You might be asking yourself, “Why AGIS, why YALC (yet another localisation conference)? What makes AGIS so different?” Well, first of all, it is not owned by any particular organisation, it is not run for profit, and it is (almost) free to attend. Then, it takes place where people need localisation, not where people are rich enough to pay for it. Nothing is sold, nothing is bought at AGIS. And last but not least, AGIS attendees have a social agenda, not (just) a commercial one.
- Ravi Gupta pointed out there are 62,000 newspapers in India and 92% of these are not in English
- Subtitles do not work well in India because of literacy issues but they can also be a means of building literacy
- There are no English TV channels in the Top 100 TV channels in India but English speaking consumers are the wealthiest consumers
- Ravi Kumar, The President of the Indian Translators Association made an impassioned plea asking that buyers and the community at large respect translators as professionals
- The CNGL team showed various elements of the open SOLAS platform they are making available to anybody who needs it
- Mahesh Kulkarni’s wonderful presentation on standards which he called traffic rules that ease both user and creator experience. He has a much more holistic and systematic view of standards than we see from the feeble standards initiatives in the traditional localization industry but he too, expressed the difficulties of getting good standards in place.
- He also pointed that that there are 670 million mobile phones in India and asked is this the end of the internet as we know it?
I was also greatly heartened to see the corruption establishment take a serious blow when Minister Raja was exposed for taking obscenely huge bribes, in excess of $40 billion I believe. What makes corruption in India especially horrific is the complete lack of remorse and shame that these public officials have. India is on the move but still has far to go as the culture of corruption is everywhere you turn, and will not die easily. One of the other benefits of free flowing information is that it also makes this kind of self dealing and abuse of trust harder to maintain. Information poverty is also an enabler and friend of corrupt officials and thus this is yet another reason to address this issue.