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[ecrea] cfp - Culture in/and Multimedia Localisation
Fri Feb 16 15:01:30 GMT 2018
“Culture in/and Multimedia Localisation” One-Day Symposium
The University of Burgundy (Dijon, France) is organising a symposium on
23^rd November 2018, to focus on the cultural aspects of multimedia
Link to download Call for Papers:
Despite, or perhaps because of, growing scholarly and professional
interest in the field, multimedia localisation remains an awkward
subject to conceptualise, teach, and explain to potential clients. One
factor here is the lack of a sufficiently robust practical definition:
if “[l]ocalization involves taking a product and making it
linguistically and culturally appropriate to the target locale
(country/region and language) where it will be used and sold” (LISA
2003), both the diversity of products and the varied technical,
linguistic and cultural skills required to adapt them for different
markets and submarkets make it difficult to determine where the process
begins and ends.
Part of the problem lies in the evolution of interactive digital
products since the field first came to be recognised: from software
interfaces through web-based content to mobile and tablet apps, and from
text-based to multimedia, VR, AR and IoT products, capable of
increasingly complex input as well as output channels. But whether we
adopt a restrictive definition of localisation as covering only the
questions specific to interactive multimedia products beyond the more
general issues of translation and adaptation (cf. Martin 2005), or a
“holistic” view of “a complex communicative, cognitive, textual and
technological process by which interactive digital texts are modified to
be used in different linguistic and socio-cultural contexts, guided by
the expectations of the target audience and the specifications and
degree requested by initiators” (Jimenez-Crespo 2013: 20), the
intangible cultural dimension of localisation ultimately seems more
problematic than the strictly technical one. While Jimenez-Crespo
highlights the importance of following client specifications, the
increased emphasis on multimedia content and on interaction in digital
products arguably implies a greater need for cultural expertise in
adaptation than in the case of specialised written texts.
The notion of a “culturally customised” website has long been a mainstay
of research into multilingual digital communication strategies (cf.
Singh and Pereira 2005, Baack and Singh 2007, Singh 2012). A search
through Google results, social media and other content posted by
localisation professionals also suggests that the concept offers a
viable marketing strategy, at least from the point of view of explaining
the need for and benefits of culturally-oriented localisation to
clients. What is less clear, however, is how principles of “cultural”
customisation can be balanced against the demands and preferences of a
given market segment, or against the source or target market positioning
of a specific organisation, service or product. Contributions to the
academic literature cover both theory-driven deductive and data-driven
inductive approaches to the question of cultural differences (cf. Moura,
Singh, & Chun, 2016 for a comprehensive review). Although some are
sensitive to the influence of multiple factors on the localisation
process (e.g. Shneor, 2012), sometimes extending to questions of
strategic marketing or communications positioning, a relatively small
number of studies underline the need, for example, to take into account
representations of the organisation or its national identity among the
target publics (cf. Tigre Moura, Gnoth, and Deans, 2015).
While it is difficult to object, in principle, to cultural customisation
as a factor in the localisation process, it is also important to
acknowledge the danger of indulging in cultural generalisations. Indeed,
the very notion of cultural customisation in web localisation begs the
question of a working definition of “culture” in the context of global
digital communication. In the absence of this and faced with the large
number of potential variables to be taken into account in elaborating a
localisation strategy, parallels might be drawn with the global product
development or GILT cycle, which is better understood as an analytical
tool than as a recipe for successful internationalisation and
localisation, or indeed a similar approach to standardisation vs
diversification in the domain of global advertising (De Iulio, 1999).
*/Call for proposals:/***
In order to address this theme, proposals are invited from industry
professionals, researchers and graduate students, for :
·90-minute panel sessions
·Interactive workshops, case studies or round table sessions
Contributions may address but are not limited to the following topics:
-How can we apply “culture” to the field of web or multimedia
localisation? Can generalising models such as Hofstede’s be useful here?
-In today’s globalised societies, what understanding/s of the term
“culture” should we adopt? How can we relate it to notions such as
subculture, target market and locale?
-What criteria are perceived as important by localisation professionals,
and how might these differ from the criteria used to market localisation
services to potential clients? Can academic research help?
-Does the cultural dimension of localisation depend on the nature of the
product? Can we apply the same guidelines to websites, mobile apps,
videogames, and other interactive products?
-Is “localisation” a unified phenomenon? How can we compare perspectives
from different disciplines (translation studies, applied and corpus
linguistics, UX design, computer science, etc.), and what can we learn
by combining these perspectives?
-How might the “cultural appropriation” debate affect localisation
Please send proposals of up to 500 words plus references, accompanied by
a short bionote, to (culturelocalisation2018 /at/ gmail.com)
<mailto:(culturelocalisation2018 /at/ gmail.com)>.
*/Deadline for proposals: Friday, 1 June 2018/*.
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