Tag Archives: ITI

Surrey Translation Bureau wins another award!


Surrey Translation Bureau (STB) has once again received the prestigious Corporate Member Award from the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI).


The company was named joint winner, alongside Anja Jones Translations, at the Institute’s international conference and gala dinner in Sheffield on 10 May.


Surrey Translation Bureau wins ITI award


The Institute of Translation and Interpreting is an independent professional membership association for practising translators, interpreters and language services businesses.


STB was recognised for introducing a key account strategy (followed by an increase in repeat business and the growth of a number of accounts), and also improving post-editing of machine translation, subtitling and DTP services in 2018. They also implemented a number of training initiatives, including the launch of a free webinar programme for freelancers, and expanded outreach events for schools and colleges.


Surrey Translation Bureau was also the first winner of this award since the introduction of the Institute’s new, expanded awards programme, which was launched to recognise the best in translation and interpreting and to set a benchmark for what quality and professionalism should look like in the sector.


Allison Spangler, Resource Manager at STB, said: “We are thrilled to be acknowledged by the ITI for the second time in the ‘Best Corporate Member’ category because it demonstrates that we are continuously improving the service we offer to clients and freelancers, and keeping up with industry developments. We are truly thankful to our in-house staff, as well as our freelancers, for their hard work and dedication. We couldn’t have accomplished this without all of you!”


Surrey Translation Bureau was established in 1984 and remains an independent, family-owned business. Its in-house team includes 16 experienced language professionals.


If you would like to benefit from the services of an award-winning company, please get in touch at hello@surreytranslation.co.uk or call 01252730014.


Written by Marya Jabeen

Post Editing of Machine Translation


Surrey Translation Bureau is seeing increasingly more projects coming through that include the use of machine translation (MT).


As an agency with a linguist-driven mindset, STB have been looking into the range of MT offerings out there and the impact of PEMT (post-editing of machine translation) on the translation industry.


If you are curious about PEMT, don’t miss the presentation by STB’s Ashley and Jessica at the upcoming ITI Conference at Sheffield. 


In the meantime, here is a snippet from their findings that they will present in detail on the day.


Post editing of machine translation
Source- Nimdzi, 2017


Have a PEMT project? Get in touch with us at hello@surreytranslation.co.uk or call 01252 730 014. 


Infographic by Ashley Mikkola

Surrey Translation Bureau promotes the highest industry standards


Our in-house translator Nick Ives recently attained the prestigious MITI status, which indicates qualified membership of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting. Candidates for the qualification must have a minimum of three years’ translation experience plus a relevant degree (or six years’ without) and are also required to pass a challenging translation assessment. We’re very pleased that Nick’s hard work day-in, day-out has paid off in receiving this industry recognition and it reflects the importance we place on promoting the highest industry standards. Surrey Translation Bureau is already a valued corporate member of the association and our team’s hard work and dedication was also recognised at last year’s award ceremony when we become the first ever winner of the Best Corporate Member award. Nick’s achievement means we now have two MITI-qualified translators on our staff as well as an associate member and an affiliate member.



The Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI) is the UK’s only independent professional membership association for practising translators, interpreters and language service providers. The organisation aims to ensure the highest standards are maintained among its members with the guidelines laid down in its code of conduct. The code sets out four ‘principles of practice’ for members covering the areas of honesty and integrity, professional competence, client confidentiality and trust, and relationships with other members.


Members are also required to adhere to certain professional values such as accurately and impartially conveying meaning when translating or interpreting, honestly representing and working in line with their qualifications and capabilities and continuing to enhance these through continuing education, as well as sharing knowledge with others.


The ITI also encourages its members to engage in 30 hours of professional development per year. This could include taking part in formal training courses, watching webinars or attending conferences, or in-house training and client visits. This is something we also feel passionately about at STB, encouraging all staff members to regularly take part in any training opportunities available.


Nick with his certificate
Nick with his certificate


When asked about the new feather in his cap, Nick said:


“Attaining MITI status is not only a great personal achievement for me but also a reflection on STB as a whole. We as a company always strive to meet the very highest standards in terms of quality and conduct, so aligning ourselves and maintaining close links with a prestigious organisation like the ITI makes perfect sense.”


If you’d like to hear more about our high standards and the services we offer, we’d love to hear from you! Please get in touch at hello@surreytranslation.co.uk.

Our award-winning project management team strikes again!


On Saturday 16 June, our Project Manager, Katie attended the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI) event: One Day In. Held in the heart of London at the historic Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn, it was the perfect place to host a day of professional development, networking and to honour the Institute’s assiduous and dedicated members with the annual awards.



