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The Voices Behind the Words: Member Spotlight with Simon Fry, CEO of Lexsys

Welcome back to “The Voices Behind the Words: Member Spotlight” – our interview series shining a light on the diverse stories and experiences of our members. 

Our next interview is with Simon Fry, CEO of Lexsys GmbH.

  1. Please can you share three interesting facts about your company?

Although we’re a German company, based in Germany, most of our in-house staff are not actually German. We’re from all over the UK and Ireland and as far afield as the USA and Jordan.

Following on from the first one, the academic and work backgrounds of our staff are just as diverse as their nationalities. In addition to our translators, we have an astrophysicist, two computational linguists, a former NATO intelligence analyst, an electrical/electronics engineer and a Human Resources expert.  

Lexsys has received two notable awards from our client SAP. The first is Partner of the Year, which is conferred only once in a lifetime. The second is the Long-Service Award demonstrating our dedicated service and commitment to SAP.

  1. What aspect of your company do you believe sets it apart from others in the industry?

Lexsys is one of the only companies out there to offer the three key language-related services specific to SAP, namely translation and globalization, user assistance (technical writing), and technical language consulting. These specializations put us in a perfect position to support not just SAP itself, but also its customers and implementation and development partners, or in other words, the entire SAP ecosystem.    

  1. How have you seen your work and role evolve over the years?

When I embarked on my career back in 1988 as a staff translator in a big German agency, little did I know that one day I’d be running my own company together with my business partner Stephen Healy. 

Although I started off translating, I’ve turned my hand to technical writing, subtitling etc. all of which has given me the perfect grounding to understand how our services actually work. So I’ve been very much hands on with everything we do here at Lexsys. Nowadays, most of my time is devoted to the company’s strategy and helping it to grow.

What’s also interesting is how technology has evolved since the late 80s. Back then, we dictated our translations. The tapes went to the inhouse typing pool and the finished translations were delivered by post. Then came the first PCs and modems, which completely transformed how we worked and delivered the translations. The first CAT tools, email and the internet followed, once again redefining our working environment. 

What’s apparent now more than ever before is the breakneck pace at which technology is developing, much more so than when I first started working.      

  1. What’s the most interesting or unusual client request you’ve ever received? 

This has to be – well, for us at least – the unusual target languages a client of ours requested. Our day-to-day work is focused very much on the standard European languages and a handful of Asian ones, so when we received a request for Twi, Hausa and Tok Pisin, our project managers were faced with a totally new challenge. We didn’t even know where these languages were spoken! Finding the right partner was also an important part of the process. But everything went well and the client was happy with the results. 

  1. If you were to create a slogan or tagline for your company using only emojis, what would it be? 

🌐🗣️➡️📜🔄💼❤️

🌐 Represents the international reach and global nature of our language services.
🗣️ Symbolizes communication and translation.
➡️ Indicates movement, transition, and translation from one language to another.
📜 Represents documentation, technical writing, and copywriting.
🔄 Depicts the continuous process of localization and the cyclical nature of ongoing language services.
💼 Stands for professional business services and corporate clients.
❤️We love what we do!

6. What is your view on the current state of the language industry?

Many feel threatened by the leaps and bounds being made by technologies such as AI and fear that they will eventually be out of work. But this should encourage us to look beyond traditional translation services and turn our attention to some of the emerging language-related professions where linguists can make a valuable contribution. 

For example, using our cultural expertise to curate and adapt content for specific audiences, ensuring that cultural nuances and context are appropriately conveyed. Or why not look the beast straight in the eye and help train AI models and develop language resources to enhance translation technologies? Maybe this means jumping out of our comfort zone, but these are skills that often only linguists can offer. We need to stop focusing on the negative aspects and seek out the opportunities.

Company name: Lexsys GmbH
Company website: www.lexsys.de
Name: Simon Fry
Job title: CEO

Jun 24, 2024 at 13:14 by admin ELIA, Industry, Member
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