L’Argot, briefly

A Brief Definition of Argot

ARGOT ‒ the language used by a particular type or group of people: an often more or less secret vocabulary and idiom peculiar to a particular group. E.g., “groups communicating in their own secret argots” “`{`…`}` used the argot of figure skaters.” Synonyms: cant, dialect, jargon. ‒ Merriam-Webster Dictionary, 2018

Historically, the term has been used to talk about the particular, informal language which grew along the social fringe: “l’argot” referring to the forms of oral expression which flourished in the cultures of the poor, among vagrants and vagabonds, outlaws and thieves.

Today, the word has evolved to a different meaning, losing a bit of its pejorative sense and instead referring to the specific language of a particular field.

All in all, we chose this name both because we identify with the social struggles and realities of this world’s underdogs, and because of our fascination with the multiple faces of each language we work with.

Our Mission: Translation and Social Solidarity

Our primary objective is to facilitate our clients’ clear, fluid and accurate communication across cultural and linguistic borders. Uniting a deep linguistic curiosity with an unyielding standard for accuracy, we consider ourselves messengers, helping you express yourself in the language of your choice while maintaining a respectful understanding of the context and cultural realities at play.

We’re rethinking our approach to language by centering social and linguistic justice in our vision, allowing us to better express the multiple realities of cultural context in Québec as well as internationally.

That Co-op Magic

Choosing a cooperative model of organization allows us to provide excellent working conditions to our members so they can let their expertise speak for itself. Our horizontal structure puts collective intelligence to work, letting us benefit from the complementarity of each of our worker-members’ knowledge and skills and resulting in a finished product of superior quality.

A Brief History of the Project

Inspired by the work of other translation co-ops in the U.S. and Europe, we began to look into the linguistic needs of our networks in Québec. We noticed a growing demand for efficient, adaptable and accessible linguistic services in our communities, and decided to join forces to propose a more social vision of language work in Québec.

A small team of women translators, interpreters and editors quickly took shape, united by our passion for language, feminism, gender inclusivity, anti-colonial struggles and social movements. Drawing strength from the complementarity of our expertise and our close contact with our social environment, our project soon made itself known through word-of-mouth, resulting in an exciting and ever-diversifying series of new collaborations.

In the fall of 2018, we set off to get some training from social economy professionals. Thanks to the Parcours Coop offered by RéseauCoop, we sharpened our entrepreneurial skills and built a structured offer of service that is both effective and adapted to our clientele.

By sharing our values, our tools and our networks, we’ve transformed our work into a meeting ground, a conduit for communication, a springboard for fertile collaborations between members as well as others. Now officially open for business, the Argot team is eager to take on new challenges together!