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Our Podcast

ROAR is a podcast produced by the Translation and Localization Management program of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. Every first and third Thursday of the month, we bring together voices from all walks of the localization life to give their perspectives on the past, present, and future of the industry. But these stories reach far beyond our linguistic niche.

The localization industry might seem like a league of its own for those outside looking in, but by listening to ROAR, we hope you’ll come to realize just how closely localization relates to your daily lives. And for those who are already working in the industry, we hope ROAR will offer you new and unique insights from the world of localization. In short, ROAR is for just about everyone! Please stay tuned!

Meet Our Team!

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Danlin Zhao

Danlin Zhao was born and raised in Beijing, China, but she has been exposed to different cultural shocks at an early stage of her life in her visit to a partner school at London in elementary school and in the performances with the school choir at Rome and Milan in junior high school. She received her Bachelor’s in Translation and Interpreting (English<>Simplified Chinese) at Beijing International Studies University, and did an exchange program of Cross-Cultural Studies at the University of Copenhagen, Demark for a semester, as well as a summer language school at Spain. She has been to 19 countries and counting, and her life goal is to be a globetrotter.

Danlin is pursuing a Master’s in Translation and Localization Management at MIIS and is a recipient of General Stilwell Scholarship. She realized that localization is somewhat similar to travelling – bringing the localized results to the world with excitement but also challenges in the process. The experience of living in different countries over the past few years has enabled her to better adapt to working within a multicultural team and have a deeper understanding of how important localization can be to connect people across cultures.

Miao Zhang

Miao Zhang was born in Sichuan and raised in Beijing. She is extremely passionate about language and culture. That passion led her to pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree in Linguistics. Throughout years of learning about learning, she understood that not everyone has the opportunity to study language even though such education may be direly needed. So she decided to pursue a Master of Science in Education with a focus on Teaching English to Speaker of other Language. She taught for about two years, immersing herself in the culture and lives of her students. Now she is ready to move forward and expand her field into her current pursuit, localization, and language.

She is now studying at Middlebury Institute of International Studies. She is fascinated by the process of bringing a product into another culture, yet still retaining its brand authenticity and flavor. She is eager to learn everything about localization and broadens her skillsets in order to lend herself easily to the fast-paced, data-focused, and team-oriented environment of localization. She hopes to become an expert in the field and work at a place that values creativity, authenticity, and integrity.

Elizabeth Canales

Born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, Elizabeth has always been fascinated by the melting pot of cultures of her hometown. This fascination eventually led her to study political science and international relations and now she is living her dream by pursuing her M.A. in Translation & Localization Management at The Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. This degree merges all of her passions by creating a borderless community anywhere in the world via language and localization.

When she is not trying to learn more about all the various Spanish language variants, you can find her getting lost while eagerly birdwatching or simply with her friends and loved ones. 

Xiayi Chen

Xiayi is passionate about bringing technological solutions to language challenges. She is from Zhanjiang, a seaside city in southern China. She is trilingual (Mandarin, Cantonese and English). She learned some French and Japanese and hopes that she can have more immersion to sharpen the languages. She can also watch Korean dramas without subtitles after watching them for over 10 years:)

She’s fascinated with international travel. Her top three travel destinations are Japan, Thailand and the United States. As a podcast lover herself, she listened to many ROAR episodes and that’s why she joined the team.

The international education at MIIS and her cross-industry internship experience working with colleagues from linguistic and technical backgrounds has made her view language from a more practical perspective. After graduation, she’s committed to combining language and technology to help companies succeed in global business.

Lena Wakayama

Lena (with a long “e”, like Lena Headey) Wakayama is a Japanese American, a Californian, a Marine, a Slytherin, a paladin, and a firm believer that both Noct and Ardyn deserved better. She’s a translation and localization management student at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies with a passion for internationalization and just making stuff work. After graduating in the spring of 2021, she hopes to work as a localizer for projects that inspire and challenge her.

Deep Dive

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These pieces aim to take a plunge into the depths of localization and leave no stone unturned. Our larger format podcasts aim to expand on specific topics pertaining to localization and the language industry in general by providing a platform for experts to discuss in every detail what they know best.
Here, the interviews are tailored to the expert’s experience, background, and ideas, with the goal of giving our listeners a thorough understanding and relevant opinions of the selected topics.

