Interview - 10 minutes with Danae Hosek-Ugolini
What business are you in?
You could call me a lawyer-linguist, although there are various definitions to this term. I simply see myself as a lawyer and a translator. I specialised in Legal, business and maritime translations (French, Greek and English).
What kind of organisation are you?
Friendly, conscientious, trustworthy, reliable, down to earth.
Where is your business based?
I have just moved from London to Prague in the Czech Republic. What is great about my business is that it can follow me wherever I go.
I am an English-qualified lawyer with extensive high-level experience in one of the top city law firms in London. In fact, I still have a foot in the legal sector. I live and breathe the law and understand lawyers’ needs, requirements and way of thinking. I am also familiar with the underlying legal documents I am asked to translate and have first-hand experience in drafting these. But even more importantly, I have been in the business world so I know the level of professionalism expected by clients.
What do you do that is so genuinely different and innovative in comparison to your competitors?
I don’t know about being different or innovative, but I certainly offer a balanced service: quality in the translation, quality in the client service and fair value. I also understand what my clients talk about when it comes to legal documents, timelines and procedures. Finally, I can foresee issues and add value to their source documents by spotting inconsistencies.
In life and in business, what values do you stand for?
Efficiency, reliability, integrity, competence, respect. I also really stand for fairness (which is not a value per se).
What values in others do you most oppose?
I cannot stand unfairness (for example when someone takes the praise for something he/she did not do), nor rudeness or looking down on others. I try to live my life with humility and gratitude.
What are some of the things that you see as a threat to your industry and why?
The increased perception that translation is a commodity and only requires software such as Google Translate. Like lawyers using automation softwares to produce complicated documents. Man cannot be replaced by a machine for complex documents. A word can have different meanings depending on the context.
Also in terms of pricing, agencies are driving the prices down by offering translation as a commodity. People should not forget that it takes knowledge and thinking to translate, the same way as drafting a contract or a statement of claim.
How do you add more value to your customers than your competitors do?
I always try to go the extra mile for my clients, because it is in my DNA: I am a hopeless perfectionist! I will point out typos and inconsistencies in the source text and highlight mistakes (such as the incorrect year being quoted for a particular piece of legislation for example), even if my clients did not choose the premium option (although I try to keep this urge under control for the basic package). In a way, I see my clients like colleagues: both striving to make something work, so I try to be proactive and find solutions to any issues that may arise.
What character traits make you such a great person to work with?
I am reliable, friendly and easy to talk to. I strive to reply within 24 hours of an email. Finally, expect me to be honest and to talk my mind.