October 14-15, 2013, Governor Hotel, Portland, OR (USA)

Twitter: #TAUSAC


The TAUS Annual Conference is a non-sponsored once-a-year event focused on translation automation, localization business innovation and industry collaboration.

Join us in Portland to see how leading practitioners are tackling the most pressing issues and opportunities facing the global industry. Explore the best in translation technologies and strategies. Benefit from high-value networking with the TAUS community.

Translation is becoming a utility

We propose that translation is becoming a utility

Becoming something similar to electricity, internet or water. Like things we need in our daily lives, things we need so dearly that we feel lost without them. Always available. Real-time when needed. Destined to be embedded in every app, on every screen. Every bit of information delivered in the languages we understand.

What are the impacts?

If you are a buyer of translation you will be delighted if translation becomes a utility. You will be able to help so many more customers. You can make translation available on customer support sites, on the employee portal, in your media campaigns. You might imagine that translation will be embedded in every piece of content. Content becoming intelligent and automatically presenting itself in the language of the receiver. You will still do your heavy-lifting product localization, but you will see the emphasis shifting to serving enterprise-wide needs in all languages.

If you are a translator or with a translation company, you might think that translation becoming a utility is the end of the world: machines taking over your beautiful profession and your business. Would that really be the case? Today translation is a luxury service. Not all expect it. Many less can afford it. But if translation becomes a utility and all citizens of the world become users, the need for translation in myriad forms will grow beyond our imagination.

Some would change their formula, automate and innovate. Others would enter with fresh new offerings. Just as expensive bottled water keeps selling well, despite good drinkable water flowing cheaply from the tap. Demand for boutique-style, specialist translation could grow tremendously.

But of course, much of this is happening already…

Ingredients Of Translation As a Utility

The TAUS Forum in Dublin on June 10-12 served as a perfect preparation for the agenda of the TAUS Annual Conference. The industry leaders gathered at the Clontarf Castle Hotel and brainstormed the aspects of translation as a utility. We recommend speakers and attendees to the Annual Conference to read the report of the Dublin Forum.

What defines translation as a utility for the end-user? The least managed steps, the best user experience: it’s there when I need it and I don’t know how it got there. Translation as a utility is ubiquitous. Like electricity, internet, water, we like it to be available to every citizen in the world.

But for the industry stakeholders – the entrepreneurs and decision makers who build the future translation industry – the ingredients of translation as a utility must be utterly clear. They need to know how to scale up, grow, innovate, automate, manage quality, comply to standards and deliver real-time. These ingredients provide a good structure for the program of the Annual Conference on October 14-15 in Portland (OR):

  1. Growth. The million dollar question is: how do we grow from 1 billion people online to 6 billion, how do we cover the thousands of new languages in our communications?
  2. Innovation. Translation as a utility requires quantum leaps in speed and ease of translation services. How is the technology and service sector preparing itself for this big paradigm shift?
  3. Strategy. Translation as a utility requires a fundamental rethinking of the global content strategy. How can we optimize and what can we do differently?
  4. Quality. The evolution of translation from a luxury service to a commodity and now a utility requires a rethinking of quality. What is the right quality and how do we measure?
  5. Automation. Translation as a utility without question requires automation. But how do we mimic something so human and intellectual as translation?
  6. Standards. To deliver translation seamlessly as utility in every app, on every device and every screen, we need to abide by standards and common APIs to ensure that services and tools work together without human intervention and friction in the process.

Related Reading: Choose Your Own Translation Future | Translation Technology Landscape Report
See Past User Conference Videos: 2012 | 2011 | 2010
See Testimonials: Board | Events | Members


Translation is becoming a Utility

The theme of the TAUS Annual Conference 2013 is: “Translation is becoming a utility”. See the Overview page for a description of the theme. The program of the conference is composed around the six ‘ingredients’ of translation as a utility: Strategy, Growth, Automation, Innovation, Quality and Standards.

