Information about becoming a localization engineer
Thread poster: Diego Schiavon

Diego Schiavon
Netherlands
New user
Sep 27

Hello all,

Apologies if this is the wrong forum for this question, this is my first post on proz.com.

I am working as a technical writer (8+ years) and taking a Master in TechComm + Localization. We had a module about GUI localization which I found particularly interesting, so I am collecting information about localization engineering as a career.

I have not been able to find specific forums/sites on Google: the only relevant results were (old) posts on pro
... See more
Hello all,

Apologies if this is the wrong forum for this question, this is my first post on proz.com.

I am working as a technical writer (8+ years) and taking a Master in TechComm + Localization. We had a module about GUI localization which I found particularly interesting, so I am collecting information about localization engineering as a career.

I have not been able to find specific forums/sites on Google: the only relevant results were (old) posts on proz.com.

If there any localization engineers on this forum, I would be thankful if took the time to answer some questions like:

- What is your experience in the sector?
- What skills are necessary to find work?
- I know XSL and I could relatively quickly update my skills in, say, Python, JS or Java. Is that enough as a beginning?
- Is it necessary to have a Passolo or Alchemy license?
- What kind of companies need localization engineers?

Thank you for any information you can contribute.

Regards,

Diego Schiavon
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Michael Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:13
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
my 2¢ Sep 29

Hi there!

You will probably stand a better chance if you ask the same question over at:

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/okapitools/info
https://community.sdl.com/product-groups/translationproductivity/

I'm
... See more
Hi there!

You will probably stand a better chance if you ask the same question over at:

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/okapitools/info
https://community.sdl.com/product-groups/translationproductivity/

I'm no specialist, but I know that pretty much all the big translation agencies I work for (Language Wire, Production, Net Translators/Morningside, SDL, Star, etc.) have at least one localisation engineer working for them. Not really sure how best to go about it, but you might also want to try to track one or two of them down (maybe via LinkedIn/Twitter?) and grill them (possibly offering them a small fee for their valuable time).

Good luck!

Michael
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Diego Schiavon
 

Diego Schiavon
Netherlands
New user
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Michael Sep 30

Bedankt voor de tip!
Indeed, I had a hunch that this was not the best place to ask the question, but I could not find a better one.


 

Adrien Esparron
Local time: 23:13
Member (2007)
German to French
+ ...
Some thoughts Sep 30

Diego Schiavon wrote:

Indeed, I had a hunch that this was not the best place to ask the question, but I could not find a better one.



Welcome! However, I may be able to answer some of your questions:

- What is your experience in the sector?


More than 30 years. A real specialization from the beginning, which does not prevent from doing something else too.

- What skills are necessary to find work?


No specific skills in this field than in all the others based on what is only the translation of strings...

- I know XSL and I could relatively quickly update my skills in, say, Python, JS or Java. Is that enough as a beginning?


That's more than enough. The way a programming language works is not very important, what you have to understand is what to localize and how. And it depends on what you have available to work with: the text sources (regardless of the format) that you can then eventually process with CAT software, all the resources that you will need to compile and test (using specific tools will probably be the most complex phase), graphical interface or not, etc.

But the most important thing is to know what you are going to localize: softwares (regardless of the programming language, it will usually end with an executable on any platform (such as Windows, iOS, Android or Linux, etc.), websites, blogs, multimedia, tutorials, webinars, what else?

- Is it necessary to have a Passolo or Alchemy license?


It really depends on the nature of the work, but it can't spoil anything if you know how to use it. But here too, it depends on what you are offered: a package or a bundle, something else. What will be important here will be to be able to resize the interface elements. Adjust the size of windows, dialog boxes, form fields, etc. You have probably already found softwares where the text doesn't fit in the buttons, for example? The work was poorly done or the necessary tools were missing or misused.

- What kind of companies need localization engineers?


The big ones of this world don't need us much anymore, the little ones often offer (freewares or sharewares) volunteer work (see many requests on the Web when downloading softs). In my opinion, it is no longer desktop applications that are promising, but professional applications for mobiles: logistics, urban and international transport, geolocalization.

Hoping that this will help you a little bit in your reflexions,

Kind regards


 

Diego Schiavon
Netherlands
New user
TOPIC STARTER
Localization engineering or UI localization? Sep 30

Hello Adrien,

Thank you for your reply.

From what I understand from your answers, those apply more to the role of GUI localizer (the one who translates the strings in a UI) than localization engineer, someone who "completes the engineering steps required in a localization project" as in a job description I found on LinkedIn:

-------
The Junior Localization Engineer completes the engineering steps required in a localization project. Project deliverabl
... See more
Hello Adrien,

Thank you for your reply.

From what I understand from your answers, those apply more to the role of GUI localizer (the one who translates the strings in a UI) than localization engineer, someone who "completes the engineering steps required in a localization project" as in a job description I found on LinkedIn:

-------
The Junior Localization Engineer completes the engineering steps required in a localization project. Project deliverables range from software to help, docs, websites and others. Project tasks include evaluation, preparation, compilation, resizing, testing, delivery and back up of the project files.

Responsibilities:
Working with different CAT tools and Prepare files for translation by creating filters/Parser in CAT tools.
[bla...]
Working with Translation Memory and manage TMs
[bla...]
Troubleshoot issues after translation and provide solutions for delivery


Required skills and experience:

Knowledge of the following file formats and markup languages:
HTML; XML; JSON; Java, properties, resx resources
[...]
A keen interest in computing, software and the IT industry
[...]
---------

I am not very keen on doing localization work, I am more attracted to the technical part (like data formats, XSL transformations,...).

Cheers,

Diego
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Susan van den Ende  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:13
English to Dutch
+ ...
Approach some translation agencies or engineers? Oct 1

Dear Diego,

I would recommend getting in touch with some agencies. Many train their engineers in-house, depending on the needs of their end clients and the tools they work with. They'll be able to tell you what kind of skills they are looking for, and whether or not they are looking at all.

Also, I've generally found linguistic engineers to be a very friendly and open bunch. Chances are that if you approach some of them on LinkedIn and offer them a good cup of coffee a
... See more
Dear Diego,

I would recommend getting in touch with some agencies. Many train their engineers in-house, depending on the needs of their end clients and the tools they work with. They'll be able to tell you what kind of skills they are looking for, and whether or not they are looking at all.

Also, I've generally found linguistic engineers to be a very friendly and open bunch. Chances are that if you approach some of them on LinkedIn and offer them a good cup of coffee and a nice supply office snacks (or whichever kind of exchange works, just make sure to offer something), they will be happy to tell you about their work, and how they got where they are.

Good luck!

Susan
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Diego Schiavon
Netherlands
New user
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Susan, sounds like a good idea Oct 1

Dear Susan,

Thank you for the suggestion, I was thinking something along those same lines, too. I cannot find any localization engineers in my area, so I will probably just get in contact with translation agencies.

Regards,

Diego


 


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