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Translating Culture for World Language Markets

with Mike Collins and Nicholas Strozza
February 18th, 2016
11:45 AM


Thursday, February 18, 2016

11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.

Forum for Scholars and Publics (Old Chem 011)

Light refreshments served

For the uninitiated, accessing software, video games, websites, and eLearning in languages other than English would seem to be merely a question of translating whatever is there, and most likely a task for a machine translator with some cleanup from a human being. Despite the astounding leaps that are being made in linguistic and idiomatic accuracy in machine translations, local consumers are often not sold on global, monolingual marketing strategies.

In this conversation Mike Collins and Nicholas Strozza will show us how translating agencies localize advertising products for world language markets. Translation is only one of several actions in the localization process, which includes steps such as rewriting content to appeal to consumers from target markets, adjusting the design and layout to properly display the translated text, adapting the graphics, converting to local currencies, units of measure, and formats for dates and addresses, and complying with local regulations and legal requirements. The goal of localization is to give a product the look and feel of having been created expressly for a specific market, independently of language, culture, or location. Localization requires an intimate understanding of the target culture that surpasses mere mastery of the target language.

After a brief introduction, each speaker will speak about 15 minutes and then we will invite students to respond and ask questions. Finally, we will open it up to the room for discussion.  

This event is organized by Joan Munné and Melissa Simmermeyer, Lecturers in the Department of Romance Studies, and has been made possible with the support of Forum for Scholars and Publics, the Mary D.B.T. and J.H. Semans International Exchange Fund, Romance Studies, and Duke Service-Learning.

For more information:


Michael Collins

Freelance Translator

Michael has been active in technical translation and localization for over 30 years. His degrees include a B.A. from the University of Arizona with a double major in Russian and German, and a Master's Degree in Slavic Linguistics from UNC Chapel Hill. He has also studied at the university level in Germany and Yugoslavia. He is ATA-certified German to English and Russian to English, is a former President of Global Translation Systems, Inc.,  and a former President of the Carolina Association of Translators and Interpreters. He is the author of numerous articles and presentations on translation and the translation industry and currently lives in Chapel Hill, where he works as a freelance translator.

When not translating, Mike can be found along with his wife, Mimi, enjoying the countryside on their tandem bicycle.

Nicholas Strozza

VP Marketing and Sales, Interpro Translation Solutions, Inc.

As Vice President of Marketing and Sales at Interpro Translation Solutions, based in the Chicago suburb of Lisle, Illinois, Nicholas manages all marketing, client service and business development team members. Interpro Translation Solutions is a professional foreign language translation and localization company with over 20 years of experience assisting organizations of all types with their translation needs. Nicholas’s additional roles include representing Interpro at industry events, forecasting, meeting with organizations interested in translation and localization services, and overseeing proposals and estimates.

Growing up in a bilingual (English and Italian) household, Nicholas has always had a passion for languages and cultures. Nicholas is a 2008 graduate of Northern Illinois University, where he graduated summa cum laude, with honors in Marketing and a minor in French. Prior to working at Interpro Translation Solutions, Nicholas worked as a marketing intern at LiveText, a university accreditation management software organization, in addition to working as a marketing/sales assistant for a leading web development company.

Nicholas currently lives in Warrenville, Illinois, where he enjoys spending time with his wife, Julie, and their Jack Russell terrier, Winston.