Can we help you write your story?
Lingfy.com was founded to use technology to improve the way we share stories and ideas. We believe we can only accept differences when we change our own behavior. Why not start off by sharing part of our own story in an open and honest way.
In this era of technology and the instant gratification of social media, everyone can share their opinions disclosing information about their private lives when people try all sorts of ways to be the centre of attention. Unfortunately the vast majority of the audience is much more interested in the darker details of those seeking attention, rather than positive stories about those whose life mission is to change the world and why they start by improving themselves.
However, in the complex world of digital life despite numerous irrelevant, poor and false posts, there are also great examples of good ways to share knowledge and life experiences, as for example the TED conferences with its thought provoking talks that make us stop and think on many issues of our lives.
In this kinds of experience sharing there’s a place for everyone who feels “different” whether they’re introverts, perfectionists or lack willpower to keep a diet, exercising and stop smoking and binge drinking. So it’s great we feel empowered when connected to like-minded people who have in common the journey of personal development, taking us far away from the constant social media updates that grab our attention and makes us passive consumers constantly comparing unfavourably to others and feeling powerless to take control of our own destiny.
I’m following a similar journey and I’ve been slowly but steadily pursuing a better life for myself and those around me despite all the efforts and drawbacks that many times appear in our way. The simple fact that I’m writing these words is a true sign of this change, because I was unable to write a text without feeling overwhelmed by fear of criticism and anxiety of exposure. Many things happened to me in recent years that made me leave some of my fears behind, one of which was founding Lingfy whose goal is to help our clients communicate and write ideas and stories with the help of technology.
Reality vs idealism
As it happens with many people, I always felt a kind of duality between the hustle and bustle of daily life where there are bills to pay, credit cards to manage, the stress of traffic jams to deal with, professional frustrations and, on the other hand, the dream of a different future, with harmony and balance between work and personal life.
I always thought I had to choose between a lifestyle of “success”, which was career focused in an all-out competition with others, constantly dissatisfied when trying to be paid as much as possible to buy stuff: mobile phones, TVs, computers, cars and a big house, all those “things” that fill our lives but do not give us fulfillment. Or on the other hand, I could try to break with this notion of “success” and be available to help others, fighting against social injustices and challenging the status quo.
I believed we couldn’t have “everything” in life and if someone wanted to succeed professionally then he or she couldn’t complain if there was no time left to start a family. Just as I thought that those who were crazy enough to dare to follow the professional area of their dreams couldn’t also complain by the lack of opportunities in low demand areas such as the arts, philosophy and other disciplines in the study of humanities, because it’s counterproductive paddling against the tide.
Following our dreams
Life events and experience made me change my mind. Now I firmly believe that we need to be able to balance family and professional life and I strongly disagree with everyone who thinks that’s impossible because “we can’t have it all” and tell us to stop being idealists. In the past those who fought for the abolition of slavery and also those who believed in gender equality were also considered idealists. Thus, it’s not a valid argument to allege that we must abide by the “rules of the game” and accept reality.
Over the past months, I went through a life-changing personal development process and I hope to keep growing for many years to come. After considering other business ideas, creating an online translation platform seemed to make more sense for several reasons including my experience in this field, my international professional background, the freedom to work for myself anytime anywhere and also the projected growth of the sector.
So I researched the market and examined other translation platforms, engaged in specialized discussion forums and I discussed with family and friends the ideas I was having. The next step was to search for a software company that helped me turning my vision into reality and I was lucky enough to find HYP Software, a vibrant IT startup focusing on usability. When our online platform was launched and we started recruiting translators, we successfully applied to incubator ANJE, the first Portuguese association geared toward speeding up the growth and success of startup and early stage companies.
What makes us different
Something that has always worried me and gave me food for thought was what makes this company different? To be honest, when I started this journey into the business world I had no idea so I decided to give some serious thought to this matter.
Even though too demanding in terms of technological knowledge, to focus on machine translation seemed to be a safe bet for future benefits and a higher return on investment. Every day there’s more and more online content posted around the world of people sharing blog posts, social media updates and videos, etc, and businesses are translating like never before to reach new customers abroad. I thought machine translation was the key to success until I started to research more on this topic and my opinion became far more negative.
1) Translators vs editors
Machine translated content can only achieve minimum quality standards if those those texts are reviewed and corrected by professional translators. This way, a large part of the high profits of Language Service Providers (LSPs) are based on low compensation paid to translators or editors as many like to call them, that perform those tasks.
We’re huge fans of technology when it’s used in the interests of people. The creation of new and comprehensive translation memories, sharing tasks and content in a cloud based platform that guarantees data confidentiality and the automation of the translation processes, are some of the measures that can bring customers and translators together, leading to a mutually beneficial partnership.
2) Unfair competition
LSPs using machine translation promote a fierce competition among professionals which leads to a race to the bottom and forces freelance translators to lower their rates. The extreme competition among translators to get jobs makes customers increasingly unavailable to pay a fair price for this service, although greatly improve the odds of obtaining poor quality work.
We strongly believe in the value of the translator’s work and we want our clients to be aware of the harmful effects a bad translation can have on their reputation and we want them to clearly see the benefits of quality translation: well written contents by expert professionals with knowledge of the culture and customs of the target audience can lead to awesome results.
3) Translation is an investment not an expense
Obviously that all companies share the common goal of reducing costs and translation is no exception. However we believe it’s possible to strike a balance between price and quality, so that the involved parties get mutually satisfied. Every translation is different when made by different professionals so that’s why a simple text can cause heated passions and discord.
The quality of machine translation will never be the same as human translations, because computers don’t deal with emotions, do not share others’ concerns and do not have the capacity to improvise when something goes wrong. But when we defend the translator’s work aren’t we ruling out potential customers interested in saving the most? The short answer is: no. Why? Because people don’t buy what we do, but why we do it as brilliantly defends Simon Sinek in his book Start With Why.
We’re starting with why
Our goal is not to sell our services to all of those who need it, but to those who share our common interests and ideas and that’s our differentiation factor. Writing has an immense power in how we communicate stories and ideas that engage and inspire people everywhere. When we write good stories we foster good relations. But when we write amazing stories magic happens!
We are passionate by constant learning and sharing knowledge between people from countries and cultures. We believe that creative and concise writing is a powerful tool to inspire people around the world. We want to simplify the translation process for our customers and to create better conditions for our translators to develop their skills and inspiration to produce amazing content.
We use technology as a way for translators to step up their performance, allowing them to focus on their primary objective: to create great written content. On the other hand, we try to point out to our clients that only through quality texts it’s possible to have empathy with our audience and lead people to seek us.
We believe that our attributes exceed our limitations and that we’re our own competition. We’re not afraid to show we’re not perfect so we don’t show off our capacities and qualities, while hiding our weak points. We want to achieve sustainable growth based on mutual trust between clients and translators, because only in that way it makes sense to devote ourselves to this project which sometimes concerns us but most of the times it’s a joyful and enriching experience.