Monday, October 14

Introductions & Keynote

8:30 / Translation is becoming a Utility. Jaap van der Meer (TAUS)
The big picture view on the translation industry. Agenda overview & introductions.

8:45 / TAUS Outlook 2014. Rahzeb Choudhury and Jaap van der Meer (TAUS)
Overview of the research, events, services and new features offered by TAUS in 2014.

9:00 / Keynote: MT as the New Lingua Franca, Genevieve Bell (Intel)
English is quickly losing its position as a dominant world language. Chinese will not take over. Linguistic diversity is the new reality. The world speaks 6,000 languages, most businesses speak at most 30 languages. Reaching the next few billion citizens in the world requires high-level automation. MT – as a computer-generated new techno speak – will become the new Lingua Franca. Just like previous Lingua Franca’s MT is not perfect but very effective. Genevieve Bell, Intel Fellow and cultural anthropologist by education, will talk about language as an instrument of social power. Whoever controls the ‘Lingua’ has the power. Behind the scenes of a florescent translation industry there is a battle of data monopolists, government policies and funds, MT gurus and hundreds of vendors with the best intentions to deliver the best solutions, all confused by outdated copyright law. The stakes are high. Whatever the outcome will be, we know the real winner is the end-user who gets to choose and use translation as a utility.



According to the Peterson Institute for International Economics the world has experienced an explosive growth in trade in the last fifteen years. This “hyperglobalization” – as they call it – has brought much more equality between nations: nearly three-quarters of the developing world started catching up with the economic frontier at a rapid rate. The situation of average citizens all over the world keeps improving, which leads to criss-crossing globalization (North-to-South and South-to-North). Another interesting observation in the July 2013 report “The Hyperglobalization of Trade and its Future” is that globalization is dematerializing: services account now for about half of world trade. We are moving quickly from “stuff” to “fluff” as services increasingly become embodied in goods (as the writers of the Peterson report say).

The translation sector is an obvious beneficiary of this hyperglobalization, but just how well are we prepared strategically to realize the growth for our business and our customers’ business? This Strategy session is split in two discussions – 1. Born last century going global and 2. Born this century going global – followed by a joint Q&A session with the speakers and the audience.

10:30 / Effective global content strategies for companies born in the last century.
Speakers: Kenneth Klein (OmniLingua), Andrew Bredenkamp (Acrolinx), Gustavo Lucardi (Trusted Translations)Greg Oxton (Consortium for Service Innovation)
Moderator: Scott Abel (The Content Wrangler)
The question is: how do corporations that are born in the last century, with a legacy of manufacturing and shipping physical goods (“stuff”), become more agile and grow faster into new global markets? In other words: how do they change from a 20th century export state to a 21st century open global market state? And a related question is: how do they deal with the increasing service component (“fluff”) in their products from a global content strategy perspective?

11:15 / Effective global content strategies for companies born in this century.
Speakers: Patrick McLoughlin (Eventbrite), Mark Bulmer (Ask.com), Katell Jentreau (Box)
Moderator: Jessica Roland (Gengo)
The question is: how do new-born companies, usually not hindered by legacy and often not even shipping goods but just sharing services (“fluff”) in the cloud go global rapidly. What defines an effective global content strategy for the start-ups of the world?

12:00 / Questions, Answers & Takeaways

12:30 / LUNCH


It is obvious for Google and Facebook, but also true for most other global companies: growth comes from the fast growing new middle class that speak new languages that we don’t cover and don’t know how to cover yet. Going from 1 billion users to 6 billion users in the next 15 to 25 years is like drawing a whole new map of the world. English is quickly losing its dominance as a world language.

This Growth session consists of perspectives from the globalization/localization leaders of the six companies with the world’s largest internet presence, followed by a Q&A session with the speakers and the audience.

