Why hiring a localization engineer should be the first hire when building a new team with Hristina Racheva (Skyscanner)


The tourism industry has been deeply unmoored by recent travel restrictions, but Skyscanner is working hard to ensure their customers have the best experiences once the time is right and it’s safe to once again traverse our big, beautiful world.

Skyscanner is best known for making travel as simple as possible by helping guests find the very best flights, hotels, and rentals via desktop and mobile app. On this episode of The Loc Show, Hristina Racheva, Head of Localization at Skyscanner, gives us a glimpse into how the localization team is carefully strategizing their next moves and working across all the departments to try and cement planning for the uncertain months ahead.

Hristina is a Barcelona-based lover of travel, language, and culture. Having been born and raised in a small town in Bulgaria planted the seed of vying to see the world and she has since lived in Brussels, Frankfurt, and Dublin working as a translator before settling into localization.

Let Hristina walk you through her transformation and allow yourself to travel vicariously through her stories. If you can trust anyone on the topic of travel and culture, it’s Hristina!

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On this episode you’ll learn:

  • Hristina’s role at Skyscanner and how she has managed her team
  • Details on the responsibilities of Hristina’s role and how it has been impacted recently
  • What experiences users have within the Skyscanner app
  • Hristina’s many disciplines and theories about localization within a company
  • How Skyscanner is adjusting their content and strategy during COVID
  • Upcoming projects and more!

Hop in, we’re taking off!
[02:06] How Hristina came to work in the localization industry.
[08:24] The challenges Skyscanner and similar industries have faced due to the pandemic.
[09:20] The positive opportunities that the pandemic has presented.
[10:53] How Skyscanner surveyed their client base to gauge travel economy recovery.
[11:48] The different content types produced for the Skyscanner platform.
[13:42] Creating and optimizing the localization team at Skyscanner.
[16:33] Why hiring a localization engineer should be your first step in creating a team.
[20:11] Positioning the benefit of localization to other departments in the company.
[23:56] What happens when a new team needs localization at Skyscanner.
[27:50] How translation is segmented for different languages.
[30:36] Crucial metrics in localization.
[34:40] The importance of culturally relevant copy.
[40:15] Is translation a cost center or a profit center for businesses?
[41:37] What Hristina is excited about in the future of the localization industry.

__Keep up with Skyscanner, Hristina, and Smartling! __

  • Hristina on LinkedIn
  • Skyscanner’s site
  • Skyscanner on LinkedIn
  • Smartling’s site
  • Download Smartling’s free eBook and get a free demo!
  • Hristina’s talk at the Women in Tech forum organized by Kiwi.com

Full Transcript that almost certainly has typos (forgive us!)