Tag Archives: translation

A-level results and Brexit: Au revoir to French, but hola to everyone

 

Yesterday’s A-level results showed that Spanish has overtaken French as the most popular language studied at A-level for the first time, while the number of students taking German and French has fallen by 41 and 36 percent respectively. With Brexit looming in two months’ time, there are question marks over the UK and its future relationship with the EU, with many believing that European languages will become less valuable after 31 October. However, the British Academy warns that decreasing numbers in modern languages could harm the chances of the UK “achieving its strategic goals”, a view that all passionate linguists will agree with, particularly those working for a professional translation agency like Surrey Translation Bureau.

 

languages

 

Boris Johnson’s statement earlier this week that “the single biggest deal we need to do is a free trade agreement with our friends and partners over the Channel” shows that the need for professional linguists will not suddenly disappear on 1 November – there will be a period of readjustment, no doubt involving contributions from both translators and interpreters, which will certainly maintain the need for proficient speakers of European languages at least in the short term. Depending on the results of these discussions, this need may even increase.

 

If, on the other hand, the UK’s ties with its European partners become less relevant in the future, it will need to increase international trade with other non-EU countries. If these countries are in South America or Africa, for example, proficient users of Spanish, Portuguese and French will be required. With this year’s A-level performance and the continued reduction in the overall number of students studying languages, one positive aspect is the increased number of job opportunities, both in the UK and abroad, for the few who do.

 

Equally, Brexit may create a demand for non-EU language combinations. According to fft education datalab, entries in other modern languages (which includes Italian, Russian and Chinese, among others) have overtaken entries for French, German and Spanish since 2016 – an exciting prospect for linguistic diversity among language enthusiasts.

 

A'level entries in French, German and Spanish

 

Even during the first week of my internship at Surrey Translation Bureau, I was surprised and delighted to discover the vast range of language pairs required by their clients for modern international trade from English to German to the more unusual request for English to Brazilian Portuguese.

 

Learning languages is hard as it requires perseverance and commitment, but doesn’t that make it more rewarding? At any level of study, a language will open up new worlds to you, for both personal enjoyment and for business. The current uncertainty surrounding Brexit means that no one can say which languages will be most sought-after for business in the future, but one thing is certain: in the multicultural professional world and our diverse modern society, learning a language will never be a waste of time.

 

If you are interested in internship opportunities with Surrey Translation Bureau, please send your CV and a cover letter of what you would hope to gain from the experience to our intern coordinator, Amey Higgon, at A.Higgon@surreytranslation.co.uk.

 

Written by Natasha Craig (Intern at Surrey Translation Bureau)

Being a freelance translator with Parkinson’s

 

I first joined Surrey Translation Bureau (STB) in September 2007. I was thrilled to officially enter the translation industry after graduating with my MA in Applied Translation Studies and quickly felt at home with the in-house team of linguists at STB. I stayed for three years before moving on to work in the city for a further five, ultimately going freelance in 2015 following the birth of my first child and a diagnosis of Young Onset Parkinson’s Disease at the age of 29.

 

Fast-forward several years, and I am flattered to have been approached to assist with some ad-hoc freelance project management cover at STB, especially given some of the unique challenges I sometimes face as a young person with Parkinson’s.

 

Although I’m six years post-diagnosis, I am still actively working, alongside raising two young children and volunteering, so I am very lucky to be afforded the flexibility of a freelance career. Being a self-employed linguist can sometimes be isolating, so I welcomed the opportunity to once again work in an office environment, and STB is an understanding employer that values my expertise and experience and sees past my medical condition.

 

Ellie

 

Flexible working hours can really make a difference for working age people living with progressive chronic conditions. I personally work around my kids’ nursery drop-off/pick-up times; however, employer understanding when it comes to flexible start/finish times and medical appointments can improve working conditions for people living with long-term conditions who may experience fatigue, amongst other things. For many people, the possibility of working from home can also alleviate the pressure of stressful commutes and therefore increase productivity.

