When I started Language Department 25 years ago in 1991, translation technology was just beginning to take off – it was a very exciting time to imagine what the future would hold. Today, we’re so proud to be providing the highest standards in language services to incredible clients all around the world.
I have always loved learning about the different people in the world, and I take great pleasure in events where cultures have the chance to come together to share, learn and benefit from their differences. Translation is key in this experience, and being a provider of such a basic service so that the world can become one gives me immense joy. As to language itself, I love the perils, the humor, the exquisiteness, the dangers and the strange twists and turns that make our speech, well… quite foreign.
Our Greatest Lessons
Growing from a one-person translation team into a global boutique provider has been a privilege, but it didn’t come together overnight. I, and my amazing team, have learned many valuable lessons along the way.
1. Translations are a creative process that require time, love and care. Translators, editors and proofreaders are true professionals, and hard-working people, that make the projects appear effortless.
2. Language project managers have a tough job. While behind-the-scenes in nature, Project Managers are the reason why projects turn out perfectly. They often have 15+ translators, proofreaders and others to keep watch over every single day, and are vastly underappreciated by much of the language services world. They deserve a lot more acknowledgement, in my honest opinion.
3. It is a very complicated process moving a product into new countries. Approaching translation for the first time can be an intimidating scenario — one that can often push businesses into taking shortcuts in order to avoid costs. Those companies that believe in taking the risk and jumping into real, accurate translation services with both feet are the ones that are most rewarded and respected.
4. We are all humans, and humans make mistakes. The human brain takes shortcuts on something it has seen over and over, and pretty soon errors can go unnoticed. I learned that this is really no one’s fault if they’re doing their work as they should, it’s actually a fault of the process in which they’re all working in. Giving the professionals the time that he or she need will reduce unintentional mistakes, sheltering them up within a system that trans-checks, spell-checks and confirms consistency, and you will be eliminating them entirely.
5. Caring about the people on both sides of every project is key. We care about how every client feels during the translation process, we care about our amazing translators, we care about using the right tools, and we care about having adequate time and information before starting every project. Clients expect translations to be perfect; this level of perfection is really the job itself, while the added benefit is the quality of service and amount of care put in. We truly care about both the client and the people we hire — If both sides are truly happy, we’ve done our job.
Today, Tomorrow & Beyond
A lot has changed in the last 25 years, including the introduction of the Internet and powerful CAT tools. Today, we have a proven process that utilizes expert translators, and a system of quality assurance and proofreading using this technology, to achieve amazing results.
Greater than the introduction of new technology, however, is how our experience and growth as a company has made me a person who understands the benefit of differences. As a language services provider, we approach each job carefully, and from the perspective of many: the client, the language experts, the project manager, and anyone else involved. We truly aim to be the world’s language department, where anyone in the world can hire a team of professional translators and find alternative resources, and where people who come from different backgrounds and who speak different languages come together to share in their experiences.
Thank you all for being such an important part of our story. Here’s to another 25 wonderful years in service!
– Paul Elwood
Founder & Principal