Yee Lam Bellona Cook is the incredibly hard working program manager for MIIS L10N. Read on to see what she had to say about MIIS L10N and how she started in localization!
Where are you from?
I was born and raised in Hong Kong and came to California 9 years ago for college – I graduated from UCLA with a major in Japanese and a minor in Linguistics. I was working for a Japanese government affiliated non profit organization in Los Angeles for 4 years before I came to MIIS.
When/why did you begin studying your B language and what is your experience with it?
I get confused when people ask me about my B language! Technically Cantonese is my A language, English is my B, and Japanese is my C, but I’m studying Japanese into English translation here so I get confused when I am asked about my “B language!” I think I will talk about both English and Japanese at the same time
I started studying English in kindergarten – English is one of the official languages in Hong Kong so everyone has to study it in school. I treated English just as a regular school subject but I realized that I was doing quite well in my English classes, so I thought maybe I should devote more time to it by…chatting with friends from other countries via ICQ! Then I came to California and that was the time when the real fun began. I have learned so much about English through school and work, and I’m learning more about it everyday at my translation classes!
As for Japanese, I started learning it when I was 13 years old. I was very interested in Japanese culture and I thought learning the language would be something fun to do after school. Eventually I majored in Japanese but most of my proficiency did not come until I was working for a Japanese non profit after graduation. I learned new phrases and work culture along the way, and I realized the best way for me to learn a language is through interaction with people!
How did you find out about localization?
I vaguely knew I wanted to do something with translation, but I did not want to become a freelance translator. I learned about MIIS a long time ago and I revisited the school’s website after many years – that’s when I learned about the TLM degree! I really liked the idea and thought this is something I’m interested in learning more about.
What projects have you worked on for L10N and what are you working on now?
I was the Japanese PM during my first year and I have worked on website transcreation, social media, and facebook ads transcreation. This year as the program manager I do not work directly with projects anymore, but sometimes I do localization engineering work such as preparing files for subtitling. I also work with Rebecca [Walters] and Professor Troyer directly to discuss about new projects and growth opportunities.
How many members do you have on your team and what do they do?
I have a team of PMs (8 in total now) but they also have their team members (bloggers, social media manager, translators) so I think we have quite a number of people in the whole MIIS Lion team!