 

Typing is the most problematic issue I face in my work – my main PD symptoms being tremor and rigidity in my left-hand-side – and translation project management can be typing-intensive. Whilst deadline-oriented offices are often geared towards conversing via internal chat systems, I sometimes find it easier to talk to my colleagues in person as the less typing I need to do, the better. Encouraging verbal communications can improve colleague relationships and reduce the volume of typing required. Speech recognition is often recommended to me but, unfortunately, at least in this line of work, it has serious limitations.

 

 

My tremor is the most unpredictable symptom I experience, and for this reason I decided to openly inform my colleagues about my Parkinson’s on temporarily re-joining their in-house team. Any high or low in mood can set off my tremor, and it is often misunderstood as being due to stress, but this is not the only cause. All said, six years ago I had no idea how my illness would progress. Today, I’m delighted to be working at STB again in an industry I love.

 

More about my story: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/stories-47822507

 

My blog: https://pdmamablog.wordpress.com/

 

If you would like to speak to a member of the team at Surrey Translation Bureau about translation, please call 01252 730014 or email hello@surreytranslation.co.uk.

 

Written by Ellie Finch Hulme

The need for professional translation of legal documents

 

Perhaps one of the most famous examples of why the translation of legal documents needs to be accurate is the Treaty of Waitangi. In 1840, the British government made a deal with the Maori chiefs in New Zealand; however, both sides were signing different versions of the treaty. In the English version, the Maori were to “cede to Her Majesty the Queen of England absolutely and without reservation all the rights and powers of Sovereignty.” However, the Maori translation stated they were not to give up sovereignty, but only governance. Decades later, the meaning of this treaty is still unclear.

 

Treaty of Waitangi (Source: Archive New Zealand)

 

What is legal translation?

 

Legal translation is the translation of text into a different language(s) for use in a legal context. Surrey Translation Bureau (STB) has been offering quality legal translation to professional organisations, public sector, corporate and individual clients for over 30 years:

  • Professional organisations and/or public sector

Professional bodies such as the European Union, trade authorities and the NHS are in constant need of translation for their regulations, contracts or processes. Any errors may damage their reputation and delay important decisions. For instance, in 2011, a free trade agreement between the US and South Korea was delayed due to major errors in the translation of the draft agreement. This came shortly after similar delays in another agreement between South Korea and the European Union due to a whopping 207 translation errors in the document.

  • Corporate clients

Whether it’s the business contract, companies’ terms and conditions, financial transcripts or safety regulations for employees, professional translation can protect the companies against massive lawsuits, profit losses, PR nightmares and baseless controversies. In a 2011 case in China, a contract between a local and a foreign company mistranslated “dry docking” as “tank washing,” and another policy had domestic “service” wrongly translated as domestic “flights.” This led to conflicts between the two parties about their rights, obligations and the share of costs.

  • Legal sector and individual clients

Most law firms and agencies use trusted translation partners to ensure they have their clients’ documents ready in the right language and format for use in cases relating to immigration, divorce, lawsuits, property settlement and the registration of patents, to name just a few.

 

 

A professional translation company like STB will not only give you precise translation, but also ensure it is ready to use by offering additional services such as notarisation or apostilles. This is particularly useful for individual clients who either don’t have the knowledge or the right connections to get their documents legalised for specific purposes.

 

In the UK, a common-law country, translators can obtain independent certification (as STB has), and can take an oath in front of a solicitor or notary public, confirming that the document is a true and accurate translation of the original and that they carried it out to the best of their ability. In civil law countries, such as Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Mexico, Spain and South Africa, translators are usually appointed by court or by the state.

 

How to choose a good translation partner for legal documents

 

“The aim of legal translation is not to erase linguistic and cultural differences, but to accommodate them, fully and unapologetically. The legal translator needs awareness of how the text functions in the source country’s institutional, political, and economic context.” Leon Wolff, The Oxford Handbook of Translation Studies

 

There are various reasons why you should always work with a professional, skilled and experienced team of translators when it comes to your legal materials.

 

 

A professional agency will:

  • – ensure the translation is correct and comprehensible, by using qualified translators who are native speakers and specialise or have experience in that specific branch of law.
  • – offer quick turnaround without compromising on the quality of the translation to ensure cases or contracts are not delayed in the process. At STB, we often deal with urgent requests for our clients.
  • – make sure the translation is valid in the country it is to be used in and for the purpose it is meant for.
  • – take the hassle out of legalising the translated text, whether it is notarisation, Apostille or certification, based on the requirements of its final legal purpose. This means keeping up-to-date with changes in legal requirements.
  • – give you peace of mind about the confidentiality of your critical documents. Most professional agencies comply with GDPR regulations and are also willing to sign a non-disclosure agreement with clients.

