Last time, MultiLingual reader Nicolás Maximiliano Martín Fontana interviewed Comunica Translations’ Tina Julsgaard to discuss her thoughts on the industry and her work. Now he’s back for another conversation with a localization pro — this time Begoña Canut Noval, a conference interpreter with 11 years’ experience. Noval shares why she started her agency, inTERP Mexico, and what keeps her going in the localization business.
Do you like reading Multilingual Magazine?
I love reading it. It keeps me updated with what’s new in the translation and interpretation industry. The content is excellent and accurate to get a quick glimpse of what is happening in the multilingual world in midst of our fast-moving tasks and working days.
Something very positive as entrepreneur is that this type of content also helps me identify new opportunities for international businesses.
Why you decided to open a translation agency?
I’ve always been in love with languages and communication. After I graduated with a B.A. in Interpretation, I wanted to learn more ways to communicate with others. I started rendering interpretation and translation services as a freelancer, and even though I felt great helping others to communicate, I was able to notice the poor communication and management that exists in our industry in terms of vendor-client relationships. This is a particularly an issue when translators and interpreters are also acting managers of their own projects, and due to the lack of time and business skills, we end up giving a very deficient service to the end client.
This is when I decided to create my agency, which I see more like a linguists’ platform, in which you can have a separate PM allocating and following-up each project and each client, making the linguist life easier and our customers happier.
On the other hand, and talking about professional multilingual services, globalization has been a key driver for the increasing need of translation work. Even for people with high dexterity in English, it is not always easy to keep up with the speed of the speaker and/or the specialized terminology of the diverse disciplines. Furthermore, translation must get adapted to the culture (localization) of the target audience.
Those are other reasons why I decided to start inTERP Mexico. In this way, the intended message seamlessly reaches the audience in their mother tongue, and we as interpreters and translators can easily break down barriers to intertwine cultures.
This is what we stand for at inTERP!
Since you started your career in the translation industry how pricing has evolved?
This is a difficult question! In Mexico they haven’t evolved much.
In a developing country like this one, it is not so easy to make big increases in pricing. There is a lot of competition, as well as unfaithful competition and non-professionals rendering these services. In addition to this, clients still aren’t very clear on how difficult and cumbersome our work can be, so they almost always complain about high costs in language services.
This is why we prefer to operate in adherence to the suggested fees from the Colegio Mexicano de Licenciados en Traducción e Interpretación (CMLTI), the Mexican College for licensed translators and interpreters, in order to have a solid back-up to justify our prices.
How has the Mexican market developed over the years concerning translation and interpretation?
Once again, these services has gained more and more popularity within the years as a result of globalization and Mexico’s aperture toward international affairs. There’s an increase in interpretation and translation professionals and education opportunities, and also services in languages other than English are increasing in demand.
A brief example of this development in the Mexican market could be seen after the growth of global businesses and the Covid-19 pandemic, which have forced inTERP to digitalize.
We started-up new communication alternatives by the application of digital technology. This led us to offer a new business line, Remote Simultaneous Interpretation (RSI) via Zoom, Interprefy, Kudo, Ablio and other video-conference platforms. And fortunately, we have made loads of progress in a very short period of time — much faster than expected.
We put a big emphasis on the quality of the language service, including quality audio from the interpreters and from the audience/speakers, and also on the technical support during the RSI service. It is very important to us to continue giving our customers the best service in-class, whether digital or on-site.
Who was your first client?
I could say that ROSEN Group is inTERP’s raison d’être.
Working for ROSEN made me notice how much work is needed before providing any language service, especially as a freelancer with no time.
After ROSEN became inTERP’s first client, we started having a new perspective. So I am very happy to say that they have demanded us to include more complex and challenging services within these 12 years of working relationship. Their needs constantly change as a result of their expansion, so at the end it contributes to our growth as well.
Is it a good time to be a translator?
It is a perfect time to be a translator and an interpreter. The world has a humongous need for communication, and being the invisible mediator and making communication possible between parties is a great satisfaction and responsibility.
What is your goal for InTERP Mexico’s future?
Our goal in inTERP is always customer satisfaction. We focus on being an added value for our clients and satisfy all their changing needs.
Additionally, I want to continue growing professionally and personally together with inTERP. We hope to make it the best platform for linguists in Mexico, so they can find a secure and comfortable place to work covering all their professional needs.
In a nutshell, we want to provide the best communication alternatives to our customers with quick responses according to their specific needs, not forgetting that our motto is “breaking down barriers to intertwine cultures” with the best quality in service and professionalism.