The Impact of Sourcing Responsibly in the Language Industry

Have you ever wondered where the items you use come from or how they were sourced?  After all, most of the items we use daily come from different parts of the world – from coffee grown in South America to cell phones manufactured in Asia.

 

As we continue to use products from around the world, it’s important to consider whether these items are being sourced responsibly.  Unfortunately, not all products are. One shocking example of negligent sourcing is the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) case in Chad.  The company hired thousands of local workers to drill for crude oil, which helped create a stronger economy.  However, they dumped oil into the countryside.  This blatant disregard for the safety and health of the community and workers, as well as the environment, led to the famous Chad vs. CNPC case.

The CNPC case is just one example of the repercussions of global irresponsibility. In the language industry, we see this irresponsibility when translators are paid two cents per word.  The reality is that the cost of a quality human translator, who is sourced responsibly, is fixed at real market value.

Unfortunately, the demand for cheap translations has led to trends such as crowdsourcing. With crowdsourcing, companies blast out translation projects to millions of translators, creating a bidding war. The translator who accepts the project first, at the lowest price, wins. In this process, there is clearly a complete disregard for sourcing responsibly and quality when the only goal is finding the lowest bidder.

Technology has allowed us to increase volume and improve productivity.  As a result, we’ve been able to reduce costs.  However, we still can’t justify paying a translator two cents per word.

I encourage companies to ask the tough questions such as:

  • How are these two cent languages being sourced?
  • Who is doing the work?
  • How are they able to do it so cheaply?
  • Where and how is the work being produced?

The impact of sourcing languages responsibly goes far beyond gross profit – it’s an investment in a translator’s livelihood. Offering exceptional translators fair market prices should be a constant goal. After all, talented translators are not a dime-a-dozen.  They should be treated and paid fairly.

So, as your translation prices continue declining, you may want to ask yourself:

  1. Is my global workforce paying a bigger price in regards to their health and wellness so we can offer drastically lower prices?
  2. Are we proud of the working conditions we provide our global workforce?

Most language companies rely on overseas operations due to the scarcity of qualified talent in the U.S. and certain parts of the world. In some countries, doing the right thing is enforced. For example, some countries require us to set an extra 150% aside from employee salaries in order to comply with government regulations that cover health insurance, taxes, yearly bonuses, vacations, safety, quality of life, time off, extra holidays, religious celebrations etc. Unfortunately, some shared economies are failing abroad due to the lack of compliance with these local laws.

What does sourcing responsibly require?

Sourcing responsibly requires several full-time team members to verify university degrees and references, provide training in fraud, waste and abuse, as well as to manage contract signing and language testing. They also have to confirm that the translator has experience in specific industries and specialization in certain topics.

Sourcing responsibly also requires paying invoices on time, trust coupled with respect, an impeccable work ethic for on-time delivery, communication and continuous quality improvement.

Quality takes glossaries, client feedback, workforce training and development, teamwork, leadership and motivation.  Quality also requires human resources and an amazing technology engine coupled with antivirus/security protection. Finally, quality takes storing your data in private servers that are government compliant. After all, quality affects much more than just the text – it affects the entire workflow process.

At Akorbi, we leverage our translator databases to provide translator performance feedback. Exceptional translators get the rankings they deserve, while less-than-perfect translators get lower tier rankings. We go to great lengths to take care of our community of translators.

Sourcing translators responsibly is by no means an easy task. But, it pays great dividends. It results in more consistent project quality and better quality of life for your global workforce.

Everyone wins when we put our people, and not our bottom line, first. I hope you join me in taking a stand as an industry to do what’s right and fair for the people we employ and contract.

____________________________________________________________________

About the Author:

Claudia Mirza is the CEO and co-founder of Akorbi, the second fastest-growing language services company in the world, according to Common Sense Advisory. What started as a home- based translation business has become a global company with 931 employees around the world. In addition to leading one of the fastest-growing companies in the world (with 1,267% growth in the last five years), Claudia is a published author in key industry publications, a sought-after speaker, an inventor with several patents-pending and a student at Harvard Business School’s Owner/President Management Program.

About Akorbi:

Akorbi provides enterprise solutions that empower companies to achieve success in the global economy. It helps companies connect with employees, vendors and customers in over 170 languages 24×7, in any modality, from any location. Akorbi’s customizable, enterprise solutions include: technical and multilingual staffing, learning services, multilingual contact centers, video remote solutions, translation/ localization and in-person interpretation services.

www.akorbi.com

6504 International Parkway | Suite 1500 | Plano, Texas 75093

214.256.9222

The Translators of the Future:
How Human Translators Can Work with Robots


As the translation industry evolves, the translators of the future will also have to evolve. This is the technology revolution and a time of transition – just like secretaries transitioned from typewriters to computers. The translation profession will not go away as long as we’re willing to adapt to new technology and way of doing things. Translators have to be willing to become technology integrators, moderators and multilingual content creators to continue being marketable.