The engaging talks and networking on offer were interspersed with the annual ITI Awards. The awards are an opportunity for linguists of varying career stages and roles to gain recognition for their knowledge, skills, client relationships, research and best practice. This year, STB’s Project Manager Katie Magill received a special commendation award in the category of Best newcomer – employee of a corporate member. Katie was recognised for her dedication to continuous professional development in both project management and linguistic skills. Furthermore, her nomination was based on the excellent feedback she has received for client care, and the strong relationships she has forged with clients and translators. The annual ITI Awards set the standard for what professionalism and quality should look like, so here at Surrey Translation Bureau, we’re very proud of Katie’s achievements and that she has been recognised by the ITI.



On receiving her award Katie said, “It is such an honour to have received this award from the ITI. I think the annual awards is a fantastic way to recognise the hard work of translation practitioners from all sectors of the industry, as well as an excellent goalpost for new entrants to the industry to strive towards. Any initiative that makes professionals work towards high quality standards can only be a good thing.”


Surrey Translation Bureau became corporate members of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting in October 2013, and since then our membership has proven to be an invaluable asset. The ITI promotes adherence to high quality standards and sets out exacting standards in their Code of Professional Conduct. With this professional accreditation, clients and freelancer translators alike can feel confident in the quality and professional standard of our services.


If you would like to know more about our association with the ITI or have a translation project you would like our help with, please get in touch at hello@surreytranslation.co.uk. We look forward to hearing from you!

ITI Conference 2017 – An in-house translator’s view

The ITI Conference was an extremely exciting event for the five members of the STB team who attended, not least because we were presented with the ITI award for the best corporate member at the gala dinner as part of the ITI Awards 2017!

ITI Awards 2017

To be recognised by one of the industry’s professional bodies for our excellent relationships with clients and freelancers, our high standards and the role we are playing in our industry is a truly momentous achievement. We were really pleased to be able to bring this award back to our office in Farnham where it is now proudly displayed in our foyer.


STB ITI award at gala dinner


From start to finish, the conference was an inspiring and informative event with an extremely lively atmosphere. This year’s theme of ’Working our core: for a strong(er) translation and interpreting profession’ was consistently applied across three jam-packed days in Cardiff, as we developed our core skills of translation, editing and interpreting in mind-expanding and stimulating talks. There was also ample time for networking with old and new acquaintances from the profession, and let’s not forget the physical workout from fringe events such as running, yoga and singing!


Singing Translators
While I’ve been working as a professional translator for a number of years now, this was the first time I had attended the ITI Conference and it well and truly exceeded my expectations. My hat goes off to the organisers of the event for putting together such a fantastic programme! In these unsettled times of Brexit, it was reassuring to gather with such a talented group of like-minded professionals to discuss the future of our industry and languages in general. It is clear to me from my time in Cardiff that we are much stronger together and that we also have a common goal of raising awareness of our industry and raising standards.


For us, one of the highlights of the conference was the TED-style talk given by our very own Acting Head of Translation Operations, Richard Davis, on why translation agencies are a vital part of the industry. In his presentation, Richard made clear the responsibilities that agencies such as STB have to promote, strengthen and support our industry by utilising our collective in-house experience and knowledge, and ensuring that we use only qualified professional translators. This should aid us in furthering the work of organisations like the ITI in helping to foster professionalism and rigour in the language industry.

Given the shocking results presented by the organisers of a mystery shopper experiment for a marketing translation earlier that day, which revealed that not all agencies adhere to our high standards with the work they produce and the way they interact with clients, this was a useful opportunity to demonstrate our strengths as a language service provider and answer questions from freelancers and other agencies.


Richard at ITI


Speaking of our freelancers, we also had many fruitful discussions with freelance translators over the course of the conference. As an in-house translator, and having only worked on translation projects virtually with our freelancers, I enjoyed putting faces to names and making connections with translators who are keen to join our ever-expanding team!

Working in an industry where our currency is words, the keynote speech by Susie Dent, the renowned lexicographer of Countdown fame, was the perfect way to close the conference and the enrapt audience listened avidly as she took us through some of her favourite words and their meanings and history. Who knew that tree and truth share the same roots (if you’ll pardon the pun!) in the old English word ‘treow’ meaning steadfast?

Those of us who attended the conference couldn’t wait to get back to the office and share what we had learned– we came back with tips and tricks for best practice in translation and project management, new contacts for potential future partnerships and knowledge about the current trends in the industry, all of which will help to ensure STB stays at the top of its game.