Episode 1

Managing the Machine – with Max Troyer

When we think about Artificial Intelligence in the language services industry, most people will immediately jump to the idea of machine translation. Tools such as Google Translate and Baidu Multilingual have popularized the image of AI as a linguistic tool, but the possibilities of machine-assistance in the localization industry reach far more broadly than just that. There is endless potential for AI to help assist project management, quality assessment, desktop publishing, and so much more if we just think a little bit outside of the box. In this episode, we talked to Max Troyer, a professor at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, about his predictions for AI beyond translation and how he’s preparing the students in his program for that future.

Music courtesy of musicjunkies.com

  • The transcript for this episode can be found here.
  • To hear this podcast on Apple Podcasts, click here.
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Episode 2

Solutions Architect – with Jon Ritzdorf

In today’s episode, we had the pleasure of talking about the backbone of every industry, including localization – money. Our guest today, Jon Ritzdorf, is an industry veteran, currently holding the title of a Senior Solutions Architect at RWS Moravia. Contrary to the usual perception of finance, accounting, there is actually so much creativity and ingenuity involved in his work, where he tries to understand the client’s and project’s individual needs and find ways to measure the efforts needed to bring the ideas alive. He talked to us about how the understanding of the localization business changes on the client-side, how to communicate efficiently when talking language products and money, and why the essential elements of every business, including localization, still boils down to the human element.

Music courtesy of musicjunkies.com

  • The transcript for this episode can be found here.
  • To hear this podcast on Apple Podcasts, click here.
  • Anchor link.

Episode 3

The Voice behind the Voices

In this episode, we set out to explore the incredibly complex world of dubbing, a profession torn between the localization and entertainment industries. In here, you will be able to understand this profession much better by listening to two renowned voice actors, Moon Namsook from South Korea and Humberto Velez from Mexico, discuss the ins and outs of dubbing and the challenges and opportunities that fill this dynamic profession with buzz and excitement.

We touch upon the skills required to succeed in such a role as well as the critical role that passion and discipline play. As you can imagine, becoming a successful voice actor requires hard training, lots of patience, and a lot of love for the job and the characters you play.

Technology is another topic impacting the industry, so our two experts will guide you through the developments they have encountered and how they have had an impact in their jobs.

Music courtesy of musicjunkies.com

  • The transcript for this episode can be found here.
  • To hear this podcast on Apple Podcasts, click here.
  • Anchor link
Image courtesy of Franck V.

Episode 4

When Game Loc is No Game

In 2019, the global gaming market skyrocketed to unseen heights at a staggering $152 billion worldwide revenue, with 2020 numbers predicted to reach even higher at $165 billion. As the global population of gamers ranging from casual to competitive continues to grow, the need for thoughtful localization practices in the industry has become more imperative now than ever.

In this month’s episode of ROAR, the team sits down with Ainara Echaniz, a Senior Localization Producer at CD Projekt Red to talk about her experience working on the Witcher series of games, and discuss just how important a globally-aware localization mindset can be to leveling up a game’s success abroad.

Music courtesy of musicjunkies.com

  • The transcript for this episode can be found here.
  • To hear this podcast on Apple Podcasts, click here.
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Episode 5

The Manga Translation Industry

For this episode of ROAR: Deep Dives, we talk to Ryan Holmberg, a comic historian and translator of alternative manga, best known for his work on the alternative manga magazine Garo. Ryan talks to us about how he found himself in this industry and how he’d like to see things change as interest in manga grows. If you’d like to see more from Ryan, be sure to follow him on Instagram at @mangaberg.

  • The transcript for this episode can be found here.
  • To hear this podcast on Apple Podcasts, click here.
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Speed Bumps

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Bite-size insights for the localizer on the go. In these pieces, we discuss the current state of the industry, as well as the different topics and ideas that are currently impacting it.

Episode 1

The Challenges of Continuous Localization – with Melvin Su

In our first installment of the Speed Bumps series, Ghio Anton (Translation & Localization Management, Class of 2020) sits down with Melvin Su of Autodesk to discuss the various challenges of “CL,” or continuous localization. Continuous Localization is an approach where various localization processes, such as the translation and replacement of strings, occur automatically. The speedbumps discussed in this episode relate to the challenges of technology, program management, and quality in the context of continuous localization.

You can find the transcript for this episode here.
To listen to this podcast on Apple Podcasts, click here.


