Interview with Globalization and Localization Association (GALA)

We recently spoke with Laura Brandon, Executive Director for the Globalization and Localization Association (GALA), a non-profit trade association for the translation sector.   We are members of GALA and wanted to shine a spotlight on this industry association and the important work that they do. Read on for the interview and we hope you enjoy!

iTi: Could you tell us a bit about GALA and its purpose?

Laura:  Thank you for the opportunity to share information about GALA with your readers!  We are delighted that Interpreters and Translators, Inc. is a member of GALA.  In short, GALA’s mission is to support our member companies and the language industry by creating communities, championing standards, sharing knowledge, and advancing technology.

As a non-profit trade association, we give the language industry a place to come together and tackle mutual challenges and goals for the sector. We provide a neutral platform for discussion, awareness-building, and collaboration around topics and initiatives that matter to our companies worldwide. Having access to resources allows member companies to stay on top of industry trends and best practices, to the benefit of their partners and customers.

iTi: Could you tell us a bit more about GALA’s member companies and how they contribute to the association?

Laura:  We have close to 400 member organizations from around the world: Language Services Companies (LSCs) of all sizes, technology developers, universities, and translation and localization departments within multinational companies.  Each of these organization types represent an important segment of the global language services and technology industry.

Within GALA companies is an amazing body of professionals—entrepreneurs, developers, researchers, communicators, instructors. We know that bringing together professionals and companies that are knowledgeable and passionate about multilingual communication fuels progress for our sector and enhances what member companies can provide for their clientele. We draw on this energy and work with members and industry volunteers to develop training programs, to predict trends, to improve standards of quality, and to collaboratively prepare our industry for the years ahead.

Different members are involved with GALA in various ways—from volunteering on our conference program committee, to leading initiatives and community groups, to writing and presenting expert content through our various programs (conferences, webinars, publications, for example).

iTi:  What kinds of things does GALA provide to its member companies?

Laura:   Through our programs, we strive to provide a connection point for industry companies with common interests so they can learn from one another.  Our core programs at GALA include an industry-wide annual conference, a weekly webinar series and video library, software and event discounts, active publications, and a recently launched online community.  We also have a number of community initiatives, such as the new Translation API Class and Cases Initiative (TAPICC).

iTi: Could you tell us what TAPICC is all about and why it matters?

Laura:  This is an initiative that is also supported by TAUS and LT-Innovate, which are other language industry associations.  The purpose of the project is to collectively develop a translation API that can be used across the industry.

With the myriad systems that translation companies and their clients are using, we see an increasing need for standards in this area.  Developing a widely-adopted translation API has the potential to save our members (and their clients) a significant amount of money.

iTi:  Any parting comments for our readers?

Laura:  Thanks again for the opportunity.  In closing I’d like to praise what important work is being managed by language services companies like iTi.  GALA member companies enable language access, which is critical to the engines of commerce, information exchange, and public safety in so many sectors and scenarios.  In five years’ time, this work will be even more important as the global economy continues to grow, and people, products, and technology become more interconnected.

Check out GALA’s website to learn more and take advantage of their plentiful resources—and of course for membership information!

About Laura Brandon

Laura is GALA’s Executive Director.  She oversees operations, staffing, and programming for the association of companies in 50+ countries.  Laura currently serves on the advisory board of the Localization Certification Program for the University of Washington and previously was member of the ASAE Small Staff Associations Council and Task Force on Small Staff Community.  She is on the volunteer committee for the Seattle Localization User Group (SLUG!).


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