By Chloe Jones

Call us on 01252 733999 or email hello@surreytranslation.co.uk if you would like to congratulate us on winning the ITI Corporate Member award or to discuss how we can offer you better service with the knowledge we gained from the ITI Awards conference.




Surrey Translation Bureau has received the prestigious Corporate Member Award from the Institute of Translation and Interpreting.


The company was named winner at the Institute’s international conference and gala dinner in Cardiff, Wales, on 19 May.

TB ITI award at gala dinner

It was recognised for its high-quality, personalised service to clients and freelancers; tailored internship and university programme preparing students for industry requirements; rigorous company evaluation process and positive feedback from suppliers – 97% said they would recommend the company to their peers; and its commitment to industry groups and continuing professional development for staff.


Surrey Translation Bureau is the first winner of this award since the introduction of the Institute’s new, expanded awards programme which ITI has launched to recognise the best in translation and interpreting and to set a benchmark for what quality and professionalism should look like in the sector.


Awards Chair Catherine Park commented: ‘Many congratulations to Surrey Translation Bureau for its achievements. With such a high proportion of those working in the sector doing so on a freelance basis, it’s very important that companies communicate effectively with their suppliers, support them and make them feel part of the team. This is one of the areas of activity that made this entry really stand out.’


Allison Spangler, Resource Manager at Surrey Translation Bureau said: ‘We are incredibly honoured to be the first translation company to receive this award from the ITI and grateful to have been recognised at such a prestigious industry event. A massive thank you to the entire STB team, past and present, as well as to our freelancers, who make up our extended STB family. I know it sounds cheesy, but it’s absolutely true — we could not deliver our personalised, high quality service without the amazing work of these linguists.’

How to market translation services to your potential clients?


Picture the scene: somebody needs a service which you provide and they simply arrive at your office and ask you to help. Sound unlikely? Well, that’s because this hardly ever happens.
For starters, a lot of companies don’t realise that to reach a global audience they need to have their commercial, legal and marketing materials in different languages. Even if potential clients understand how vital high-quality translation can be for their business, a translation agency needs to be aware they are not the only fish in the sea. With the buzzing and booming translation industry, you face fierce competition from other agencies, both big and small, and even freelance translators. To stand out, you need a marketing plan. Here are some tips to help you keep ahead of the pack:


• Know your competition – You can keep reassuring yourself that the smaller translation agencies have limited followers or an unimpressive website, or you can aspire to compete with the bigger players by researching what they are doing with a view to attracting clients. Knowing which companies are taking the biggest share of your market will help you to define the edge you have over them. It might be that personal touch with the client meetings you organise, or a long history in the language industry like Surrey Translation Bureau (STB) has.


• Aim for maximum exposure – Find out who your target audience is and try to reach out to as many people as possible within that circle. There is no harm in having a presence across all social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram etc.); attending various networking events; joining different groups; writing plenty of blogs and articles for various websites and getting yourself featured in different publications. You never know when and where you will get noticed!


Social media
To give you a good example of this, one of our in-house translators, Jenny Mallinowski was on an Eagle radio show a couple of years ago. Very recently, another of our translators, Jonathan Wicks appeared on the Paul Miller Show on BBC Radio as a mystery guest, with listeners calling in trying to guess his profession.


Paul Miller show
These moments in the limelight translated into actual enquiries for us. One listener of the Paul Miller show sent us an email saying:
“The good thing is that I had no idea that such businesses as yours existed until I heard Mr Wicks on the Paul Miller Show last week and so if ever an occasion arises in the future where I want some translation done I shall know where to come.”
• Stand out as a company that knows the language business – From having your website in multiple languages, to writing for publications within the language industry; you need to make sure people know you are an expert in your field. Join organisations within the industry like ITI, ELIA and ATC and stay involved. Go one step further by joining panel discussions and holding talks about industry-specific topics.


ITI conference
STB is an ITI and ELIA member and regularly attends their events and seminars. We also contribute to the ATC blog and the ITI bulletin.
• Always remember SEO – Google is, and will be for the foreseeable future, one of your largest sources of new clients. That’s why, whatever you do in the digital world, you should always remember to include keywords. The higher your Google ranking, the greater your chances of generating new enquiries.


• Measure your success – With all your marketing measures, it all boils down to the objective of getting new leads to convert to actual sales. Take the time to go through analytical reports, keep track of offline enquiries and their sources, and invest in software that allows you to keep track of who is visiting your website and using what channel. Focus on the activities that generated the most leads, but keep revisiting the ones that didn’t work well by doing them differently the next time.


• Be bold, proactive and consistent – Experiment with new campaigns, reach out to your clients directly, react and respond to posts on social media.


