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Can You Say &quotProfits"? This entrepreneur's interpreting service spells success in any language.

By Joan Retsinas

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Can you explain "appendectomy" in Gujarati? Translatefire safety instructions into Serbo-Croatian? Speak Amharic? HortonInterpreting Services Inc. can.

An international company needs a safety manual in 20 languages.A hospital patient speaks only Cambodian. A welfare agency wants toreach immigrants. From the third floor of a renovated Victorianhouse in Providence, Rhode Island, Juana Horton fields their calls,draws up contracts, recruits and trains consultant-interpreters,and schedules assignments. Her kingdom includes three offices, twocomputers and two omnipresent pagers, by now almost melded to herbody. Last year, Horton Interpreting Services grossed more than$250,000.

Her mantra is "Why not?" Horton, 45, didn't trainas an interpreter. Born in this country of Venezuelan diplomatparents, she was bilingual but spoke Spanish only at home. Nor didshe study business--during two years of college, she took liberalarts courses. Yet Horton has succeeded because at criticaljunctures, she asked "Why not?"

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