 

“I started using STB’s services when another supplier was unable to turn around a piece of work for me within the required time. I have used them ever since. All of the staff have been a pleasure to deal with and every time my sometimes-slightly-unorthodox requests have been put to them, they have always made every effort to find a way to accommodate me.”

Kieran Mitchell

Solicitor, Travel Law, Penningtons Solicitors LLP

 

If you would like to discuss the translation of your legal documents, please contact our award-winning team at hello@surreytranslation.co.uk or call 01252 730024.

 

Written by Marya Jabeen

Surrey: Window to the world

 

Surrey

 

Known for its picturesque countryside and leafy suburbs, Surrey is hardly perceived as an export hub. With this in mind, it might come as a surprise to some that, according to the Surrey Chambers of Commerce, businesses in Surrey exported GBP 71 million worth of goods to over 91 non-EU markets in 2016. In 2018, based solely on figures from export documentation support offered, they estimated the value of exports from Surrey to be GBP 136.2 million. Here is a breakdown based on sector:

 

Surrey Export
Source: International Trade team, Surrey Chambers of Commerce

 

Growth in export for UK

 

In general, the UK has seen a rise in the value of its international trade in the last couple of years. Figures from the Office for National Statistics indicate an increase of 6.6% in the number of SMEs exporting to overseas markets in 2017. This may be a reflection of the support now available to SMEs across different regions in the form of various chambers, export organisations and international trade advisers.

 

The graph below highlights the total value of the UK’s import and export trade in goods for the year ending December 2018.

 

Export in South East England

 

There was an increase of 2.6 per cent both in the value of import and export trade in the UK during this period.

 

Surrey as an export hub

 

Surrey has proactively made a mark for itself within the UK economy with 2.4% of Surrey-based enterprises having an annual turnover of over GBP 5 million in 2018 as compared to the England average of 2.3% for the same year (Source: Surreyi).

 

From space satellites (Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd) to supercars (McLaren), Surrey manufactures all manner of products for worldwide export. Woking-based McLaren, for instance, trades with nearly 30 countries.

 

Baroness Rona Fairhead, Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion said there were a number of international trade advisers based “on the ground in Surrey” to help provide SMEs with information about the market and to set them up with distributors and funding.

 

In 2018, Surrey Chamber’s International Trade team processed over 4400 export documents for 72 different countries, mainly Saudi Arabia, UAE and Turkey. This required ensuring the documents were in the right language, in line with the legal requirements of the country.

 

Whether you are an established international business or you have just started exporting, having the support of an experienced translation provider can help you take your product and services to your target market, work your way through legal barriers, customise your marketing activities and ensure effective communication with your local suppliers.

 

Giving local businesses a global voice

 

As part of the Surrey and Hampshire Chambers of Commerce and Federation of Small Businesses, Surrey Translation Bureau have been able to provide professional translation services to SMEs in and around Surrey to help them grow internationally.

 

In the last three years alone, around 33% of all of our corporate clients came from Surrey. We have translated websites, technical manuals, allergy advice, legal documents and product labels for them, just to name a few.

 

“I just wanted to say thank you for the French Templates, they are flawless. They have all been translated perfectly and our French clients have been very responsive to our correspondence.

We will 100% keep Surrey Translation in mind when we next require your services.”

Zack Deris, Head of Business Development, DLT Media, Surrey

 

If you are based in and around Surrey and thinking about your export plans, come and have a chat with us over a cup of tea (or coffee!) or email hello@surreytranslation.co.uk

 

Written by Marya Jabeen

Languages: Your window to the world

 

Over the past couple of months, Surrey Translation Bureau (STB) has had the opportunity to attend career days at two local schools: Alton School and Weydon School in Farnham. Pupils of all ages took part, with children as young as 10 right through to 18-year-olds coming up to our stall to ask about what we do here at STB.

