Written by Anja Peschel

Looking back on 2019

This year at Peschel Communications, we spent a lot of time working on our internal processes. To make the onboarding of new hires smoother, we sat down and defined some of our workflows in more detail. One added bonus of this was that we barely needed to do any extra preparation for our ISO 17100 audit when it came along in July. The ISO standard for the translation industry sets strict requirements for staff qualifications, translation project management and quality assurance, all of which we met.

2019 was a record-breaking year in many respects:

A guide for parents from immigrant families aimed at helping them to better understand the German school system was translated into 24 (!) languages, such as French, Italian, Spanish, Pashto, Persian and many others. Our project managers calmly navigated changes to the source text as well as communication with 24 translators and another 24 revisors and delivered the project before the deadline.

Our conference interpreting team also passed a new milestone this year. For a two-day sales conference held by a local SME, simultaneous interpretation was delivered from English into German, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Chinese, Russian and Thai by an unprecedented team of 16 interpreters. The client contacted Peschel Communications nine months before the event, which made it possible to book excellent interpreters even for the more unusual language combinations.

At Peschel Communications, we are always open to trying something new, and this year we accepted an intern who was looking to complete a terminology project on storage technology for her Bachelor’s thesis. Good terminologists are always needed, so we were lucky to be able to offer her a place on our team after she graduated.

Personally, I noticed a rise in the number of consecutive interpreting assignments this year. Ranging from audits and witness interviews to patient consultations, I was able to help people communicate in a whole range of different scenarios, with the only technical equipment needed being a notepad and pen. These types of assignments can be intense and require social skills and empathy, which is why they often stay on my mind for quite some time.

The subject that has been making headlines this year has also gripped the Peschel Communications team. We have already been purchasing our electricity from a solar energy cooperative for years, and everyone who possibly can comes to work on foot, by bike or by public transport. We have also been supporting a solar energy project called Solar-Energie für Afrika, and needless to say we recycle. During climate action week we donated a day’s profits to the Plant for the Planet project. So it will be no surprise to hear that we particularly like translating and interpreting in the area of renewable energies. But beyond our personal contributions, we wanted to call for political action to protect the climate, and on 29th September the Peschel Communications team closed the office for a few hours to march for a sustainable climate policy.

In November, Ellen Göppl and I took the train to Bonn for the biannual conference of the BDÜ, the German Association of Interpreters and Translators. More than 1,000 participants from 25 countries spent three days attending lectures and workshops (two of which were held by Peschel Communications) on topics as diverse as machine translation and mindfulness. The general mood was very upbeat – a wave of positivity that’s sure to carry us into a fantastic new year.