Career Events at AAA/CASCA

For anyone attending the American Anthropological Association (AAA) / Canadian Anthropology Society (CASCA) meetings in Vancouver later this month, here’s some career education and exploration activities to note:

2019 AAA/CASCA Annual Meeting Main banner
  1. A panel discussion of “rapid assessment” methods. This roundtable explores critical perspectives on linguistic anthropology methods with the aim of developing a methodological framework for rapid assessment that retains the analytic strength of long-term fieldwork while being feasible in both “academic” and “applied” contexts. We also seek to destabilize the binary between “academic” and “applied” by providing a framework for linguistic ethnographic research that can be applied across both contexts, but also noting logistical differences between the two.

2. The Careers Exposition – Friday from 11am – 4pm in the Convention Center.

The Expo features anthropologists who have made careers in the public, private and non-profit sectors. Participants share the creative ways that anthropologists use their skills and highlight some of the many new and emerging careers open to professional anthropologists. Past Expos have featured major corporations, federal agencies, consulting firms, nonprofits and independent consulting anthropologists.

3. Career Education and Exploration workshop

This half-day workshop is designed to engage participants in guided introspection about connections among academic, applied research, and teaching interests. Anthropologists will bring rigorously honed methodological and linguistic analytic skills to the task of researching their own (academic and nonacademic) careers, and to inform their next steps professionally.

Part One – Ethnography: Participants will work in pairs to investigate and explore their interests. Following a guide, partners will ask one another open-ended questions that illuminate motivators and drivers and explore professional expressions of these meaningful aspects of their lives.

Part Two – Narrative: Each participant will create and tell a story about a professional challenge and its solution. Drawing from narrative analysis, the group will provide feedback (following a rubric) about how these stories construct and convey identity and meaning, considering possible options for reframing: i.e. creating a more agentive stances. Participants will discuss how context (networking, informational or job interviewing) might inform design and use of these stories.

Part Three – Networking: Participants will have the opportunity to practice networking with invited professionals from a range of fields (i.e. localization, educational technology). By focusing on the formulation of professional requests, participants will cultivate networking connections and experience, ultimately recognizing their role in creating opportunities (for themselves and the field more broadly).

Hope to see you there!

Planet Word Museum opening May 2020!

According to this article in the Washingtonian magazine the Planet Word Museum will welcome visitors starting on May 31, 2020!

If you don’t live in the Washington, DC area, find a way to get there next summer!!!

Speaking Willow — A Unique Art Installation for Planet Word

Exhibits will include interactive sound installations (as pictured above), as well as other playful, interactive, and uniquely designed experiences to celebrate language and how “exciting innovations in applied linguistics—from technology to medicine to psychology to forensics—are changing our world every day”

Virtually co-work on the Mighty

Attend a co-working session on the CL Mighty Network

Could you use some support working on a long-term project? Come co-work with a community of linguists!

It’s all part of the CL Mighty Network!

Co-Working sessions are a time to come together to make progress on small (pieces of larger) tasks. We keep the zoom line open and each person quietly works on a project of his/her choosing (with light facilitation at intervals throughout the session).

Our Regular Weekly sessions are

Tuesdays & Thursdays, 8-10am PST / 11-1pm EST

….with additional sessions as requested/organized by members!

Read more and sign up for the CL Mighty Network here

Want to learn more about the community?
Attend an Open House

next Career Camp info session 11/15

Interested in Career Camp, but want to know more (and perhaps experience a bit of the magic) before you sign up?  Bring all of your questions to a (virtual) info session:

Friday 11/15, 2pm pdt / 5pm edt
Friday 12/13, 2pm pdt / 5pm edt

all sessions will take place on zoom here:                  

questions? Contact Career Linguist

sign up for Career Camp

Next Career Camp will be in January 2020

Guest post: Working as a language data specialist

Olivia Hirschey Marrese is a linguist based in Boulder, CO. She is currently pursuing her PhD in linguistics at the University of Colorado, where she researches conversations in English and Spanish. Olivia also works in the field of computational linguistics as a data annotator and language data specialist.

Olivia Hirschey Marrese

This summer, I interned at SoundHound Inc. They develop voice-recognition, natural language understanding, and sound-recognition works with partners such as Honda, Pandora, Motorola, and Mercedes-Benz, integrating voice and conversation intelligence into products and services. As a language data specialist on the Spanish and English teams, I validated, curated, transcribed, and QAed speech training data. Though I’ve worked in data annotation and have ample experience in data management, this was a new application for my linguistic knowledge and an exciting challenge.

In machine learning, no detail is too small to overlook. Something as simple as the diacritic mark on the Spanish word cómo completely changes the word’s meaning, and although humans can rely on contextual cues and world knowledge to understand a phrase, machines don’t have that luxury. Every bit of data has to be accounted for, and in addition to the linguistic challenge of handling that volume of data, it also takes a great deal of coordination to make a team and project run smoothly. I was based in the new Boulder office, while the rest of the Spanish team was at headquarters in Santa Clara. Even at a tech company, somethings things go wrong with the Wifi, and all of us had to be adaptable and self-sufficient to get the work done. 

After working a full day at SoundHound, I would return home to work on my second qualifying paper for my PhD program. As an academic, I’m a sociocultural linguist and conversation analyst. Essentially, I study how humans interact through conversation, and how people create, uphold, and challenge societal norms in everyday talk. 