 

The translators and project managers of the future will need to work with immense amounts of data, manipulate it and move it from one format to another while ensuring quality. They will need to be strong critical thinkers, communicators and problem solvers. This new generation will be well versed in technology and localization tools. I already see a major shift from the need for traditional human translation services to the need for content writers, trans-creators, content moderators, video editors, marketing researchers and much more.

My advice to professional translators is to master the art of becoming  exceptional at managing volume and technology. They need to consider learning more about XLIFF, an XML-based format created to standardize the way localizable data is passed between tools during a localization process and a common format for CAT tool files.

 

A noteworthy new trend is the increase of audio visual content. As a result, translators need to become proficient in translating audio visual content and in post-editing machine translations. Additionally, they will need to transition from working in isolation to collaborating with multiple translators.

Now that comprehensive content databases have been created for the popular languages, like English to Spanish, we must turn our attention to African, Asian and many other languages that still have not been recorded in content databases. These languages, which lack recorded content, arecalled the “long tail” of languages.

We must also focus our attention on rare language pairs such as translations from Spanish to Chinese, Spanish to Vietnamese, Chinese to Swahili, etc. I believe that the best way to predict future translations is by looking at trade routes such as Kenya and China, Vietnam and Colombia, as well as China and the Caribbean islands.

Due to the spike of mobile economies in India and Africa, technology companies are looking to obtain content for language pairs that have not been traditionally translated. The United States and Europe have been pioneers in multilingual content technologies but now the demand is looking to new emerging markets.

Clearly, the translation industry is quickly evolving in this new age of technology. It’s important for translators to prepare themselves for the inevitable changes and opportunities to come.

About the Author: Claudia Mirza

Claudia Mirza is the CEO and co-founder of Akorbi, the third fastest-growing language services provider in the world, according to Common Sense Advisory. What started as a home based translation business, today has become a company with 930 employees around the world providing enterprise solutions that empower companies to achieve success in the global economy. In addition to leading one of the fastest growing companies in the world, is a published author in key industry publications, a sought-after speaker, an inventor with several patents-pending and a student at Harvard Business School’s Owner/President Management Program.

About Akorbi:

Akorbi is a U.S.-based company with 930 employees around the world. It provides enterprise solutions that empower companies to achieve success in the global economy. It helps companies connect with employees, vendors and customers in over 170 languages 24×7, in any modality, from any location. Akorbi’s customizable, enterprise solutions include: technical and multilingual staffing, learning services, multilingual contact centers, video remote solutions, translation/ localization and in-person interpretation services.

Akorbi Partners with Vital Learning to Create Award-Winning Online Leadership Development Curriculum

PLANO, Texas – December 15, 2016 – Akorbi is proud to announce that the Leadership Essential’s online curricula, designed and developed for Vital Learning, has earned several awards including:

  • International eLearning Association, “Best Mobile Learning” (GOLD)
  • Stevie Award, “Best New Product: Managerial Training” (GOLD)
  • Omni Awards, “Best Educational Video” (SILVER)
  • Best of Elearning! “Leadership Training” (Finalist – announcement of winners pending)
  • Best of Elearning! “Softskills Training” (Finalist – announcement of winners pending)

Akorbi was responsible for designing the online versions of Vital Learning’s Leadership Essential’s series, and for making them fully responsive on any browser, so training can take place anytime, anywhere.  The curriculum was originally designed by Vital Learning to help the company develop leaders across its organization, and the company partnered with Akorbi to take it to the next level, while also reducing training costs.

The new, customized curriculum includes the following five key differentiators:

  1. Learning by doing – exercises that enable learners to participate in the learning.
  2. Behavior modeling & skill practice – includes short scenarios, video and small group breakouts.
  3. Mobile-optimized, “bite-sized” learning.
  4. 5 to 8 modules per course with assessments.
  5. Responsive design.
  6. Accessible on any browser.
  7. Skill development over time – reinforcement tools to deepen learning.
  8. Low cost of ownership.

“I’ve had the pleasure of partnering with Akorbi for more than two years,” said Todd Macey, President of Vital Learning.  “Akorbi’s learning services professionals are passionate and highly-skilled, and they deliver (and over-deliver) quality solutions they stand behind. I highly recommend working with Akorbi’s world-class team.”

