Post-Event Report: 2nd Cologne Symposium on Software Localization
By: Claudia Fricke (PASS Engineering) - SDL plc
28 June 2005
Prof. Klaus-Dirk Schmitz of the Cologne University of Applied Sciences and Dr. Detlef Reineke of the Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria came up with the idea for this symposium at the Localization World Conference in Bonn last year. They also decided to publish a book – in German – on essential aspects of the dynamic field of software localization, including project management, work processes, tools, formats, as well as the situation at educational institutions. So far the German book market has produced almost no publications on software localization. The book (Einführung in die Softwarelokalisierung, ISBN 3823361562) was released parallel to the symposium – its contents are based on the presentations given there.
The speakers at the symposium were Matthias Caesar (Locatech), Harald Elsen (DELTA International), Prof. Ursula Seewald-Heeg (Hochschule Anhalt), Dr. Uwe Reinke (Universität des Saarlandes), Michael Kemman (ADAPT Localization Services), Angelika Ottmann (EXACT), Florian Sachse (PASS Engineering), Erich Schildhauer (Schildhauer Communication Services) und Angelika Zerfaß (Zaac).
Both the book and the symposium were intended to address newcomers and students as well as members of interested professional groups. The innovative mix of subjects, ranging from standards to technical solutions and from academic to pragmatic considerations, made for a very lively event with a feast of information.
The following topics were covered in the presentations:
Software Internationalization and Localization (Schmitz)
The Localization Market (Kemman)
Management of Localization Projects (Caesar/Fehrenbach)
Terminology Management for Software Localization (Schmitz)
Translation Memory Systems in Software Localization (Reinke/Freigang)
Software Localization Tools (Reineke)
Machine Translation in Software Localization (Elsen)
Localization of User Interfaces (Ottmann)
Localization of Documentation and Online Help (Schildhauer)
Website Localization (Zerfaß)
Localization Formats (Sachse)
TMX Exchange Format for Translation Memory Systems (Zerfaß)
MARTIF and TBX Terminology Exchange Formats (Reineke)
Education and Training in Software Localization (Seewald-Heeg/Fisguss)
There were about 90 visitors at the symposium, including about 45 translators, 35 students and 10 business representatives. The presentations were not only interesting and informative but even inspiring at times, and it was impressive to see how successfully the speakers were able to adapt to the different needs of the audience and present even complex subject matter in such a way that both the experts and the novices could follow. There was a friendly and relaxed atmosphere throughout the entire event – the coffee breaks provided an opportunity for new contacts and pleasant discussions.
I enjoyed the symposium very much and hope that there will be further events of this kind in the near future. This is particularly important when you consider that the conferences on localization tend to leave novices behind by making the subjects very specific and raising the bar to a level that only experts can reach. The only other conference I know of that also addresses newcomers to the field of localization is the Maastricht/Lodz session. It would be good, therefore, to see a 3rd Cologne Symposium on Software Localization in a couple of years – or perhaps a L10N Rome, Madrid, Vienna . . .