Also, get involved with the community to create a positive image. For instance, STB joined hands with the non-profit organisation Translators without Borders in their ‘Simple Words for Health’ project (Read more about it here).


Translators without borders
Lastly, one very important rule is to always stay active, be on the radar at all times.


If you became aware of us from this blog and would now like us to demonstrate our linguistic capabilities, please email hello@surreytranslation.co.uk or call 01252733999. 

Time management or self-management?

One of our Project Managers, Ruth Bond attended the ‘Interactive Time Management Workshop’ organised by the Institute of Translating & Interpreting (ITI) earlier this month. Here is her account of how the day progressed and what she gained from it:


Are you struggling to prioritise all of the tasks that need to be done on a daily basis? Do you find yourself wishing there were more hours in the day to complete all that you need to do? I know I certainly do!


The first step is to equip yourself with the right principles to ensure effective time management. This process primarily involves organising and planning how much time is spent on specific activities. If you effectively manage your time, you’ll get more done – even when deadlines are tight and time pressures are high. The key is to work smarter rather than harder!


The workshop was hosted by Christelle Maignan, a qualified Personal Performance Coach and English-to-French translator. She provided the attendees with the above-mentioned basic principles and techniques. These included strategies for overcoming procrastination, as well as achieving a balance between personal and professional life. This is an issue that a lot of translators are finding increasingly difficult.


The workshop was a resounding success for all those who attended, motivating us all to improve how we organise our day-to-day lives. Personally, the technique that I will apply most to my project management role is ‘Eisenhower’s urgent/important principle’. This strategy is also known as ‘Stephen Covey’s four quadrants for time management’. The idea behind this concept lies in aligning tasks with energy levels during the day. In other words, when you are feeling less energetic, you should focus on the less urgent tasks.



The basic idea is to focus on the important tasks, whether they are urgent or not, as opposed to merely focusing on the urgent tasks, which is a trap which many fall into. The table below gives you some idea of how you can divide day-to-day working activities into these four quadrants. I think it’s fair to say that this is a balancing act we can all relate to!


Lastly, I thought that David Allen’s two-minute rule for managing emails may be beneficial to you all! If you can complete a task in approximately two minutes, you should do it there and then. It takes longer to organise and review the task than completing it when you first notice it. Try to avoid thinking about subsequent steps, as you can complete lots of two-minute tasks there and then.


If you have any questions about how our team of  Project Managers manage time to give you excellent service, we would be delighted to answer them. Why not email us today at hello@surreytranslation.co.uk or give us a call on +44 (0) 1252 733 999. We look forward to hearing from you!

Surrey Translation Bureau wishes ITI a happy 30th!

On 11 June the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI) hosted a lunch event at the Anthologist in London to celebrate its 30th anniversary. Over 150 members from the language services community attended the event. Everyone celebrated the ITI for reaching this major cornerstone in its long and successful journey. It was a very enjoyable afternoon with lots of delicious food and a mouth-watering cake. They even had a quiz!

ITI 30th Anniversary


Our Head of Translations Hannah Stacey took part in the celebrations and enjoyed the good company of some like-minded people talking about our shared interests, workload worries and translation bugbears.


While many joined in with the sweet sound of the ‘Singing translators’, some were involved in more serious discussions about the evolving translation technologies. The atmosphere was certainly buzzing! The ITI provided a really enjoyable platform for translation professionals to come together and talk about things that matter.


The Institute of Translation & Interpreting was founded in 1986 as the only independent professional association of practising translators and interpreters in the United Kingdom. It has now grown to include over 3,000 members specialising in more than 100 languages and dialects from across the globe. No matter your industry, if you need information about translation services in the UK, ITI will have it.


With its aim of promoting the highest standards in the profession, ITI has been the common ground for language service providers to promote the importance of translation in today’s world of growing global communications.


Surrey Translation Bureau became a corporate member of the ITI on 29th October 2013. Since then, the association has proved extremely beneficial to our company and our translators. It has strengthened our clients’ trust in us.

Our professional accreditation from the renowned ITI assures potential clients of the quality of our services. The entry requirements to become a member are quite challenging.  What’s more, all ITI corporate members are required to adhere to its Code of Professional Conduct. This way the Institute maintains the highest professional standards.


One big benefit of corporate membership for our company is the ITI’s invaluable linguist directory. It details all qualified and tested members, and is accessible to anyone searching for a translator on the ITI’s website.
ITI also opens doors to opportunities for professional development and keeping pace with technology in the translation agency, through conferences and training events.
Early last year, our in-house team went to one such conference held in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. In the words of our Resource Manager, Allison Spangler, it was the “Prom of the translation industry!” The conference was thoroughly enjoyable with a wide range of presentations, training, wellness activities and networking opportunities.


