How many languages does a translation agency speak?
They say that if you’re planning to write a blog, you should start by writing an introduction. I figured I’d skip the part about how we provide professional language services in 50+ languages to businesses of all sizes, in Hungary and abroad… after all, many of you already know this. Plus, who needs a sales pitch in a blog?
Instead, I thought it would be so much more entertaining if I told you what it’s like when friends and acquaintances ask me what I do. Usually, I just say I have a translation agency, which my sister and I manage together. At this point, I can typically expect one or more of the following reactions:
What languages do you translate in? Wow, it must be great to just sit at home and work whenever you feel like it. So, how many languages do you guys work with?
Well, I don’t actually translate… and I don’t actually sit at home… and when I hear the third question I give a sigh of relief, because hey, someone finally gets that I’m no freelancer (who, by the way, do not actually get to work whenever they feel like it, but never mind that, that’s a subject for their blog, not mine.)
So I perk up and tell them that as of 2017, we work with more than fifty languages, but the number of language combinations is of course much larger. This is when suspicion sets in.
So… how many languages do you speak, again? And your sister?
And here comes the mental math, and the smug grin, oh boy, they’ve got me now. There’s no way this all adds up.
What, the two of you? That many languages?
Well, then I start explaining again, you know, how I didn’t mention that while EDIMART does indeed come from Edi(t) and Mart(a), we also have a fantastic team holding our hand, driving us forward. I keep going, telling them about the project managers, who are all linguists but never actually translate a single word, but on the other hand we have an operations manager supporting their work. And of course we have the language engineer, who works with text, and has never engineered a single thing in the physical world. I go on… there’s the vendor manager, who does not sell anything, but does buy a bunch of translations from the freelancers who work for us and handle all these various language combinations. And the sales team, who goes and sells all of this. Eventually I get to the finance manager, and I can see a glimmer of hope in their eyes, wow, so at least there’s one decent person there doing some real, good old-fashioned work.
And sometimes, I do get the easy question at the end… so what exactly is it that YOU do?