Episode 2

Localization Evangelization – with Lian (Julian) Zhu

Mindset is critical when it comes to localization. Join Summer and Star (Translation and Localization Management students from MIIS) as they speak with Lian (Julian) Zhu from Internest Inc.. They discuss the importance of localization and why it is sad that it is seen as an afterthought. Clients often spend a long time designing products and then they come to you and ask for a complete localization in two business days. How can we share realistic expectations with clients?

You can find the transcript for this episode here.
To listen to this podcast on Apple Podcasts, click here.

Episode 3

Localization, from China to International – with Felicia Huang

Ever wonder what skills you need to localize a website? Listen as Vicky Yu (Translation & Localization Management, Class of 2020) interviews Felicia Huang, a localizer from Nordic Naturals, a nutrient and supplement provider. They will discuss some of the challenges of website localization and address Felicia’s unlikely journey into the localization industry.

You can find the transcript for this episode here.
To listen to this podcast on Apple Podcasts, click here.

Episode 4

Challenges in Getting Funding – with Chiyo Mori

Silvia Avary-Silveira, Head of Localization at Juniper Networks,  describes the challenges of getting funding with Siliva and Alex (Translation and Localization Management 2020 graduates from MIIS). They discuss strategies on how to petition funding from stakeholders and their potential speedbumps. Listen in to learn how to get the funding your team needs.

You can find the transcript for this episode here.
To listen to this podcast on Apple Podcasts, click here.

Episode 5

Global Talents and Technology – with Marie Flacassier and Burckhardt Rueffer

Everyone’s journey into the localization industry is distinct. Join Kaixin as she discusses career paths with Marie Flacassier, the co-founder and COO of BeatBabel, and Burckhardt Reuffer, co-founder and CEO of BeatBabel, a translation and localization company based in San Diego, California. As veterans of the localization industry, Marie and Burckhardt share their perspective on some of the challenges the industry currently faces.

You can find the transcript for this episode here.
To listen to this podcast on Apple Podcasts, click here.

Episode 6

Global Voices Where Speech Technology Meets Localization – with Alicia Dominick

In this podcast, Sherine Emara, Nadya Rodionova, Kimberly Zie interviewed MIIS alumna, Alicia Dominick, who is a Linguist and Project Manager at SoundHound. They discuss Alicia’s path from linguist to project manager and she gives tips on how to be a versatile, team player. Technological skills are crucial in the localization industry, and sometimes serve as a speedbump for professionals without a strong computer science background.

You can find the transcript for this episode here.
To listen to this podcast on Apple Podcasts, click here.

Episode 7

Work-Life Balance – with Kayla Muñoz

How can you balance your social life and employment while functioning in the Localization industry? Listen in as Vanessa Prolow and Lina Yan Ning (both 2020 graduates from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies) discuss balance with Kayla Muñoz, a localization manager at Desmos, a math software developer.

You can find the transcript for this episode here.
To listen to this podcast on Apple Podcasts, click here.

Episode 8

Issues at the End of the Chain – with Kayla Muñoz

Freelance translation and interpretation is no walk in the park. Not every project is straight-forward and not all project managers are created equal. Listen in as Salim Martell (May 2020 graduate of the Translation and Localization Management Program at MIIS) and Chiyo Mori (Japanese Interpretation professor at MIIS and freelancer) while they discuss the unique challenges freelancers face when completing projects for localization providers.

You can find the transcript for this episode here.
To listen to this podcast on Apple Podcasts, click here.

Episode 9

Working as a Production Manager – with Thomas Huang

In this episode, we explore the responsibilities and challenges of a product manager with Thomas Hung who is a project management lead at West cost operation. Production Management is a multifaceted role that requires a person to develop multiple core competencies. If you are curious about the responsibilities of the production manager, and what does it take to manage multiple operations and challenging clients? How is it different from project management? Listen to Thomas as he talks about his career trajectory and how he handles daily challenges as a project management lead. 

You can find the transcript for this episode here.
To listen to this podcast on Apple Podcasts, click here.

Episode 10

The Challenges of Managing Diverse Languages – with David Mohr

Have you ever wonder what it is like to manage different unique languages in which you have yet to develop full proficiency? David Mohr, an international quality engineer at Adobe, is responsible for supporting 26 languages and dealing with internationalization-related issues in adobe products. In this episode, David shared a myriad of linguistic and cultural challenges he has encountered in his work, how he built himself up by putting in the efforts to solve these issues, and how important it is to develop a deep understanding and have respect for cultures different from your own. 

You can find the transcript for this episode here.
To listen to this podcast on Apple Podcasts, click here.

