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Localization and Linguists Updates - Recap Call (Nov 22nd)

Post by Ottolenga
Hi Everyone,

Thank you very much for joining the call yesterday and for sharing your thoughts and questions.

I'd like to summarize what was discussed in this post, for those who attended the call but mostly for those who missed it. I want to reiterate that your feedback and your input is very important for us and we heard it very loud and clear, and this is why we are proposing a permanent solution that will hopefully stabilize the situation.

Here you can find the recording of the call, for those of you who couldn't join us.
Here you can find the deck that was presented during the call.

Here are some of the key points we discussed:
  1. Following some feedback from our top 13 languages localizers, regarding the frustration around collaborating with the linguists, we understood that a permanent and stable solution needed to be found.
  2. After trying for quite some time to set up a collaboration process with the linguists, we came to the conclusion that a permanent solution could be found only with a clear separation of translation projects and responsibilities.
  3. In order to allow this project separation, we will have a distinction between the top 5 languages and the remaining 8.
Please find below the project separation :

For the top 5 languages:
  • The community will have full control over the WME, the Newsletter and other strictly community related projects, while the linguists will have full control over other projects including the app.
  • It is important to say that we still want the community involved in these top 5 languages, you guys are essential in order to have good localization, and we value your feedback as gold.
  • We will set up a very defined and clear escalation path for you to report issues with translations. The community will be more of localization advisors and your feedback is crucial.

top 5.png
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For the remaining 8 languages:
  • The community will have full control over the WME, the Newsletter and over Waze Core projects, including the app.
  • With great power comes great responsibility, and it is important for you to understand that we will be counting 100% on you to translate these projects.
top 8.png
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A few last important points & next steps:
  1. We still need your feedback for the top 5 languages and an effective feedback and escalation process will be put in place.
  2. This solution will give full responsibility to the remaining 8 languages, therefore if some communities from these 8 languages prefer to transfer the translation responsibility to linguists please let us know ASAP.
  3. Nothing is changing today! We will update with the timelines.
  4. All other languages that are not part of the top 13 languages will continue to translate as usual, there is absolutely no change in this regard.
We'd like to THANK YOU for your collaboration and for your dedication, and we remain at your disposal for any question that may arise. Please don't hesitate to reach out!

Best Regards,

Tamar, on behalf of the Waze Communities Team
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Post by biuick84
Hi Tamar! I'm sharing with you a personal view about all of this, but bear in mind it is not aimed at anyone specifically, it's just my thoughts about all of this.

Historically, Waze's user communities has been divided mainly in 3 (now 4 if you count Carpool): map editors, localizers and beta testers.

They have been the front line in their areas, and they are, as you always say, the main reason of Waze's success.

The previous experience we had with contractors by Waze in one field of work were the infamous IGN editors. Ask anyone, you cannot find a community saying "IGN were great editors". Maybe in areas without user base, and only with basemap, they may have been of some help, but in the end, there were community editors that included as their AM duties to "hunt down IGN oops and fix/revert them". This wasn't very hard since mostly IGN were L2 editors at most.

Making a parallel of what Waze is suggesting for localization, now you are giving L7 to IGN editors, stating that they will raise lock levels of all segments, junction boxes, speed traps, RRC's to 7, in all cities of some countries: Israel, France, Spain, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile and so many other LATAM spanish speaking countries.

But hey! Don't worry community, you will still be able to edit map comments, edit places, answer to user requests... And what will you in the rare occasions you find an error made by an IGN editor? Well, you fill a Google Form, we will put it in a line of complaints and eventually we will treat it.

Or for the beta community, if you hired IBM to make beta testing in AI environments, with millions of scenarios designed with different cell phones as VM's... And the beta community could complain in the forum that the production version had some bug not seen by IBM in beta phase...

Of course, Waze can do it all - it is your proprietary application, you can do whatever you want with it. But I hope that you do realize that this course of action, of depriving localizers from localizing main projects in favor of E2F will essentially kill localization community, at least in the affected languages. The remaining projects are just extensions of the editing community, and in the end it will be made only by map editors, if they don't abandon it at all.

It is sad to see all the hard work of so many countries working together as volunteers to come up with consents on terms that work well in all same-language speaking countries being thrown away by HQ.

E2F may be the best professionals of the words in the world (although I see some disagreements on that in many languages), but they do not have the "wazeyness" running at their veins. Many of us are the best Waze specialists in our countries (better even than many staff, we hear it a lot from you all). And besides of that these are our native languages as well. We do not simply translate the strings, we understand the concept behind it, way ahead of "context" of the string, and we truly localize Waze products, which is much harder than simply translate it.

Sorry for the long text, but I felt I had to share my feelings on this decision with you, hoping HQ knows what they are doing with that, and that "E2F project of projects" works well, because I see it as a high stakes bet from HQ, and it may kill the localization community of these communities in the process... maybe making it impossible to rollback from that idea.

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Post by Sea_Breeze
Hi All,

As Dutch Localisation Team we also think it is not wise that we will lose the ability (again) to review and edit resources of for instance the ucomm, marketing. E2f's poor, strange and sometimes completely opposite translations and to the low product knowledge of E2f will lead to irreversible problems.

Due to the fact that the strings of the E2f resources are most often only used once, we would only see it when the damage has already been done and we would have to collect screenshots to be able to get an idea of the problem and to be able to give feedback. Every time reactive and without knowing what will come in future texts.
Besides, leaving us out of some resources also makes the process even more extensive and slow for Community and Waze and and generates a lot of extra work for Waze's localisation team.

Therefore please at least leave our abilities as they are now or even extend them if there are more possible resources.

Regards, Han.
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Post by Ottolenga
Hi biuick84 and Sea_Breeze

Thank you for your replies, I realise it is not an easy situation and I appreciate you sharing your thoughts around this.

We will keep you updated with any news

Thank you
Tamar
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Post by Ottolenga
Hi Everyone

I hope you are all well,
I'd like to just stress out the fact that nothing is changing today!

We will update you guys with timelines and the next steps. As we are still looking for ways to implement the changes, it was very important to us to communicate this with you as soon as possible, to be transparent with you.

In the meantime, please let's move on as usual and I'd like to kindly ask you not to communicate with the linguists about this as this is still a quite delicate topic.

Thank you all for your collaboration!
Have a great week ahead

Best
Tamar
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