Tag Archives: STB

Surrey Translation Bureau announce their star translator this quarter

Star Translator Award – Congratulations to Josie Worrall!

So many of our freelancers deserve recognition for the excellent work they do, and this award is our way of doing just that!

We are very excited to announce our new Star Translator, Josie Worrall!

Josie is a FR>EN and RU>EN translator and has been freelancing with STB for over five years. She works with marketing texts, specifically in the tourism sector, where she combines a love of creative writing and of different places and cultures. In addition to this, she’s expanded her specialisms by focussing on technical, medical and monolingual editing jobs for STB.

Our project managers were unanimous in singing her praises this quarter, and all agreed that Josie is an invaluable freelance translator who continually impresses with her top-quality translation work and flexible approach. Whether she’s taking on particularly tricky jobs or navigating new and unchartered translation software, Josie always goes above and beyond in the work she does with us. Read on for a short interview with this quarter’s winner.


Hi Josie, congratulations on becoming STB’s latest Star Translator! It’s very well deserved. We’d love to learn a bit more about you, so can you first tell me what motivated you to become a translator?

I studied French and Russian at university, and knew I wanted to use them both on a daily basis. I am a real bookworm, and I also love a good puzzle, so it seemed to me that translation would be the perfect fit. I studied for a Master’s in Translation and Interpreting at the University of Bath and here I am!

What do you like most about being a freelance translator?

Without a doubt the flexibility it brings. I enjoy setting my own schedule, and being able to decide what work I take on.


Flexibility is definitely the most popular answer to that question! So, what does an average working day look like for you?

I generally start the day with an early morning gym session or yoga class to wake me up, followed by a big breakfast and copious mugs of coffee. My office hours are normally 8.30-5, but the advantage of remote working means you will sometimes find me and my laptop in my local coffee shop, which sells the best vegan donuts!


Yum, coffee and vegan donuts! Sounds like a match made in heaven! What about training? Do you find time to fit any ECPD into your working day?

I think it’s really important to keep learning new things throughout your career, so I make a point of attending training courses as often as I can. A couple of weekends ago I spent a day learning about subtitling with Yorkshire Translators and Interpreters, and I have attended some interesting webinars on the energy sector recently.

What is your favourite book in your source/target languages?

Tolstoy’s War and Peace. I have a really beautiful old edition that I found in a charity shop with a handy bookmark that lists all the characters and their relationship to each other, which is essential to avoid confusion!


Wow, I’m sure reading that keeps you busy! When you’re not reading, what do you do in your spare time?

In my opinion, there’s no better way to spend a Sunday than a good country walk in the Yorkshire Dales, followed by a hearty pub lunch and a well-earned tipple.


Couldn’t agree more! Cheers, Josie!

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?