Our mission: "We believe in work well done, in work done by people, for people, combining Artificial Intelligence and humans".
That's Pangeanic! We work to democratize Artificial Intelligence through personalization for each user experience: Data and information accessible to everyone, in just one click. We want to promote equality between individuals and organizations in order to make informed decisions through equal access to information, regardless of language barriers.
If you want to find out more about Pangeanic, keep reading!
What did Pangeanic's beginning look like? When was the company founded and with what objectives was it created?
Pangeanic's beginning dates back to the late 1990s, when the B.I Corporation established a subsidiary in Manchester (UK) as B.I Europe. The focus in those years was on human translation, primarily for brands located in Japan. In 2000, the company relocated to Valencia, and in 2005 our CEO acquired it, starting collaborations with the Polytechnic and European universities of Valencia, becoming the first company in the world to implement Moses (a statistical translator) and post-editing within a commercial environment. From then on, it gradually expanded, specializing in natural language processing (NLP) technologies, participating in and winning several European projects in neural machine translation (NMT), translation memory management, anonymization, etc.
Why the name “Pangeanic”?
Pangea is the name given to the single continent that existed on Earth millions of years ago. Our company follows the “togetherness” philosophy, which is what translation is all about, understanding others, and through communication and information, coming together as one.
Who is the Pangeanic team currently made up of?
Pangeanic is currently divided into two main departments: the professional services department and the technology department.
The professional services department is made up of various linguists, both Spanish and from other countries (UK, France, Germany, Belgium, etc.), who dedicate their time to translation, proofreading and post-editing tasks, coordinated by Project Managers (PMs) who are in charge of organizing the workflow and cycle of any translation process we carry out.
The technology department, made up of engineers and computer scientists, specialized mainly in Artificial Intelligence, is in charge of the tasks that involve using new technologies applied to Natural Language Processing.
We are currently working, for example, on extracting key information from large amounts of data, automatically classifying it into domains - of course, without neglecting and always improving our automatic translation engines and anonymization services.
What are your specializations and what kind of clients do you have? Do you work more in Spain or abroad?
Our specialization is the translation service, in every sense and aspect. We strive to provide the best service, in the shortest possible time, and with the highest quality. We are most experienced in the area of translation, whether it be pure human translation, post-editing or proofreading. All our work is carried out by qualified linguists. Even when we work with machine translation, provided by our own engines, the translations are always reviewed by linguists.
Most of our clients are located outside Spain, both in Europe and Asia or America, although we also have important clients in the national market, in the industrial sector and even in public administrations.
Tell us a little bit about your work procedures... For example, what resources/tools do you use?
The tools depend on the purpose of the work. For example, our linguists use various CAT tools such as SDL Trados, MemoQ and Memsource. We also have our own tool, Pecat, which is now on its second version, and we also use QA tools like Xbench and QA Distiller.
For project management, our PMs use XTRF.
Over all these years you must have collected lots of anecdotes, can you share any of them with us?
Recently we were contacting some translators in Thailand for a project, and they kept signing off their emails with the year 2564. We didn't understand until we started looking and found that, in Thailand, they use the Buddhist Calendar, which is 543 years ahead of us! Working with people from all over the world is very enriching and allows us to open our minds and get to know other cultures and customs.
In your opinion, what makes your company special or different from the rest?
We like to think that it's the people it's made up of.
We are currently in an expansion process, in which we're growing our technology department, so that we can be not only a translation service company, but also a Natural Language Processing company. This symbiosis between purely linguistic profiles and technological profiles and the capacity for cooperation and teamwork that we have developed undoubtedly makes us, if not different, special.
What do you think the main challenges are that the translation industry is facing?
The growth and development of artificial intelligence (AI). This could be a very positive thing if it is put to good use, but it could also be dangerous.
We have to understand that AI can enable higher volumes of translation in a shorter time through machine translation, but it cannot be expected to completely replace the translator. The translator's role will always be necessary in any translation project, because, although AI and the machines it develops can be very good, they will never be perfect, as in many cases they are unable to detect those nuances and ironies that only the human brain is capable of detecting.
The advances in AI should not be seen only as an option to reduce costs, but as another tool for translation, which should be used correctly and never with the intention of deceiving the client.
How has COVID-19 impacted your business?
Adapting to COVID times has been a challenge for Pangeanic, but at the same time it has been an opportunity. We have been able to incorporate people who do not live in Valencia into the organization. It has allowed employees to improve their work-family balance by returning to their hometowns. Remote working was a trend that we were heading towards, but it is no longer an isolated option, rather an additional work tool. The situation accelerated the transition, but it was in line with our mission and vision.
Half of the team is currently working from home, and the other half is working in the office. Sometimes you miss that physical contact within the team, but technology makes it possible for us to stay connected in a different way. If we look at the bigger picture, all the good things about combining both formats among workers are more than enough to keep implementing it.
Do you have any plans for improvement or change in the near future?
At Pangeanic, we are constantly working on improvements.
Some of the most relevant projects are the training of automated translation machines for the Europeana initiative, the development of data classification projects, the improvement of our anonymization service in several languages, the creation of plug-ins for the big CAT tools such as XTM (we already have them for Trados, MemoQ, Memsource), and finding a data center to host our servers.
On the other hand, we have been working from the Lanzadera offices since September, in the port of Valencia. Lanzadera acts as an incubator and accelerator for companies, and we hope that through them we can introduce ourselves to other sectors and increase our network of contacts.