2 weeks ago
March 20, 2020
Language Service Providers Respond to Coronavirus Lockdowns
As governments around the world step up attempts to contain the coronavirus, the language industry, grappling with fallout from the pandemic, has been striving to react with a measured response.
We looked at the websites of languages service providers on the The Slator 2020 Language Service Provider Index (LSPI), a number of which published their responses even before the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 a pandemic on March 11, 2020.
Slator LSPI companies have, generally, assured clients that they will remain operational through the pandemic. Most have outlined contingency measures, which they state have been in place even before the Covid-19 outbreak. What follows is the gist of each response.
From TransPerfect (LSPI #1): “We have mobilized a global COVID-19 task force response team to support our clients with rush projects, urgent communications pieces, and customer support requirements. The team is available 24/7 and can be reached via email, phone, social media, or GlobalLink submission.” TransPerfect are also offering a free COVID-19 prevention video.
From Lionbridge (LSPI #2): “This page offers resources for any professional looking to guide their company through the challenges this global health event creates. We will update it regularly with informational pieces, tips on crisis responses, and ways we can help keep your team, your company and your customers happy and healthy.”
From LanguageLine (LSPI #3): “We long ago put in place contingencies that minimize the impact a health event can have on our ability to provide services […] we consider it our obligation to not just maintain, but elevate our services during times when they are needed most. Please know that we have anticipated your needs and will rise to this occasion.”
From SDL (LSPI #4): “Business continuity is one of our key priorities here at SDL and, as part of our plans, we have activated a global crisis response team, who are working to manage all impacted countries and regions, to safeguard our people and minimize any impact to your business.”
From RWS (LSPI #5): “Business continuity is a key priority at RWS, and our contingency plans have been put into action throughout all RWS divisions. As part of this activity, our IT teams have enabled virtualized environments to allow critical production staff to work from home and help our customers and supply chain partners avoid any major operational disruption.”
From Welocalize (LSPI #7): “Welocalize’s COVID-19 Task Force is led by Jeff Ash, Chief Financial Officer. The Task Force works across our global business operations to ensure proactive, timely, coordinated responses and planning. Our global community includes our customers, employees, and talent network […] Each of these areas is also supported by our IT and Technology team to ensure alternative work environments…”
From SDI Media (LSPI #8): “Our strong presence in Asia means that we have been following the spread of the virus since the onset […] Our primary concern is for the safety of our employees, freelance dubbing staff, freelance translators and being responsible in the communities in which we work […] All subtitling work continues as normal.”
From IYUNO (LSPI #10): “Please know our teams are working remotely and even when facilities close, we are continuing to produce […] New tools and technology such as home recording solutions and virtual private network access are being explored and implemented proactively to maximize work progress. The good news is areas of our operation such as subtitling do run virtually and we are well-positioned to have minimal disruption in subtitling.”
From AMPLEXOR (LSPI #11): “Our services and operational backbone are predominantly cloud-based and as a result we expect no interruption to our software, customer experience or ability to compensate employees and service providers for their good work. Our infrastructure and tools are designed to support the remote work setup the situation demands, both in terms of accessibility and information security.”
From Acolad (LSPI #12): “The current priority is to take all the necessary precautions to limit contagion and end the epidemic. Here are a few services and tools which companies who operate internationally can use from a distance.”
From Stratus Video (LSPI #14): “This page contains resources on how to utilize telehealth services to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and how our Stratus Link product can extend telehealth services to the Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing and LEP patient populations.”
From thebigword (LSPI #16): “We have tested and prepared for situations such as COVID-19, and there will be no disruption to our worldwide services as we continue to work at full operational capacity. We have been able to leverage our technology and flexible human resourcing to address isolated supplier constraints […] We have planned for this and there will be no disruption regardless of the level of pandemic.”
From VSI (LSPI #18): “Our recording studios continue to operate in many territories, subject to prevailing conditions and restrictions […] but the situation is not improving and it is likely that additional locations will have to stop recording in the near future […] Editing, QC and mixing continue as normal, as does script translation and adaptation […] Our subtitling operations are unaffected, and we are encouraging our clients to consider it as a preferred option for all languages, until high quality dubbing again becomes widely available. Additional services such as translation, transcreation and graphics localisation also remain unaffected. We pride ourselves on our transparency and are proactively maintaining open communication with clients, immediately informing them should it become apparent that any of their projects may be impacted.”
