Where do we even start when we try to unpack the events of 2020?
It’s no understatement to say that 2020 will go down in history as a year which tested the resilience of the human race. When you consider that back in January many of us still did not foresee the scale of the impending situation, you realise how quickly life can change and that we can never take our happiness or our freedom for granted. It was the year we raced to find a vaccine while battling against a virus with face masks and hand gel whenever we ventured outside our homes.
A new home office: the pros (and cons?)
By April, millions of people across many parts of the world began their working day not on the train or in the car but in their temporary home office, which was in the bedroom or on the dining room table. Will the virus’ legacy be a change in working culture, or will we eventually slip back into old commutes and office life? As international media reported on marine life re-appearing in the Venice canals, it almost felt like a new quality of life; and yet, many people also missed the camaraderie of office life.
The team at EVS Translations has certainly been busy this year and, like many other businesses, was put to the test in ways which were unexpected and unprecedented. Our IT Manager, Jochen, worked tirelessly with his team to get all our European and US teams working securely from home. Our HR department also ensured that newly emerging policies were correctly communicated across all our offices which use English, German and Bulgarian as their working languages.
A financial nose-dive for some, but certain retailers remain positive
Throughout March and April, our translators battled a wave of urgent COVID-19-related updates to annual reports, which they translate every year. On paper, financial forecasts were thrown into chaos but soon they became more tangible: people were instructed to stay at home, shopping areas became ghost towns and businesses went under. Our in-house financial translator, Charlotte, commented: ‘As information about the impact of the coronavirus crisis was becoming apparent in real time, [businesses] needed to update their general information and forecasts accordingly. Unlike technical translation, which slowed as factories were being shut down, financial content continued to flow.’
The pandemic has certainly given extra incentive for companies to bolster their digital strategies. In an upbeat interview with Marketing Week magazine in March, Lord Wolfson – CEO of the British retail multinational Next -– commented: ‘It is very important, particularly on systems, that we continue to move the business forward because at some point this coronavirus will pass and trading online is all about having great systems.’ According to the magazine, ‘the retailer spent £63m on online marketing in 2019, which is £13m (26%) higher than the previous year. Some £44m of this was spent on digital marketing (£33m in the UK and £11m overseas), a 23% increase on the prior year.’ (Coronavirus will give us ‘breathing space’ to accelerate long-term growth, March 19)
Supporting businesses and giving back to communities
As the virus took hold across Europe and the US, our US office began supporting its client with a new kind of project: this major US firm decided to live-stream employee Q&A sessions with its CEO to keep the global workforce up-to-speed on COVID-related news. Our project managers set up live remote interpreting and recordings of the sessions were subsequently subtitled in all the necessary languages. At the same time, our UK team was also helping its tech client to deliver an app that trains healthcare professionals to operate ventilator machines, as part of a UK government-backed emergency response to the coronavirus crisis.
We pulled through the year knowing that we were lucky to continue working every day and feeling glad that we had helped others along the way. And, in the spirit of giving back to those who face ongoing difficulties, we began a new partnership with the children’s international aid organisation, Right To Play Deutschland. This charity helps children from all over the world to stay in education and to overcome poverty or exploitation. By providing opportunities for play, sport and creative activities, children learn new skills and can look forward to a brighter future. EVS Translations will continue to support this organisation throughout 2021. It all begins with our Christmas campaign to raise money for these children and you can get involved, too! Visit our blog about Right To Play and make your donation, today.
Moving forwards with our team at EVS Translations!
Amidst the external challenges for EVS Translations in 2020, we also enjoyed some highlights: a website relaunch (which includes a new sports translation page), as well as new and large-scale contracts with an international financial institution, a Bundesliga team, an innovative IT start-up and a global pharmaceutical company spurred us on (more details to come). We were also proud to be named as a world Top 100 Largest Language Service Providers by the US-based marketing research and consultancy firm, Nimdzi Insights. Well done to all the team at EVS Translations for this result.
‘We’re not in Kansas anymore’
COVID-19 was like something lifted from the script of a nightmarish film or a bad dream. We entered a new reality that has been difficult to navigate but which has also been the impetus for innovation and new partnerships. Things might not go back to the way they were any time soon, but at EVS Translations we’re looking forward to the future and we hope to see many of our clients and business partners – in-person – in 2021! For now, it’s almost time for a break, so enjoy a great Christmas and New Year with your loved ones. Good company, good food; there’s no place like home.
If your business has projects which require translation and localisation expertise in 2021, speak with our team. They can advise on planning and the best workflows and they can also provide a quote.
EVS Translations UK Ltd.
+44 (0)115 964 4288
EVS Translations USA Inc.
EVS Translations GmbH
+49 69/82 97 99-99
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