14:00 / Criss-cross the globe serving six billion customers all at once.
Speakers: Alolita Sharma (Wikipedia), Diane Wagner (Microsoft), Francis Tsang (Adobe), Iris Orriss (Facebook), Jack Boyce (Google), Karen Combe (PTC)
Moderator: Jaap van der Meer (TAUS)
The question is: How do we cover the long tail of languages? Can we – as a professional translation industry – work together to find the resources (translation data and translators), or should everyone find its own way? A shared lexical cloud or the Human Language Project may be just the right answer to this challenge facing global business and human civilization.

15:00 / Questions, Answers & Takeaways



Managing cost while volumes and spread of languages keep increasing is one reason to automate. The other reason is that the ‘new’ customer – the online user – expects nothing less than (near) real-time translation.

In this Automation session, moderated by Jaap van der Meer, five enterprises discuss how they develop and deploy effective real-time translation solutions. The presentations are followed by a Q&A session with the audience. A key question to each of the speakers is: what is the user experience of the machine translation that is offered through their sites?

16:00 /Julian Shin (eBay) presents the eBay MT solution for User Generated Content and how all parties work together to make this a success.

16:15 /Ryan Martin (Intel) presents the Intel MT framework: a scalable enterprise MT portal making a variety of MT engines accessible through one API.

16:30 /Render Chiu (Intuit) and Alex Yanishevsky (Welocalize) discuss how they leveraged publicly available data to train an initial set of engines and build a business case to go into production with MT.

16:45 /Martine Smets and Jose Riesco (Microsoft) report how Microsoft engages with users to improve machine translated support content real-time.

17:00 / Questions, Answers & Takeaways

17:30 / ADJOURN


Tuesday, October 15


Translation as a utility requires innovation. Innovation comes from inside and from outside the traditional industry and it often is created through a convergence of technologies and business functions. In this section, the podium is offered to technology and solution vendors who have developed a compelling innovative offering.

The Innovation session, hosted by Jaap van der Meer, is broken down in three sub-sections: machine translation, speech-to-speech and chat translation and platform integration. Each of the sub-sections will be followed by a brief Q&A with the audience. In each of the three categories the audience will be asked to vote for the best innovator. The criteria for the most innovative offering are the least managed steps, the best user experience and the most open and collaborative technology. The question to each of the ‘innovators’ is: is your technology “open-open-open”: 1 Open to work with multiple translation resources; 2. Open to work with shared translation data; 3 Open to integration with other technologies.

1. Machine Translation

9:00 / Jean Senellart (Systran) presents a web-based collaborative platform for web site localization.

9:10 /Indra Samite (Tilde) presents a new platform TaaS (Terminology as a Service) as a new support platform for enhancing MT.

9:20 /Udi Hershkovich (Safaba) presents the impacts of Enterprise MT on global business transformation

9:30 /Chris Wendt (Microsoft) presents how Microsoft uses MT to better listen to the customer and generate business intelligence.

9:40 / Questions & Answers

2. Speech-to-speech and chat/blog translation

9:55 / Barry Slaughter Olsen (Monterey Institute) will make the case that human interpretation remains very much part of the translation-as-a-utility paradigm. 

10:05 / Scott Gaskill (Sovee) presents the latest in developments that equip LSPs with the utilities necessary to translate "moving targets", including websites, live chat and videos.

10:15 /Mark Seligman (Spoken Translation) will present some interface and theoretical developments around Interactive Spoken Language Translation.

10:25 / Questions & Answers


3. Platform Integration

11:10 /Michael Meinhardt (Cloudwords) has chosen the title “Innovate or Die” for his presentation of the cloud-based solution that integrates translation in CRM, CMS and marketing automation.

11:20 /Matt Romaine (Gengo) talks about using the professional crowd in a fully metrics driven model and driving the cost down.

11:30 /Jack Welde (Smartling) is practicing agile development every day and talks about today’s requirements for ‘agile localization’.

11:40 / Brian Otis (SDL) presents the First Stop to Translation as a Utility: Simplification.

