‘Listen to your customer’ is the primary motto of every business leader, but we should also not lose sight of our freelancers.
Our Vendor Manager Anaïs and I had the pleasure to meet a few hundred of them at the Elia Together 2019 which took place in Barcelona at the end of February.
- There are too few translators, and the demand for good translators is simply too high. This is in contrast with the frustration suffered by freelancers, who mostly work alone, receiving only the feedback that they need to be faster and cheaper, while the importance of their role in the international communication of companies and government institutions is evident.
- Technology will bring about change in the translation industry, with the post-editing of machine translations the most obvious example. The enormous computer and memory capacity at attractive conditions on the one hand and – let’s be honest – the propaganda machine of the IT sector on the other, are resulting in a rapidly developing market with a great deal of variety. For freelancers this means that they will be offered some rather interesting projects… as well as some projects which they would rather not touch.
- Specialist of generalist: this is a dilemma faced by many and all must decide this for themselves. Do you wish to remain flexible and offer a variety of subject areas? Then general translations are for you. Do you gradually want to develop your expertise and move further into your niche market? Then you can guess the answer.
See you again soon!
The 1st of January 2019 saw Filip Trenson starting as sales manager at Lexitech Belgium.
Alongside strengthening relationships with existing clients, he will mainly be involved with acquiring new clients in Belgium for the translation activities of Lexitech.
Filip comes from the world of IT. As sales manager at Infor, he was responsible for the sales of software and services for information and library management in the Benelux. He was the driving force behind the development of Vubis and V-smart, links with eID and rfid, portals for the City of Brussels, the Province of Namur and Luxembourg.
Our new sales manager holds a master’s degree in information sciences and is fluent in Dutch, French and English.
The recruitment of competent and experienced professionals from the IT world fits in with our aim to turn Lexitech into a modern, future-oriented company.
We wish Filip every success in his new challenge.
Tel.: +32 (0) 476 21 50 71 — e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Every year, the DG Translation of the European Commission organizes the ‘Translating Europe Forum’ right around the corner from our office.
Around 500 professionals meet and debate for two days; as a sign of the times, this year the focus was on Translating in the Digital age.
One particular statement made a particular impression on me: Artificial Intelligence is powerful but is not robust… This came from the keynote by Nozha Boujemaa from the DATAIA Institute in Paris.
What are the implications?
We can do wonderful things but cause tremendous damage. Handling data and training algorithms are better left to specialists but that does not guarantee that data will be handled in an objective way.
Building trust in algorithms is a tall order, certainly when it is not clear how the data-sets are composed. Events occurring in a certain order do not imply a causal relationship (post hoc ergo propter hoc, for the linguists among you…).
Many, many questions, no easy answers …
Elia is the European not-for-profit trade association of language service companies with a mission to accelerate the business success of its members. Elia offers us an opportunity to widen our network and to benchmark our business model with those in other countries.
Lexitech’s General Manager Geert Vanderhaeghe joined the Board of Elia in June and was elected Vice President of Elia in October.
He has promised to bring to the table his experience, his energy… and his personality.
For many years, Lexitech has had a faithful clientele in France. As we see the language services market grow in France, not least in the digital sector, we wanted a presence on the ground.
Jerome Bichot has been appointed as our Country Manager for Lexitech France.
Born in French Britanny, he studied literature, translation, and interpreting in Germany. He moved back to France in 2000 working mainly as a business developer in various areas, including machine translation, CAT and TMS systems, social media marketing platforms and language services.
Prior to joining Lexitech, Jerome had senior management roles at ITC Global Translations, Technicis, PureAgency.com, and Wildfire, a division of Google.
More about Lexitech France
Essentially, Lexitech is there to assist clients in delivering their content all over the globe. This content takes many forms and can be in any language spoken on planet Earth. By way of example, we have translated to 44 different languages for our clients in 2017…
In providing translation services, we take away one headache of our clients … but there are many more. We see many clients struggling with their content in different languages (OK, check!), in different forms (web, print, mobile…), in different versions (retail, professional, mechanic, trainer…), for different countries, for different models… Some of the work is done by marketing, some by technical writers, some by public relations… And of course, all of this needs to be done within strict deadlines: reporting cycles, product launches, seminars, trade fairs, regulatory requirements… None of these deadlines can be negotiated and all of these put considerable pressure on our clients and the people with whom we work every day.
Having discussed this with our clients during the last few months (sometimes in the heat of the action, sometimes during a debrief of yet another challenging few days), we have been looking for a tool which can leverage them and deal with this complexity. At Lexitech, we have become Silver Partner of Schema ST4, a prime solution for managing complex documents. No magic wand (not yet…) but a powerful and effective tool that has proved its quality for many years with about 300 industrial firms. We have made resources available at Lexitech to deal with the marketing, sales and support for Schema ST4 and look forward to an interesting time with all of you on this new and exciting topic.
Having attended the fifth TTT-seminar (Translation, Technology, Terminology) in Bled (Slovenia), last week, I wanted to share a few impressions:
1. I had the chance to meet various young entrepreneurs who come to the translation and localisation industry with ambition and gusto. They attest to the vitality and the innovative spirit of our industry and they deserve our admiration. Best of luck to Alan, Sarah, Zsofia, Ivan and so many others I had the chance to talk with.
2. My contribution discussed the strategic side: alliances, takeovers… The most notable feedback from the audience touches on private equity. Many professionals are confused, to the point of being concerned by this recent interest, even if that interest makes perfect sense from a strategic and a financial sense. But rather have everyone on board…
3. Iolar, the organising company, allowed for time for the ‘human’ side. Sessions on communication, well-being, productivity boosting underline an element we risk to forget now that we are inundated by novelties from the technology world. Our industry relies on the professionalism, experience and well-being of thousands of professionals who often work alone and where strict deadlines are ever present.