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A Question and Answer about Localization Training

Sébastien  Adhikari asked this question on Linkedin:

I noticed that there was only one program dedicated to localization (Austin Community College). Does that mean it is not considered a worthwhile, and growing, specialization?

I thought I would like to repost my (re-tweaked) answer on this blog.

@Sébastien Adhikari,

I believe there are three localization options on the list:

Despite there being so few, this does not mean that 1) more do not exist and 2) that localization training is not worthwhile.

I think we should take into account that localization training is a relatively new phenomenon which is probably why I found so few programs.

I belive localization training can make translators more competitive. Yet, as far as I understand it, there are not many people (translators or others) who have localization training. Training qualifies you to work on new projects that you might have passed up (or that might have passed you up). But translators, do not assume that if you get this training that new clients will be banging on your cyber-door. You’d have to market yourself and network, just like always–maybe more to get the clients who want your skills.

More considerations

Localization training generally has two audiences:

  1. translators unfamiliar with computer programming and
  2. computer programmers unfamiliar with translation.

The kind of training you seek depends on your goals and your preferences.

  • Do you want to be a translator with localization skills?
  • Do you want to develop alternative technical skills to make you a better programmer?
  • Do you want to work for companies that hire people with localization skills and management?

(A quick job search in Linkedin–just type “Localization” in the search field–will reveal that many companies like Google, Microsoft, Amazon are hiring exactly for people with localization, translation, and management experience.)

Chosing a localization program

ACC’s training seems to me to be extensive and useful. But, then, so does Monterey’s training. The main differences are price and time. Additionally, ACC’s program is much more accessible if you are  uninterested or unable to enroll a Master’s program.

Other institutions, like Kent State University (where I am studying now), offer a class or two that is intended to give prospective translators a leg-up by providing them with a greater awareness of localization Issues. These programs usually require that you enroll in some degree program.

Finally, Monterey offers a short course program that introduces translators to web localization. Localization Institute offers seminar training to more technical audiences.

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