The 2010/10/05 at 10:30
“We wish to set ourselves up along-side businesses according to a partnership logic, in order to meet all language issues they come across.” These words spoken by Olivier Heureux, Sales and Marketing Manager at Elan Langues, illustrate the state of mind governing the company’s comprehensive offers. With its translation, interpretation and training services, the company helps a multitude of players to eliminate their linguistic obstacles and sets client organisations on the best path foward.
In terms of translation, Elan Langues may lend a hand with Web sites, brochures, specifications, instruction manuals or any other document requiring translation. Texts are at times highly specialised, for example dosages for the pharmaceutical industry or else gardening tool instructions. “Such translations assume significant technical or scientific knowledge in the domain in question. We have a network of almost 2,000 translators throughout the world. Many of them are specialised in cutting-edge sectors in such a way that have the means to effectively meet the most atypical needs,” explains Olivier Heureux. On top of this, Elan Langues offers interpretation services for one-off events such as international meetings. “In these cases, we provide interpreters but also the necessary material: cabins, microphones, all audio infrastructures…,” continues the Manager.
The company’s clients are businesses of all sizes, working in all sectors of activity. “Chemistry, agro-food, automobiles, banking or communications represent the domains where we are strongly present,” declares Olivier Heureux. Many clients are Belgian businesses or else European or US companies that have set up in Belgium. “Red Bull Creative, Coca-Cola, BASF and MTV are some groups illustrating the variety of profiles with which we are in contact,” he continues. Elan Langues also has offices in France, the Netherlands, as well as Russia, since 2007, where demand is particularly high.
It goes without saying that the company’s offer includes a broad range of languages. English is often on demand, but French, Dutch and German also make up many requests. The emergence of certain Arab or Asian economies has also resulted in the setting up in Western Europe of head offices or subsidiaries from distant countries, requiring European collaborators and their counterparts to learn languages. “Often, Western investors newly set up in Asian countries wish to learn the language of their local collaborators, out of a desire to better fit into the negotiation process or else to improve their grasp of market subtleties,” confides Olivier Heureux.
A specific pedagogical approach
“We set ourselves apart from our compet-itors by our specific training approach,” he continues. “Unlike certain schools, we do not have a rigid, strict methodology to which everyone must adapt. Instead, our mission is to develop a pedagogical strategy that takes into account the aptitudes specific to every individual, his or her learning logic, acquired knowledge and objectives. Certain people are gifted with an ease for visual memorisation while others develop particular listening skills instead. Everyone has his or her own faculties; this is why we firstly carryout an analysis from which we construct an adapted learning method.” This is a formula that has already lured Orangina Schweppes, Electrabel, Laurent Perrier, and many other groups.
Previously acquired language knowledge is thus taken into account, as well as the context in which the language is likely to be used. “Let’s not forget that learning is aimed at practice in specific situations in the professional context. In terms of vocabulary, the aim is not to discover everything about a language, but more importantly the words and expressions likely to be used most frequently,” specifies Olivier Heureux.
Specific solutions are sometimes set up to more closely meet client expectations. The Manager mentions the example of the ING Call Centre. “Our work with them takes place on two levels. First of all, we assess the language level – English and Dutch – of all persons on the brink of joining the group. Next, we transmit to the manager a detailed report on the command of language skills of each person. Subsequently, we offer specific training courses in Dutch and English for those in the group who need to improve their current level in order to meet professional demands.”
Most members of the Elan Langues teaching network have undertaken high-level studies in language or are native speakers of the country in question. Professionals such as sales managers, engineers, psychologists or specialists in various domains, seeking a new career direction after following pedagogical training, can also be found.
A recognised company
To simplify the organisation of training sessions, the Elan group has developed an online project management IT solution – an important asset. This is a training management and support platform allowing training managers to follow, from a
distance and at any time, the evolution of a training project. Thanks to this tool, training managers can verify the state of progress of a training programme, the number of hours given and those remaining. The platform also provides information on the participants (their attendance, justified or unjustified absences, their evaluations, trainer comments…). Statistics can also be edited, providing precious help for human resources managers.
Another convincing element for client companies: the company benefits from the Qfor quality label, delivered by an independent authority, bearing witness to excellent client satisfaction, as well as European EN 15038 certification, guaranteeing the conformity of translations to current European standards. “In concrete terms, this means that for any project, a second translator systematically takes on the task of proofreading and checking the work done by the first translator,” emphasises Olivier Heureux.
He adds that in the future, “the group’s priority will be to take care that the development of the Elan Langues network scrupulously respects these quality and operation criteria. Today, every business faces the internationalisation of activity. The economic situation is such that Elan is increasingly solicited. But our growth will never take place at the price of lower quality standards.”