It’s an exciting journey to getting from a start idea (based on an actual issue) to a useable product. Go back in time along the major waypoints of our journey.
Over the last several years, the state of the interpreting market has deteriorated. There is an ongoing and constant pressure to reduce costs, and this has meant that interpreters are increasingly working in subpar conditions. They are using cabins and traditional equipment less and less, often having to resort to using bidule, or tour guide systems, which make working conditions more difficult.
James Anderson, the co-founder and President of Linguali, has been a conference interpreter for the past twenty years, and since 2008 he has been trying to find a solution to improve these conditions.
“One day I was working at a conference event in an auditorium for about 200 people, and I was sitting on the side of the room, alongside members of the audience. I was having to interpret using bidule whilst listening to the ambient sound in the room as well as the speakers through the loudspeaker system. On top of that, I had people next to me talking, typing and moving around. It was really abominable working conditions. I came to the conclusion there and then that it was essential that we be able to have headphones again for interpreters and to be able to listen to the speakers in a more isolated environment.
As well as improving working conditions for interpreters, I wanted to improve the business side of things too, because the equipment is expensive and it requires logistics, maintenance, and you need to distribute the headsets (followed by running around at the end of an event to recover them), and make sure they aren’t broken before recharging them. This is when I decided to explore the possibility of using a digital service.”
James Anderson is the President of Linguali SAS, and a conference interpreter with over 20 years experience. His previous roles include; Managing Director for a marketing and technology consultancy firm, Anderson Associates, and Founder and Managing Director of a translation and localisation agency, Medialocate. James was awarded the Trophée de la Nouvelle Economie, in 2001, for his innovative work with Medialocate. In his current role he is revolutionising the way interpreters, speakers and event participants interact together.
François-Xavier Bodin is the Chief Service Designer for Linguali SAS. His previous roles include over 25 years of consultancy work for BXF Conseil, specialising in digital projects, content strategy, open innovation, and project management for Bordeaux Regional Council, an e-learning company and Internet startups. Currently, Francois-Xavier leads a class at Bordeaux University in digital project specifications and the role of the Product Owner in Agile. He has experience working on projects as former TEDx Bordeaux licensee and Google Launchpad Bordeaux organiser.