IMUG Past Events Archive: 2019




2019 Events:


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2019 Events Archive


December 12, 2019, 6:00-9:00 PM

Annual IMUG International Potluck & Holiday Bash
Hosted by Adobe in Mountain View, CA

event photoThis one is on the second Thursday, and starts at 6 PM. The IMUG holiday bash always features unusual food and good conversation, including discussions of language technology, business, travel, life across cultures, and more.

Our friends on the Adobe globalization team have once again graciously offered to host our event, this time at Layers Café in the same East Tower as most of our IMUG talks. Adobe will offer us drinks and IMUG will bring pizza. You needn't bring a thing, but we always look forward to the fantastic variety of ethnic dishes the less culinarily-challenged among us can muster up for this annual food-fest. That always takes things to a higher level.

You needn't prepare or buy more than 3 to 4 portions worth, and in fact you needn't bring anything at all. Come as you are, with or without a potluck contribution, but do come prepared to eat!

Adobe Systems will host this event at Layers Café in the Adobe East Tower in downtown San Jose. Many thanks to Xiang Zhao, Janice Campbell, and the rest of the globalization team at Adobe for their support! For maps, directions, and more, see

If alcohol is served at this event, by your RSVP you agree to drink responsibly, and to choose a designated driver or take alternate transportation if necessary.




Nov 21, 2019, 6:30-9:30 PM

Localization Careers
Hosted by Adobe in San Jose, CA

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Our industry needs talent with both linguistic and technical skills, knowledge and abilities and yet we face challenges with both recruiting and retention of talent. Presenters will cover the following proposals to help meet these challenges:

Visualizing Career Paths to Improve Recruiting and Retention

On the recruiting side, students passionate about using language skills to connect the world are not aware of their opportunities in the language services ecosystem, and enrollment in language studies in the US has been decreasing at an alarming rate. Winnie Heh will present a web-based tool to help students visualize their roles. On the retention side, newcomers to the language industry struggle to visualize meaningful long-term career paths. Winnie will present opportunities for further exploration by employers and employees based on analysis of interviews.

Standardizing Core Competencies to Better Connect Employers with Qualified Candidates

Our industry does not currently have centralized guidelines on the competencies necessary for the professional practice of localization management at a time when ever-increasing skills are required to meet market demands. This lack of agreement often creates a mismatch between what employers want and what candidates provide in the localization job market. Alaina Brandt will present preliminary localization management competencies identified through her current research in job descriptions, standards of best practice, and other industry resources. Adam will present findings of related research that addresses the myths and realities of software skills required for common localization jobs.

About the speakers:

Winnie Heh is Career Advisor for the Translation, Interpretation and Localization Management Programs at MIIS (the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey). She has worn many different hats in the language services industry over the last 30 years – language instructor, translator, interpreter, Adjunct Professor at MIIS, sales, marketing, operations management, technology transformation, merger and acquisition. Heh has set up and run businesses in more than 10 countries. She is a Board Member of the California Healthcare Interpretation Association and a member of the ALC Bridge, a committee within the Association of Language Companies aiming to connect language talents with employers in the language services ecosystem.

Alaina Brandt is an Assistant Professor of Professional Practice of the Translation and Localization Management program at MIIS. Brandt is CEO and founder of Afterwords Translations, LLC. She is a member of the U.S. Technical Advisory Group to ISO Technical Committee 37 Language and Terminology.

Adam Wooten is an experienced localization industry executive and Associate Professor in the Translation and Localization Management program at MIIS. He has headed up translation operations for various companies in California and Utah, including AccuLing, which he co-founded in 2013. Wooten provides consulting services to companies that want to level-up in localization as well as universities that want to add a localization program. He designed new localization programs for Brigham Young University and Weber State University and has advised faculty at other schools. He writes a column for MultiLingual magazine and serves on the ALC Bridge Committee to help bridge the gap between the language industry and academia.




