5 Questions with Louise Irwin

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This week, we are very excited to introduce you to Louise Irwin, Marketing Manager at KantanMT. Our ongoing ‘5 Questions’ series will give you a better insight into the thoughts and ideas of the people at KantanMT. Please feel free to add your questions in the comments section, if you would like them to be answered by Louise.

What’s your role at KantanMT?

I am responsible for our marketing activities and making sure the world knows we are out there, and the best at what we do – Custom Machine Translation. Translation is required in nearly all companies and organisations, so narrowing down a specific target customer is tricky. Our clients range from both large and small translation agencies to online retailers, government organisations, business enterprises – basically any organisation or business that needs to buy translation services.

What according to you is the most marketable technology right now?

rc10173_thumb_largeThe IoT (Internet of Things) and anything that can be connected with an API! I recently started using a Fitbit Alta. I wear it as a watch and it connects to my phone. It records and tracks my every movement including my sleep patterns. The app is great on its own, but where it really excels is in its integration with other apps.

For example, it connects with the LF connect app I use for the gym – all I need to do is scan the QR code from the exercise machine and my workout is logged. It collects data from the map my ride app when I cycle and my fitness pal for monitoring my diet. Unfortunately, the only thing it doesn’t do is actually stop me eating cakes and sweets – now, if it did that would certainly be a very marketable technology.

It does not help that we have great bakers and regular bake sales at the office!

What according to you is the least appreciated piece of technology?

Machine Translation – I’m sure I’m not alone in this, but I use it all the time whether it’s translating emails, websites or social media messages. MT is deeply embedded in my day-to-day information absorption process. Yet, many overlook their usage of automated translation, and they often don’t realise that much of the content they consume online has been translated by a machine. I suppose this goes hand in hand with the availability of information. Not only do I expect to be able to find information easily, but I have also come to expect unfettered access to information in my native language, even when buying something online from companies that have limited multilingual support.

What interests you the most in the world of automated translation?

There is a lot of buzz recently on technology developments such as Neural MT and Deep learning applications. It’s remarkable to watch these applications being explored and developed. But technology aside, at the moment I am mostly interested in the interconnectedness of our industry and its link with academia. Our academic partner program has grown by 300% since 2013, and we are now partnering with more than 26 academic institutions around the world. Some of those partnerships are maturing, so it is very encouraging to see students who learned to use language technology and machine translation as part of their education take those skills with them as they continually join the workforce.

If you could be any fictional character, who/ what would you be, and why?

After pondering this question for a while, I think the character I can most relate to is Phileas Fogg. Phileas is the main character in the story Around the World in Eighty Days, which was written by Jules Verne in 1873. Phileas, an English genius accepts a bet that he can make it around the world in 80 days, so the story follows his rail/sail adventure to circumvent the world and make it back to London in time to win the bet. It’s not always smooth sailing and there are plenty of transport improvisations, missed connections and near death experiences. This is my kind of adventure, so if I could be any character, Phileas Fogg is who I would choose.

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Louise Irwin will speak on the topic ‘Safeguarding the Employability of Professional Translators’ at the Translating Europe Forum, 27-28 October 2016 in Brussels. To book a meeting with her at the event, drop us a mail at info@kantanmt.com.

Follow #TranslatingEurope on Twitter to stay up-to-date with what’s happening.

About Louise Irwin

Louise Irwin is a Marketing Manager at KantanMT. She leads the marketing team to ensure KantanMT is recognised as a strong international brand. Louise has held marketing roles from different international organisations, including ALPS Japan, a large Japanese electronics manufacturer and the CNGL Centre for Global Intelligent Content, now the ADAPT Research Centre. Louise holds a degree in International Marketing and Languages (Japanese) and a European MA degree in Translation Studies from Dublin City University.

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