IMUG Past Events Archive: 2017




2017 Events:


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2017 Events Archive

December 14, 2017, 6:00-9:00 PM

Annual International Potluck & Holiday Bash
Hosted by Adobe in San Jose, CA

Photos: new page

The IMUG holiday bash always features unusual food and good conversation, including discussions of language technology, business, travel, life across cultures, and more.

Dr. Ken Lunde and Janice Campbell of 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 supply the drinks including soda, wine and spirits.* IMUG will supply free 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!

*Please drink responsibly, and choose a designated driver or take alternate transportation if necessary.





November 16, 2017, 6:30-9:00 PM
(Networking 6:30-7:00 PM)

PanLex: For Where There Is No Translator
Hosted by Adobe in San Jose, CA

Video: new page
Photos: coming soon!

Imagine that your native language is not supported by your government, and you do not speak a more widely-known language. Interpreters are not available, and machine translation does not exist because of inadequate data or lack of interest. How might communication be possible when you need essential information or services in areas such as health, law, land rights, agriculture, education, disaster relief, and many others?

The mission of PanLex, a nonprofit project of The Long Now Foundation, is to overcome these language barriers to human rights, information, and opportunities. A possible model for addressing the problem is the book Where There Is No Doctor, which contains essential treatment information for people with limited access to medical professionals; the WHO calls it “arguably the most widely used public-health manual in the world”. PanLex is taking a parallel approach to solving communication problems by developing the world’s largest freely available lexical translation database, with particular emphasis on under-served language communities.

The PanLex database currently contains over 2,500 dictionaries, 5,700 languages, 25 million words, 1.3 billion directly attested translations, and billions more inferrable translations. This database will form the basis of products and services to address the growing communications divide worldwide.

PanLex is now actively looking for solutions we can offer to tech companies, international organizations, and small-language communities. Our data can be customized for localization efforts into specific languages and locales, or can be organized by subject area. We are looking to maximize our reach and impact in overcoming language barriers.

In this talk, the PanLex team will discuss:
• how we acquire and analyze lexical data
• challenges faced in growing and using the database
• ongoing outreach to potential partners

David Kamholz is PanLex Project Director. He has a Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of California, Berkeley. He has done fieldwork on languages of Indonesian New Guinea, developed the PanLex API, and is leading the current outreach effort.

Julie Anderson is PanLex Director of Programs. She has an MA in linguistics from the University of Hawaii. She has acquired hundreds of dictionaries for PanLex and has experience in nonprofit management and development. 

Benjamin Yang is PanLex Director of Technology. He has a BA in linguistics from the University of California, San Diego. He has assimilated over a hundred dictionaries into PanLex and worked on graphical interfaces to the database.





October 19, 2017, 6:30-9:00 PM
(Networking 6:30-7:00 PM)

Gender and Family: How Does the Language Services Industry Fare?
Hosted by Facebook in Menlo Park, CA

Photos: new page
Research report: new page

In early 2017, CSA Research set out to provide data about the role of gender and family in the language services industry. Based on a pro bono survey supported by the Globalization and Localization Association (GALA) and Women in Localization, Gender and Family in the Language Services Industry paints a picture of an industry that does very well for women, but which nevertheless has a long way to go to obtain gender equality.

The results show that employers in the language services industry are not – in general – discriminating against women in their wages. Instead, structural issues in the labor market that keep women in freelance and lower-level positions account for their lower earnings. Substantial structural obstacles stand in the way of that goal, but the situation is improving and the results of the survey help shine light on the issues that affect this crucial topic and can suggest ways that employers can work to retain the talent that helps them be competitive in today’s marketplace.

This presentation will discuss the results from the survey and how they relate to other CSA Research studies of the language industry. It will examine their implications for language service providers and enterprises active in this area and explore what steps companies can take to support their employees.

Arle Lommel is a Senior Analyst with Common Sense Advisory, where he focuses on language technology and translation quality. From 2012 through 2015 he was a senior consultant at the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence in Berlin, Germany, where he worked on machine translation and language technology oriented projects, focusing on the integration of human and machine translation. A noted writer and speaker on localization and translation, he headed up standards development at the Localization Industry Standards Association (LISA) and later at GALA. He has a PhD from Indiana University and currently resides in Bloomington, Indiana.




September 21, 2017, 6:30-9:00 PM
(Networking 6:30-7:00 PM)

Best Practices For Internationalization at Scale
Hosted by Adobe in San Jose, CA

Video: new page
Photos: Coming soon

Leveraging Unicode standards, data, and industry best practices are key to scaling web apps to be fully internationalized and global-ready. Learn how you can harness the power of standards like Unicode CLDR, and open source libraries like ICU and Globalize, to guarantee a consistent and compelling user experience for users across hundreds of countries, languages, and product features.

Alolita Sharma is a board director of the Unicode Consortium which serves a vital role in language standardization and bridging the digital divide. She is also principal technologist enabling open source at Amazon Web Services.

Previously, she headed internationalization at PayPal. She has also headed internationalization, localization and NLP engineering teams at Twitter and Wikipedia. Alolita contributes actively to open source, language technology projects and developer communities as well as i18n standardization. She holds Masters and Bachelors degrees in Computer Science and is an avid language geek who believes language technology is one of the pillars in enabling access for everyone on the Web.




