The language industry moves quickly, and Adam Kossowski, as CEO of Way With Words, works just as fast to stay abreast of the developments. That’s why he prioritizes consuming industry publications like MultiLingual magazine — when every decision counts, it’s a smart idea to know what leading industry voices are saying. MultiLingual contributor Nicolas M. Martin Fontana asked him more about it and how his career has developed since its beginnings.
Why do you enjoy reading MultiLingual magazine?
In my role as CEO, staying abreast of the latest trends and developments in the translation and interpretation industry is crucial. MultiLingual magazine serves as an invaluable resource for me in this regard. Its content is both excellent and precise, offering a quick yet comprehensive overview of the multilingual world. This is particularly beneficial amidst our fast-paced work schedules and myriad tasks. Furthermore, the magazine has been instrumental in helping me identify new opportunities for international business expansion, a significant advantage in today’s global marketplace.
How did you get involved in the translation business?
Joining Way With Words in 2007 marked the beginning of what has become a long and fulfilling experience for me. Coming from outside the language industry, I was entrusted by our shareholders with the mission to construct a service that not only spans globally, but also maintains a steadfast commitment to quality, particularly in the realm of speech-to-text transcription.
Since you entered the translation industry, how has the business landscape changed?
The landscape of our industry has undergone a profound transformation. The advent of technology and artificial intelligence (AI) has become a cornerstone in every modern business and organization. It’s now imperative for us to weave AI into the fabric of our service delivery to stay relevant and competitive. The real challenge doesn’t lie in the technology itself but in grasping the myriad opportunities AI presents. We must also navigate the ethical considerations, address the impact on job security for a substantial segment of our workforce, and fully appreciate the added value AI brings. This shift is not just substantial; it’s akin to a seismic event reshaping our business terrain.
Could you share your experience working with your first client or on your first project?
Since my start with the company, we’ve served numerous clients and continue to expand our reach. Reflecting on pivotal moments, I recall collaborating with one of the pioneering technology firms a decade ago. They sought our expertise to enhance their Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) systems, initially targeting call center operations, which swiftly branched out to various other sectors. That period was a thrilling one, providing me the opportunity to converse with the era’s visionaries about the trajectory of technology and emerging AI. Their forecasts and timelines for the maturation of these technologies were impressively accurate, and witnessing their predictions come to fruition today has been an extraordinary aspect of my journey.
Do you believe it’s a good time to enter the translation business?
There’s never a bad time to enter the language and translation sectors. In our world, the one constant is the need for clear communication. The global landscape is rife with miscommunication, leading to misunderstandings and erroneous assumptions. The ability to convey messages clearly, succinctly, and promptly across different languages presents both an enduring opportunity and a significant challenge that we continuously strive to meet.
Where do you see yourself professionally in the next 10 years?
At this juncture, I find myself amidst a significant transformation within the industry. Personally, I am transitioning towards a mentorship role, offering guidance to a dynamic and vibrant team that has been performing exceptionally well. They are at the forefront, crafting a new era of services for our international clientele through Way With Words. My aim is to support and foster their growth, ensuring that our collective expertise continues to set the bar in the global market.
What predictions do you have for the future of the translation industry?
Our company has traditionally been more focused on transcription services rather than translation. Nevertheless, we’ve experienced significant growth in our operations within African languages over the past few years, particularly in creating highly customized and well-documented speech data collections in collaboration with key international partners. Our aim is to enhance the quality of AI-driven services for African languages that are currently underrepresented and under-resourced, opening a wealth of AI applications. It’s an exhilarating development that has positioned us as a primary resource for technological advancements targeting the African continent. Our expertise in language understanding is becoming increasingly vital for innovative solutions in this emerging market.