L10n Club Blog

Crucial Communications(top)
31 Mar 2016 • Danielle Musick

This week at our club meeting, we learned about crucial communications, which (as the name implies) are conversations that can be essential to working, social, or personal relationships. Everyone can think of a time when there was a problem that could have been solved with just one conversation. However, sometimes we don’t know how to begin this conversation, or we feel awkward talking about it, or we think that it will make someone sad or angry that we’re bringing it up. These are all issues that can be solved by breaking down the original problem that you’re dealing with. Here are some suggestions to help dissect the problem and conquer that conversation.

  • Challenge the concept that you need to fight every problem immediately as it occurs. Sometimes taking time to think about all of the problem’s components for a while can help more than rushing in all at once.
  • Identify if the situation is “fight” or “flight”. Is this an issue that you need to actively change, or can the problem be solved by leaving the situation somehow?
  • Figure out what the core of the issue is, or, what is it that really bothers you the most?
  • Identify what story you have told yourself about them, or, what assumptions have you made about their mindset and actions?

Once you’ve broken down the problem into its core, you need to have “The Right Kind of Fight”. No, this isn’t actually a fight against the person, but rather you’ll need to be as calm as possible while identifying the issue and attempting to solve it together. Here are some steps you could take in this conversation to make it go smoothly.

  • Start with facts, not feelings. For example, “You said you’d do this, but this is what happened.”
  • Follow that with an easy question, such as “Am I right?” or “Did I get anything wrong?”
  • Identify your purpose and tell them what you want to have happen during the conversation, but set them at ease so they’re not defensive or reverting to fight-or-flight mode. For example, “I want to resolve this issue, but I don’t want to fight with you."
  • Listen to what they say and act accordingly.

GALA Conference 2016(top)
24 Mar 2016 • Danielle Musick


This past week, Sherami was able to attend the 2016 GALA Conference in New York City, where many workshops, classes, and talks were given regarding translation, localization, globalization, and many other interesting topics. Additionally, and thanks to the generosity of GALA and the College of Humanities, three of our club members were able to attend as well!

At our club meeting, our unofficial BYU ambassadors told us all about the many opportunities and experiences they had while in New York, ranging from meeting big-name industry professionals and representatives to watching conference attendees lip-sync “New York, New York”. But, other than the in-conference entertainment, our attending students were able to rub elbows with other translation and localization students, obtain job offers, promote our very own club, and educate others about our OCI program.

As a result of this conference, many GALA attendees were able to learn about BYU and just how innovative we are in these fields out here at BYU as we offer undergraduate internships in localization and translation and as we learn about many different related fields in our weekly club meetings. Additionally, our travelers were able to gain the interest of some potential internship sponsors and club visitors for the future! Good work everyone!

Film Translation and Localization (top)
10 Mar 2016 • Danielle Musick

Disney logo

At our club meeting last Thursday, Sherami led us in a discussion on what kinds of problems could arise when translating and localizing films. One such problem that we went over was how to recreate distinctive characters in movies, such as Gru in Despicable Me or Mater in Cars. What we end up having to do is think about how these characters’ distinctive features are perceived in the original culture in order to be able to accurately and effectively translate, localize, dub, recreate, etc.

Another problem we encounter is when we attempt to localize text in movie images. For example, in the movie Monsters University there is a scene where Randall brings a tray of cupcakes with “Be my pal” written out in the frosting. This could prove to be difficult if an accurate translation of that phrase is too long or too short, because then we could end up having to do something completely different to take the original phrase’s place.

An additional issue that we covered is localizing sports in movies. In the movie Inside Out, the main character, Riley, devotes much of her life to playing hockey. Now, hockey is perfectly fine, and people are going to know what hockey is outside of the U.S., but it’s not going to have as strong of an impact. What we could do instead is take this sport and change it to one that’s popular and that will have that social significance in the target culture. For example, it could be changed to cricket in India or soccer in Brazil instead.

A few other things that we went over is deciding on a literal translation versus a figurative translation when it comes to movie and song titles. This is something that is specific to each job and will need to be decided by the translator. Additionally, we need to be careful with humor as we translate it in movies, because sometimes the humor could be completely lost or entirely changed or wholly misunderstood.

We hope to see you at our next club meeting, and just as a reminder, this week is the College of Humanities Internship Fair! Check the website calendar for times and locations!