These two worlds may seem a bit disparate, and indeed in many traditional academic circles, exploring careers beyond the tenure-track is often called ‘alternative academic’ or even ‘non academic’. I’d like to challenge this binary a bit. As a language data specialist, all of my work has been highly academic. It takes very specialized linguistic knowledge and training to understand how to work with language data and how to approach challenges in artificial intelligence. On the flip side, academic roles are often much more involved with the “real world” than many people assume. From our funding sources to our students, work inside universities is by no means separate from the cities and societies we live in, even if individual research topics can often appear removed from industry applications. 

Linguists especially occupy a niche position between academia and industry. As the field of AI and voice recognition continues to grow, and as we encounter new challenges in product, policy, and performance, we need linguists leading paths towards the future. As linguists, we understand the technical aspects of language as well as how language functions as a broader system, and industry needs both of these perspectives. SoundHound clearly understands this need and has demonstrated the value they place in their interns. As a linguist, I’m glad I was one of them. 

Thank you Olivia for sharing your experience with the Career Linguist community!

You can reach Olivia at

Career Camp Winter 2020

Career Camp is five weeks of focused activities, reflection, and structured feedback on the language used in career interactions. Weekly activities bring a linguistic lens to the stories which comprise professional navigation. You will leave with a resume that blows their SOQs off, cover letters that speak to why THEY need you, and pocket examples that show you @ work!

Break down the process of career exploration into small, manageable pieces and make progress as part of a community by bringing linguistic ways of listening to stories and what they do in career contexts.

To sign up put Career Camp into your basket on my booking page here

Want to know more? Read all about it on Career Linguist

Questions? Contact Career Linguist

Attend a Career Camp Information Session

Goings-on on the Mighty

The CAreer Linguist Mighty Network.png

(download the CL Mighty Network flyer)

Join the CL Mighty Network for free for a month at any time!

Want to take a tour? Attend a Mighty Network Open House at noon PST on Wednesday Nov 13th.

Upcoming events on the Mighty include:

  • Co-Working sessions
    Work with us on Tuesdays & Thursdays from 8am-10am PDT / 11am – 1pm EDT. Make progress on (small pieces of) big tasks in community!
  • Biweekly Check-ins
    Get and give support and accountability for other career linguists navigating their professional lives
  • Book Discussion – This month we will be reading Permission to Screw Up: How I learned to Lead by Doing (Almost Everything) Wrong by Kristen Hadeed
  • If you are interested in Career Camp, attend an info session for the next round on Nov 15th at 2pm PDT / 5pm EDT – the next session will be happening in Jan 2020.

Career Camp Reunion

With the close of the 2019 fall edition of Career Camp, it’s reunion time again!!


Welcome to anyone who has participated in Career Camp over the years!  Pop in, say hi, let us know what you have been up to these days and come and hear what everyone else is doing!

Bring your “asks”

Friday, Oct 18th  at 2pm pdt / 5pm edt

on zoom here:

Feeling FOMO? You too can be a happy camper! –

the winter 2020 edition of Career Camp will start in January. Start the new year off right by making some time to focus on your career next steps.

job: Bilingual Engineer (All Languages)

All jobsBilingual Engineer (All Languages)

Austin, Texas, United States · US West – Onshore – G · Pool


Are you interested in working with the largest independent software testing company? Read on!

QualiTest is looking for Bilingual Engineers in Austin, TX.

Do you speak, read, and write in one of the following languages?

  1. French
  2. German
  3. Spanish
  4. Portuguese
  5. Mandarin
  6. Italian
  7. Indonesian
  8. Thai
  9. Dutch
  10. Koran
  11. Hindi + Another Dialect from India
  12. Norwegian
  13. Danish
  14. Swedish
  15. Dutch


  • You will be part of a team of QA engineers, developers, pre-sales and project managers to help optimize software for certain locales and languages to finally deliver the right product in the locale.
  • The best candidate would be an individual contributor to the project with optional project management responsibilities for a sub-team.
  • Responsibilities may include any or all of the following:
    • Provide natural native-language expertise for a wide range of topic areas and help to define software needs
    • Serve as expert “raters” for specific products, for engineers working on improving the software
    • Analyze data and further related analysis
    • Work with Search Engineers for advanced algorithm development
    • Diagnose and report results
    • UI and Product improvement
    • Help adjust the user interfaces to the local languages
    • Write configuration documents for explanations


  • Must have a bachelor’s degree in STEM related field.
    • No technical degree? Self-taught technical skills or bootcamps work too!
  • College graduates with a degree in Computer Science, Information Technology, or another related field are encouraged to apply.
  • Relevant experience
  • Native Speaker (speak, read & write) of German
  • Out of box thinking
  • Ability to think logically
  • Individual contributor
  • Self-learning abilities
  • Good communication in English & native language
  • Experience with Microsoft Excel is a PLUS


Why QualiTest?

  • Have continuous access to and work with Senior Testing Specialists and Practice Experts
  • Be a part of a leading testing company, globally recognized as a Visionary by Gartner Magic Quadrant
  • Work with cutting edge technology in a company built by testers for testers, this is what we do!
  • As a global company, we offer unique placement opportunities around the world
  • Our QualiTesters are the reason for our success, we constantly encourage career development and promote from within

Intrigued to find more about us?

If you like what you have read, send us your resume and let’s start talking!

Career Linguists, have questions for a linguist?
Contact Anny Lei