For FIG Translation, translation isn’t only about translating documents from English to French; translation is also a way for us to learn and evolve. Each team member plays a pivotal role in the day to day activities of the business.
Translation is also a representation of our cultural history. Nothing matters more to us than to offer an exceptional translation service to businesses that put their trust in us.
At FIG, we are a team. We help each other out as colleagues but we also open our doors to students currently studying translation and passionate translators who wish to keep on learning.
FIG is also a success story, filled with exceptional moments.
We wish to share these moments with you; the experiences and success as lived by the members of our team, who all share the same passion: translation. We hope this interview will inspire and help you achieve success.
How long have you been manager of a translation company?
I’ve been copresident of FIG Translation since 2018, however I’ve been with the company since 2010.
What have you been doing all these years?
I’ve been a translator from 2010 to 2014. I progressively climbed up the proverbial ladder. At the end of our project with Lee Valley Tools, I was promoted to office manager, then marketing director before become vice-president and subsequently co-owner.
Were you always interested in the field of translation?
I’ve always been involved with the company since its inception. My mother, Louise Arbique, founded FIG Translation in 2007, with the help of Jean-Guy Latulippe. I’ve been gravitating around the company since before I was an official employee.
So your mother hired you to work for FIG Translation?
Precisely. I was a freelance translator for a few years when my mother and her colleagues hired me as a full time translator. You already know the rest of my story.
What’s a typical work day for someone in your position?
You know, interestingly enough, no days are alike. I can either spend a set amount of time answering emails from our partners and team, but I’m also asked to pitch in for business development; make sure that our computers are functioning properly and dab in the human resources department. I’m also the head of the ‘Special Projects’ division.
One thing never changes, though: I always water the plants!
In your two years as co-owner of the business, you must have a few success stories?
Of course. First of all, I’m quite proud of having picked up where my mother left off when she retired. As you know, global economy is still reeling and every business has off-peak periods. I’m lucky to be in such good company.
I can only thank my lucky star to be able to rely on such a skillful team. Managing a business is never easy, but we have an amazing team.
Which project allowed your business to grow?
Without a doubt, the Lee Valley project. This project not only happened at a pivotal moment in the business’ growth, it also allowed to establish FIG’s mission: help North American businesses who want to set foot in Québec and have a voice for Quebecers and French Canadians across the country. It’s at that moment that our English to French Canadian translation service took off.
Lee Valley stands among the biggest businesses that grasped a very important concept: translation is an investment, not an expense. Quebecers and French Canadians like to recognize themselves in the products and services they purchase. Lee Valley understood that notion, and immediately saw an increase in sales originating in Québec. It’s one of the best projects I’ve ever had the privilege to work on, and our team remembers this project fondly.
You were a translator before becoming a manager. Do you have any advice for active translators or those completing their degree?
Learn to question yourself, doubt your choices and never take anything for granted. That’s a vital quality for a translator to have. Doubt can make the difference between an approximate or an exact term. Especially if you’re dealing with a technical translation. Self-doubt is vital.
Do you have any advice for those who wish to start their own translation business?
Always keep in mind that translation is an important investment for a business. I’ll never say it enough, Quebecers and French Canadians want to recognize themselves in the products and services they purchase. That’s why it’s so important to get a translation done in Québec if your products or services are meant for the Québec market, or the rest of French Canada. Because translation isn’t just changing words from one language to another… it’s also a great marketing tool.
Thank you for giving us this opportunity to answer our questions. We wish you the best for the future.
A skilled manager with a strong grasp of his métier, Jean–Guy Latulippe brings FIG Translation’s clients over 30 years of diversified experience in the fields of communications, marketing, business development and training.