Roar Founders

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Anna Cho

Anna is an English-Korean translator and a localization specialist with a decade long experience in various domains of IT, agriculture, international trade, finance, economy, journalism, and tourism.
Looking back, her experience as a volunteer interpreter at an orphanage in Yanji, China served as a turning point in her life and helped her realize the fact that she could help people by utilizing her linguistic skills. Due to this experience and her love for learning languages and different cultures, she studied translation and interpretation and has traveled to more than 20 countries so far. Now the passion for the localization industry has brought her back to school and Anna is currently studying localization management at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS).
The organizations and companies she used to work for include the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of the South Korean government, Bloomberg LP and the Korea Tourism Organization.

Rebecca Guttentag

Rebecca is an English-Japanese localization specialist with a dedicated passion for entertainment media and games localization. What began as a simple eagerness to learn about Japan as a child led her to pursue Japanese language and culture studies in college, which then in turn led to 4 years spent as an Assistant Language Teacher in Beppu City, Japan with the JET Program. There she worked as a liaison for the Beppu City Hall’s Department of Education, working in both translation & interpretation in order to organize cultural events and enrich her local community. With a heavy heart, she left her second home of Japan to return to America for her Masters Degree in Localization Management at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. Her internship with the LSP Supertext USA, as well as opportunities within her classes, her Graduate Assistantship for the first-year Desktop Publishing, Audio/Visual, and Website Localization courses, and her practicum project for Globe Multilingual have all given her ample opportunity to take that appreciation for localization and turn it into future career opportunities in the industry.

Charlotte Zhu

Charlotte Zhu was born and raised in Shanghai, China, a city that planted the first seed of interests in cultural diversity and internationalization in her heart. She did her Bachelor’s in Psychology and Japanese at UC Berkeley, and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Translation and Localization Management at MIIS. Charlotte appreciates the excitement which the fast-changing localization industry brings for it challenges her to constantly learn new things. She is used to work in a fast-paced, self-initiated environment and believes that well localized content is integral to creating a pleasant user experience for the international audience. When not working, she likes to try out new recipes, jam with human friends and hike with furry friends.

Mateusz Sasinowski

Mateusz is a polyglot (six and counting!) born in Poland who spent a decade in China and decided to become a Chinese person – and failed. He likes sitting in cafés and guessing what foreign language people are speaking around him. He cherishes his bonds with China (where he fell in love), Japan (where he hitchhiked extensively and stayed in zen temples), Thailand (where he practiced muay thai), and is always hungry for more.
He has decided to turn his passion into a more serious career, and what better place to do so than the multicultural world of the localization industry. He likes to ask “why”, and play with code until it breaks – all in pursuit of better solutions. His sense of humor is somewhat offbeat, but still socially acceptable. He likes the sense of immense satisfaction felt when he makes people from different cultures communicate and do things together. He thinks that makes the world a better place.

Carmen Romano

Carmen is a localization specialist and diver from Mexico with a love for art, nature, and, of course, languages.
Her home country is full of different and exciting cultures, which made her develop a deep curiosity for the languages and people around her and all that diversity that makes the world more exciting. This passion eventually found her a place within Localization, where she has met amazing people from all over the world and found a newly-developed interest for technology and the complexity of speaking in a local voice!

Megan M. Murphy

Meg is an English<>Spanish localization professional with extensive experience in Vendor Management. Born in Utah, but raised in Minnesota, she is a small-town girl at heart, but the city does not phase her. She is a management powerhouse. She graduated from BYU-Provo with a BA in Spanish Translation, and two minors in Localization and Global Business in April 2019. Her love of music and leadership skills lead her to become president of the BYU A Cappella Club where she managed events, performances, music publications, and meetings for more than 100 club members. She will complete her MA in Translation and Localization Management in May 2020. Watch out world!

Josue Padilla

Josue is currently pursuing an M.A. in Translation & Localization Management from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. Prior to pursuing an M.A., he received a B.A. in Chinese Language & Culture from U.C. Berkeley in 2017. Josue was a 2017 recipient of the U.S. Department of State’s Critical Language Scholarship. He spent this past summer interning for the globalization team at NetApp, where he grew personally and professionally. Though he grew up in Southern California, he’s lived all over the state. His hobbies include taking photos, watching movies/Netflix, and studying up on languages. A fun fact Josue? He has been playing the alto sax for about 6 years! Though it’s been a while since he’s last played, he still enjoys listening to the jazz tunes that inspired him to play in the first place.