We talk about the most valuable component of the language industry being the interpreter that allows communication, cultural sensitivity, SME to be given during an LEP engagement with the English-speaking person. We say without the interpreter the services provided today could not be done at the level necessary and ranges from being very important to critical based on the use case.
I would say that is not quite true, a matter of fact, horse manure. If the value of the interpreter is important, critical, and considered priceless, then why are we constantly lowering the rate per minute, per hour of what interpreters receive, and yet we demand more SME, more credentials, more certifications, but we keep lowering the compensation representing their financial worth every year to the point these valuable priceless individuals cannot afford to work as professional interpreters in the language industry.
The fact is the industry of human interpreters is still very important. The clients needing language services are changing as technology becomes more available to deliver services, and the use of AI technology has become more accurate becoming a factor of why the industry is changing. It used to be quality was the filter of how things would be accepted, qualified interpreters, quality professional interpreters, and technology was a second thought or not at all. Today there is a paradigm shift, show me what technology you have, and then the interpreter resources you have when needed. Interpreters will be needed in specific markets, and those markets are becoming less and smaller in size. Interpreters see the change and they too see technology being a factor impacting their future.
The conversation with enterprise companies want to know and hear, what technology do you have to deliver language solutions, what are the different technology modalities that can be used to engage communication, what AI technology can be used and how can you or we integrate platforms to access services through a centralized process. The attitude is if an interpreter is needed then we will engage the human interpreter, and if not, let’s use technology solutions be the primary option.
Companies entering the language industry, cannot be a service company only and expect their company to realize growth, client penetration, and control of their clients with service only. Those companies must have a technology platform to deliver solutions, and technology that can integrate into other platforms to deliver access to language solutions. A technology platform that can adapt, be flexible to integrate, and add new technology as its developed.
If businesses are to survive and grow within the Language Industry there needs to be a new vision, a mindset change, a paradigm shift of how to build a business and support the demanding market of clients wanting solutions through technology. Businesses in the language industry can look at building their own technology platforms, or leverage and partner with companies that will white label their technology.
The question facing interpreters is how will they prepare for their future?
What will successful and profitable businesses in the language industry look like in the future?
What will clients want in the future to support their company’s growth and profitability as they service the LEP’s?
The markets are speaking loud and clear, and they want technology to be part of their future.
Are we listening?
Your choice, keep the status quo or change and adapt to having a new vision embracing technology.
Lingolet has developed the Simplicity Hybrid Platform for businesses to access, for white labeling for language companies to support their client’s business needs, with multiple modalities.
Edward Cavazos Jr.