Never lost in translation When critical information is ‘lost in translation’, it sometimes leads to really comical occurrences – on the other hand, it sometimes leads to disastrous conflict too. With this in mind, Sharon Tabraham launched her own translation agency, which is today one of the leading such agencies in Southern Africa. Sharon explains that the boom in various forms of communications – from IT to mobile phones to social media – has created an enormous demand for products and applications to be translated and localised into African languages. Her company, ST Communications, in fact provides such a service into more than 30 languages, and is involved in translation, localisation, interpretation (including sign language), proofreading and editing. She launched the business six years ago, when she determined that working for herself and reaping the rewards of her own hard work was the best way forward. Today, Sharon counts many overseas and local companies, government departments and NGOs, publishing houses, corporates and even private individuals amongst her clients. Currently, her focus is on Implementing international standards and equipment, to improve the organisation’s workflow and quality. She also plans to increase its in-house translation team and aims to embark on a sales and marketing campaign to improve awareness of the business, thereby increasing its market share. The ambition is there, states Sharon, pointing out her team already works 24/7 across multiple time zones and often performs translation services at a moment’s notice. The key to her success lies in demonstrating that her business is reliable, passionate and delivers, while remaining well priced and thus competitive. She concludes by saying that while making the time to put a plan in place is difficult, the final destination she has in mind for ST Communications is no less than for it to be Africa’s top translation and localisation agency.