talks about LSP Seprotec, which sold a majority stake to Nazca Capital, a Spanish private equity firm. Meanwhile, Esther shares some highlights from ZOO Digital’s AGM and trading update.In media localization, Keywords Studios has appointed Bertrand Bodson, has a 23-year career in international business, as its new CEO. Florian also briefly touches on the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing, which will be held in the Dominican Republic.
Sep 24 2021
1 hr 3 mins
#87 Inside DeepL and Welocalize VP Olga Beregovaya on Language Tech Evolution
Olga Beregovaya, AI Innovation VP of Welocalize, joins SlatorPod to talk about all things AI, natural language processing (NLP), machine learning (ML), and machine translation (MT) related.Olga begins with her journey into the language services and technology industry, where she currently leads AI innovation for Welocalize. She unpacks some of the broader applications of AI, ML, and NLP outside the language industry.The AI Innovation VP recounts the early days of implementing NLP algorithms and the evolution of the computer-assisted translation environment. She shares the role of humans in MT workflows and injecting AI into the global content transformation ecosystem.Olga shares her thoughts on text-generative models, such as GPT-3 and BERT, and the importance of synthetic data. She identifies the under-utilized NLP applications in the language industry.She outlines key AI language trends in light of increasing translator productivity, advancing neural machine translation, and integrating dynamically trained MT.First up, Florian and Esther take a deep dive into DeepL, as they discuss the leading MT company’s approach to neural networks, quality performance, enterprise solutions, new features, users, and growth.Esther shares highlights from AI Media’s ASX Small and Mid-Cap Conference Presentation about multilingual access services. Esther then covers Keywords Studios’ H1 results, which saw their Audio, Localization, and Localization Testing units contribute 27% to total group revenues.Florian talks about Zoom’s plans for live, multi-language transcription and translation features, which comes as no surprise after they acquired German simultaneous speech translation provider Kites this year.
Sep 17 2021
1 hr 8 mins
#86 Fake Interpreters, Fake LinkedIn Profiles, SlatorCon Highlights#85 Advocating for Interpreters in Afghanistan with Red T Spokesperson Rebecca Petras
Rebecca Petras, Spokesperson for non-profit Red T, joins SlatorPod to bring awareness to their advocacy for the protection of translators and interpreters in high-risk settings.Rebecca shares details of her professional background in journalism and discusses how she began her journey in the language industry through the humanitarian sector. She talks about the current situation of interpreters in Afghanistan and explains how the rising danger for linguists over the past few months led to her becoming involved with Red T and its Founder Maya Hess.Rebecca explores the role of linguists in conflict zones and explains who they typically work with. She discusses the lack of official status for interpreters (unlike, say, journalists) and highlights Red T’s efforts to ensure protection for these linguists by speaking at the UN, working to change policy, and issuing a conflict-zone field guide for linguists.The Pod rounds off with Rebecca outlining Red T’s current initiatives and what the language industry can do to support this cause. In particular, she draws attention to Red T’s Open Letter Project, which involves sending letters of appeal to governments or intergovernmental agencies to implement change for these embattled linguists.First up, Florian and Esther discuss the language industry news of the week, starting off with the sudden growth of ‘scanlation,’ where fans post their own translations of webcomics without the consent of the copyright holder.Florian then shares the news of TransPerfect’s debt refinancing with a new lower-interest term loan and revolving credit line amounting to USD 500m.Meanwhile, Esther goes extraterrestrial as she talks about NASA awarding a translation contract worth up to USD 59m to TechTrans International. She also reviews Slator’s latest Language Industry Job Index, which continued to climb for the seventh month in a row.
Sep 3 2021
38 mins
#84 M&A Shakes Up Nordic Language Industry, New Language Operations Pro Guide
Aug 27 2021
37 mins
#83 Smartcat CEO Ivan Smolnikov on Translation SaaS and Marketplaces#82 LanguageLoop CEO, TikTok’s Dutch Translation Penalty, SME Website Localization
Elizabeth Compton, CEO of LanguageLoop, and Claire Mullins, National Translations Manager at the Australian language service provider (LSP), join SlatorPod to talk about the company’s digital and organizational transformation.Elizabeth recalls the LSP’s early days from 1978, and the decision to rebrand to LanguageLoop. She touches on the role of the Victorian State Government as shareholder.She shares the impact of the pandemic as they saw an immediate shift from on-site to remote interpreting, as well as accelerating the digital delivery of language services. Claire talks about how Covid drove the conversation around multilingual engagement.Claire also weighs in on the impact of immigration and the resulting increase in demand for rare and emerging languages, as well as multilingual consumer behaviors in Australia. The pod ends with their collective outlook, as the LSP plans to leverage tech and build deeper customer engagement with the launch of multilingual SMS campaigns.Florian and Esther discuss the language industry news of the week, with TikTok being issued a USD 0.88m fine by the Dutch Data Protection Authority. Florian shares results from the European SME survey, which gathered the opinions of over 1,000 SMEs on website localization and machine translation use. Esther talks about the recent launch of an estimated USD 47m interpreting framework agreement by Norway’s Labor and Welfare Authority (NAV).The duo share news from outside Europe as social distancing requirements in Los Angeles County end and court interpreters are recalled to on-site work.