 

Amey at STB career fair

 

With the number of school-age children studying languages falling (the BBC reports drops of between 30% and 50% in the number of students taking German and French since 2013) and universities around the country axing languages courses, STB is passionate about promoting the value of languages and emphasising the demand for employees with linguistic abilities.

 

At the two events, many of the students told us they weren’t sure what kind of career path studying languages might lead to, so we highlighted the variety of roles on offer in a translation agency and beyond. Aside from the option of becoming translators or interpreters, graduates with languages skills might also go into careers in project management, sales, marketing or account management.

 

This isn’t where languages roles stop either; while English may be one of the most widely-spoken languages in the world, increased globalisation means we now interact with people whose first language isn’t English on a much more regular basis. This, in turn, means that whatever careers this generation of young people choose to go into, having a language skill up their sleeve is only going to put them at an advantage. Let’s say a multinational accountancy firm was hiring a graduate accountant, the candidate who also speaks a second language will immediately stand out from the other candidates with qualifications purely in accountancy.

 

Speaking a second or third language is a huge plus not only for career development, but personal development as well. It provides more opportunities for travel, gives us the chance to interact with a much wider range of people and, perhaps most importantly, improves our intercultural communication skills. While school pupils are able to learn these skills by studying languages in the classroom, businesses can take advantage of them by hiring a translation agency like Surrey Translation Bureau. Our trained linguists will then not only accurately convey the meaning of a text in another language, but also make sure it is appropriate for the target audience.

 

If you work with other businesses around the world or are thinking of taking a leap into the global marketplace and want to be able to communicate effectively with your contacts, our team of qualified professional linguists is here to help with all your translation needs. Email us at hello@surreytranslation.co.uk or call 01252 730 014  

 

Written by Amey Higgon

The big Brexit question – what are my export options?

 

 

William Shakespeare once wrote, “The world’s mine oyster, which I with sword will open”. Now, in the wake of Brexit, it’s less clear whether the oyster is becoming more difficult to open, or whether our sword isn’t as sharp or powerful as it used to be. Nonetheless, the fact remains that we need to break open the shell to get to the good stuff.

 

Brexit

 

The government has recently released official guidance for UK businesses on how to prepare for Brexit. The main takeaway for those who run a business which imports or exports goods is that you should apply for a UK Economic Operator Registration and Identification Number if you are planning to continue to trade with the EU after Brexit. Once you have done that, you will need to research the customs declarations requirements for your industry. However, if you provide services to the EU, there could be new rules to watch out for when dealing with EU countries. These will most likely affect businesses that:

 

  • – have an office in the EU
  • – operate within a service sector anywhere in the EU
  • – are planning a merger with an EU-based company
  • – have employees who travel to the EU on business.

 

 

Now, of course, it is impossible at this stage for anyone to know exactly how Brexit will pan out; however, like most things in life, when one door closes another opens. All you need is to know where to look. In post-Brexit Britain it may be worth exploring new trading opportunities for your business with other non-EU countries. Take for example Russia, India and China, all of which boast healthy economies and offer plenty of opportunities.

 

Export

 

It’s almost too easy to get discouraged and distracted, particularly with so much noise surrounding the doors to Europe threatening to slam shut. Come what may, it’s crucial that British business doesn’t lose sight of the bigger picture.

 

 

Are you considering exporting to a non-EU country post-Brexit? If you are, make sure you understand the key export control documents required for that specific country. For instance, some Arab countries ask exporters to provide an Arab-British Certificate of Origin with every shipment. You may also be required to submit Arabic translations for some of your documents in order to obtain this.

 

 

Similarly, if you are trading with Chinese companies, they will need approval from the transmitting Chinese bank for payments in foreign currency. They will need you to present both English and Chinese versions of the written contract – signed by all parties – and invoice for each payment to the Chinese bank.

 

 

Once you have your foot in the door, we here at Surrey Translation Bureau will be happy to help remove any language barriers standing in your way. Feel free to get in touch with us to discuss your translation needs. Email us on hello@surreytranslation.co.uk or call us on 01252 733 999.

