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Presto: living, breathing translation

Presto: living, breathing translation


For over 30 years now, the Prague-based translation firm Presto provides high-quality translation and interpreting services in over 70 languages ​​to over 30,000 clients.

With a team of more than 4,000 translators and experts, the company focuses on Central and Eastern European markets, including Czech, Slovak, Polish, Hungarian, Ukrainian, Bulgarian, Romanian, Croatian, Slovenian, Serbian and many more.

Presto CEO Milan Havlin spoke with MESA about juggling its many language services and offerings, what's most in demand by customers today, and what the future holds for Presto and the industry of the translation.

MESA: How did Presto first come about and what makes its services unique in the media and entertainment space?

Havlin: I originally started Presto in 1990, as a small family-owned translation service. Since then, we have gradually expanded in all areas the number of employees, the volume and scope of services, languages ​​and sectors served. Ultimately, we have gained experience throughout Central Europe, which gives us a unique perspective on the market.

The expertise in the field is unrivaled and covers a wide range of topics. This is made possible by the continuous adoption of new software. We're always looking for new ways to make our production faster, smoother and just plain better.

MESA: Translation, interpretation, localization, subtitling services Prestos offers cover the entire range. How is Presto keeping pace with its competitors in offering each of these services?

Havlin: It's not an easy task, that's for sure. What helps the most is to keep an open mind and always eager to learn more about new solutions and technologies. I'm proud of the fact that our team is like this, always ready, helpful, friendly and always ready to do something new.

MESA: On the localization side, what are the biggest challenges of offering in so many different languages?

Havlin: In my opinion, there are two aspects that represent the biggest challenge. The first is obviously the time constraint. Nowadays, we see the fast pace of the world everywhere, and localization is no different. This in turn affects the second elephant in the room: how to maintain the high quality of the result in such a short time? There is no single answer to this question and we always opt for an individual approach to find the solution that best suits our customers.

MESA: For subtitling and audiovisual, what do you think are the needs most requested by clients?

Havlin: We have been working on TV series and films for a long time, and it still continues. However, recently we are seeing an increase in other media, such as advertising and marketing in general, but also longer forms, such as conference recordings, internal company media and e-learning courses. This makes the already diverse range of services even more varied, and I am very excited about what the future holds.

MESA: What are Presto's favorite use cases to date, where media and entertainment companies have made great use of your services?

Havlin: There are quite a few interesting stories over the years, it's hard to choose one.

But my favorite is working for one of the biggest video game companies, where we've been running many different games for about 20 years, and the community of our linguists and voiceover artists has changed significantly in that time, but the love for the game is universal among them.

It's so nice to see. And to give a few from other media types, a few years ago we were approached by a company that needed to localize large quantities of subtitles for various titles.

At that point, teams were distributed very differently and had to adapt as they went, quickly adopting new software, different workflows, and onboarding new linguists. Within the first month, they created a whole new division in Presto, while maintaining production for the customer. They currently constitute an essential element of our structure just like the customer. Success in my book.

MESA: What’s next for Presto? What advancements do you see on the horizon in your offerings in the M&E sector?

Havlin: We continue to follow our customers' demands and what they need, while remaining focused on our main strength, the Central European region, deepening our understanding and expanding our scope of services in this area. Among other things, we're trying a lot of AI implementations, whether it's voice to text or even vice versa, because the use cases are quite exciting, especially in shorter formats.

The future is an open book and I look forward to writing some chapters with MESA.




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