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Inside Translation, an interview with Fredrick Marx of Keylingo

By Jennifer Peterson, Marketing Director, Galaxy Bright::

Fredrick Marx: Most of our client’s translation needs have been mission critical. In other words, the client really has no choice but to translate. However, I will add that if an organization has a website, they are an international company whether they like it or not. And it has been proven that a visitor is much more likely to make a purchase if the website is presented in the visitors native language.

JP: That is true, visitors are three times as likely to buy from a website in their native language and spend an average of two times as long on that site. How has the environment in the translation industry affected the Keylingo differentiators?

FM: Keylingo is different from most small translation firms insofar as we are professionally managed. Linguists run most small companies in our space. We see this as an important differentiator because we add value that goes way beyond translation. We view translations as any other manufactured product and as a result, have implemented processes and controls that enable Keylingo to produce translations better and faster than our competition.

JP: What role does technology play in this differentiator?

FM: We are innovators. Most large companies in our industry were founded prior to the Internet revolution. In contrast, our business model is based on the new business paradigms that exist today. We are not bogged down by an ingrained culture or antiquated operational model. This is evidenced by the launch of our new interactive web portal that contains tools that are superior to those available from even the largest of our competitors.

JP: What is the difference between just finding a native speaking translator and your process?

FM: Translation is an art form. It goes far beyond bilingualism. To accurately convey the meaning of text from one language into another requires superior writing ability as well as familiarity with the subject matter. Making it even more difficult is the speed factor, which so many projects require. Keylingo’s innovative approach to translation is to view it as any other manufactured product. We use Six Sigma methodologies to produce precise translations regardless of what many other firms in our industry may consider unrealistic or even impossible deadlines. We once completed a 220-page project from Japanese to English in only 3 business days. Only a handful of companies in our industry would even attempt such a project. This is the type of project we specialize in and one in which the business community will increasingly demand as globalization continues to grow.

JP: What are you doing operationally to produce these results?

FM: Our clients depend on us for two main things – Quality and Speed. We have deployed Six Sigma methodologies to develop and constantly improve our processes to a point that goes far beyond the vast majority of other translation companies. Further, we have included our vendors and clients in development of our CTQ (Critical To Quality) processes to ensure that we are meeting or exceeding our client’s expectations. Having done this, our clients now depend on us for projects that would otherwise be considered impossible.

JP: Do you have any other examples?

FM: A leader in the field of developing custom web applications called on us recently to translate text into 17 different languages in only three business days. In this case, both speed and quality were critical because of the size of the project and the fact that the end users corporate image was at stake. Because of our unique ability to handle a project this complex, we were able to deliver the project 12 hours before the deadline and the client was able to launch its new website on schedule.

Another recent example is a request to translate 220 pages of Japanese characters into English in only three business days. In this case, we were able to quickly put together a global team of expert linguists and the international litigation relying on the translation was able to continue on schedule.

JP: What drew you personally to the world of translation?

FM: Two things drove me to found Keylingo in early 2004. First was my love of languages. Having lived abroad and traveled extensively I’ve always been fascinated by different languages and cultures, so founding a language services company was a natural fit for me. The second factor in my decision to start Keylingo is my love of entrepreneurship. I’ve always been a dreamer and I finally found, after completing an MBA and 10 years in corporate America, an opportunity that looked promising enough to go for it.

Keylingo is a professional language services company specializing in projects that require absolute accuracy with demanding deadlines. Already a leader in quality, speed, and customer service, Keylingo has developed a roster of top clients such as The Coca Cola Company, GlaxoSmithKline, Georgia Pacific, Brinks, Inc., and more. To learn more, visit