 

Written by Ashley Mikkola

Bear with us, while we toot our own horn…

 

Earlier this year, we boasted that another one of our in-house translators, Nick Ives, had attained qualified membership of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting, joining Senior Project Manager and Translator Alison Healey, and now we have yet another team member who has earned the elusive MITI status! Our Head of Translation Operations, Hannah Stacey (pictured with her certificate) has added this string to her bow and we couldn’t be prouder of our acclaimed team.

 

Our award-winning and highly-qualified team now has a grand total of 40 degrees between 23 of us, plus professional qualifications and software accreditations, not to mention our BS EN ISO 9001:2015 and BS EN ISO 17100:2015 quality certifications! As an expert, linguist-led translation agency, our team understands our clients’ needs and puts their training into action on each and every job request. We understand the translation process from the ground up and as a result, you can trust us every step of the way.

 

Here at Surrey Translation Bureau we are always striving to promote the highest industry standards and our beliefs in professional conduct and the provision of exceptional quality mirror those of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI), the UK’s only independent professional membership association for practising translators, interpreters and language service providers. Our newest accolade, a third qualified member of the Institute, spurs us on to continue to improve our service offering, through professional development and exemplary supplier and client care.

 

Interested in learning more about our team, our services and the translations we can provide? Then please get in touch via hello@surreytranslation.co.uk. We’d love to hear from you!

 

Surrey Translation Bureau attends SDL Trados Autumn Roadshow 2018

 

STB’s Head of Translation Operations, Hannah Stacey, and Project Manager, Greg Hyne, attended SDL’s Trados Autumn Roadshow at the Cumberland Hotel in London at the start of this month, where they were invited to think creatively about the challenges facing the global translation industry and their own translation processes. The event offered a great opportunity to meet expert members of the SDL team and speak with fellow translation professionals. The event also featured an afternoon of product training.

The SDL team used Common Sense Advisory’s Localization Maturity Model (LMM) as a reference point to explain how technology can be used to meet the challenges facing the global translation industry. Over the course of the morning sessions, the speakers presented ideas to make us think about our own operations and how new technology could be implemented at STB in the future.

 

The morning also featured an interactive session where we were partnered up with other delegates and were tasked with putting our creative skills to the test to think about both our own personal and professional development and the professional development of fellow attendees.

 

After coffee and a networking lunch to get to know the other language service providers and independent language professionals in attendance, we sat down for an afternoon of product training. The SDL team walked us through the new features in their new release, SDL Trados Studio 2019. Updates to the software’s project management features were of most interest to us here at STB, but the SDL experts also talked us through updates to their GroupShare platform and the offerings made available from SDL’s ‘Language Cloud’.

All-in-all the STB team walked away with a wealth of new information and industry insights and we are excited to roll-out some efficient features to help us continue offering our clients excellent translation services.

 

Did you know? Our in-house project management and linguistic teams are all certified users of SDL Trados Studio! We pride ourselves on staying up to date with industry-specific technology, which we use to provide our clients with first-rate client care and a high-quality product. Want to know more about our workflow? Get in touch at hello@surreytranslation.co.uk.

Surrey Translation Bureau announce their star translator this quarter

 

Star translator award – congratulations to Sonia Clough!

 

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

 

Sonia is a ES>EN, RU>EN and PL>EN translator who has been working with STB for around 11 years. She specialises in the translation of legal contracts and pharmaceutical documentation relating to clinical trials.

 

 

All STB project managers agree that Sonia is an invaluable member of our freelance team. She consistently delivers top-quality work and earned special praise this quarter not just from the in-house team, but also from other freelancers who called her translation ‘fluid’ and ‘flawless’. She also took on a tricky project that included handwritten medical notes and delivered in batches which allowed us to meet a tight deadline. Read on for a short interview with this quarter’s winner.

 

Hi Sonia, congratulations on becoming STB’s latest Star Translator! We’d love to learn a bit more about you, so can you first tell me what motivated you to become a translator?
My favourite subjects at school were languages and English and I have always enjoyed the challenge of turning a text in another language into a piece of natural-sounding English. I was also attracted by the variety offered by the profession as there are practically no limits to the type of document you could be asked to translate.

 

What do you like most about being a freelance translator?
Although working alone can be stressful, I take a lot of pride in the fact that everything I translate has been completed by me alone and there is a great deal of satisfaction to be had from producing a piece of work that you are proud of, especially when you receive positive feedback from a client. Finally, I really value the flexibility of being able to fit my work around life with two small children and one very elderly cat.

