How IHG uses machine translation with Tom Raczka


Tom Raczka is the Localization Manager from InterContinental Hotels Group, one of the largest hotel brands in the world. Born in Poland, Tom is now based in London after initially visiting to gain his MSc in localisation technology from Imperial College London around a decade ago. After studying, Tom worked as a translator and university lecturer, teaching specialized courses like English for Engineering.

At IHG, Tom is part of a localization department that consults internally with stakeholders about the localization process, what technology they can utilize, and how to realize results within any given department’s budget. For Tom, a lot of his work has been in demystifying the localization process for stakeholders and introducing solutions that make translation more accessible for teams across the IHG enterprise and around the world. Tom joins us today to discuss how the perception of localization at IHG has changed over the years, the impact COVID-19 had on their processes, and how the brand successfully introduced machine translation.

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Jump into the podcast
[02:14] About Tom and his background in the localization space.
[05:18] Tom’s role at IHG and how he coordinates with his global colleagues.
[08:15] The type of stakeholders Tom deals with and how they are involved in the localization process.
[12:26] How internal localization questions have changed over time at IHG.
[19:40] Utilizing machine translation and automation correctly.
[20:55] How the pandemic has changed the processes at IHG.
[24:25] Finding the positives in the pandemic.
[27:45] How the lockdown accelerated plans for adopting machine translation at IHG.
[30:43] About the internal learning team at IHG and the content they produce.
[36:13] The future of IHG and localization.
[40:40] Tom’s journey to learn Japanese.

Get to know Tom and IHG