Interview with a localization account manager – Len White 

By United Language Group

Join us in getting to know Len White of VIA’s mid-market business localization team.

Tell us about your background and what led you to becoming a localization account manager.

Prior to VIA, I spent seven years working as a corporate executive recruiter, which I kind of fell into while I was working in Japan. My university degree was in Asian Language and Literature so when my career took me away from recruiting, the opportunity to move back into the language space just seemed intuitive.

What types of services do you provide as a localization account manager?

The biggest value I try to provide to the people I work with and for is to identify the problems they are facing and help find a solution for that. Sometimes, that’s helping my colleagues at VIA come up with creative ways of delivering projects on time and within budget. Other times its showing our clients why the cheapest option for completing a translation is rarely the least expensive and guiding them on how to get the biggest bang for their translation budget.

What value does a well-rounded translation team provide?
Organization. A well rounded translation team obviously includes project managers, linguists and technology. But, a successful team utilizes those people and tools with a process that removes all of the heaving lifting from the client so they can focus on their core business.

What is one trend that you’re seeing in the industry that you think translation customers should be aware of and why? Or, what is one tip you regularly share with your translation clients?

The subject I discuss most frequently with clients is how to effectively utilize a glossary and style guide. Everyone wants translations faster, cheaper and better. A common inquiry tends to be around how Machine Translation can help reach those objectives. Machine Translation currently only really helps when there is a large bulk of translation needed and exact understanding of the meaning isn’t mission critical. What many clients don’t understand is that a well-established and adhered to glossary can help them meet all three of the faster, cheaper and better criteria for many translation projects.

What is your ideal day outside of the office?

My ideal day outside of the office is spent hanging out with my wife doing just about anything. Other than that, what I enjoy the most is either riding my bicycle on a distance ride of over 50 miles or driving my race car in an endurance race.

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