Jul 30 2021
57 mins
#81 TransPerfect Blowout Q2, Welocalize Buyer NLG, Reframing Video Localization#80 TAIA CEO Marko Hozjan on Scaling a Translation Startup#79 Women in Localization President Cecilia Maldonado on Translation in Latin America
Cecilia Maldonado, Director of Strategic Accounts at Latamways, joins SlatorPod to talk about the language industry landscape in Latin America and her term as President of Women in Localization.Cecilia recounts her path to joining the language industry and the many hats she wore over the past 20 years. She touches on the two-year process of merging SpeakLatam and Two Ways Translation Services, and how they managed to double in size in a highly fragmented, competitive industry.She shares her perspective on how business is centered around Argentina and Brazil in the Latin American language industry, and LSPs competing for talent with global Super Agencies operating local production hubs.Cecilia also talks about Women in Localization and navigating the challenges of leading a not-for-profit organization. She closes with a market outlook on multimedia and as well as the potential for growth of machine translation post-editing (MTPE).First up, Florian and Esther discuss the language industry news of the week — where DeepL met its match in a Bloomberg crypto article. The duo talk about RWS’ latest acquisition of Japanese patent translation agency, Horn & Uchida, for a cash consideration of GBP 2.3m. Before news of the acquisition broke, Berenberg released a report that noted how RWS shares took a dip the day Richard Thompson stepped down as CEO.Meanwhile, Nicolas McMahon stepped up from COO to CEO at United Language Group, which saw previous CEO Kristen Giovanis return to her role as President. Esther also reviews Lionbridge and its acquisition of Rocket Sound, a company that provides audio and voice-over localization services for gaming.
Jul 9 2021
1 hr 5 mins
#78 Zoom Adds Live Translation, Netflix Dubbing News, Toppan’s Christophe Djaouani
Christophe Djaouani, President of newly launched Toppan Digital Language, joins SlatorPod to discuss the Japanese corporate giant’s plans to become a leader in translation for regulated industries.Christophe shares his career journey; from his days as project manager at RR Donnelley to how he worked his way up to Executive Vice President at SDL. He introduces the members of the Toppan Digital Language executive team.In an exclusive, Christophe announces that Toppan Printing will be renamed Toppan Inc. to reflect the transformation of the company. He goes over the benefits of having existing pockets of translation and localization within the organization.He talks about the challenges of the regulated space and points out the value of security and quality when creating, managing, and delivering multilingual content at speed and at scale. He also gives tips on RFP procurement; having the right tools, team, and approach.Christophe ends with the company’s vision to become the market leader in language solutions for regulated and business-critical content within five years.First up, Florian and Esther discuss the language industry news of the week — with Zoom’s acquisition of German speech translation provider, Kites. Esther talks about another company that was popular throughout the pandemic, Netflix, which recently announced the arrival of Timed Text Authoring Lineage (TTAL). Florian delves into an interesting sub-sphere of translation, Japanese gaming, where he goes through a series of tweets from popular Japanese game translators.Esther closes with the Slator Language Industry Job Index (LIJI), which surged by 9.9 points in July, after a four-point dip in June interrupted the LIJI’s consistent climb since January 2021.
Jul 2 2021
1 hr 1 min
#77 Synthesia CEO Victor Riparbelli on Personalized Video in 40+ Languages
Synthesia CEO and Co-founder Victor Riparbelli joins SlatorPod to discuss the company’s approach to operating and developing the world’s first and largest platform for video AI generation.Victor talks about Synthesia’s journey and the rapid progression of media technology. He unpacks the role of academia in the company, where PhDs and professors make up nearly 50% of staff.The CEO goes over the evolution of text-to-speech in the last decade. He also discusses the difficulty of extending voice into multiple languages when there is no data to support the neural network.Victor reviews the success of video content over text and how this ties into working with global companies. He shares how he sees the localization and translation industries as partners and an integral part of creating multilingual content.Victor talks about Synthesia’s funding rounds and shares the story behind connecting with their first investor Mark Cuban. The podcast wraps up with Victor’s view on deepfakes and the company’s vision of creating more storytelling rather than informative content.First up, Florian and Esther go through the poll results from May 21, where respondents weighed in on Translation as a Subscription, with only 12% thinking of it as “the future.” Florian talks about KUDO’s latest public relations win as billionaire investor Bill Ackman tweeted about using the multilingual conferencing platform for an investor presentation.For the third week in a row, RWS pops up in language industry news as it partners with speech recognition system CEDAT85 to launch a live subtitling and captioning solution for online meetings and events. Florian discusses SwissText’s 2021 conference competition, which saw Microsoft’s winning approach toward the recognition and translation of the Swiss-German dialect into standard German text.
Jun 25 2021
1 hr 22 mins