“Our partnership with Vital Learning allows Akorbi to offer award-winning leadership and management training that seamlessly integrates into any learning management system, so it can be quickly and easily distributed and accessed by team members,” said Matthew Casey, Ph.D., Assoc. Vice President of Akorbi’s Learning Services Division.  “We’re thrilled by the recognition this online curriculum has received world-wide, and we’re excited to offer it as a customized training solution.”

About Akorbi

Akorbi offers global and multilingual business solutions in more than 170 languages to some of the largest companies in the world. The company offers a full range of language, localization and global marketing solutions, including: professional staffing, translation, interpretation, multilingual call centers, business process outsourcing, video remote technologies, sign language interpretation, alternate formats, transcription, eLearning and eDiscovery. The company holds several certifications including ISO 9001:2008, ISO 13485:2003, EN 15038:2006 and M/WBE Certification.  For more information, visit www.akorbi.com or call 1.877.4.AKORBI.

Akorbi Ranked as the #33 Fastest-Growing Company in the Dallas Area in the SMU Cox Dallas 100

Only translation, interpretation, contact center and e-Learning provider to be included in prestigious list for 2nd year in a row

DALLAS, TX – December 5, 2016 – Akorbi was ranked as the 33rd fastest-growing company in the Dallas area (up 13 spots from its #46 ranking in 2015) at SMU Cox’s 26th Annual Dallas 100 Awards ceremony on November 29th.  For the second year in a row, Akorbi was the only translation, interpretation, contact center and e-Learning provider to be recognized in the impressive list of fast growth companies, which spanned just about every industry.  Hundreds of entrepreneurs, community leaders and business executives were part of the prestigious event, which took place at the Omni Dallas hotel.

Since being founded in 2003 by Azam and Claudia Mirza, Akorbi’s revenues have soared.  Earlier this year, the company competed with the fastest-growing companies across the U.S. and secured the #501 spot on the 2016 Inc. 5000 with 758% growth in the last three years.  The Women Presidents’ Organization also ranked it as the #12 fastest-growing woman-owned/led company globally.

Akorbi’s impressive growth has been largely due to the launch of a wide range of multilingual business services (such as staffing, contact centers and e-Learning), which support clients around the world.  The company’s impressive client base includes many government agencies and Fortune 500 companies.

Annually, SMU Cox ranks the top 100 Dallas entrepreneurial companies based on sales growth during a specific period of time. These companies must be privately-held and based in the Dallas Metroplex. This year, SMU Cox looked for a high percentage in sales growth from 2013-2015 as the main criteria for the Dallas 100. Akorbi’s impressive 758% growth in recent years makes the company highly deserving of this recognition.

“It’s an honor to be recognized among so many impressive and fast-growing companies in the Dallas area,” said Azam Mirza, President of Akorbi. “We are incredibly grateful for the support of our community, SMU Cox, as well as our outstanding team, which works tirelessly to serve our clients and distinguish Akorbi in such highly competitive industries.”

About Akorbi

Akorbi offers global and multilingual business solutions in more than 170 languages to some of the largest companies in the world. The company offers a full range of language, localization and global marketing solutions, including: professional staffing, translation, interpretation, multilingual call centers, business process outsourcing, video remote technologies, sign language interpretation, alternate formats, transcription, eLearning and eDiscovery. The company holds several certifications including ISO 9001:2008, ISO 13485:2003, EN 15038:2006 and M/WBE Certification.  For more information, visit www.akorbi.com or call 1.877.4.AKORBI.

Akorbi Ranks #501 in Inc. 5000 Based on Impressive 3-Year Growth of 758%

PLANO, Texas – November 8, 2016 – Akorbi, a leading provider of multilingual business solutions, has been ranked by Inc. magazine as #501 in its prestigious Inc. 5000 list, making it one of the fastest-growing private companies in the U.S.  The ranking was based on a remarkable growth rate of 758% from 2012 to 2015.  Since 1982, the Inc. 5000 has highlighted the nation’s most successful private companies and has become a symbol of entrepreneurial success.  Akorbi received the award during the three day conference in San Antonio, Texas, which took place October 21-23.

 

Akorbi’s fast-growth can be attributed to the fact that it’s one of the most diversified companies in the language services industry.  In the last few years, the company has expanded globally and added a variety of new services, including multilingual staffing, business process outsourcing, multilingual call centers, eLearning, interpretation, video remote technologies and so much more.

