E.g., 04/01/2020
E.g., 04/01/2020

The GALA Standards Initiative: Where Are We?

[Update: Since there was some confusion about this point, anyone is free to request a copy of the plan from [email protected]. Because the plan is subject to (potentially major) revision we want to keep track of where it goes so that we can let people know of updates when they are available.] Since the GALA Standards Initiative was announced in early April (see our press release), we have been focused on gathering information on the requirements of various constituencies and drafting a plan for further activity. We are happy to announce that the first draft of our plan is ready for limited distribution. This plan presents a broad view of standards that emphasizes issues of education, training, promotion, and coordination of efforts. As we have previously emphasized, GALA is not trying to become a standards body or take over the excellent work done by groups like ASTM, OASIS, ISO TC 37, ASTM F43, and others. Instead our plan emphasizes the development of a cooperative platform to support the work of these groups and help users of the standards benefit from them more consistently. Initial feedback has been quite positive, as shown by the following feedback we have received about our draft:

  • “I am impressed with [your] report… I am struck by the serious research and thorough analysis that went into [it].” - Standardization expert
  • “This is a $5,000 paper. I have been impressed by GALA for the second time now” -Globalization manager at a large client organization
  • “Thank you for sharing GALA’s Standards Initiative Plan. We consider this is an important matter and are glad to see GALA embracing such work. I found the Development of Model Service Elements section particularly interesting.” -Managing director at a language services provider
  • “Quite frankly, I was initially a little skeptical about this effort ([as a] member of an actual standards body committee), but after reading the document you sent me, I’m highly motivated to participate in the GALA standardization project. As you point out in your draft, it’s the outreach part that really differentiates what you are proposing from other standardization initiatives.” - Standardization expert and educator

At this point we need to open up more details to the public and we would like to share a public timeline for upcoming events related to the plan. FOCUS GROUPS The week of May 9–14 we are hosting a series of “Focus Group” calls to discuss the draft plan. These calls focus on identifying priorities within the plan and mapping them to “pain points”. These calls are held according to the following schedule:

  • May 10: Language Service Providers (chaired by Smith Yewell, Welocalize)
  • May 11: Language Technology Developers (chaired by Yves Savourel, ENLASO)
  • May 12: Buyers of Globalization Services (chaired by Bill Sullivan, IBM)
  • May 13: Representatives of Standards-Development Organizations (chaired by Jiri Stejskal, FIT)

The week of May 16–23 will continue with additional Focus Groups:

  • May 16: GALA Members (chaired by Hans Fenstermacher)
  • May 18: Open Session for those unable to attend at other times (chaired by Arle Lommel)
  • TBA: Individual Translators and Freelancers


  • May 18–24: Revision of draft plan based on feedback from Focus Groups
  • May 25: Release of public draft of plan
  • May 25: Start of public survey on standards deliverables. This survey will help us align the priorities identified in the Focus Groups with broader input.
  • June 1: Final draft of Public Plan

For the remainder of June we will work promoting the plan to the broader industry and starting work on the specific deliverables. Note that as part of GALA’s commitment to openness and inclusiveness anyone is welcome to participate in the Initiative’s activities, regardless of GALA member status or financial contribution. We welcome positive and constructive criticism about the plan. GALA members can download the draft plan from this link: http://www.gala-global.org/node/65515 (GALA member password required; contact us at [email protected] if you have any trouble). If you would like to review the GALA Standards Initiative plan or participate in an upcoming Focus Group session, please email us at [email protected].