It could have been catastrophic, 2020, the year when businesses fell to their knees, the combination of Covid-19 and the ever-changing Brexit landscape was too much for too many.
Being a complete Language Solutions Provider, TRANSLIT was forced into a rethink, one of epic proportions. But CEO Alex Chernenko, and his team, refused to bend. They reinvented, altered their course and took aim at a new-look future. Numbers were crunched and confidence was key. And now, a couple of months into 2021, the results are there for all to see. TRANSLIT.com is rejuvenated, TRANSLIT PRO has come on board and is stronger than ever, TRANSLIT RSI has hit the ground running too, while TRANSLIT’s new London base has offered an alternative to the Brexit dilemma.
TRANSLIT won’t stop there either. There are exciting plans afoot for the rest of the year with further locations yet to be announced. Stay tuned for that, but for now it’s all about sharpening the existing tools.
Having acquired Instant Translation (2017) and Modern Polyglots (2018), TRANSLIT was set to push on before they became a major player in the European market. In early 2019, TRANSLIT teamed up with Cork private equity firm, Clashrock Capital, to help raise €500,000 in investment. It was a huge boost, TRANSLIT.com was on the horizon.
Covid-19 was still an unknown, when the new Centralised Interpreting Management Platform and Interpreters Marketplace was launched. TRANSLIT’s promise was the ability to save 70 percent of time and money courtesy of their own all-in-one solution. But external factors would play their part, and on 31 December 2019, the WHO were notified about cases of ‘viral pneumonia’ in Wuhan. The rest is history. The world came to a standstill in the space of a few months and everything changed.
Deemed an essential service, TRANSLIT was able to keep their doors open during the first lockdown. But that didn’t mean there was no impact on business. Interpreting services quickly went remote and some used this as an opportunity to reinvent.
“It was just before the world was broken up with lockdowns and restrictions. Everything went from on-site interpreting to remote,” said Chernenko. “But once we focused on remote interpreting we managed to beat our goal and we got 2,300 users of TRANSLIT.com last year.”
The original goal was to have 2,000 users by the end of 2020 but TRANSLIT achieved that in early December. The vision to focus on remote interpreting paid off. The collective effort of the team had paid off too, but it was their ability to maintain numerous different tasks that helped TRANSLIT survive the global pandemic. Next in line was the idea to provide upskilling opportunities for interpreters in Ireland and abroad.
“Ireland has a shortage of qualified interpreters,” said Chernenko.
“Hundreds of freelancers interpreting in courts, garda stations and prisons have no qualification which has been acknowledged by the Minister of Social Affairs and research done on over 370 LEP (Limited English Proficient) cases of the District Court involving non-Irish defendants.
“As a company providing interpreters to legal, medical and business occasions, we are required to have a wide pool of qualified and professional linguists in multiple cities across Ireland.
“No company in Ireland offers professional training for interpreters except NUI Galway and Dublin City University. And those are long-term third level courses which may not suit everyone in today’s fast-changing environment.
“Ireland needs modern interpreter training. TRANSLIT came up with a solution – TRANSLIT PRO.
“Our mission is to promote interpreting careers, help beginner interpreters to become more skilled and offer continued professional development to language professionals.”
The original figures were promising, when 600 linguists signed up for the first TRANSLIT PRO webinar and it grew from there. The demand was certainly there and interpreters had time on their hands to add to their CV.
It’s been over 30 online upskilling classes now where the attendees have numbered over 1,300. TRANSLIT’s target is to become one of Europe’s leading interpreter trainers. Their free and paid courses suit beginner and advanced interpreters and the future is bright.
TRANSLIT derived its name from Translation and IT, and those two combined again in January of this year when TRANSLIT RSI was launched. There was a huge gap in the market and Chernenko endeavoured to fill it with TRANSLIT’s own Remote Simultaneous Interpreting platform.
“The interpreter can work remotely with TRANSLIT’s RSI technology. It also alleviates the need for cumbersome professional equipment,” said Mr Chernenko.
“Instead, the interpretation is streamed online via the mobile app, connecting clients with interpreters from any location as long as they have an internet connection.
“Local businesses and the public sector will now have access to RSI technology without having to engage with overseas providers. This is good from a security perspective, data privacy and also supporting local businesses in creating new jobs for local interpreters.
“There are less than 20 providers in the world offering RSI technology at the moment. TRANSLIT joins the list to represent Ireland for the language industry.
“This technology will strengthen TRANSLIT’s competitive advantage for public and enterprise sectors and increase the global recognition of Irish tech firms.”
This helped to secure TRANSLIT’s promising future. Now they have an RSI solution to compete with the very best, and it has been an instant hit. Another string added to the bow at a time when some could have given up.
With everything going so right, from the business perspective, now was the time for TRANSLIT to set up in the UK. Brexit still loomed large but a new address at Shelton Street in London was the ideal way to combat that.
“Despite the UK leaving the EU, TRANSLIT will continue serving our existing clients there. We want to get new business and at the same time participate in local public tenders,” said Chernenko.
“Recently we have looked at the procurement sector in the UK. There have been new tenders published. TRANSLIT has already made efforts to participate in the British framework. This will allow us to continue serving our UK clients, and become more competitive by having a local base.
“In 2016 there were only four of us in the company, now the team is 15 and it’s growing. I am thrilled to have this opportunity to move to the UK and grow it further.
“TRANSLIT now has a presence in London and over the next few months we will be recruiting local people on the ground, that would be mainly sales and admin support staff. They will aid our expansion to the UK.”
Check out some of TRANSLIT’s most recent related news features here
//By Daragh Small/ PR Manager and Editor //TRANSLIT //