August 17, 2017, 6:30-9:30 PM

GALA-IMUG Networking Night
At Steins Beer Garden in Mountain View, CA

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:

GALA local networking events
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, we provide 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:

*Please drink responsibly, and choose a designated driver or take alternate transportation if necessary.




July 20, 2017, 6:30-9:00 PM
(Networking 6:30-7:00 PM)

Bringing the Internet to Myanmar
Hosted by Google in Mountain View, CA

Video: new page
Photos: new page

In January 2011, Myanmar’s government authorized internet access for Aung San Suu Kyi. Myanmar's cell phone usage was 1% in 2010, exploding to over 80% in 2016, and about 80% of those are smartphones. Search launched as in March 2013, including a Burmese user interface. Facebook added Burmese language support in June 2013, and the list of supporting companies continues to grow.

Thousands of web sites, mobile apps, social networking groups, and personal blogs are written with the Burmese language. Burmese has also appeared in many applications including Gmail, Google Translate, and Android. And mobile devices now support Burmese text and keyboards.

How did this happen so quickly? What are the remaining challenges to Burmese language support in tech? And why is so much Burmese text corrupted on browsers and phones? What works and doesn't work in current implementations? What is the controversy about Zawgyi vs. Unicode?

In this talk, you’ll hear from a few of the techies involved in the dramatic rise and continuing work of the internet in Myammar. They discuss some of the decisions as well as the technical issues that have been overcome. They further outline enduring challenges and proposed solutions for full support of the languages of Myanmar on the internet.

More info:

Craig Cornelius, i18n SW Engineer, Google
Yasmin Vanya, Localization Manager, Sony Playstation
Brian Kemler, Chrome Product Manager, Google
Aaron Babst, Growth Program Manager, Facebook




June 15, 2017, 6:30-9:00 PM
(Networking 6:30-7:00 PM)

open-korean-text: Tools for the Trickiest Language to Process and Translate
Hosted by Google in Mountain View, CA

Video: new page
Photos: new page

Korean is the trickiest language to process or translate. The founder of the open-korean-text project can attest to this, based on his experience processing most major languages around the world at Twitter.

In the Korean language, sentences are free of order, space rules are not strictly observed, and many words have grammar markers attached. Imagine parsing the following pseudo-English sentence: "oneof  themost  interestinglanguagesObject  KoreanSubject  isVerb."

The Korean writing system, Hangul, is the only widely-used writing system created by a known group of people. King Sejong the Great and his research team created Hangul in 1443, and it is often considered the most scientific writing system in the world. It is a phonetic alphabet consisting of only 14 consonants and 10 vowels, yet it can create 11,172 possible syllabic character combinations.

In this talk, the speakers will teach you how to read and write Hangul in 15 minutes. They will then cover the most interesting challenges of processing Korean text, and introduce the open-source open-korean-text project (formerly twitter-korean-text), a set of handy tools for Korean text processing.

Will Hohyon Ryu
(@nlpenguin), author of the open-source Korean text processor open-korean-text (, is a software engineer on the Airbnb Payments Team, and was previously on the Natural Language Processing and Search Quality teams at Twitter.

Dahye Seol, graphic design contributor to open-korean-text, is a UX designer at Dibiup, South Korea.

Mingyu Kim, project lead and committer for the open-korean-text-web project, is a software engineer at IDLE, South Korea.




May 18, 2017, 6:30-9:00 PM
(Networking 6:30-7:00 PM)

Software Localization Testing
Hosted by Adobe Systems in San Jose, CA

Video: new page
Slides: new page
Photos: new page

Linguistic and functional testing is a critical part of the localization project workflow; it is the final quality control check and it precedes product release. Testers look for bugs in the product and ideally report them using a dedicated issue-tracking platform, such as JIRA or other bug tracking tools. Testing is very important, as it allows discovery of errors that may have remained unnoticed, especially in almost-final apps on real devices.

The presentation will cover key industry trends and innovations, as well as the major challenges testers encounter. For real-world examples, we will also discuss how the Moravia testing facility was set up and how the linguistic testers there are trained.

Valeska van Vliet is Director of Operations at the Moravia testing center in Monterey, CA. Valeska opened the facility in June 2016, overseeing renovation, redesign, and the initial recruitment of linguists in almost 30 languages. Today the Monterey Language and Testing center is performing linguistic and functional testing for Silicon Valley and medical device clients. Valeska is passionate about all things related to localization: language, culture, technology, and global reach. Her experience spans senior management roles on both the client and vendor side which has given her a 360° view of the business and the drivers for success. She has a track record for establishing foundational localization practices and procedures and she thrives in a fast-paced environment where team interaction and collaboration are prerequisites to success.

