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Globally Speaking

Business & Economics Podcasts

Conversations on the challenges of unlocking global understanding and creating hyperlocal customer experiences.


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Conversations on the challenges of unlocking global understanding and creating hyperlocal customer experiences.






AI Dialogues: exploring the significance of training AI models

It's AI bingo at the moment! Everyone's talking about it - but did you know that the quality and quantity of training datasets are crucial to the accuracy and effectiveness of machine learning models? The more diverse and representative the data, the better the AI model can perform in terms of nuance. Did you ever wonder how to ensure that AI discerns what Americans would wear to a wedding? And what people would wear in Asia, Europe or Africa, taking into account the specificities of each country? In this enlightening AI dialogue episode of our Globally Speaking podcast, Melanie Peterson - Program Director for Train AI at RWS - joins Vasagi Kothandapani to discuss how she tackled one of her biggest AI challenges: a rating and labelling data project for western-style womenswear using resources in the APAC region only, where the raters were 80% male. Melanie unpacks the intricacies of her mission, shedding light on how she explains what she does to her family and friends, why a rocket scientist or a chef might have been involved in one of Train AI's latest data training projects, and what exactly we mean by data collection, data creation, data annotation and sentiment analysis. Get ready for a captivating exploration into the heart of AI.


The journey from translator to launching a language services provider. An insider’s view.

In this second Globally Speaking Podcast, dedicated to the localization supply chain, follow Rosario de Zayas Rueda's fascinating journey as she explains how she started out as a translator and language specialist and ended up opening her own language services agency, completing a full cycle of professional development. As she explains, in her early days in the localization industry, the role of a language specialist was nebulous. Like many of her peers at the time, Rosario had to navigate, figure everything out as she went along and fill in the gaps left by other people's undefined job descriptions. Discover how her passion for technology led her to set up her own LSP, where she pioneered with post-editing processes and machine translation – long before these advances gained global recognition. And finally, discover why sometimes it’s not about the quality of the translation but more about the quality of the business outcome.


Over delivering at localization for Under Armour

How can a company set up a localization program from scratch? What are the important criteria to consider, and what are the challenges? Is there a translation policy in place? What needs to be translated, and into which languages? Who is responsible for reporting and the communication around it? Find out what Renée Lemley, former Global Copy Director at Under Armour, has to say about her experience of setting up a brand-new localization process at Under Armour and why she believes the secrets lie in the brand voice. In this episode of Globally Speaking, she explains to our host, Jordan Cockrell, that it is essential to have a language service provider who is fully engaged on the client’s side and who shares a strong agreement on the partnership. As Anthony Burgess, author of a Clockwork Orange, explains: “Translation is not just about words, but about making a whole culture intelligible.” It's about translating emotions and a part of the culture, and that's the magic of what LSPs do.


Unlocking the grid: the fascinating story of what3words' unique localization journey

‘Hurt. Soap. Blows.’ In case you are wondering, we haven't gone crazy, these are just the three words what3words uses to describe our location today. But now we're wondering what those three words would be like in French. Well, if we switch languages, it becomes ‘Gîte. Lavande. Aviron.’ There are so many situations in life where you need to tell someone exactly where you are, but you don't have the tools to do so. what3words has divided the entire world into 3-meter squares and assigned each of those squares a unique 3-word address, which is a very human friendly way of describing it to someone you're talking to. Listen to Jamie Brown, Chief Language Office at what3words, describe how they help deliver post in favelas but also save lives in the context of their collaboration with emergency services around the world, thanks to the app being available offline. In this episode, you'll discover the unique localization process that what3words had to develop because words are literally their product and the tool for talking about their product, and because, among many other examples, one word in English can become 3 words in French.


AI Dialogues: humans vs. LLMs’ language learning

It’s completely natural for humans to attribute human characteristics to generative AI systems that seem to behave like us. And since language is one of the most profoundly human characteristics on earth, it explains why we tend to compare LLMs like GPT or PaLM (Bard) to humans, and even attribute emotions to them. But in the same way that we don't expect an airplane to flap its wings like a bird, or a submarine to swim by using wave-like movements like a fish, it's important to remember that LLMs do not use language the way humans do. They are an immensely useful invention to generate language but are blind to experiences that aren't encoded in language and have no true emotional understanding. Listen to this fascinating discussion between Vasagi Kothandapani, Bart Maczynski and Marina Pantcheva in our latest Globally Speaking Podcast episode and learn all about the fundamental differences between language learning in LLMs and humans and how we can encode ethics in AI.