What Now? (top)
3 Mar 2016 • Danielle Musick

Club meeting circle

This week at our club meeting, Ben (our club president) gave us some really good advice on what we can be doing now to get more involved in the localization field. A few things that we can focus on during our schooling are adding the Localization minor and getting internship experience. We can also start thinking about what our options are post-graduation, as well as how we can get real work experience in translation and localization while we’re still in school.

The Localization minor is a great way to learn more about the field while still in school and getting class credit for it. It technically isn’t official yet, but come this Fall semester (2016), it will move up from being an Option II to being a full-fledged minor, and you can even take the necessary courses before then if you’d like. It’s 5 courses, so only 15 credits total! Listed below are the courses needed.

  • DigHT 270
  • Span 414* (For this requirement, you will just need to take a translation course in your chosen language.)
  • Ling 480
  • DigHT 495R or HColl 494R
  • BusM 430 or DigHT 310 or DigHT 350 (pre-req: DigHT 250) or CS 256 (pre-req: CS 142)

Internships are also a great way to get experience while still in school! Talk to your college’s advisement center about what you’re looking for in an internship, and get to know your professors. They might know about an internship specific to your interests. Another great opportunity is an On-Campus Internship, commonly referred to as an OCI. These internships are great if you need or want to stay on campus while still wanting to gain that internship experience. HColl 494R is specifically for the college of Humanities and offers multiple internships relating to localization and translation. In addition, many of the other colleges throughout the university offer other specialized OCIs for students to participate in.

Now, once you’re graduated, you have a lot of different options if you plan on continuing your education. Masters in translation, localization, interpretation, or even a combination of these are offered at such great universities as Middlebury Institute of International Studies in California and Kent State University in Ohio, and there are tons of other universities with similar programs as well. Do your research! Or, if you would like to jump right into the industry, it could be beneficial to become certified by the ATA (American Translators Association) or become a CTP (Certified Translation Professional) or CMI (Certified Medical Interpreter), depending on your interests and chosen field.

Some ways to get real-world experience translating and localizing while still in school is to sign up for such websites as ProZ, Gengo.com, smartCAT, KIVA, or Translators Café. Depending on if you’re looking for volunteer or paid work, you might find something to fit your needs among these websites.

In addition, if you ever want to talk over your options, or if you don’t know what you really want to do, or if you just have a question about any of these opportunities, set up an appointment with Sherami or talk to Ben or any of our other presidency members. They’re here to help!

LinkedIn and Resumes (top)
26 Feb 2016 • Danielle Musick

Club meeting

A few weeks ago at our club meeting centered around LinkedIn and resumes, Sherami (our faculty advisor) gave us some really great tips on how to best communicate our skills, our experience, and our aspirations to future employers and colleagues. Here are a few of the top tips on how we can use our LinkedIn pages and our resumes to best communicate ourselves to others. (P.S. – If you don’t have a LinkedIn page, we highly recommend you make one!)

LinkedIn –

  1. BE ACTIVE. When using LinkedIn, don’t just make your page and let it sit there. Share profession-related posts, update your profile information regularly, comment on groups you’re a part of, and add connections!
  2. ADD DETAIL. Add things to your page, such as your education, which industry you work in, and what skills you have.
  3. ADD VOLUNTEER WORK. Yes, this includes missionary work! Including relevant volunteer work, and really just volunteer work in general, can greatly affect how future employers see you.

Resumes –

  1. 1 – STREAMLINE YOUR INFO. No one wants to look at blocks of text, and variety can be a big help in this area. Bold, italicize, or underline important information so it looks less monotonous! Employers go through tons of resumes, so seeing one that stands out even just a little bit can make a world of difference!
  2. 2 – NO OBJECTIVE STATEMENTS. No one pays attention to them. Sorry. However, one thing you could do instead is…
  3. 3 – ADD SKILLS. Adding your skills could draw attention to the fact that you have professional and useful interests that could benefit your future employer. In addition, it gives a bit more of an idea of you as a professional than a few lines saying what you’d like to do someday in your career.

Well, there’s a few of the top tips given during our club session on LinkedIn and resumes! There are two attachments here as well, one with the full page of LinkedIn tips Sherami made for us, and another full of action verbs that you can use to describe job responsibilities on your resume. And just as a reminder, club meetings are on Tuesdays at 7 and Thursdays at 11am in room B-135 JFSB!