Interview with Rob Vandenberg of Lingotek

Rob Vandenberg (Profile)
Friday, October 19th 2012

VSM: What is cloud based translation management and why use it?

RV: Translation management is a single system for translation, editing, review, and communicating with translators. Complete with professional tools like translation workbenches, multiple translation workflows, translation memories, style guides and terminology management. These cloud-based tools enable companies to effectively translate and localize information across a multitude of geographies, regions, cultures and languages. When content is translated in a translation management tool they can capture, reuse and recycle their translation content. Businesses are then globally empowered to penetrate new markets, grow globally and acquire a bevy of previously untapped new customers.

VSM: Why would a company want to choose between different kinds of translation – machine translation, crowd/community translation or professional?

RV: Traditional translation methods are slow and expensive. Translated content can take 4-6 weeks to translate and cost around $.23 a word. A content owner should categorize how particular content needs to be translated by its relative value. So important content is handled by professional translators, moderately important content is handled by your crowd/community and less important content can be handled by machine translation and translation memories. This ensures the maximum amount of cost savings based on the value of the content you want to translate.

VSM: How is crowdsourcing playing an integral role in the translation landscape?

RV: With social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and others on the horizon, it’s evident that social media has empowered individuals to access, publish, and consume information 24 hours a day. In order to keep up with the information flow, companies are tapping into crowdsourcing communities and have evolved in their abilities to rapidly deploy content and information. By activating and engaging with these types of communities, corporations grow, engage and foster their communities. This forms a symbiotic relationship--businesses tap communities for growth and in return communities grow themselves.

VSM: What is information poverty?

RV: Information poverty is the inability for individuals in many societies to access basic information to improve their quality of life. Let’s say I had access to the Internet but when I logged on, English was not a language option. Clearly this would hinder my ability to seek out information and products through web channels. When these technological barriers prevent individuals from accessing information in their localized languages, they lose opportunity to access the same knowledge and opportunities as those who have access in their own language.