Localization lead on Google's International Growth Team

When it launched 25 years ago, coffee brand Tim Hortons did better than competitors in Quebec because it localized most of its content to make it more relevant to the market. On its coffee cups, the brand used to display the Toronto cityscape in anglophone Canada, which was replaced with Montreal for its Quebec launch. Similarly, a client in the US would like to see large streets in his advertising videos. A Parisian, on the other hand, would be more impacted by a landscape with narrow streets. In this latest episode of the Globally Speaking Podcast, Marine Esquenet is joined by Richard Cronin, Localization lead at Google, to discuss how a brand as famous and offering as many diverse services as Google can help its clients make the right decisions and navigate through the complexities of growing internationally. Also find out what Richard has to say about the impact of the transition to AI on Google, on the industry in general, and on the new media Google has to work with.


Qualtrics - how to introduce empathy to your customer experience

You’d be forgiven for thinking that brands with a physical presence will always be trusted more than companies that only offer an online store. Things are now changing. According to our latest research, 58% of global consumers now trust global brands with a localized online presence equally to those with a physical presence. That’s an incredible opportunity when you think about it – over half of consumers are willing to trust you, if you get your customer experience right. Globally Speaking is joined by the ‘CX Leader of the Year’, James Scutt -Principal XM Catalyst at Qualtrics XM Institute and recognized as one of Europe's leading Experience Management experts - who offers his unique perspective on how brands can open up global opportunities by simply getting their customer’s experience right, showing empathy and focusing on the human touch. He also highlights the common CX pitfalls of businesses, giving examples of where they’ve gone wrong and how they’ve won their customers’ trust back.


Product localization in China: pitfalls and exciting trends

A third of the world's websites are in English. And yet only 5% of Internet users speak English as their mother tongue. How can you, as a business, ensure that you are speaking to users in their own language and impacting their customer journey in a culturally relevant way? In this episode, Marine Esquenet talks to Zhongjun GE, head of the localization team at ByteDance, who explains how China-based companies approach their localization strategies and what the most common pitfalls are for them when embarking on the internationalization journey. He also shares three main localization trends emerging in China when it comes to engaging with international audiences.


How can cultural savvy (or the lack of it) make or break a global campaign?

In France, the Big Mac, McDonald's favourite burger, has the same name as in English and doesn't have a translation. In Hong Kong, it has been given a name that no current machine translation could fathom: Gui Mo Ba, which could be translated as ‘the invincible juggernaut’. Why? Because one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to translating according to cultures. That’s when transcreation works its magic for brands, slogans and marketing content. Listen to transcreation specialist Sheryl Sze, who’s worked with major brands such as Sotheby’s and Deliveroo. Sheryl outlines how technology and humans can work together to achieve the right equilibrium – and why, it’s optimal that transcreation is included at the early stages of content development.


Language. The secret behind IKEA's success

How does a well known household brand ensure that it consistently projects a strong brand image on the global stage? You might think you need to translate your all your content – particularly your product names – into local languages. But not always. Take IKEA as an example. The company’s products are listed in Swedish across many of its foreign language websites, including France, UK and Spain. In this episode of Globally Speaking we speak to Anna Golubeva, Translation Specialist from IKEA translation team, about the approach they take to engaging with international audiences, the role of language and how – despite not translating all their content – they’re still able to unlock global understanding.


In Understanding We Trust

You’re not alone if you take pride in your culture. But do you feel that brands understand your culture, context and deeply personal preferences? A recent survey revealed that nine in ten consumers feel that brands must show their understanding and appreciation of national identity and culture – but only 23% feel brands understand are actually doing so. Given our reliance on digital – isn’t it about time that brands make the effort to demonstrate they understand us? We speak to Michael Brennan, Ingenious8, about his research report, ‘Unlocked 2023: In Understanding We Trust’, which questioned 6,500 customers across 13 countries about their global customer experiences. Michael delves into the findings, key themes emerging from the research and explains why now is the time for brands to invest in their underlying technology and services in order to deliver on their customer experience promises.


We’re humans. We want to connect.

