Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Dining with One Young World Delegates

One Young World brought more than 1,300 young adults to Pittsburgh from over 180 countries for a four-day summit designed to bring a youthful perspective to important global issues. The World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh did an amazing job organizing the One Young World Pittsburgh Partnership event. Thanks to the hard work of Melanie Gulasy and Steve Sokol the event truly showcased Pittsburgh.

The delegates had a chance to interact at dozens of breakout sessions with their peers to discuss health, education, business and human rights issues, to name a few. One Young World brought global leaders to guide their deliberations, including a kick off on Thursday night by former President Bill Clinton. The summit, held in the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, wrapped up on Sunday with a series of speakers, including former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

Confluent Translations took part in hosting one of the many community dinners held around the region on Saturday, October 20th. Delegates from Finland, India, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States joined us at Café Zinho for a truly memorable dinner. Their enthusiasm and excitement proved why they are considered the emerging leaders of the world.

The food was incredible and the conversation was lively. There were many different types of fish on the menu and describing them proved interesting. We shared some Pittsburgh fun facts and answered the delegates’ questions on how Pittsburgh was able to reposition itself as a leader in health, education and technology. The delegates shared with us their perspectives on the discussions they took part in, such as business ethics that are common to EC countries and the United States but are non-existent in countries where there is bribery and even death threats.

We asked what surprised them most about Pittsburgh and overwhelmingly it was how friendly Pittsburghers were. The young women from Spain and India marveled over the beautiful colors of our fall foliage. Interestingly, the delegates from the United States and the United Kingdom were surprised by how clean the city was, still having the impression of our steel-town heritage. Special thanks to volunteer Janine Hannan, who was responsible for the group’s logistics. We were affectionately calling her the delegates’ den mother by the end of the evening.

The One Young World Summit will be held in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2013. We wish them continued success in grooming our young leaders of tomorrow. It was a once-in-a-life time opportunity to help showcase Pittsburgh and meet those shaping the course of the world.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


An important thing to consider when establishing any business relationship is trust. No matter what industry, people expect confidentiality of proprietary information, exact quoting and billing procedures, an experienced and honest staff, and feel valued as a customer and that their best interests are being looked out for.

It is a shame that price many times means more than working with the best suited and honest company, which in the end sacrifices the quality of material and quite possibly safety of individuals. 

Is it because of the current economic climate that people can’t see the forest through the trees? Some clients only care about saving money on a key product component. However, over time it could equate to only .00002% of all products sold. What if one person dies from the use of that product as a result of the inadequate component? Would the cost savings be worth it then?

That is the reality when selling and purchasing translation services. Okay, maybe that is a drastic comparison that only happen s in extreme circumstances. Something else to think about is, what happens if people miss use the product, a product gets recalled, your company gets a poor rating, or your company name is in headlines and on YouTube for a comedy of errors? What impact does that have on your brand? Is the cost savings on one component really worth it?

There are many reputable translation companies. Unfortunately, people only talk about those that are “less than honest,”  persuade, entice, agree to poor methodologies, low ball and fudge pricing to beat out competitors, make claims on services, and ultimately deliver poor quality  performed by less than qualified translators.

Why do people go with these types of companies? Are decision makers not given all the facts? Are they not asking the right questions of their vendors? Are they not taking things other than price into consideration when making decisions? Do they think there really is an easier way? Did someone get paid off at some level? Are people tired of doing what it right? Is it truly all about the money? Do they not care about the consequences?

Ultimately, people get what they pay for. It is a shame people listen to this type of guidance, get burned in the end and assume all vendors are created equal. They are not. Luckily, clients still exist that see value in what a reputable translation service provides. We promise never to be discouraged from doing what is honest, fair and in the best interest of the client. It all comes down to trust.