 

Akorbi also continues to improve its competitive edge by developing proprietary technology.  This year, the company introduced its Unified Multilingual Communication’s Platform (UMCP) which, among other things, is helping companies in the healthcare industry be compliant with Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act.  Section 1557 prohibits using non-certified interpreters, except in emergency situations.  Akorbi’s UMCP gives healthcare providers access to certified interpreters and translators, from any service provider, in every mode of communication (voice, video and in-person) through a single, secure platform.

 

“We are extremely honored to be part of this exclusive list with so many impressive and fast-growing companies,” said Azam Mirza, President and co-founder of Akorbi. “Our growth wouldn’t be possible without the support and dedication of our more than 600 team members around the world, including our co-founder Claudia Mirza, who work tirelessly to support our global clients and make Akorbi an industry leader.”

 

The Inc. 5000 is the most competitive list of fast-growing private companies.  This year, the average three-year growth rate was a staggering 433% and the aggregate revenue was $200 billion.  The companies generated 640,000 jobs from 2012-2015 – about 8% of all jobs created in the entire economy during that time. The complete results of the Inc. 5000 can be found at www.inc.com/inc5000.

-more-

AKORBI RANKS #501 IN INC. MAGAZINE’S 2016 INC. 5000

PAGE 2

 

About Akorbi

Akorbi offers multilingual business solutions in more than 170 languages to some of the largest companies in the world. The company offers a full range of language, localization and global marketing solutions, including: professional staffing, translation, interpretation, video remote technologies, multilingual call centers, business process outsourcing, sign language interpretation, alternate formats, transcription, eLearning and eDiscovery. The company holds several certifications including ISO 9001:2008, ISO 13485:2003, EN 15038:2006 and M/WBE Certification.  For more information, visit www.akorbi.com or call 1.877.4.AKORBI.

 

More about Inc. and the Inc. 500|5000

The 2016 Inc. 5000 is ranked according to percentage revenue growth when comparing 2012 to 2015. To qualify, companies must have been founded and generating revenue by March 31, 2012. They had to be U.S.-based, privately held, for profit, and independent—not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies—as of December 31, 2015. (Since then, a number of companies on the list have gone public or been acquired.) The minimum revenue required for 2012 is $100,000; the minimum for 2015 is $2 million. As always, Inc. reserves the right to decline applicants for subjective reasons. Companies on the Inc. 500 are featured in Inc.’s September issue. They represent the top tier of the Inc. 5000, which can be found at http://www.inc.com/inc5000.

 

Contact:
Veronica Thomison
MPR Source, Inc. for Akorbi
214.893.3740
vthomison@mprsource.com

Akorbi Introduces Unified Multilingual Communications’ Platform at TAUS

Akorbi, a leading provider of global and multilingual business solutions, is introducing its Unified Multilingual Communications’ Platform (UMCP) at the TAUS Game Changer Innovation Contest in Portland, Oregon. Akorbi will be competing for the Insider Innovation Award, October 24-25.

Akorbi’s UMCP is a patent-pending and proprietary mobile and web-based platform. The innovative platform will transform language services by offering access to interpretation and translation services, from any service provider, in every mode of communication (translation, voice, video and in-person) through a single, secure platform.

Akorbi’s UMCP’s unique features include:

  • Its secure and data-enabled video and telephonic interpretation services, which are delivered via ALL mobile devices on the market and the Internet.
  • The platform’s workflows, which deliver professional human and machine translations with HIPAA-compliant document management and delivery.
  • An interpretation scheduling interface, which empowers mobile users to schedule and track interpretation appointments from start to finish, unlike traditional browser-based scheduling systems.

“Akorbi’s UMCP demonstrates our commitment to providing our clients with innovative technologies that give them access to language services in the most convenient, secure and cost-effective way,” said Azam Mirza, President and co-founder of Akorbi. “We’re excited to be a part of the evolution of language services.”

Akorbi UMCP will help support Akorbi’s explosive growth and competitive edge. The company has experienced 758% growth in recent years, landing it the #501 spot in the 2016 Inc. 5000 and the #12 spot in the Women Presidents’ Organization’s 2016 list of 50 fastest-growing women-owned/led companies in the world.

“The TAUS Annual Conference is the perfect place to introduce Akorbi’s UMCP because it drives innovation, automation and collaboration,” said David Rhodes, Vice President of video mobility for Akorbi. “We’re excited to get valuable insight from representatives of some of the most prestigious companies in the world.”

Akorbi employs more than 600 people around the world. The company serves an impressive client base that includes MoneyGram, Health Services Corporation, Fossil and many Fortune 500 companies.

