The Károli Gáspár University of the Reformed Church in Hungary held its third Terminology Thursday event on February 4, 2016. It opened to a great deal of interest on the part of Master’s Program professors, students, and Bachelor’s Program students hoping to enter the Master’s Program and study terminology at greater length. The event consisted of two parts and involved a series of presentations followed by a roundtable discussion. Terminology instructors and graduates of the course combined to hold the presentations.
Since computer-assisted translation methods are important to our work we’d like to learn as much about them as possible. In fact, we have tested and taken advantage of the technical possibilities offered by machine translation in some of our projects. We know that we are not the only translation bureau interested in the topic, so we have decided that sharing information and experience is a good idea. In that spirit we launched a series of language technology events, and the first of these was an invitation to specialists from other translation bureaus to come and join us for an open discussion party.
In focus: Machine translation in practice
Our party spotlighted the following topics:
- The Globalese Machine Translation System, which Gábor Bessenyei introduced us to
- How Language Experts Group uses machine translation in practice, demonstrated by Senior Project Manager Krisztián Sinkó
- CAT or MT? Which to use when, and how to combine them
- Accounting techniques
- Scouting out what the future has to offer
We were truly happy that so many participants accepted our invitation. We spent an enjoyable and productive afternoon together and I think we all learned something. We are definitely planning encore events!
We’ve got a new logo. We added a 10 to the old one. We’ve got a new watchword, too: Behind every sentence there’s a person! The changes are part of the ensemble of events running through till early next year that we’ve initiated to mark our 10th birthday. We’ve also got a major announcement up our sleeve. Since we can hardly wait to share the good news, we’ve opted to interview György Kovács, the man who founded the company and who is our current chief.
Back in the days before you started up this translation bureau what did you do?
The short version is that I worked for a number of translation bureaus. I was lucky enough to work for a smaller firm for a while, and then I became a player on the teams of two of the ten biggest companies on the translation market. I even had a few months to explore the localization department of a software developer. In other words, I got to try out just about every aspect of the translation industry. Language Experts is essentially the outcome of that 7 or 8 year period.
When you look at the business, what gives you the most satisfaction?
The team! My colleagues. Even before Language Experts got off the ground I had to realize that I couldn’t do everything single-handed. “I’ll take care of it. By the time I teach someone else, I’ll have finished the job myself!” Sound familiar? That is the prescription for working 12 to 14 hours a day, watching your hair turn gray prematurely, and for a whole bunch of other things that negatively impact your life. It took a while but I finally realized that it was okay if something was phrased differently from the way I’d do it, or even, God forbid, if it weren’t quite as good as I’d do it. But the Language Experts team made me really see the light – they were far better than “good.” Not only are they outstanding as professionals, but they turned people with very different personalities into a community of friends.
Looking back on the road travelled since the early days, are you satisfied with how far you’ve come? What particular problems did you have to overcome?
Actually, there was a time when I was completely satisfied, which left me way too complacent and careless. And I paid a high price! In the economic crisis years we nearly folded. My luck was the loyalty of my staff during the tough times, which I think played a major role in our survival. Now, I believe and I actually hope that I’ll never again be satisfied with the company. That could well be the cornerstone of our future. We’re always trying to do a better job and to come up with new ideas. Not at all costs, and not just for the sake of doing something differently. That, I believe, is why we’ve come this far. Those ten years have given us the chance to move up in the world. We’re opening a Japanese office in Tokyo in the very near future.
What do you consider most important when choosing your staff?
That’s a tough question. The easiest way to describe it is by saying that the prospective staff members needs to be able to handle the job and to fit in with the team. This is why we have a three-round selection process plus a graphology analysis. Not only does that tell us a great deal about the candidate but it also gives us an insight into how well that person will mesh with existing staff. Recent years have shown us how valuable our internship program is, giving us a chance to really get to know our future colleagues.
What makes a team good?
Its cohesion. It’s not just an assemblage of individuals but a community of varied personalities. These are people who are really good at their jobs and very demanding with regard to their own work. And they are restless. They always need to be DOING SOMETHING. Something good.
Professionally speaking, what was the most memorable moment of the past ten years?
The moment when I decided to open the Japanese office. It still feels like a dream. But a vast number of memorable events led to that one. They included achievements and failures alike that it would be hard to rank in orders of importance. I look back with gratitude on each and every one of them.
Plans for 2016?
To complement the heavy work load with a bit of celebration. Then to get back to work ... and to celebrate a little more, here and there.
What is the key to the success of Language Experts Group?
The Language Experts Group itself. The team, the company, the 10 years of experience, and the fact that we treat our customers and suppliers like partners. Whether as a supplier or as an ordering party I believe it is always important to realize that the other person is your partner, and that partner has both feelings and needs.
Because behind every sentence there is a person.
We are long-time fans and supporters of a Budapest sports club where preschoolers and schoolchildren learn the ins and outs of hanami and takara karate. We are very proud of these young athletes who were first time participants in the European Goju-Kai Championship in Britain this past summer. They came home with gold, silver, and bronze medals alike. And according to the latest news, several members of the association will soon be presented with the “Top Athletes of District 13” award.
Keep up the good work!
Professor of language translation Kinga Klaudy, Professor Emeritus at the Translator and Interpreter Training Faculty of Budapest’s Eötvös Loránd University, recently celebrated her 70th birthday. A member of our own staff, Andrea Faludi was a contributor to the volume of doctoral studies prepared in Dr. Klaudy’s honor entitled “Along the clandestine paths to translation.” Our Andi’s contribution was called “Investigating lexical cohesion with CAT in translated texts – The domain relationship as a tool of lexical cohesion.”
Another of Andi’s studies was published last week in a volume called “Language for Specific Purposes (LSP) and Translation,” which was focused on the topical issues of Field-specific translation and training translators. Her study focused on “Library databases and how they serve translators."