That's a Wrap: Looking Back at Smartling's Translation Summit & Book Launch!

With our first annual Translation Summit behind us, we wanted to take a look back at the amazing reception and our industry-first book launch.


With the dust finally settling, and the excitement melting into memories, we wanted to take a quick moment to reflect back on an amazing day. Smartling hosted our Global Ready Translation Summit & Book Launch in New York last week.

What a day, and what an event. Here are some of the major highlights from Smartling's Global Ready Translation Summit.

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Adrian Cohn, Smartling’s Director of Brand Strategy & Communications, kicked the day off with a powerful presentation, highlighting the importance of language, the human connection we all share, and the modern content-focused world we find ourselves in.

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Our economy, our products, and our services have all shifted into content-based activities -- what used to be a stroll through the mall or shopping district is now a visit to your favorite brand's website, in which we browse content to shop online.

Adrian explained that with such a major shift in the way we connect with each other, and content at the forefront of our human connections, we must now recognize the talented individuals that help us offer these amazing experiences in new languages -- the translators that help us move the world with words.

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And that's exactly why we launched our book, Move The World With Words, to provide audiences with a glimpse into the lives of these translators, to offer an opportunity to showcase the individuals that make global commerce possible.

Adrian then introduced guest speaker Judy Jenner, a legendary translator and co-founder of Twin Translators, a translation service located in Las Vegas and run by Judy and her twin sister.

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With decades of translation and localization experience, Judy was able to share her insight and perspective into the existing translation process, and how brands strive to work directly with their translators to deliver high-quality experiences around the globe.

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The major takeaway that Judy stressed was the humanity of translators. There are no invisible translators; they are all talented individuals, and cultural experts. After all, translation is about more than just words -- it's about the meaning behind those words.

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After Judy’s talk, we invited attendees out onto the venue's terrace to get their own free copy of our beautiful new book.


This amazing terrace view was overlooking our very own billboard!

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Attendees had the chance to mingle with Smartlings, and flip through their own copy of book.


Following the break, Kunal Sarda, VP of Customer Success at Smartling, presented on how organizations can effectively measure the performance of their translation services program. He highlighted the necessity and value of data, and how data can drive better decisions, allowing brands to stay on the offensive.


Instead of asking questions like "Why is this taking so long," or "Why is this so expensive," brands that are armed with the right data can ask the right questions, like " How well are we compressing the fully loaded per-word cost of translation," or "How on-brand and error-free are we the first time?" We can answer good questions with good data: "We had an X% reduction in per-word costs through translation memory savings," for example.

Data is what will enable brands to focus on the impact of translation, rather than chasing down costs.

As the day progressed, Smartlings from different teams offered their insight into the translation process as a whole, with topics ranging from measuring translation quality and ROI, to collaborating with translators, and even a demo of our brand new Smartling ROI Calculator. If you're curious, feel free to reach out to a Smartling expert to get your very own demo!


With sessions run by Ryan Soos, Senior Customer Success Manager, and Chris Wyant, Senior Translation and Localization Specialist, attendees had the chance to not only learn about the value of linguistic assets but even sit down with a Smartling expert to work hands-on drafting and conceptualizing their own brand's linguistic assets.

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Gabi Moore, Account Manager at Smartling, led a discussion highlighting the best practices for selecting a language service provider to set your project up for success. The discussion covered the anatomy of an RFP, and offered insight into crafting the best RFP for your brand's unique needs.

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Brands should prioritize their needs between translation speed, cost-efficiency or quality. Gabi stressed that it all starts with Step 0: define your localization culture and goals, and ask questions that map back to what you value, and continues with Step 1: Tell Them! One reoccuring theme throughout all discussions was the need for communication and transparency throughout the process.

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Speaking of transparecny, Smartling's VP of Finance, Frank Miele, led a discussion on perhaps the most controversial aspect of translation -- the cost. We often find ourselves asking, even in our personal lives, "How much does this cost?" But Frank suggested we stop asking this simple question, and instead strive for transparency into what we're buying.

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To do this in a real-world scenario, Frank took apart what goes into a translation rate, or cost of translation -- and as it turns out, it's not just a per-word cost, but typically also project management fees and minimums.

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Attendees then split into different groups and members of the Smartling product marketing team demoed the calculator for each table, working hands-on with attendees. Offering insight into how traditional project management fees can add up, as well as the savings brands can accumulate using Smartling.

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The last discussion of the day was led by both Sophia Lazare, Language Services Operations and Product Manager, and Albany Luensmann, Senior Customer Success Manager, who were joined by one of Smartling's own translators located in NYC, Jean-Francois (AKA Jeff).

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Sophia and Albany highlighted some of the best practices for collaborating with translators and brought Jeff on stage to share his thoughts as well, working as an actual translator.

Jeff also joined us at the Smartling NYC Headquarters!


Attendees had the chance to tour the Smartling office, meet the amazing minds part of the team here, and let loose!


Almost a year ago now, Smartling had set out on a mission: a mission to elevate the profile of the translation and language service industry. A mission to highlight the human element of translation.


That mission culminated in an amazing event, celebrating the translators that help us move the world with words, and the amazing people at Smartling that work tirelessly to make this all possible..


If you didn't have a chance to attend, you can find all of our amazing content from each presentation right here on our Smartling Resources center. You can even grab your own copy of our beautifully printed book right on Amazon!

About Matt

Matt Grech is the Content Marketing Manager at Smartling, responsible for growing Smartling awareness and brand content. As a digital content writer, Matt applies his journalistic lens to content, helping users deepen their understanding of the brand, services and technology provided by Smartling. Matt has previously contributed to an industry leading Unified Communications resource, as well as local newspapers where he developed his unique ability to investigate, interview, and transform complex problems into simple solutions.