At our starting time, we launched a local campaign offering the services of Onscreeninterpreters to some Argentinian exporting companies.
The answer often was “We do not need it, we do business in English”. Which may be quite true of large companies, but not at SMEs. It has happened, however, that these companies then call us on the spur of the moment requesting “please we need an English interpreter now”… quite bewildering.
Argentina is traditionally considered in the world as the country with the most educated population in Latin America. True enough. Also as a country where many people speak English. Pretty fake.
This last prejudice is based on taking into account only the people of Buenos Aires, the capital city. Even more, only considering BA most educated and upper-class individuals, or those working in large international organizations. To put it another way, the tip of the iceberg.
Argentina is a country with a huge hinterland, lacking cosmopolitan cities at all in there. Therefore saying that Argentinians master foreign languages is exactly the same as claiming that all Chinese people do the same.
We are a Spanish speaking country; and let’s face it, no Spanish-speaking country in the world is exactly polyglot or has a great command of foreign languages.
However, the Argentinians traditionally considered themselves quite much Europeans, opposite to their Latin American neighbors. That makes some of them falsely believe they are good at speaking languages.
Another crucial issue is that our country is not precisely an “early adopter” regarding innovation, not to mention it often rejects it at the beginning (naysaying, cynicism) Argies first wait for the world to massively adopt it before taking the leap. The last global trends arrive at our country almost ten years later, it is sometimes said at academia. And Onscreeninterpreters was born as a disruptive innovation in the languages services industry. Video interpretation is still too new a field everywhere. And Argentinians, unlike early adopters like Brits, Chinese or Aussies, still do not completely understand neither what it is nor its advantages.
But needless to say our product it´s been always fully available at our own country, where we live, where we have our HQ as well as our management team.