About Akorbi

Akorbi offers global and multilingual business solutions in more than 170 languages to some of the largest companies in the world. The company offers a full range of language, localization and global marketing solutions, including: professional staffing, translation, interpretation, multilingual call centers, business process outsourcing, video remote technologies, sign language interpretation, alternate formats, transcription, eLearning and eDiscovery. The company holds several certifications including ISO 9001:2008, ISO 13485:2003, EN 15038:2006 and M/WBE Certification. For more information, visit http://www.akorbi.com or call 1.877.4.AKORBI.

About TAUS

TAUS is a resource center for the global language and translation industries. Our mission is to increase the size and significance of the translation industry to help the world communicate better.

We envision translation as a standard feature, a utility, similar to the internet, electricity, and water. Translation available in all languages to all people in the world will push the evolution of human civilization to a much higher level of understanding, education, and discovery.

We support buyers and providers of language services and technologies with a comprehensive suite of online services, software, and knowledge that help them to grow and innovate their business. We extend the reach and growth of the translation industry through our vision of the Human Language Project and our execution with sharing translation memory data and quality evaluation metrics.

For more information about TAUS, please visit: https://www.taus.net

 

Contact: Veronica Thomison
MPR Source, Inc. for Akorbi
214.893.3740
vthomison@mprsource.com

 

The U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Names Akorbi CEO Claudia Mirza 2016 Businesswoman of the Year

Plano, TX – Oct. 12, 2016 – Claudia Mirza, CEO and co-founder of Akorbi, received the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s (USHCC) 2016 Businesswoman of the Year Award. Hundreds of Hispanic business, corporate and community leaders from across the U.S. attended the awards’ luncheon, which took place at the USHCC’s National Convention in Miami.

Every year, the USHCC recognizes a female entrepreneur who exemplifies the best of America’s business community through her outstanding leadership, pioneering spirit and social and economic contributions.

“Claudia is a steadfast businesswoman whose enterprise continues to reach new heights, and she inspires business leaders everywhere,” said Javier Palomarez, USHCC President and CEO.  “We are proud to recognize her as the 2016 Businesswoman of the Year.”

Claudia founded Akorbi in 2003 as a home-based translation business.  Today, the company is a global provider of multilingual business solutions with locations around the world and more than 600 employees.  The company serves some of the largest companies and organizations in the world including MoneyGram, Aetna, Health Services Corp. and Fossil, as well as leading technology companies.

“I am incredibly honored to receive this award from the USHCC – an organization that does so much to support Hispanic entrepreneurs across our country,” said Claudia Mirza, CEO and co-founder of Akorbi.  “As an immigrant from Colombia, this is proof that the U.S. is truly the land of opportunity, where we can live the American Dream through hard work, a clear vision and the support of amazing organizations like the USHCC.”

Akorbi’s vision and leadership has led Akorbi to experience explosive growth in recent years.  This year, Akorbi landed the #501 spot in the 2016 Inc. 5000 with 758% growth, and the #12 spot in the Women Presidents’ Organization’s 2016 list of fastest-growing woman-owned/led companies in the world.  The company has also been recognized as the fastest-growing language service provider in the world.

Claudia also does much to give back and help her community and other entrepreneurs.  She’s served two terms on the Board of The Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and has joined the Board of the Women Presidents’ Organization.

About Akorbi

Akorbi offers global multilingual business solutions in more than 170 languages to some of the largest companies in the world.  The company offers a full range of language, localization and global marketing solutions, including:  multilingual staffing, translation, interpretation, multilingual call centers, business process outsourcing, video remote technologies, sign language interpretation, alternate formats, transcription, eLearning and eDiscovery.  The company holds numerous certifications including ISO 9001:2008; ISO 13485:2003, EN 15038:2006 and M/WBE certification.  For more information, visit akorbi.com or call 1.877.4.AKORBI.

About the USHCC

The USHCC actively promotes the economic growth, development and interests of more than 4.1 million Hispanic-owned businesses that, combined, contribute over $661 billion to the American economy every year.  It also advocates on behalf of 260 major American corporations and serves as the umbrella organization for more than 200 local chambers and business associations nationwide.  For more information, visit ushcc.com.  Follow the USHCC on Twitter @USHCC.

CONTACT:       Veronica Thomison
MPR Source, Inc.
vthomison@mprsource.com
214.893.3740

A Case for Offering Training in Learners’ Native Languages

A CASE FOR OFFERING TRAINING IN LEARNERS’ NATIVE LANGUAGES

 

Written by: Matthew Casey, Ph.D.

 wpMany global organizations operate under the auspices that all business (written and spoken)
be conducted in English. The term “Global English” describes this business practice; when business
is expected to be conducted in English, yet may not be the native tongue of the person(s)
conducting the business.