From Ubiqus (LSPI #19): “As part of our continuity plans implemented across our offices in the eight countries in which Ubiqus operates, our services can be provided remotely without disruption. Our secure centralised system allows all employees to work from home while remaining safe.”
From Dubbing Brothers (LSPI #21): “Working at home while taking care of children and overseeing their school work, assisting loved ones, etc., requires unprecedented organizational efforts […] Maintaining your financial security and that of the company is important for all of us. That’s why we have set up a help fund, to support those who have been hit the hardest financially. Accelerated payments will be granted upon request […] We continue to provide [clients] with superior services […] Our sales, accounting and IT departments remain open.”
From Pactera Edge (LSPI #22): “Social commerce was already on the rise before COVID-19 hit an inflection point. As more people turn to social to live, connect, and manage their lives, there will be no turning back after COVID-19 subsides. At Pactera EDGE, we know how to help businesses adopt technology to adapt to changing customer behaviors, applying marketing automation tools that allow you to control your customer data and gain insights from it.”
From Morningside (LSPI #23): “We have ensured that all Morningside employees can work remotely as needed […] We are fortunate to have invested heavily in a robust, state-of-the-art business continuity program over the last few years. Our company has 9 offices covering all time zones, the ability for our employees to work remotely in an effective manner, linguistic talent that covers the globe, and a fully redundant and highly secure (ISO 27001) technology infrastructure.”
From LanguageWire (LSPI #24): “LanguageWire is focused on online collaboration […] Therefore, we are confident that we can continue to fulfil our responsibilities to our customers and language experts. Our technology and teams are fully operational and prepared to meet both current and future demands […] We are fortunately well prepared for remote work and able to handle an increase in content demands over the upcoming weeks.”
From SeproTec (LSPI #25): “We are fully equipped for remote work, so a large part of the SeproTec office and management staff will #StayAtHome, but still be as engaged as ever. We also have safety protocols in place to ensure uninterrupted service for our customers with the same data protection conditions as before.”
From Akorbi (LSPI #26): “Our top priority is to sustain the safety of our team and our clients while maintaining continuity of service delivery and compliance. As we have deployed our business continuity plan, we are monitoring business interaction with our clients and vendors to ensure service delivery and keep operations as normal as possible.”
From CLI (LSPI #27): “Our services remain uninterrupted and we’re helping our customers quickly communicate as always. We’re fully staffed with thousands of remote interpreters logged on and ready to answer calls. Currently we’ve transitioned around 75% of our employees to work from secure home setups, with a plan for the remaining employees in the coming days.”
From ONCALL (LSPI #32): “ONCALL Interpreters and Translators has a responsibility and duty of care for the health and wellbeing of all staff and in this particular case our national Interpreter workforce and our client group. We have informed our Interpreters if they have travelled to China within the past 14 days and have become unwell, they will not be permitted to perform their work duties until cleared fit to do so by a medical practitioner. ONCALL will monitor the updates from the Australian Government Department of Health.”
From ZOO Digital (LSPI #34): “In light of the challenging times posed by the spread of COVID-19, I wanted to reassure you that ZOO is equipped to adopt a work from home program across all locations to ensure business continuity for our customers, employees, partners and freelancers. We have the following plan and procedures in place to mitigate against any disruption in service…”
From Rozetta (LSPI #36): Announced a voice translation tool for teleconferencing as a coronavirus countermeasure.
From Janus Worldwide (LSPI #37): “We are focused on the well-being of our employees and customers, while providing our services during this exceptional period. We are continuing to operate, ensuring our valuable employees are able to work remotely from home.”
From EasyTranslate (LSPI #42): “We immediately took the decision to send all our employees home, to work from there, as the Danish government has recommended. As we are an online company, this is very much possible for us […] We’re even keeping up with our social activities, and had our very first virtual Friday bar!”
From Argos (LSPI #44): “While we have principal offices in the US and Poland, our translation processes are centralized through cloud-accessible technology that supports a remote employee environment […] we foresee no disruption to our operations here at Argos Multilingual, and no change in project statuses or deadlines as a result of the pandemic. […] Our operating hours remain unchanged, but we’ve placed restrictions on travel and will continue to meet with clients through digital channels.”
