Meet Terpii, iTi’s Linguistic Superhero!

Have you ever wondered what this cute little creature is doing on our website? Well, let me introduce you to Terpii!

Terpii waving hello!

Terpii is a coquí, a small frog native to Puerto Rico. Though these little guys usually aren’t much bigger than a quarter, this bug-eyed tree frog is the most beloved creature on the island. The coquí gets its name from its distinct song. The signing is a melodic two-note chant which sounds like their name, “Koh-KEE”. The coqui sings at night but stops as soon as it hears anything approach. We dare you to try to find one of them on the island! We have tried for years with no luck of a sighting. Check out this video on YouTube to hear what the coquí sounds like! Relaxing, right?

So, how did Terpii come to be? Back in the early 2000s, iTi designed our own Video Remote Interpreting machine for hospitals. Due to limitations in technology, VRI units of that time were very large and only used for the one particular interpreting service. We used to joke that they resembled Johnny 5 from Short Circuit! Only they would have been a lot cooler if they really looked and functioned like Johnny 5.

meet terpii. robot johnny 5

Our team decided to name our new VRI machine “Terpii”! The name comes from the word “terp”, which is U.S. military shorthand for interpreter. The double “i” completed the new name and represents “intelligent interpreter”. Just like C-3PO in Star Wars, interpreters are the ultimate linguists that facilitate communication between different cultures.

c3po from star wars
As technology advanced, so did our VRI technology and soon a large unit was no longer needed when our new software could easily be loaded onto a computer, laptop, or tablet. The Terpii VRI machine may have been discontinued but the essence of Terpii evolved and lives on.

While Terpii’s name originated in a product, he soon transformed into a type of brand mascot for iTi. iTi’s Founder and CEO, Elby Pagano, is a native of Puerto Rico and we also operate an office from Quebradillas, PR. The coquí is an enchanting creature and to pay homage to our Puerto Rican roots, we personified our services and brand into Terpii. Terpii represents every one of the thousands of translators and interpreters we work with around the world, and as such, he speaks more than 200 languages. He’s a linguistic superhero much like the thousands of linguists worldwide working every day to bridge gaps between cultures, communities, and organizations.

We hope that you find Terpii as fun and welcoming as we do! Keep an eye out for upcoming Terpii content, including his blog series ‘Terpii Travels’ where he reports back on a new country he has explored each month. Also in the works is fun video series featuring Terpii as the linguistic super hero that he really is…Stay tuned for more information on that!

crouching terpii

Translation is serious business, but every business needs a fun side. Terpii lets us show our fun and creative side that many people only see when they enter inside our office. If you ever visit our office, you’ll see this first-hand! So, watch out for Terpii and please don’t step on him.


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