We’re launching our brand new Language Connections employee spotlight interview series! We’ll be talking to employees about their experiences at the company, their passions for translation, localization services, and interpretation services. We’ll hear about their victories, their challenges and their favorite languages and words. This month, we’re featuring Leo Galperin, Founder and President of Language Connections. Read more about the trajectory of his career starting out as a freelance interpreter to becoming the founder of one of Boston’s largest language service providers!
From Contractor to Founder of a Successful Language Service Provider
LC: How did you come up with the idea to start LC?
Leo: In the 90s, I started out as an interpreter for the State Department in Washington. I worked as the facilitator between Russian and American companies. I then started my business in 1993. In 1996, I became a member of the ATA and I had people working in the basement of my house. In 2000, I put more focus on more languages and acquired ProTrans, a translation company based in Rhode Island. That same year, we were approved by GSA by the federal government.
In 2001, my business became a multilingual language service provider. I also won the FEMA government contract to serve in the tragic aftermath of 9/11 and I was providing services for 19 language pairs. Then in 2006, I relocated the company to Brighton. That’s where we are now! We started to expand and provide interpreter training programs in 2012 and corporate language training in 2017. I’m proud to say we’re now a purveyor of a variety of accredited language services!
LC: Why did you select “Language Connections” as the company name?
Leo: I wrote a list of potential names with my friends as sounding boards, and I just fell in love with this name! Language Connections represents connections through language between us experts and people who don’t speak a particular language. Our initial slogan was “Your linguistic gateway,” but now it’s “Wherever you do business, we speak the language.”
LC: What was your longest translation/interpretation assignment?
Leo: I used to work non-stop almost 24 hrs. From 6 am until midnight the next day. I could only spare a few minutes to eat, and I would sleep only a few hours each day. I had to interpret between Russian and English during business trips—I had to be there with my clients during every break, lunch and dinner. If a client wants to buy wine for his wife, I had to be there too. Sometimes I would get calls at 4 am to interpret during military drills!
LC: What are some of the challenges you’ve faced at work?
Leo: Once, my Chinese interpreter lost her voice right before an important conference and we only had a few hours to replace her! But because of our extensive network with over a thousand professional linguists, we were able to promptly find a replacement and move on with the project.
Another challenge was when we were contacted by a major local pharmaceutical company. They informed us that their Japanese client was very late on reporting adverse clinical trials. Adverse effect forms like those needed to be reported to the FDA within 7 days, so they were extremely short on time. The first translation company they reached out to turned the project down. But I knew we could do it! In the end we exceeded their expectations and completed the translation in just 3 days.
LC: What are your favorite or least favorite words?
Leo: I like the word ‘discombobulated’ because it sounds funny. I dislike the word ‘anxious’ and how it’s often misused for impatience rather than worry. For instance, I saw on BBC news “immigrants are anxious to report…” I believe a different word could’ve been used there.
About Language Connections:
Language Connections is a language service provider. We specialize in technical, medical and legal translation, simultaneous and consecutive interpreting, website and software localization, and corporate language programs and interpreter training. We provide certified, professional translation in 100+ languages including Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Chinese, Russian, German, and French. With over 20 years of experience, we have expertise in all major industries including the life sciences, patent and immigration law, international business, global education, and advanced technology. We offer cost-efficient interpreting conference solutions that will meet your multilingual needs for all types of international events, business meetings, conferences, lectures or presentations.
For a free quote or to learn more about our services visit www.languageconnections.com.
Language Connections LLC
2001 Beacon Street, Suite 105,
Boston, MA 02135