It’s human nature to want to connect with family, friends and colleagues. This sentiment appears to extend to brands: 64% of consumers want brands to connect with them, according to research. But, to connect with consumers you need to build trust, communicate clearly and consistently – in their own language – and across their device of choice. When you have millions of customers, how can you ensure that you’re connecting with them individually in a way that builds trust? Here we speak to Paul McCabe, VP of Customer Experience at Roland Corporation’s, about the power of language and its role in customer excellence. Paul also discusses his company’s journey, from being completely dependent on human translation to building a machine-led localization service that delivers on the expectation that the customer experience should always align with the brand.


Culture and context. Never overlook the basics.

Your international explanation plans are ready. You’ve identified your target markets. Your team is ready to start engaging with customers. But how well do you know those markets? Japan, for instance, might seem like a prosperous country with plenty of opportunity. But will your remote-controlled garage doors take off? Most likely not – most of the population live in apartments. This crude example shows that, despite an optimistic outlook, a target market could prove to be a huge risk. In this episode, Maria Schnell, RWS’s Chief Language Officer, explains why it’s critical for companies to fully understand – on a deep level – the culture and context of their audiences. And why these two pillars need to be part of the foundations of any growth strategy. She will also give examples where clients have seemingly overlooked the basics, and what can be done to ensure that companies always put culture and context at the centre of their customer engagement strategy.


Understanding you, understanding me. How brands can unlock global understanding

Today’s fast-moving, hyper-connected world means that customers demand relevant content, meaningful communication, accurate information, instant access, and consistent and personalised experiences. And they want of this own language, 24/7, and on any device. In short, they want to understand you – and they want you to understand them. But how can companies unlock this level of understanding? Let’s break it down. Firstly, you need to have a relationship with your customer to unlock understanding. But you can’t build a relationship without trust. And you can’t build trust without communicating. This means that the language used across your communications needs to meet three criteria. This episode will explore the three criteria required to unlock global understanding: * Culture: A deep understanding you only get from humans * Content: Tech to understand data, channels, formats. Need to adopt a data-led marketing approach * Consistency: Provide same experience, language, terms etc across any channel customers choose


What is cosmolocalization and how does it impact the metaverse

In this episode of Globally Speaking, Andrew Thomas connects with Vangelis Lympouridis, a specialist in Innovation by Design, Design Thinking, Immersive Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality (XR) technologies, for a fascinating discussion around cosmolocalization and the metaverse. Listen to Andrew and Vangelis introduce the concepts of the metaverse and the emerging technologies that impact the localization industry, including cosmolocalization.


Rethink your globalization data strategy with VMware

In this episode of Globally Speaking, Monica Merel connects with Erji Wang, a Senior Globalization Program Manager who is an expert in leveraging business data to build the roadmap of product globalization at VMware. In this conversation, we explore how to pick relevant data metrics, working with limited data resources and budgets, how to grow your localization scope, and much more. Tune in and get inspired to update your localization data strategy. Globalization Strategy Playbook:


The Story Behind the Globalization Strategy Playbook

In this episode of Globally Speaking, Robert Jelenic connects with Francesca Di Marco, a veteran in the localization industry who currently leads the internationalization and global development program for product and marketing at Pinterest. Francesca tells us the story behind how twelve localization industry leaders came together to write the Globalization Strategy Playbook. The playbook attempts to connect the strategic-thinking process to real-life situations. Tune in and brainstorm how to turn your globalization strategy journey to global success for your multilingual customers and your company. Check out the globalization strategy playbook [here](


Is Language Operations the Future of Localization

In this episode of Globally Speaking, Monica Merel connects with Stefan Huyghe, a localization VP and trailblazer in the industry. In this conversation, we explore the evolution of localization and if Language Operations is the right step forward for the industry. Tune in and let us know if you agree or disagree if Language Operations is the next frontier for localization.


Masterclass in SEO localization with TranslaStars

In this episode of Globally Speaking, Esther Ashmore connects with Alfonso González Bartolessis, the founder of TranslaStars. Alfonso created an online school that offers many courses for linguists and translators, including a bootcamp course for SEO localization. Tune in and get a masterclass on what is SEO localization, how to be culturally relevant in your SEO strategy, debunking the myths of common SEO best practices, and much more.


Realities of Implementing Continuous Localization at Dell

In this episode of Globally Speaking, Andrew Thomas hosts a conversation between two peers from Dell, Scott Cahoon and Fernando Caro. Scott and Fernando take us behind the curtain and share their honest experience upgrading and implementing continuous localization. Tune in and learn all about the benefits and challenges Dell faces moving to a continuous localization model.