The translation industry is affected by all the ups and downs of the global economy. But every crisis has made Lingua-World more creative and innovative. With this attitude, the company is celebrating its 23rd anniversary this year.
Anyone working across national borders needs translators and interpreters. In a globalised world, the industry is more in demand than ever before. This is an advantage that can quickly turn into a risk: As soon as there is a recession, language experts are also affected. “Our industry parallels the development of the economy and of society. We enjoy every upswing, but we also feel every dip as well,” says Lingua-World founder Nelly Kostadinova.
And so the 23rd anniversary of Lingua-World falls at a time of great challenges. The coronavirus has taken a hold on the year 2020. The economy is currently experiencing a slump which is changing the daily work of translators and interpreters.
But this is not the first crisis which Lingua-World and its founder Ms Kostadinova have overcome. The team knows how to get through hard times. With this experience, Lingua-World can look to the future with confidence.
The first major crisis was different; it hit the translation agency Lingua-World with full force. After all, the company was used to success in its early years. When Ms Kostadinova opened her translation agency in 1997, it was exactly what was needed at the time. Around the turn of the millennium, economic globalisation developed rapidly and with it the demand for translation services.
But Lingua-World has always strived to be more than just a translation service provider. Firstly, the team has always worked with translators directly in their respective countries in order to achieve per-fect native-speaker standards. At the same time, Lingua-World focusses on employees with expertise in their specific fields. This is because the company not only wants to simply translate text, but to do so with an understanding of what is being communicated. In this way, the language experts ensure their communication is of even higher quality.
This strategy payed off. In the early days especially, Lingua-World was characterised by strong growth – until the global economic crisis hit in 2008. All of a sudden, many clients were dealing with economic problems. Incoming orders collapsed abruptly and payment practices became sluggish. “I had not yet experienced a crisis, so it hit me hard,” Ms Kostadinova explains today. But she didn’t give up.
She prioritised processes and countermeasures, streamlined all workflows, and monitored the company’s medium-term strategic plans. But above all she made sure that the employees did not lose their motivation. “It is important to communicate both small and large successes within the team and to make sacrifices yourself,” she says today. Her experiences from the crisis made her stronger. Since then, she has become more resistant to challenges. And 12 years later the company is facing a new hurdle. As the coronavirus crisis rapidly spread, the employees of Lingua-World quickly realised how badly they would be affected. No panels, no symposiums, no conferences – that means: no translations. “But the need to communicate has remained,” says the entrepreneur. Most employees know this from their own new way of working.
2020 – The year of remote conferences
In 2020, it’s one video and telephone conference after the next. Webinars, online presentations and digital discussions fill our appointment calendars. Within just a few weeks, a new world of communi-cation had established itself. So Ms Kostadinova and her team considered how their translation ser-vices could adapt.
She developed a method for remote simultaneous interpreting, together with Interpreting department manager, Matthias Angermund. This modern form of interpreting enables communication in the digital space: whether in online meetings, on video calls or during telephone conferences.
For this purpose, Lingua-World interpreters connect to the audio line and interpret the conversation or presentation into the respective language. If there are several participants, several languages are of course possible. Translation is therefore independent of physical presence and creates communication in real time.
Lingua-World’s remote services are compatible with all common conference tools. Customers can use their preferred online meeting solution, be it Zoom, Skype or Microsoft Teams. And if you don’t have much experience in online conferencing and do not own any software, Lingua-World will provide you with the right service. The employees are happy to provide a digital space. A project manager from Lingua-World is on hand throughout the planning of the digital meeting. All customers need is a digital device (laptop, tablet, smartphone) and an internet connection. The data is of course secure and encrypted. On request, clients can also receive a recording of the audio track after their online event.
Digital meetings have a great advantage: Clients can rely on Lingua-World’s entire network. With over 10,000 interpreters and translators worldwide, Lingua-World can translate into any language in the world. In this international pool, there are language experts for every subject with expertise on tech-nical terms and contexts.
“We can be much more flexible when arranging digital meetings. This means that clients get the interpreter who knows the industry best. This means a greater focus on your content,” says Interpreting department manager, Matthias Angermund. This is an advantage that has once again gained in importance, particularly as a result of the crisis.
Client feedback we can be proud of!
Clients who have already held meetings with remote simultaneous interpreters were definitely im-pressed. “We had conversations translated simultaneously from German into English via Zoom. Everything went swimmingly. Many thanks to the interpreter for her great translation. The team was de-lighted!” says Lena Pannier, User Experience Researcher at Visable GmbH.
The Lingua-World team organised a remote interpreting service in five languages for the automotive supplier TI Fluid Systems: A total of ten interpreters were on hand, translating into English, French, Spanish, Dutch, Polish and German. Steffen Brambach, Global HR Director of TI Fluid Systems, is impressed by the new form of interpreting: “I was very pleased that our first online meeting went so smoothly and we were able to demonstrate that this type of meeting could be used as an alternative to on-site meetings in the future.”
The coronavirus crisis may have changed Lingua-World, but it has also made it more creative and stronger. After all, the company’s new offers and new expertise in remote interpreting will remain after the coronavirus crisis is over. “I am sure that we will see many hybrid events in the future. We will combine digital and analogue exchanges more closely going forward. The translation and interpreting industry must be ready for this,” says Ms Kostadinova. This won’t be a problem for the language experts at Lingua-World. The company has laid the foundations for overcoming the crisis, and not for the first time. The ability to overcome hurdles is the basis of its 23-year existence. And it is with confidence and creativity that we head into the future after this anniversary.