My First LocWorld

I was born in the eighties in the Netherlands, but Tegel International Airport, Berlin, gives me a sense of what the seventies may have been like. Ashtrays in the terminal bathrooms, nasty chairs and that lovely array of brown, orange and beige. There are two people to every seat in Terminal D ­– a converted parking garage – and a lost house sparrow makes its home where people linger, but no one lives.

A bus awaited disembarking passengers and I was overwhelmed by a memory of San Jose airport, Costa Rica, which is just as ancient and decrepit.
Once boasting the longest runway in Europe, Tegel doesn’t have much left of its original grandeur.

Someone explained to me that a new airport has long been finished, but some brilliant German engineer had accidentally forgotten to put a proper fire exhaust system in place. Oh, and the wiring needs to be redone.

So much for German efficiency.

***

There wasn’t much time to explore much, but what I saw of Berlin was about as contrastive from my expectations as possible. Though the Maritim hotel and venue ran like a Swiss watch, the minute you step outside, the city feels gray and disorganized. Given it’s been bombed practically to the ground, still the rebuilt areas look rather deprived of proper financing. Or maybe they’d just run out of decent architects.

***

This was my first time to LocWorld, representing MultiLingual Computing, Inc., and my colleagues had been humble about the conference’s caliber. I soon discovered myself to be part of a small team who see each other three times a year in Asia, Europe and North America. I felt welcomed and soon began feeling rather proud, sporting the ‘STAFF’ tag as if it were a gold medal.

I worked hard when important things needed to be done, but had time to get to know the people behind this triannual event and to network with some of the most significant people of the language industry. My colleague, Kendra, properly introduced me to Renato Beninatto and John Terninko, two men whom I’d heard much about. The first time I saw Renato was on the back cover of our magazine!

Suddenly I felt very busy and important.

I was able to catch up on my decent Dutch, shaky Spanish and found that my German had become positively flimsy. I even acquired some Ukrainian! God knows what they had me say… As a long-term traveler it was refreshingly familiar to be amongst such an international crowd again.

Multilinguists alike, we switched from English to Dutch and German.

Multilinguists alike, we switched from English to Dutch and German.

Back in Sandpoint – a sleepy town in North Idaho – my friends ask “How was Berlin?” and must be expecting a simple answer like “Great. Ate lots of bratwurst. Good beer.”

Instead they find themselves caught facing an hour-long rant on LocWorld until I notice their stunned expression morph into a more annoyed look and ending in considerate impatience.

I’m exhilarated, what can I say?

Is Your Development Relations Effort Global?

Just back from a very successful visit to Beijing and Singapore where I delivered PaaS for SaaS enablement to local Oracle partners.

The Oracle Applications User Experience PaaS4SaaS enablement for partners in Beijing and Singapore saw a simplified UI deployed live to an Oracle Java Cloud Service-SaaS Extension service.  Is your tech stack and outreach in sync globally?

The Oracle Applications User Experience PaaS for SaaS enablement for Oracle Applications Cloud partners in Beijing and Singapore featured a simplified UI deployed live to an Oracle Java Cloud Service-SaaS Extension service. Is your tech stack and outreach in sync globally?

Oracle Applications User Experience partner enablement is worldwide, sure. We couldn’t live up to our enablement commitments and bring real software solutions to life in the cloud if we didn’t have an internationalized technology toolkit for partners too. Thanks to Java i18n and Unicode we do. With that baked-in globalization goodness, the sky’s, or should I say the cloud’s,  the limit for what’s possible with global user experience.

If you’ve got examples of how technology internationalization has helped your company go global and reach new audiences, let us know in the comments.

I’d love to hear about worldwide partner outreach or development relations in your company too, from localizing newsletters or tweets to exposing localization or other APIs and multilingual architecture in the cloud.

How Well Do You Know Your Local User? Take A Walk (or Run) In Their Shoes

How well do you know the local market? What assumptions do you operate on? Well, take a look at this post “Design Time @ Run Time: Putting the Apple Watch Through Its Paces in Beijing” over on the Oracle AppsLab (@theappslab) blog.

Running in Beijing: I survived. My cultural assumptions didn't.

Running in Beijing: I survived. My cultural assumptions didn’t.

It’s a shoutout for the user experience practice of ethnography or doing user research “in the wild”. In this case, I used the example of running in Beijing. I discovered that pretty much everything I thought I knew about that was, well, wrong.

Do you have examples of interesting surprises or false assumptions that you’ve come across about local markets from a cultural or localization perspective?

Find the comments.

 

Language and Your Internet Experience. YMMV

Yup, when it comes to your online experience, your mileage may vary (YMMV) for sure, depending on the language you speak.

Check out this great article from The Guardian if you don’t believe me!

The digital language barrier: how does language shape your experience of the internet?

Internet experience? Your mileage may vary depending on what language you speak.

Internet experience? Your mileage may vary depending on what language you speak.

It’s a powerful insight into how language interplays with the digital divide on this planet.

Some of the prognosis for the diversity of the world’s tongues is quite depressing, though.

Regardless, there are rich pickings for all interested in language there: from educators to technologists.

Moravia and new directions

Common Sense Advisory had an insightful post about Moravia’s recent change in ownership to now-majority shareholder Clarion and influx of $100 million in revenue. Don DePalma notes that “Investors love software, but the reality is that somebody has to assemble the pieces,” and suggests that we may see more LSP acquisitions such as this in the future.

This may mark a turning point in how our industry is perceived. Even here in Northern Idaho, I’m running into the situation where more and more local friends (who have no idea what I do exactly) talking about their companies’ attempts at global expansion. Investors are starting to pay attention to our industry in ways they were not before; startups are still struggling to make sense of it all, more of them all the time.

As Moravia is now well aware, startups can become full-fledged global businesses with the right direction. Our industry is finding new ways to provide that direction, and it’s exciting.