From Globo (LSPI #50): “GLOBO has taken steps to provide operational assistance during this crisis and to ensure business continuity for our customers around the world […] Telephone Interpreting: Our teams are closely monitoring call volume and working to increase staffing where required. On-site Interpretation: GLOBO will make all efforts to fill requests as usual […] Onsite interpreters have been instructed to notify us immediately if they are not feeling well, and to stay home […] Translation: There is no change to the translation process.”
If you are listed on the Slator LSPI, have published a response to coronavirus, but have not been included in this list, let us know.
Aside from companies listed on the Slator LSPI, other providers also published their response to the pandemic to assure stakeholders that they have things in hand.
Translated said translation services are considered essential (in Italy, where they are headquartered) and “are included in the list of allowed activities. Thus, Translated will remain open and fully functional during the lockdowns. We believe language is a key role in fighting this crisis because now more than ever – people need reliable information, reassurance, and effective communication.”
CPSL said they are closely following the official information by governments where they have offices and that their systems allow them to work remotely and securely in accordance to ISO27001. In the event that they are unable to work from their offices, due preventive measures, they will be able to continue operation as they have extensive experience in teleworking.
Way2Global said, “For safety’s sake we are required to stay at home and suspend all social contact, but words can still transcend all borders […] Resorting to smart working ensures employees can work safely from home, while continuing to support all the communication needs of companies who, like us, have had to adapt to the crisis, providing rapid translations and 24-hour service.”
Translavic said they remain operational, team members are working from home as much as possible, and they use a secure VPN connection. STP said 55% of their workforce in the UK, Denmark, Sweden, and Finland already work remotely on a permanent basis, while others work from home one or more days a week; hence they are well positioned.
Pangeanic said they have a comprehensive contingency and business continuity plan in place and are executing accordingly. Lingo24 said the vast majority of their team is working from home and, given the digital nature of their work, they do not foresee any interruption.
According to text&form, even as some of them work from their home offices, it will have no impact on productivity and performance. According to lengoo, they will continue to be available; and they offered clients deferred payment, and linguists shorter payment cycles.
Global Arena published reminders for employees and contractors, said they offer the option to work from home, and recommended measures so the processing of payments is not delayed. TTC wetranslate said most of their office employees will work remotely on fully operational workstations and equipment and it will be business as usual.
Deliscar said clients in litigation will receive a separate, customized email stating next steps, certain meetings will be conducted via phone or Skype, and signing of documents will be scheduled after April 5, 2020. GlobaLexicon said they have in-house linguists working from home, over 4,000 freelance linguists on the books, majority of staff are under age 30 and fit, and any member of the team who showed signs of cold or flu was immediately moved to work from home.
Transifex has measures in place to ensure their people are safe and productive, and has a cross-functional team that meets multiple times per week to assess developments concerning the virus. Vistatec stated they see no impact on global business operations at this time, a large proportion of their global teams were already working remotely, and the rest were encouraged to work from home from March 13 until further notice.
Eclair said they remain mobilized to ensure continuity and production teams continue to operate as normal according to local restrictions. Appen said a large majority of them already work remotely and are working with customers to transition projects to a work-from-home workforce using secure software.
Language Scientific said all their vendors work remotely and they anticipate no delays in project deliverables due to coronavirus. Cetra said their translation and transcription projects have continued without any disruptions; and events that require in-person interpretation have been canceled or rescheduled, but they offer remote interpretation.
SwissGlobal “continues to be available from Monday until Friday […] All our employees are free to work from home and we can assure you that this will not affect our usual standard of quality in any way.”
The Translation People informed clients that they “have robust processes in place to facilitate secure and efficient home working, so that there will be no disruption of our service to you. All our staff are available via phone and email as usual, while our home working processes afford the same level of data protection and security as normal.”
Paras and Associates said, “Our platform allows hospital-based interpreters to work from home ‘as if they were still at the hospital’s call center.’ Calls are still routed through a call manager, so there is little or no change in the way clinicians access interpreters across our networks.”
(This article was updated to include LSPs that have reached out since it was first published.)