Ryan Stenhouse

Ryan Stenhouse

Ryan's a Ruby fanatic with a love of languages, programming and otherwise. He's well travelled and has worked on projects of varying complexity for companies you've probably heard of. He’s also a little bit nuts when it comes to communication and has a burning passion for getting groups of people together to solve their problems. He also really hates describing himself in the third person and has only recently gotten over his aversion to tofu.

Cultured localisation, or 'how not to offend 1 billion people'

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This talk isn’t really about localisation or internationalisation (add a ‘z’ if you prefer!) – it’s about culture and understanding. It’s about how we should all be approaching localisation challenges as people problems and to give good examples of how to get it right and where you can go so very wrong.

Your framework and tool of choice is the easy part – understanding the people you’re wanting to each out to is oh-so-very hard and too often seen as only just a translation problem – a simple matter of swapping one string for another.

I’ll talk about how people communicate across cultures, even when they are so different. Drawing on my experience as a teacher of english as a foreign language and my own travels and struggles to absorb another people’s language and culture, I hope I’ll change how you think about solving these problems in future.

Hell, I’ll even make you laugh. I hope. The most important thing though, I’ll provoke a discussion, given the diverse multilingual background of the attendees here; it could be a very good one.

Previous talks

Écouter et répéter is SO last century (2013)

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You know what? Learning how to speak another language shouldn't be hard. So lets put it in a context that we know and love - programming in Ruby. This is a talk about abstraction, counting, syntax and grammar. It's nerdy, but its fun.

What you won't see is your typical "language talk" - I won't be banging on about language theory (except to relate to Ruby), or any particular natural language.

I think this is better, because it's about applying what you already know to the task at hand. There might even be a lesson or two snuck in there - wouldn't that be nice?

Learning another language shouldn't be an insurmountable challenge, learning to speak another language even less so. I fully believe, and will explain that by our very nature as programmers, we do this all the time - I'll talk about how these same skills that let us switch from Java to Ruby to Go can be used to help us switch from English to Swedish to Japanese.

Hell, it might even help you switch from programming in Ruby to painting landscapes!