11:50 / Developers: The new heroes of localization, and how they are driving the radical changes in the industry. Dimitris Glezos (Transifex) 

12:00 / Jean-Luc Saillard (ABBYY) has gone very deep in analyzing and comparing productivity metrics of different MT systems.

12:10 / Questions & Answers

12:20 / LUNCH


We come from a world where one translation quality fits all purposes. Today we need to adjust to many variables: different content types, speed of delivery, branding, target audience. How do we measure? The translation industry is now maturing as it starts to accept quality differentiation and industry shared QE tools and benchmarking.

In this Quality session, moderated by Rahzeb Choudhury, six speakers will share their views and best practices in differentiating, evaluating and measuring quality. The presentations are followed by a Q&A session with the audience.

13:40 /Willem Stoeller (Localization Institute) presents the TAUS Dynamic Quality Framework, the training program and certification.

13:50 /Christian Arno (Lingo 24) presents his approach to delivering customer-configurable quality at the right price.

14:00 / Olga Beregovaya (Welocalize) and Melissa Biggs (Informatica) present a new approach to on-demand varied quality levels of translation at different pricing tiers.

14:10 /Ryan Martin and Yoshiyasu Yamakawa (Intel) present Intel’s experience with the DQF platform.

14:20 /Alan Ong (eBay) and Bryan Lee (uTest) presents how eBay uses the ‘crowd’ to help with QA on their Russian site.

14:30 / Questions, Answers & Takeaways



When it comes to legacy formats, many companies have found workarounds to ease the pain caused by the lack of standards or compliance with standards. But when we look at the future (and the present actually) we see translation services transactions taking place fast and easy on the web. Is there a case for a common universally shared translation API? And what about XLIFF, Linport, TMX and what have you?

In this Standards session, moderated by Rahzeb Choudhury, six speakers will share their views on how we can significantly increase interoperability in the global translation sector. The presentations are followed by a Q&A session with the audience.

15:20 /Vladimir Weinstein (Google) talks about the Google’s translation support for Android app developers and the need for a common translation API.

15:35 /Tom Comerford (Supratext) makes a strong case for XLIFF 2.0 for both content creators and language service providers.

15:45 /Andrzej Zydrón (XTM-INTL) makes a plea for industry collaborative action towards open standards in localization.

15:55 / Alolita Sharma (Wikipedia) shares the Wikipedia vision of a single API for one world of translation.

16:05 / Alan Melby (BYU) shows how Linport can increase efficiency by structuring translation/localization requirements and data.

16:15 /Chase Tingley (Spartan Software) presents on the topic of "Why localization standards fail".

16:25 / Questions, Answers & Takeaways

16:45 / TAUS Excellence Award Ceremony and Closure

Practical information

The TAUS Annual Conference 2013 will be held in The Governor Hotel, which lies in the heart of downtown Portland, close to the Pearl District and the shopping area. The hotel opened its doors in 1913 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The hotel is also the home of the President when he is in town. Located on the lower level of the hotel is The London Grill Restaurant, which was recently awarded the AAA 4-Diamond award for service and style.

Accommodation is not included in the registration fee. As of 17 September, the Governor Hotel is fully booked. We've now reserved a block of rooms at their sister hotel called Hotel DeLuxe, just five blocks away from the Governor. Rates vary from $149 - $169 per night. 

Please use this link to book your room. Through this link you are able to book a room for the group rate for the nights of October 13 - 15 only. If you're planning to come to Portland before that or are staying longer, please contact the hotel directly. If you mention TAUS they will extend the group rate for those nights as well. If you have any difficulties with the reservation, please contact Anne-Maj van der Meer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Address of the Governor Hotel:
614 SW 11th Avenue
Portland, OR 97205
T: (503) 224-3400 F: (503) 241-2122
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Address of Hotel DeLuxe:
729 SW 15th Ave
Portland, OR 97205
T: (503) 219-2094