Our Workplace Through the Years

Our Workplace Through the Years

By Simon Tétreault


Cartier et Lelarge is a company in constant evolution. From our humble beginnings, we have strived to stay on top of the latest technology while listening to the needs of our translators. That means always keeping our methods up to date and our work environment as agile and adaptable as we are.


The paper-to-digital transition

Up until recently, translation was perhaps one of the most heavily paper-consuming professions. The younger generation has never known a time when the typewriter was our most indispensable tool. But at Cartier et Lelarge, even after we moved to typing on the computer, translators still printed out all their texts, single- or double-spaced—the latter for the benefit of our revisers! Even our research was done mostly on paper at the start. We had a resource station on site, well stocked with specialty magazines and good old print dictionaries. Over time, these evolved into CD dictionaries, then online ones. Eventually, we moved to revising on screen as well, which greatly reduced our paper consumption. Today, rapid progress in neural machine translation (MT) has ushered in another new era in our evolution: adopting MT into our arsenal of translation tools.


Remote work

The advent of the internet not only changed the ways that we work and communicate—be it email for our clients or instant messaging between colleagues—but also increased the potential mobility of our staff. The way was now clear for another transformation: telework. The first Cartier et Lelarge employee to work remotely was Simon Hébert, who moved to New York in 2003 and continued his project management work there. One by one, more employees began to see the benefits of working partially from home and partially in the office. Some have even taken the opportunity to work all over the world, from the US to France, and more recently, Argentina! The ability to work from home has also allowed us to hire translators from outside Montreal. In these nearly two decades of history, telework has become part of our company culture and contributed to our flexibility and resilience.


The big move

But the rise of telework had another effect: slowly but surely, translators stopped using the office space in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, where the company was founded and had operated ever since. In the interest of efficiency, we decided in 2017 to move our operation downtown, this time opting for a coworking space. The transition to the new space was seamless, and before long, we felt right at home. Still, we’ll never forget the house on Monkland where our story began, as its image makes up the graphic portion of our company logo.


After 35 years, Cartier et Lelarge can proudly look back and say that we have always been quick to adapt and reinvent, without ever leaving behind our values or image. Who knows what the future will hold?