Olga Melnikova is a project manager and the training team lead at the Moravia Monterey testing facility. She is responsible for training of on-boarded testers, as well as managing projects for major Moravia clients. In 2015 she graduated from MIIS. In 2015 and 2016 she was the winner of LocJAM, a non-profit worldwide game localization contest. Her passion for other languages translates, among other things, into her performances with the O’NO band that plays songs in 10 languages. More on new page




April 20, 2017, 6:30-9:00 PM
(Networking 6:30-7:00 PM)

Neflix: Creative Localization at Scale
Hosted by Netflix in Los Gatos, CA

Video: new page
Photos: new page

IMUG photo on FacebookFrom House of Cards to Orange is the New Black, from Stranger Things, The Crown or Marvel’s Daredevil to international Originals like 3%, Marseille or Club de Cuervos, high quality ground-breaking Netflix content is enjoyed by millions around the world.

But what does it take to bring hundreds of shows and movies per year, simultaneously, to a global audience? Come hear from the team that is taking creative product localization to a new scale:

María Fernanda Ramírez
- Language Specialist, Latam
Waseem Daoud
- Localization QC Specialist
Fergal Meade
- Localization QC Manager
Meredith Wright
- Localization Operations Manager
Paolo Scopacasa
 - Language Specialist, Italian
Katell Jentreau
- Language Manager




March 16, 2017, 6:30-9:00 PM
(Networking 6:30-7:00 PM)

How We Built a Keyboard for Polyglots
Hosted by Adobe Systems in San Jose, CA

Video: new page
Photos: new page

Additional screen shots, images, downloads, and other information: new page
(Go here to see examples we were unable to show in the livestream & recording due to technical limitations.)

Come learn how we created a multi-platform solution for cross-cultural communications. The PolyKeyboard® is a software solution that works with physical computer keyboards and mobile devices. This discussion will explore the many challenges of keyboard development, including key layouts and mapping, predictive text, customization, patenting, encoding standards, and user feedback including an exchange of ideas with the French government.

Daniela Semeco is a polyglot and an inventor born in Venezuela, who acquired her language skills during time spent in France, Germany, USA, and Venezuela. Polyglotte Inc. is a benefit corporation facilitating the use of language through the PolyKeyboard.




February 16, 2017, 6:30-9:00 PM
(Networking 6:30-7:00 PM)

Let’s Come To An Agreement About Our Words
Hosted by Apple in Cupertino, CA

Video: new page
Photos: new page

Tweet: photo of 125 at AppleGetting a set of words into grammatical agreement is an ongoing translation challenge, especially for a digital assistant like Siri. While the open source CLDR and ICU projects help with these challenges, additional infrastructure had to be developed for Siri.

For example, there are some existing frameworks that provide enhanced formatting for messages sensitive to grammatical number or grammatical gender, but they only work well when the word is well-known and only in written form instead of spoken form. In English, a message as simple as "1 kilometer" and "2 kilometers” only needs to take into account whether the noun is plural or singular. So a programmer may assume that only the letter "s" needs to be added when the value is not 1. This is not so simple for other languages.

This talk will go into the challenges of getting a noun and its related words into grammatical agreement. Highlights of how CLDR (Common Locale Data Repository) and ICU (International Components for Unicode) helped with complex languages like German, Russian, Arabic, Hebrew and Finnish will be provided.

George Rhoten is a Language Technologies Developer at Apple where he is responsible for various linguistic technologies that primarily involve Siri. He has been a contributor to ICU since 2000, and he has been a contributor to CLDR since the early days of its creation. He is a seasoned professional with many years of expertise in software internationalization and software localization.



January 19, 2017, 6:30-9:00 PM
(Networking 6:30-7:00 PM)

Mojito: a Free Open-Source Platform for Continuous Localization
Hosted by Box in Redwood City, CA

Video: new page
Photos: new page


Mojito is a free, open-source platform that uses continuous integration to collect all of your software strings in one place.

With Mojito you can check what products need localization in real time; create and import translation packages with a single click; and search and edit translation across all products and languages. And if you have a small dedicated translation team, they can work directly in Mojito.

For more information on Mojito, please visit


Hands-on training will be offered to interested attendees, in two tracks:

Track 1. Project management and translation: how to run localization projects on Mojito.

· Checking product localization status
· Translation and review workflows
· Creating projects
· Managing strings
· Translating and reviewing
· Roadmap
· QA

Track 2. Technical: how to set up continuous localization with Mojito for your company.
· Mojito architecture overview
· CI Jenkins integration with Mojito
· Setup demo instance
· Setup Box if time allows
· QA


Jee Yi is a senior software developer at Box.  She is one of the main contributors of Mojito.  Besides working on Mojito, she consults and implements features related to localization and internationalization of various Box products.  She works with other teams to ensure best Globalization user experience. Jee is passionate about automating localization process.  Before Box, she worked at Yahoo and built self-serve localization platform called Dragonfly.  She also worked on in-context review for iOS on Simulator.

Hanna Kanabiajeuskaja is leading globalization efforts at Box, working with teams across the company to deliver localized products and content to Box customers. She is responsible for delivering globalization strategy and managing localization platforms, programs and projects. Hanna has recently joined the advisory board of Translation Commons, a nonprofit online language community. She is also an assistant manager for the Silicon Valley Chapter of Women in Localization, an organization dedicated to promoting professional development, networking and continuous education among its rapidly-growing membership.







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