How to Create a Translation App: CoVoice Founders Share Their Journey
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How to Create a Translation App: CoVoice Founders Share Their Journey

From Own Problem to App

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How to Create a Translation App: CoVoice Founders Share Their Journey

We have the pleasure of interviewing the founders of CoVoice, a company co-founded in 2021 by Joel and Regis Arzu. These visionary brothers, first-generation Americans, were inspired by their upbringing, where they often found themselves interpreting for their Spanish-speaking parents. Witnessing firsthand the challenges their parents faced due to language barriers, Joel and Regis were motivated to create CoVoice. This innovative company is dedicated to providing a platform that empowers everyone to have a voice, regardless of language proficiency.

CoVoice is an innovative app that connects translators and individuals in need of translation services. Whether you're a professional translator looking to connect with clients or simply someone in need of translation services, CoVoice has you covered. With its powerful video call feature, you can easily connect with translators from all over the globe.

Screens of an app Covoice that connects translators and individuals in need of translation services.

At Movadex, we've had the privilege of collaborating with CoVoice, contributing to their journey through UX/UI design and development. In our interview, we delve into how Joel and Regis conceptualized and brought to life their groundbreaking app, exploring the challenges they encountered, the solutions they devised, and the insights they gained along the way.

What inspired the creation of CoVoice? Were there specific challenges or gaps in the translation industry that motivated you to develop the app?

As first-generation Americans, my brother and I grew up witnessing the challenges that our parents, who migrated from Honduras, faced due to language barriers. Despite their capabilities and intelligence, they were limited in job opportunities; my mother was only able to find a job as a housekeeper and my father as a janitor. This language gap even impacted our education, as their limited English proficiency made it difficult for them to attend parent-teacher conferences, which affected the level of academic support we received. It's important to note that our family's experience is far from unique; As per the US Census, there are 27.97 million people in the United States who speak little to no English facing similar challenges every day.

CoVoice Family Growing Up

For those unfamiliar with CoVoice, it's a mobile interpreting app that allows businesses to communicate with non-English speaking customers and vice versa. It’s a live interpreter in your pocket at all times. You can visit our CoVoice Website or check out our quick demo here to see how it works.

While we currently only have Spanish/English interpreting on the app, we are working with a great partner of ours, an amazing app development company that is building the updated features that will allow us to have AI interpreters. This upgrade will allow us to offer multiple languages and unlimited subscription plans. This partner is Movadex, a game-changing development company.

Developing CoVoice has been a two-year journey so far, and it's a process that continues to evolve. We're committed to constantly adapting our platform based on customer feedback. In essence, we treat every customer as if they were using the app to speak to our own parents and vice versa.

CoVoice Brothers and Sisters

We’re just trying to create a world free of language barriers.

How do you ensure a seamless and user-friendly experience for both translators and individuals in need of translation services on the CoVoice app?

To ensure an easy-to-use and user-friendly experience on the CoVoice app for both our translators, whom we call CoVoicers and individuals in need of interpreting services, we focus on an intuitive design and responsive feedback mechanisms. In speaking to our customers, we’ve learned that they want something easy to use and fast access to an interpreter. Our platform is designed to be straightforward and accessible, embodying our stand that it should be "so easy our abuelita could use it”. This ensures ease of use for all users, regardless of their technological proficiency.

Screens of an app Covoice that connects translators and individuals in need of translation services.

Quality is essential at CoVoice. We use the best AI technology in addition to hand-picking our CoVoicers for their language skills, empathy, and cultural understanding, ensuring high-quality translation services. Feedback from users is instrumental in our continuous improvement process, allowing us to refine and enhance the app's functionality and overall service quality.

Technical reliability, a flexible payment model, privacy, security, community support, and adaptability are core to our approach. By maintaining a strong, secure platform that respects the expertise and time of our translators and meets the needs of our users, we create a positive, efficient environment for overcoming language barriers.

Our commitment to evolving in response to user feedback and market demands ensures CoVoice remains a leader in facilitating communication across language divides.

Can you share some of the significant challenges CoVoice faced during its development and growth, and how did you overcome them?

During CoVoice's development, we faced significant challenges, particularly in engaging our initial target market of Spanish non-English speakers. Despite our efforts and intentions to bridge communication gaps, limited funds and the novelty of our solution led to lower than expected adoption within the community. This period was marked by a steep learning curve, where the need for a sustainable model became increasingly apparent. Although we can still service Spanish speakers we had to make a slight pivot on who our first initial adopters will be.

Screens of an app Covoice that connects translators and individuals in need of translation services.

Our turning point came from engaging with solo practice lawyers, who presented a more suitable market fit for CoVoice. They already recognized the value of interpreters, possessed the necessary funds, and expressed a huge interest in our service, highlighting a demand for multi-language support and a subscription payment model. Motivated by this feedback, we're now expanding our language offerings and introducing a subscription model tailored to the legal profession's needs. This pivot not only reflects our commitment to adaptability and user feedback but also marks an exciting new chapter for CoVoice, with the legal community eagerly awaiting our updated services, as we plan to convert to Spanish-only speakers at a later time.

Being siblings in business can be both rewarding and challenging. How do you navigate the dynamics of your partnership to ensure a successful collaboration?

CoVoice Founders: Regis and Joel

Regis: Navigating a sibling partnership in business, Joel, my co-founder, brother, and best friend, and I have naturally transitioned our lifelong partnership into a successful collaboration at CoVoice. Our bond, formed since birth, has been our greatest asset; despite occasional differences, our deep-rooted trust and understanding always lead us to agreements. Our history of jointly working in multiple smaller businesses before CoVoice has not only made working together second nature but also equipped us with a seamless ability to leverage each other's strengths. This unique dynamic, blending family ties with professional respect, has been crucial in steering CoVoice toward its goals, proving that our sibling partnership makes us a powerful force in the business world.

In what ways do you see CoVoice contributing to the global communication landscape? Are there specific regions or communities you hope to make a significant impact on?

At CoVoice, we are driven by the goal of creating a world free of language barriers, starting with demolishing these barriers in the United States before expanding our reach globally. This ambition fuels our commitment to revolutionize the way people communicate across different languages and cultures. We aim to make a significant impact on communities affected by communication challenges, setting a foundation for a future where language is no longer a barrier - especially for the less fortunate and unheard. This vision goes beyond mere convenience; it's about building a more inclusive, understanding, and connected global society where everyone, regardless of their language, can connect seamlessly and effectively.

Screens of an app Covoice that connects translators and individuals in need of translation services.

Can you provide insights into CoVoice's future roadmap? Are there upcoming features or developments that users and potential stakeholders can look forward to?

Looking forward, CoVoice is positioned for exciting developments, with our roadmap heavily influenced by user feedback, particularly from the legal sector. A significant upcoming feature, inspired by conversations with lawyers, is the introduction of three-way calling, designed to enhance the versatility and effectiveness of our platform for dynamic, multi-party communications. This enhancement is part of our broader commitment to continuously refine CoVoice, addressing the evolving needs of our diverse user base. Stakeholders can anticipate a suite of innovative updates aimed at breaking down language barriers more effectively, ensuring CoVoice remains a leader in facilitating seamless global communication.