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Participating in the localization industry

By Maria Kania-Tasak

So, you are a Project Manager, Translator, Localization Engineer, BDM, or Translation Manager… You like your localization job and you want to get more involved in the localization industry somehow? … Attending localization conferences is expensive and you do not always get the budget to go?… You want to talk to other localization experts and spend time with them?… You want to network, learn, share, contribute your know-how and have fun?…

Then there is good news! There are a lot of organizations out there in the localization space which would welcome you with open arms.

Women in Localization

Women in Localization is one of them. The mission of Women in Localization is to focus on three pillars: the global community in the industry, the advancement of women, and the advancement of the localization profession. But it is not limited only to women – men are also welcome. Check out this article by Uwe Muegge about how men fit in the organization. The core organization was founded in California by three amazing and strong women – Eva Klaudinyova, Silvia Avary-Silveira, Anna N. Schlegel – who saw the need to empower women working in the localization industry. The mother organization then grew so popular among the global crowd that different countries and regions started to open their own chapters. The mother organization and its chapters organize events to help women develop their technical and professional skills – topics such as growing in the localization industry, agile localization, and machine translation. You will be challenged. You will learn. You will network and meet people you would perhaps never meet sitting behind your desk as a Project Manager or Quality Manager at your organization. You can meet a Localization Manager who can inspire you to grow from your role as a translator and enter new areas of localization that you might have never dreamt of. It is fun and it is a great learning experience. If you want to find out more about the organization and how you can get involved, go to their website and contact them for more information – you can join an existing chapter or maybe open a new one!

Translators without Borders

TWB is a U.S. non-profit organization that works with partners in the humanitarian and development sectors worldwide to reduce language barriers that can hinder critical humanitarian response efforts. Another remarkable organization that is taking the localization community and the outside world by storm is Translators without Borders (TWB) – echoing the famous Doctors Without Borders not-for-profit organization. TWB is a U.S. non-profit organization that works with partners in the humanitarian and development sectors worldwide to reduce language barriers that can hinder critical humanitarian response efforts. As their website states: “TWB works to ensure that people have access to vital knowledge in a language they understand, by connecting non-profit organizations with a professional community of translators; building local language-translation capacity; and raising awareness of language barriers.”

The founders of TWB believe that everyone has a right to access the vital information that affects them, in a language and format they can understand. During the Ebola crisis in 2014-2015, for example, TWB was translating vital information about risks and Ebola prevention into the local languages of the three most affected countries – Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia. This helped increase awareness among the people affected in those areas. There are many other examples of how TWB helps the global community both in times of crisis and in ongoing development programs.

TWB collaborates with nearly 4,000 translators in 190 language pairs. It also works with volunteers such as localization engineers, sales people, project managers, and others. There is room for everyone to contribute. If you want to get involved with this worthy organization and make a difference, you can donate your time and/or money. You can become a volunteer.

When asked about how TWB works with volunteers, Executive Director Aimee Ansari said, “We consider TWB volunteers to be part of the team. Our supporters come from very diverse backgrounds, professions and locations; however, we come together to work towards a common goal. We owe our success to our volunteers; they are very much at the heart of TWB.”

Localization Unconference

Also, check out the Localization Unconference group – anyone in the localization industry interested in discussing the future of the localization industry in a non-structured, non-sales environment, can join the LinkedIn group. If you want to organize an event in your area, you can most definitely do so and decide what you want to talk about. Contact Mark Flannagan – the group’s owner – via LinkedIn and he will share more information with you about how to get involved and organize your own local Localization Unconference event.

There are lots to choose from… you can be a participant or an organizer. And if none of these groups appeals to you but you still want to get together with other localization folks in your area, maybe it’s time for you to organize something new in your city. Why not invite your localization buddies to a coffee meetup and just have fun discussions about our exciting and very dynamic localization world? It is time to get more involved!


MariaKaniaTasak Maria Kania-Tasak has been working in the localization industry for over 16 years. She´s held various roles including Sales Director, Account Manager, Quality ISO Manager, and Business Development Manager. Maria is very active in the localization community and she loves participating and speaking at various conferences such as LocWorld, ELIA and others. She also started the Women in Localization Chapter in Catalonia, Spain. Maria is a Polish-Canadian and has been living in Barcelona, Spain, for the last 11 years.


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