 

How did you find yourself specialising in legal and pharmaceutical texts?
This is primarily due to the high volume of work in these areas, but I do really enjoy working in these fields. Both legal and pharmaceutical texts tend to be written by people who are experts in their field and are designed to be as clear and accessible as possible, which means that they are normally very nicely worded – a lack of ambiguity is always appreciated as a translator!

 

Moving on to outside of work, do you have a favourite book in any of your languages?
My favourite books in Spanish are the Shadow of the Wind series of novels by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, which are real page-turners, full of mystery and they paint a really atmospheric picture of Barcelona in the 1940s. My favourite book in Polish would be the hauntingly sad but beautiful The Pianist by Władysław Szpilman. In Russian, I enjoy a good crime thriller by Aleksandra Marinina.

 

Finally, if you could hop on a plane tomorrow, where would you travel?
Tough question and I can’t choose just one place! I love a city break and my top five cities would have to be: Istanbul, Prague, Edinburgh, Copenhagen and New York.

 

All excellent choices – I think I’ll go plan my next holiday now! From all of us at STB, thank you for your hard work Sonia!

Keeping on top of translation industry trends: our team at elia events in Europe

 

Our team have been busy jetsetting over the last few weeks in association with one of our professional memberships, elia (the European Language Industry Association). First our Project Manager, Amey Higgon, hotfooted it to Porto in Portugal for some professional networking with other project managers and then our Senior Compliance Officer and Project Manager, Ruth Parkin, waltzed over to Vienna to exchange perspectives on the latest translation industry trends.

 

Amey Higgon

 

Amey Higgon (pictured above), NDfocus Porto 2018: focus on project management

The elia NDfocus event in sunny Porto was specifically tailored to project managers, and it was a great opportunity to meet other PMs in the industry.

The conference was split into two parts, with presentations given on the first day, and the second day reserved for group workshops in which we discussed the speakers’ points in more detail in small groups. The presentations gave insight into a variety of topics, including addressing client concerns and workflow bottlenecks, how to be more assertive in everyday interactions and how to make sure every client receives a tailored service, just for them.

 

I gained invaluable advice from my peers as we all chipped in to try and solve a range of scenarios. Through workshop discussions and chats during coffee breaks, I found that even though the translation agencies that the other attendees work for vary greatly in both size and location, we all encounter similar issues every day at work – this event was an excellent way for us all to share our knowledge and tried-and-tested solutions with each other.

 

I particularly enjoyed the keynote speech on the future of the industry by Tucker Johnson. As we quickly found out, Tucker is no futurist and could not predict exactly what will happen in the world of translation. What he could do however was provide us with tips on how best to adapt to whatever comes next. After all, we don’t have control over what will happen with the industry, what matters is how we react to it.

 

Ruth Parkin, NDVienna 2018

Earlier this month, elia celebrated its 22nd ‘Networking Days’ event in Vienna, where language industry experts and language service providers alike came together to share their knowledge through presentations and discussions with the goal of expanding and building on their networks.

 

The event takes place every October over two days and this year the event was divided across six tracks: IT, business success stories, GDPR, soft skills, interpreting and business strategies. This year’s programme was specifically designed to address a range of business challenges, allowing delegates the opportunity to gain a fresh perspective on the ever-changing translation industry. With so much on offer, reaching a decision on which talks to attend could prove quite the challenge for some; however, as Compliance Officer here at STB, it made sense for me to follow the GDPR track.

 

SDL’s Sabina Jasinska (pictured below) presented on ‘Digital marketing in the time of GDPR and ePrivacy regulations’. Sabina was an engaging speaker and it was great to see that STB is on the same page as an industry giant when it comes to compliance with data protection regulations.

 

Sabina Jasinska

 

As well as the welcome reassurance that we are doing things right, I also enjoyed putting my networking skills to the test, rubbing shoulders with several of the industry’s key players, but also learning how strategic planning may be key in growing STB and its future. Watch out world, here we come!

If you’d like to hear more about our membership of elia, these specific events, or our range of professional translation services, we’d love to hear from you. Please get in touch via hello@surreytranslation.co.uk.