I have had the pleasure of getting to know Eve Bodeux and her company Bodeux International LLC, a small localization company located in Colorado. Since I specialize in the translation side of localization, I wanted to provide personal insights about the rest of the localization process and on managing a small localization company. Here is my interview with Eve.
Eve Lindemuth Bodeux has been active in the translation and localization industries for over 15 years. She has broad experience that covers all aspects of these industries as well as proven success in managing international projects for a variety of clients. She integrates insider knowledge of the localization process with language-specific, technical and cultural considerations. She has graduate degrees from both a US university and a French university, is a voting member of the American Translators Association and Vice President of the Colorado Translators Association. She frequently presents on language industry-related topics, in the US and Europe.
Please describe Bodeux International as a small “boutique” localization company.
Bodeux International provides localization, translation and specialized project management. The goal is to offer focused expertise and a highly personalized approach to clients in the technology and medical device industries. I know that many in the language industry who offer project management services work as a subcontract to agencies. That is not the case for Bodeux International. I work directly with end clients.
You have been working in the localization industry for over 15 years, please tell me about your roles there and which role was the most enjoyable?
I started out working as a translation recruiter (screening, training and hiring freelance translators on a large scale) for what, back then, was one of the larger localization companies (and has since been folded into one of today’s larger localization companies). I enjoyed it because I was able to learn a lot about the technical side of the business while also focusing on the linguistic side – an interesting mixture of right and left brain activities! I interacted with hundreds, if not thousands, of linguistic professionals and received an excellent education into the worlds of translation and localization. I have also spent many years managing complex, multi-lingual translation projects and my original entry into the industry as a recruiter helps me to see both sides of the equation: the translators point of view as well as the “agency’s” point of view. This has helped me to be able to tightly manage projects for clients but also approach them in a translator-friendly way. My contacts with translators over the years has also allowed me to organically increase my pool of excellent translators in many languages and this a great benefit to my clients. Over the years, I have also been involved in testing, translation as a translator (from French to English), engineering and sales support. I would say that my favorite role has been as the principal of my own company in that I get to interact with so many interesting clients and vendors at the same time. No day is the same and problem-solving to find the right solutions is a fun challenge.
Do you do mostly project management or translation these days?
My career has always favored the management side, but over the years, I have also been involved in some very interesting French to English translation projects. As I mentioned above, I like to keep active on both sides of the equation because it keeps me focused on what is important in the industry and prevents me from having a one-sided view of the entire process.
Where are the majority of Bodeux International’s clients located? Europe? USA? Elsewhere?
Most of my clients, believe it or not, are local. I do have clients throughout the US and also in Europe, but I think for the close relationships that I build with my clients, and the type of client that is a good fit for me (someone who understands the value of a high-level project manager), the in-person relationship is key. I am also quite selective about my clients since there is only one of me and I can only accomplish so much in a day. I work with people who value my own expertise but also value why translation and localization are important.
What language do you provide localization services in? Are you working more with certain languages than others?
The most requested languages in my business in the past few years have been Western European languages, Latin American Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Japanese and Simplified Chinese. Over the years, I have had solid experience dealing with Eastern European languages as well. While, of course, I do not speak all these languages, I pride myself on being aware of the various technical issues that can arise with each of these languages, or sets of languages. I consider myself more tech savvy than your average localization project manager. My clients value this as well. Related to that, I think it is important to recognize your own strengths and weaknesses so that you can offer your clients a truly exceptional service. For that reason, I normally do not run Arabic or Hebrew projects since they are quite culturally and technically challenging. However, I can partner with services providers for these languages if they are part of a larger project, or simply refer my clients to a different service provider if that is a better solution for their particular need.
Do you have a specific process you follow for your localization projects? If so, please describe.
One thing that differentiates me from the larger localization companies is that, as a project manager, I gave a great deal of flexibility in how I can approach client projects, to their benefit. My in-depth understanding of the process allows me to be very flexible in applying that expertise to what my clients’ projects require. Therefore, while I definitely have a methodology to achieve the most efficient path to a successful localization product, I like to assess each client’s project and goals individually and propose a customized plan that fits, on one hand, their linguistic needs, but also their specific business case.
Thanks, Tess, for interviewing me! I have enjoyed the opportunity to share my thoughts about my own company, but also about the industry as a whole, with your readers.