Who knows language-industry professionals better than other language-industry professionals? We here at MultiLingual certainly don’t know of anyone more qualified to pick their peers’ brains, so in this guest post, reader Nicolás Maximiliano Martín Fontana decided to interview colleague Tina Julsgaard of Comunica Translations. Check out the interview below!
Why do you like reading MultiLingual Magazine?
It provides me with all the insights I need on the translation industry. I think it’s very important to follow all the latest trends and developments in the world of translation, and to keep up to date with how things are changing and evolving. I also really enjoy reading about the experiences of my peers and learning about their thoughts on the industry and the challenges they are facing. I never know what stimulating and thought-provoking ideas I might find between the pages of the magazine and there is something very exciting and appealing about that. It’s a springboard for new ideas and developments.
Why a Nordic LSP in Fuengirola, Spain, and not in Denmark?
The reason is because I moved to Spain with my Spanish husband right after I finished my university degree in Hispanic Languages. My initial plan was to become a high school teacher but as a foreigner in Spain, it turned out that wasn’t an option. Instead, I got a job as a journalist for a Danish magazine, and after several years writing articles and doing a bit of translation work on the side, I decided to start my own company. At first, it was both a language school and a translation agency, but it didn’t take long before I realized that translation was my real passion. So, I closed down the language-school side of the business and began focusing exclusively on translation services. Around the same time, I added the other three Nordic languages to our range of services and cemented Comunica as an LSP specialized in the Nordics. It was from that point onwards that the business really began to take off.
Since you started Comunica in 2007, how has the company evolved?
A lot has changed over the years, even if the core tenets of the business have remained the same — to provide good-quality, accurate translations and to deliver attentive customer service to our clients. One thing that has changed a lot for us at Comunica is our use of technology. Initially we used our own proprietary project management program which was great in that it was tailored specifically to our needs, but over time it became cumbersome and overloaded with new additions. We noticed that XTRF was becoming the gold standard within the industry and so after a period of extensive research, we decided to make the change ourselves. Things have become a lot more streamlined and automated since then, which is good and this helps us to better collaborate with our network of linguists.
And how has the Nordic market developed over the years?
I would say that the market has grown considerably. The online world is continuing to expand, and more and more global companies are seeking to reach the significant spending power of consumers in northern Europe and to do business in the Nordic market. At the same time, the Nordics are seeing opportunities to sell their products and do business abroad and the Nordic lifestyle has become a trend in many countries. In both directions, there is an understanding of the crucial role that good-quality and reliable translations play in allowing these exchanges to take place.
Who was your first client?
My first client was a Danish furniture design company. I started translating for them as a freelancer even before I had established Comunica. I am very pleased to say that they are still a client of ours today, and we currently translate into four different languages for them. Their texts are sometimes like poetry, very evocative and beautifully described. This can make them a bit of a challenge to translate at times, but highly rewarding and our translators love working on them.
Is it a good time to be a Nordic translator?
Absolutely! As I mentioned, the market is growing, and advances in technology mean that it is easier than ever before to get on with the work. Even though the Nordic people speak English at a very high level, foreign companies with an ambition to conquer the Nordic markets still need to speak the local language if they truly want their message to land.
What is your goal for Comunica’s future?
My goal is for Comunica to continue to grow and to become well known as a boutique Nordic translation agency. I would like for our name to become virtually synonymous with translation into and out of the Nordic languages and for us to work with more and bigger clients within these language pairs. I would also like to see the company branch out into more service offerings. For example, we have recently started working on more subtitling projects, and I think this represents an interesting avenue for growth. We have come a long way since our early days almost 15 years ago, but I see plenty of room for further growth and development in the future, and I am looking forward to the journey ahead.