October 17, 2019, 6:30-9:30 PM

Translation Commons: UNESCO International Year of Indigenous Languages
Hosted by LinkedIn in Mountain View, CA

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Video: coming soon!

The United Nations has declared 2019 to be "The International Year of Indigenous Languages" (IYIL) to raise awareness, not only for the benefit of the people who speak these languages, but also to help others appreciate the important contribution indigenous languages make to our world's rich cultural diversity.

Translation Commons is a social-civil partner in this UNESCO initiative, and has agreed to work on two important projects. The response from volunteer language professionals all over the word has been exceptional. The promise of digitizing so many more speakers globally mobilized linguists, academics, and companies alike, igniting a new spark for a worthwhile cause. The value of adding so many more languages to the digital environment is priceless to the language industry.

Translation Commons committed to these projects for IYIL 2019 and beyond:

1. A technical document titled "Indigenous Languages: From Zero to Digital", serving as a step-by-step guideline to help indigenous communities digitize. This will continue with specific support for individual communities' implementations.

2. A global university campaign to create as many classroom sessions and events as possible, dedicated to raising awareness of indigenous languages. UNESCO is inviting all TC participating universities to collaborate in creating an academic network for research, with our commitment to intensify efforts on raising the quality of training through knowledge sharing.

Tonight's speakers:

Craig Cornelius has worked at Google since 2007 on the I18N libraries team. He participates in open source for the Unicode standard the Common Locale Data Repository (CLDR). He has been privileged to work with language communities just starting to use the internet, including Native American, Burmese and other indigenous speakers in Myanmar, Chakma in Bangladesh, and Fulfulde in the African Sahel.

Jeannette Stewart is a globalization consultant to mainstream brands and advises them on best practices for their global content and workflows. She is co-founder of Translation Commons, a nonprofit online platform advancing linguistic professional enrichment with a mission: “to create a world without communication barriers where no language and no linguist is left behind”.

Ludmila (Mila) Golovine is the President and CEO of MasterWord Services, Inc. Golovine is involved in many professional organizations; she chairs the Advisory Subcommittee for the Translation and Interpretation Program at the Houston Community College; she serves as the Texas Chapter Manager for Women in Localization; and serves as Translation Commons Advisor and Professors Group Chair.

Johanna Behm has worked in four countries before relocating to the US in early March 2019. Her experiences in helping Nordic startups to enter the Central European market, being part of high growth marketing and sales teams in ERP and internet landscape, as well as her education in corporate finance and strategic entrepreneurship made her passionate about data driven decision making, and international communication.




September 19, 2019, 6:30-9:30 PM

Beyond Hindi: Growing Quora in India
Hosted by Quora in Mountain View, CA

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India’s seemingly infinite and growing mobile internet userbase has resulted in the country being viewed by many consumer internet companies as a land of opportunity. However, there are many Indias in India, and localizing into Hindi—the main non-English language of the country—is usually only the first step to build a successful path in this market.

Join Quora’s Internationalization team to learn how we think about our growth in India, and some of the challenges we have faced and opportunities we have identified over the last few years.


• Gautam Shewakramani, International Growth Advisor
• Chris Zeng, Software Engineer
• Jonathan Brill, Head of Global Writer Relations





August 15, 2019, 6:30-9:30 PM

At Steins Beer Garden, Mountain View

Photos: new page

IMUG is proud to once again partner with GALA on a local networking evening! Come for a tempting buffet, cash bar, and fine conversation with your GILT industry friends and colleagues on the private patio at Steins Beer Garden in Mountain View. Free public parking is available at surface lots or parking garages less than one block in any direction, and we'll be just a few blocks from the Mountain View CalTrain station too. Look for the intersection of Villa and Bryant on this map:

Per GALA guidelines: no sponsorships, no selling, no suits = no pressure! GALA Loc Mixers are intended as relaxed, non-commercial gatherings. This is one of the many ways GALA carries out its mission to bring the industry together to share information, foster innovation among GALA members and the industry as a whole, and to offer clients collaborative value.

