CSOFT Annual Summit / Life at CSOFT

CSOFT’s 9th World Summit: the World of Localization

Every year after the Summit, CSOFTers look around and ask each other how we’ll manage to top this year’s event next time, and this year wasn’t any different. An extraordinary week of fantastic presentations, lively discussions and stimulating energy, CSOFT’s 9th Annual World Summit blew us away! Our 2012 World Summit blog series is underway, starting with a recap of Day One of the agenda, focused on “The World of Localization.”

Thought-provoking highlights from “The World of Localization” track:

  • In her welcoming speech, our President and CEO, Shunee Yee set the tone for the day, sharing the quote “Culture is the foundation for any successful enterprise…” She demonstrated this phrase’s applicability to the localization industry by discussing how the work we do combines both culturally founded artistic elements and technological elements. She applied the Chinese cultural conception of yin and yang, necessary opposites that complete a harmonious whole, to CSOFT, stating that it is the “marriage of technology and culture” that makes our services not only possible, but the best that they can be.
  • Michael Anobile’s presentation on “The History, Evolution, and Future of the Localization Business” provided the perfect follow-up to Shunee’s opening speech, as he clearly articulated the progression of localization from its origins, primarily in technology, to its current conceptualization as a tool of both culture and technology. Michael argued that the future development of the localization industry will be grounded in technological innovation, specifically mobile and internet technology, manufacturing and R&D; however, the most important factor in successful localization companies will be relationships.
World summit
  • Yan Ma from Corel also gave an intricate account of her experience moving through the localization industry as companies she worked for were bought, sold or blended over the course of several years and many mergers and acquisitions. Her insight and experience helped to reaffirm much of what Michael Anobile had expressed earlier and her presentation certainly brought home just how pivotal localization has been to the development of so many great companies in the world today.
  • CSOFT’s very own Uwe Muegge, Senior Translation Tools Strategist, also presented about the benefits and misconceptions of terminology management. He emphasized that implementing a Terminology Management System will not only increase consistency across a company’s documentation, but will save the company thousands and millions of dollars throughout the life of a particular project. The sooner the system is implemented the better, he argued, as costs to alter terms only increase as you move further into the production cycle. As a point of clarification, Uwe also expressed that terminology management is not a translation issue. Rather it is something that should be addressed long before a product ever reaches the localization process.
  • China Business Knowledge’s Janet Stites presented on “How Technology is Changing the Global Economy & Culture.” Janet included, as part of her presentation, a definition of ‘technology’ from Webster’s Dictionary: ‘the practical application of knowledge.’ By way of technological innovation, people from different parts of the world can now share information instantaneously to collaboratively solve problems, a phenomenon that Janet referred to as the “Talk Radio Model.” Her concluding message was that we are all interconnected, and to achieve success in today’s globalized market, all we need to do is draw on those connections; across borders, across cultures, across industries.
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A photo montage of guest speakers Uwe Muegge, Janet Stites and Yan Ma at CSOFT's 9th Annual World Summit.

During his presentation, Michael Anobile also speculated that the highest growth in the localization industry will not take place in the United States or European countries, but in other rapidly developing nations, which created an ideal platform for Friday’s focus on “Going Global: From East to West” (more on that later!).

Day One of the CSOFT World Summit fostered much healthy dialogue about the localization industry as it stands today, with localization professionals and industry leaders weighing in their various opinions and personal experiences. It concluded with a bit of a bang as those “touting” in-depth knowledge of the industry (they may have been coerced) went head-to-head in a game of “Stump the Experts,” hosted this year by Matt Arney and Michael Anobile. All in all, it was a fantastic beginning to yet another successful Summit.

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CSOFT International is a translation, localization, and globalization services provider that helps international businesses reach out to customers around the world.