IOE corporate member – thebigword – vows to transform the language industry

Mon 29 Jun 2015
Posted by: IOE News
IOE News

Interpreting more than two million minutes of speech in 300 languages and translating approximately 35 million words is an impressive feat for any company, but IOE corporate member and global language communications business, thebigword, is aiming even higher.

The business has just unveiled ambitious plans to position itself alongside the likes of Facebook and LinkedIn – and have one billion people accessing its technology by 2020.

Founded 35 years ago, the Leeds-based, language translation provider employs 600 people and utilises a network of 8,000 linguists to provide translation (written word) and interpreting (spoken word) services across the globe.

Technical innovation and integration with existing technology are the key growth strategies set out by the business. Operating across a number of diverse sectors, the company provides translation and interpretation services to 80 per cent of the top 100 global brands, supporting businesses such as Unilever, Electrolux and Harley Davidson and organisations including the NHS, Home Office and MOD.

In addition to attracting a billion users, the company’s dynamic growth strategy entails growing its current £48 million turnover by £175 million in the next five years, and increasing its international workforce by 30 per cent.

Larry Gould, founder and CEO of thebigword, outlines his business vision, saying “We will work in partnership with our clients to deliver solutions that will enhance their global trade through integration with our technology, processes and services.

“We are no longer just as translation and interpreting business, but a technology-driven communications partner helping clients unlock global markets.”

Over the past three years thebigword has invested 30 per cent of its profits back into technological development and has committed to continue to spend £1–2 million on technology annually to spearhead its growth.

Joshua Gould, thebigword’s Chief Commercial Officer, said: “We are working on ‘game changing’ technology such as instant email applications – which translate messages in an inbox at the click of a button, on-demand translations by humans, responsive mobile applications providing machine translations and voiceovers, and a community interpreting tool which creates an online marketplace for linguists.

“These innovations will mean that anyone with a smart phone will have access to 3,000 interpreters, speaking more than 350 languages in their pocket. “

Highlighting the benefits of their company’s IOE membership, Larry Gould added: “Being members of the IOE provides access to like-minded organisations and offers a great opportunity to assist businesses with their export strategy from a linguistic and cultural perspective.

“We also value the educational partnership between the IOE and the International School of Linguists, which has resulted in the offering of cultural and linguistic modules to sit alongside the export modules, providing a unique qualification for the student.”

Ambitious plans indeed, but as the adage goes – ‘fortuna favorece a los valientes!’

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