The Globalization and Localization Association (GALA) is the world's largest trade association for the language industry with over 400 member companies in more than 50 countries. As a non-profit organization, GALA provides resources, education, advocacy, and research for thousands of global companies. GALA's mission is to support our members and the language industry by creating communities, championing standards, sharing knowledge, and advancing technology. For more information:




July 18, 2019, 6:30-9:00 PM
(Networking 6:30-7:00 PM)

Native American Languages and Technology
Hosted by Google in Mountain View, CA

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Photos: new page

For many of us, using our languages on computers and mobile devices is built in. Reading, writing, and speech tools “just work” in almost every application. The situation, however, is very different for languages not in the top 100 on the internet.

Join three Native American groups for a discussion of languages in their communities and their use of technology for those languages, organized and moderated by Craig Cornelius.

Craig is a member of the International Engineering group at Google, Inc., working with Google Search, Gmail, Google Translate, and other projects. He has worked closely with the Cherokee Nation and other partners in support of indigenous and endangered languages around the world. Craig has held academic and industry positions over many years, but his Ph.D. in Chemistry has almost nothing to do with i18n.




June 20, 2019, 6:30-9:00 PM
(Networking 6:30-7:00 PM)

ECMAScript Internationalization
Hosted by Google in Mountain View, CA

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GitHub: new page
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JavaScript is the language that powers the internet. It consistently tops lists of the most popular and widely used programming languages.

At the same time, JavaScript support for internationalization is still in its infancy.

Shane Carr is convener of ECMA 402, the standards body tasked with building a great i18n support for JavaScript.

Shane will present on the latest i18n features in JavaScript, as well as the vision for how we can empower JavaScript developers to make great apps for global audiences.




May 16, 2019, 6:30-9:00 PM
(Networking 6:30-7:00 PM)

Translation Quality Evaluation: the New ASTM Standard
Hosted by Adobe in San Jose, CA

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Supporting docs: new page
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The Multidimensional Quality Metrics (MQM) standard for analytic translation quality evaluation (TQE) was developed in 2015 by DFKI and TAUS under the EC-sponsored QTLaunchPad initiative. It is being updated under the auspices of ASTM.

MQM 2.0 includes innovative work on the stages of TQE (manual error annotation, followed by automatic error compilation, quality analysis, and quality rating), a robust scoring model, a new feature for working with error root causes, a mechanism for reducing the error counts for duplicate errors, and more.

About the speaker:

Merle Tenney has held positions in software internationalization and localization at major technology companies, including International Technology Evangelist at Apple. In addition, Merle has experience developing machine translation systems, computer-aided translation tools, and grammar checkers for native and second-language speakers of English. At ALPNET, Merle helped develop the first multi-modal translation management system and the first translation memory system.

Merle also has broad experience in developing and executing QA for linguistic technologies, including comparative MT systems, comparative translation modes, grammar checker coverage, and comparative spelling checkers. He is an invited expert on the ASTM committee updating the MQM translation quality evaluation standard.




April 28, 2019, 6:30-9:00 PM
(Networking 6:30-7:00 PM)

Netflix: Subtitling for the World's Entertainment
Hosted by Netflix in Los Gatos, CA

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We know that only 5% of the world population speak English as their primary language. Yet, almost all titles in the top 15 highest grossing movies worldwide in 2018* were English-language productions. Similarly, Netflix Original hits such as Stranger Things or Bird Box are enjoyed across the world, while non-English content is fast-growing globally. For these reasons, at Netflix we consider it our responsibility to bring those global perspectives forward, so that we can deliver the best multilingual experience to our members, no matter where they are.

One of the ways we deliver this multilingual experience is of course through subtitling our content for a truly global audience - and we invite you to join us as we have a look at how we do this at Netflix. Our Globalization team will walk you through the different aspects of the work, connecting our global audience to the shows they love, in the language they speak.