ITI conference


From Allison’s point of view, events like these are a great place for language service providers like us to meet qualified and experienced freelance translators and add them to our team. It is also an excellent platform for translators to discuss industry standards and network with other linguists.
We hope that there are many more anniversaries and other celebrations for the ITI to come. Here at STB, we have already started planning for next year’s ITI conference in Cardiff. We can’t wait!


If you would like to know more about our association with ITI, why not email us today at hello@surreytranslation.co.uk or give us a call on +44 (0) 1252 733 999. We look forward to hearing from you!

The Professional Status of the Translation Industry


Our intern, Hannah Walmsley, talks about her experiences on the path to becoming a professional translator and her MA dissertation on the professional status of the translation industry.


A pile of dictionaries and translation books - inferior to professional translation services


In an increasingly networked world, the role of professional translators has never been more important. Yet, advances in technology and the rise in phenomena such as crowdsourcing and machine translation have called into question the role of the professional human translator. Surprisingly, some people do not regard translation as a profession in its own right. For some, the ability to understand different languages is coextensive with the capacity to translate. This is an alarming misconception, which sometimes leads to anyone calling themselves a translator. This can result in severe consequences when it comes to producing quality, professional translations and it is, therefore, necessary that quality standards and procedures are firmly in place and that clients are aware of the importance of these.

Having recently completed an MA in Translation and Interpreting Studies I am keen to embark on a career in the industry. However, I have found it unnerving and somewhat disappointing to realise that in such an open profession it seems anybody with knowledge of languages can essentially call themselves a translator. It is this thought that motivated me to investigate the professional status of translation in my MA dissertation thesis, which explores current practices, policies and perceptions of the UK translation profession. I am currently completing an internship at Surrey Translation Bureau and I am delighted to discover that not everybody undervalues the skills and expertise required to fulfil the role of a translator.

Translation, in general, is a widely unregulated profession. There are no minimum standards regarding the skills and expertise required to carry out the role of a translator, neither is there a definitive, standardised career path stipulating the minimum level of qualifications, training and experience necessary to be granted a licence to practice in the profession. This is why so many non-professionals, that is to say unqualified, untrained and inexperienced individuals, continue to depreciate the work of professionals.

Surrey Translation Bureau, however, value and understand the importance of working with qualified and experienced translators, so much so that they only recruit translators with at least a BA degree or equivalent in a relevant foreign language, and ideally a Master’s in Translation or similar; or at least 5 years of industry experience. Having such high-calibre professionals on board allows STB to provide quality translation services that every client can trust.

Interestingly, despite the lack of regulation of the translation industry at large, professional regulatory bodies such as the Institute of Translation & Interpreting (ITI) do exist. Their primary goal is to set standards and govern the practice of member translators/interpreters in order to enhance the professional status of the industry. In order to join such organisations, translators/interpreters must meet strict membership criteria which require them to be qualified and trained or have a significant level of experience in the industry. STB is a corporate member of the ITI and as such, must adhere to its Code of Conduct and commit to providing and promoting quality, professional services.

Furthermore, STB takes great pride in being ISO 9001:2008 certified, as well as being independently accredited to BS EN 15038:2006, which emphasises further the company’s commitment to stringent quality control measures to ensure they are providing the best possible products and services to their clients (you can learn more about these standards here). In addition, staff are encouraged to engage in CPD activities (Continuing Professional Development) in order to boost their professional profiles, skills and expertise. As such, the company keep a record of any webinars, workshops, events, courses and exams undertaken by staff members who, in doing so, remain up to date with the latest developments in the industry.

It cannot be denied that due to its unregulated nature the translation industry is at present undervalued. It is therefore vital that we spread the word about the importance of becoming, or working with, qualified, trained and experienced translators and establish a minimum standard of expertise required to fulfil the role. STB is setting an excellent example for others in the industry. However, sadly in the UK, the underlying problem is the lack of regard for language learning which is highlighted in the National Curriculum. This has resulted in an uneducated public when it comes to careers in languages. This is a long-term issue which will require changes to the fundamentals of language learning in the UK education system.

However, in the short-term, language service providers such as STB have a significant role to play and must continue to enforce high professional standards, educate their clients about quality work produced by professional translators and emphasise the importance of working with qualified and accredited individuals. This communication will prove imperative to enhancing the value and professional status of the translation profession.


Inspired by Hannah’s desire to see stricter controls in place to train quality translators and produce quality translations? Why not contact hello@surreytranslation.co.uk for a quotation?