Class Project Translates into Career for Alumni

GlobalMetaphraseLogoA passion for languages led two UT Arlington graduates from a classroom project to creating their own small business.

Jason Holt (’12) and Yareli Servin (’13), alumni with degrees from the Department of Modern Languages, recently founded Global Metaphrase, a translation service. Their new business venture was born out of a class assignment and work on a globalization and translation certificate.

“My last semester in the program, we were wondering how we were going to use our certificate,” said Holt, who also majored in linguistics at UTA. “There was a company that was shopping a translation project to several universities. Dr. [Pete] Smith and Dr. [Aimee] Israel-Pelletier thought it would be interesting for us. … Everything we had been learning about became a reality.”

The company needed corporate training materials translated into French for a new office it had acquired in Quebec, Holt said. He and Servin and other classmates worked on the project, sitting down with company representatives, creating a timeline and budget, and looking at future translation needs. Smith, Vice Provost for Digital Teaching and Learning, and Israel-Pelletier, Associate Professor of French, supervised the project.

“Jason and Yareli are living proof that, through our Localization and Translation track, language majors and minors can turn their classroom studies into real-world careers,” said Smith. “The localization industry is hungry for talent and language students can transform their majors into real jobs in a growth industry.”

After graduation, Holt created Global Metaphrase to continue working with the international company on a 70,000-word document and other materials that needed to be translated into Spanish and Vietnamese. Company services include translation for business documents, technical documents, websites, smart phone applications, as well as subtitling and voice-over work for training videos.

Holt said he considered joining an established translation firm before creating his own. Experts, he said, think the industry will grow by nearly 50 percent over the next decade, and Holt hopes his company will be able to grow as more Fortune 500 companies realize their translation needs.

“This is different than using Google Translate or another piece of software,” he said. “That’s not really translation. There’s a lot of culture embedded in language. When we translate we have to go after the meaning, not simply ‘word x equals word y’ in another language. There’s a lot more to it.”

Servin will attend New York University this fall to pursue a master’s degree in language translation. Holt said he may join her in a year. For now, he said, they will continue to grow Global Metaphrase and work on existing projects.

For more information about the translation company, log on to


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Charles says:

    Great work, Jason. Congratulations and best wishes on your new venture.
    Grandpa Holt

  2. Neil Davis says:

    This is a nice post and contains lots of use full information. keep posting

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