• Kathy Rokni - Director of Globalization
• Sue Bolton - PM Manager - Content Loc
• Ivan Buchanan - Program Manager
• Eva Raimondi - Project Manager
• Melissa Sakamoto - Project Manager
• Paolo Scopacasa - Language Manager
• Eva Metz Tolliver - Program Manager

*source: Statista,




March 21, 2019, 6:30-9:00 PM
(Networking 6:30-7:00 PM)

Evaluating Domain-Adaptive Machine Translation
Hosted by Adobe in San Jose, CA

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Choosing the right Machine Translation for a project is hard: the performance of every engine varies across domains and language pairs, and changes often. With domain-adaptive NMT it's even harder, as there's an additional difference in training corpus requirements and complex cost of ownership models.

In this talk, we describe the approach to address those issues. A large-scale reference-based scoring filters candidate MT engines and identifies a "decisive" set of segments for human LQA. A specific LQA procedure is tuned to choosing the best rather than just an acceptance. Also, we look at the learning gradient to estimate if the same engine will be suitable as more data become available.

Konstantin Savenkov is CEO of Intento, Inc. After earning a PhD in 2008, he led research and development efforts for online content services, then worked as CTO at Zvooq and as a chief operating officer at Bookmate. In 2016, he contributed his experience in artificial intelligence (AI), tech and operations to launch Intento, Inc., where they build tools to discover, evaluate and use machine translation and other cognitive AI services.




February 21, 2019, 6:30-9:00 PM
(Networking 6:30-7:00 PM)

Is Your Global Business at Risk?
Hosted by PayPal in San Jose, CA

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Slides: IMUG-Texin-McKenna-Is-Your-Global-Business-at-Risk.pdf
Photos: new page

Tales of catastrophic cultural marketing and product design failures abound in the globalization industry. The most egregious mistakes have damaged brand names, caused sales to plummet, and even resulted in legal action, penalties, and expulsion from regional markets.

There are best practices that top performing global companies use to avoid making such mistakes. This talk will describe methods that you can use to create high quality global applications that your regional customers value.

Our speakers are two of the globalization software industry's leading experts that have helped top brands deliver successful worldwide applications.
They will reveal globalization key performance indicators (GKPI), their relation to potential business risk, and the appropriate timing and frequency to capture GKPI metrics. Examples of automated capture are also introduced.

If you want to avoid errors in globalization that can damage your products and brand, attend this session! This presentation will include, among other topics:

• Assessing the risk that your product isn't ready for global distribution
• Capturing metrics that quantify quality
• Measure globalization maturity of your organization
• Automating the collection of key performance indicators


Tex Texin, Chief Globalization Architect, Xencraft
Mike McKenna, Globalization Strategist, PayPal




January 17, 2019, 6:30-9:00 PM
(Networking 6:30-7:00 PM)

Where is Everyone? How Technology is Redefining When and Where We Meet
Hosted by Adobe in San Jose, CA

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Remote interpretation is the biggest technology breakthrough in multilingual meetings since the Nuremberg trials. Conferences can now be streamed live, in multiple languages, to the palm of one’s hand. Speakers, attendees and interpreters are being ushered out of the room. Is this the end of in-person meetings?

Join us for a discussion of the pros and cons of the new interpretation delivery platforms, and what they mean for language buyers and providers in the short, medium and long term.functionalities.

About the speaker:

Ewandro Magalhaes is a language industry executive with over 25 years of experience. He is also a senior diplomatic interpreter and former chief interpreter of a United Nations agency, where he helped introduce a groundbreaking system of interactive remote participation in all six languages of the United Nations.

Ewandro is currently the vice president of communications of KUDO, a Manhattan-based startup that is pushing the envelope on new cloud-based solutions for multilingual meetings. He is also a passionate trainer, speaker and career coach who help people change their outlook, find their voice and succeed on their terms. He lives in New York with his wife, three children and Freddie, the family’s Yorkie.




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