It’s time to get to know another member of the team here at Comunica. For today’s edition of the blog, we’re speaking to our Sales and Marketing Manager, Nicolás M. M. Fontana, who has been a member of the team since 2020.

Full name: Nicolás Maximiliano Martín Fontana
Nationality: Argentinean-Spanish (dual citizenship)
Age: 42
Languages spoken: Spanish, Polish, English.

Q: What led you to get into the translation business?

A: Life led me into the translation business. I have always been interested in English and dreamed of living in Canada, Ireland or England when I was younger. Although my time in Ireland was brief (just one year), it played a significant role in shaping my path.

But what truly drew me into this field was my move to Poland where I began employment with an international multi-language service provider. I started there as a linguistic tester and over time, I worked my way up to the position of Language Lead at the same company. But after spending five and a half years in Poland, I felt it was time to return to the Costa del Sol, a place I hold dear.

To do this, I turned to LinkedIn where I was able to secure a position at a Danish medium-sized language service provider, which today forms part of a larger, Dutch language service provider. I gained invaluable experience in business development, marketing, vendor management and sales during my time there. However, after three and a half years, I faced a challenging period, and due to extreme circumstances, I found myself with no option but to leave the company. Once more, I set off in search of new horizons, and it was then that I found COMUNICA.

Q: What brought you to Comunica Translations?

A: A combination of different circumstances led to my current situation. When the Covid pandemic began, I found Comunica, which provided me with stability during uncertain times. I am deeply grateful to Tina Julsgaard for her support during this challenging period in my career. The industry has been through a lot of ups and downs since I began with COMUNICA, and we have faced plenty of challenges over the years. But there is a great team spirit here, and ever since joining I have been working diligently alongside my incredible colleagues to help the business expand and develop.

Q: What does your role at COMUNICA involve?

A: My role at Comunica can be described as a hybrid role. Initially, it involved a combination of sales and vendor management. Nowadays, it encompasses sales, marketing and business development for both Comunica and for Skrapling. This is one of the tools created by Comunica to address a persistent problem in this industry – producing word counts and generating quotes for website translations, which are a crucial part of the company’s business.

Over the course of each day, I use a combination of different strategies to promote and sell our wide range of services that can take any business strategy to the next level! One of the key factors that helps me in my work is the wonderful team that I am lucky to be working with here at Comunica.

Q: Could you share one positive anecdote with us about your work?

A: Around March 2020, I met a wonderful client (a software and telecommunications company) at a LocDrink event in Fuengirola, around about the time I had just joined Comunica. It was a positive experience because the beginning of our business relationship went very smoothly, thanks in no small part to the approachability and nice attitude of the Global Head of Localisation at this company.

Q: And what about one not so positive anecdote?

A: When I was a linguistic tester around 2012, during peak periods – which usually occurred in the summer – we had to work 12 hours a day, Monday to Monday, for several months to meet the requirements of a major gaming and software company known worldwide. The reward for such hard work was typically paid overtime, of course, and pizza and Coca-Cola every Saturday and Sunday for lunch.

After two months like this, time began to blur and it became impossible to even tell what day it was – well, except for when the pizza days rolled around. But the positive aspect of this not so positive anecdote was that I formed strong bonds with the team I worked with back then, and I still maintain regular contact with many of them.

So, even in the worst situations, life can offer something positive. I always like to see the glass as being half full rather than half empty.

Q: What is the future of the translation industry?

A: I believe the future will be complex; undoubtedly, technology will play a major role in the translation industry. However, I also foresee many people becoming weary of price reductions, working longer hours for less pay, and a decline in working conditions overall. Therefore, I would venture to predict a revolution and the potential for further fragmentation within the translation business.

On the one hand, major translation companies (or investors) will fervently absorb medium-sized and smaller ones, employing highly technical solutions and automation, while paying less and less to the providers and workers they utilise. On the other hand, there will be a group of companies and freelancers who will embrace a predominantly human-driven and creative translation process.

There may be a third faction that will combine human and technological approaches, striving to achieve a balance. However, I anticipate significant conflict in the future, especially considering the global challenges we are currently facing, from climate change and resource scarcity to economic crises and war.

In summary, though, we can also say that the future will be no more challenging than the present is now – and the past has been. I have a keen interest in history, and if you examine human history, what you will find is that we are constantly engaged in a continuous process of solving challenges and crises, many of which are of our own making.

Sometimes I wonder what would happen to this business if we were to face a total digital outage due to a lack of resources (like a power outage or even a solar flare!). Would the industry revert to typewriters and fax machines? It’s something to think about …

But in the end, as always, no matter what scenario the future will bring, I will do my best to adapt and survive until the call to join the great hall in Valhalla arrives. You should also be prepared to adapt – that’s my humble advice.

Q: What do you do in your free time?

A: In my free time, I enjoy walking, trekking, watching series, documentaries and movies, reading books and Multilingual Magazine, testing out new technology, spending time with friends and family and traveling. Additionally, I also take pleasure in contributing to KTLC, which I believe to be the best translation conference in the entire translation world.