All posts by admin

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

Surrey Translation Bureau at the ITI Conference 2019

 

The ITI conference, the biennial flagship event of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting, was held in Sheffield in early May this year. The venue was the elegant Cutlers’ Hall, providing a lovely setting for the dozens of talks on offer to the nearly 400 conference attendees, including five Surrey Translation Bureau staff members.

 

STB team at the ITI conference 2019

The theme of this year’s conference was ‘Beyond the core: forging the future of the profession’, meaning that many of the talks focused on how to differentiate yourself from the competition and, of course, how machine translation is expected to change the playing field. One such talk was presented by Surrey Translation Bureau’s very own Senior Translation Project Manager Jessica Truelsen and Translation Project Manager Ashley Mikkola, who presented ideas on how to tackle this elephant in the room. The talk turned out to be extremely popular amongst the attendees, many of whom praised Jessica and Ashley for their pragmatic take on the matter.

 

As well as attending talks, the STB delegation also had the time to participate in the corporate showcase on Saturday morning. There, we were lucky enough to meet numerous freelancers and other industry professionals interested in our services, not to mention hand out some lovable elephant pen holders to our hardworking freelance suppliers. The conference also hosted numerous fringe events, but unfortunately, due to time constraints, we were only able to attend the Welcome Reception and the Gala Dinner in full force – although Ashley did find time to show off her athletic prowess by taking part in the Conference Run.

 

Speaking of fringe events, the ITI Gala Dinner was a definite highlight as Surrey Translation Bureau was once again recognised with the ITI Corporate Member award. The award committee praised Surrey Translation Bureau for introducing a key account strategy and improving machine translation post editing, subtitling and desktop publishing services, as well as launching a free webinar programme and attending outreach events for schools and colleges in 2018.

 

STB team with the ITI Corporate Member award
STB wins the ITI Corporate Member award

With a wealth of new information gained throughout the conference, and our trophy carefully packed in a suitcase, the STB delegation was a happy bunch on our way back south on Saturday after the conference, even despite some problems with train cancellations. The location of the next ITI conference to be held in 2021 is yet to be revealed, but you can rest assured that Surrey Translation Bureau will be there once again.

What is the ITI?

 

Founded in 1986, the ITI – Institute of Translation and Interpreting – is the only UK-based independent professional membership association for practising translators, interpreters and language services businesses. Surrey Translation Bureau has been a member of the ITI since 2013, and our Head of Translation Operations Hannah Stacey, Translator Nick Ives, Senior Compliance Officer and Translation Project Manager Ruth Parkin and Senior Translator and Translation Project Manager Alison Healey are all individual members of the ITI.

 

Are you interested in working with an award-winning team for your translation needs? Call 01252 730 014 or email hello@surreytranslation.co.uk.

 

Written by Jenni Inkinen

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

The elephant in the room

 

Machine translation (MT) is one of the most controversial topics in the translation industry today – the letters MT are whispered in hushed tones and dark corners.

 

Why? Because it represents different things to different people.

 

Machine translation has been slowly gaining in popularity since the 1980s. It has become a familiar part of our online life thanks to Google translate and the Facebook Translator, and is an attractive option to those who need large volumes of content to be translated quickly. According to recent figures, machine translation enables linguists to get through 66% more words per day than if they were translating from scratch, equating to roughly 6000 words per day.

 

Post editing of machine translation

Source- Nimdzi, 2017

 

The process of working with machine-translated content is called post-editing of machine translation (PEMT), and tasks the translator with checking accuracy, polishing style and making sure the machine has worked its ‘magic’ properly.

 

So, I hear you ask, what’s the problem?

 

At best, MT can be mostly accurate, with some polishing necessary to bring the quality up to the required standard. At worst, it can be incoherent – essentially nonsense – meaning the translator needs to start from scratch and translate as they would on a standard job, but with less time and probably lower pay. As you can imagine, the unpredictability of current MT quality causes fear and trepidation in the translation community, leading to resistance to working with any MT tools.

 

From a provider’s point of view, training an MT machine is a very time-consuming and resource-heavy activity. It also requires mountains of data, meaning it’s not an activity that can be taken on lightly. That said, if the above is available, having an in-house machine certainly has its merits.

 

Elephant in the room

 

The question now stands: where do we go from here?

 

Surrey Translation Bureau have been delving into the range of MT offerings out there and will be presenting our findings at the ITI Conference, taking place in Sheffield from 10 to 11 May. The conference is a national gathering of those working in the industry and will offer 36 talks over four tracks including technology and interpreting. It also provides an excellent opportunity to meet peers, clients and providers face-to-face. Come and say hi! We’d love to meet you.

 

If you can’t make it to Sheffield but would like to know whether PEMT is suitable for you, please give us a call on +44 (0) 1252 730014 or email hello@surreytranslation.co.uk to speak to one of our qualified professional linguists.

 

Written by Jessica Truelsen

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

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

Wear a Hat Day

 

Wear A Hat Day is the UK’s biggest brain tumour research fundraising event. Here at Surrey Translation Bureau, we adorned a variety of headgear in support of the charity yesterday.

 

Wear a Hat Day

 

We also had a bake sale. Don’t miss the hat shaped cake!

 

Wear a Hat Day

 

Even Winston sported this cool hat to support the cause!

 

Wear a Hat Day

 

 

Surrey Translation Bureau announce their star translator this quarter

 

At STB, we like to put the spotlight on our outstanding freelancers. This quarter our team has selected Beth Dennison as STB’s Star Translator!

 

Beth, a freelance translator residing in a tiny village in the peak district, completed her first job for STB in 2011 and has been supplying us with top-quality Chinese and Japanese to English translations ever since, specialising in medical and technical texts. Project managers appreciate Beth’s professionalism and lightning-fast replies to all requests, big or small. What’s more, Beth’s fearlessness in tackling complicated patent and medical translations is what makes her one of our top linguists – no PDF is too daunting, nor job too technical. Thank you Beth for your hard work! Read on to learn a bit more about our Star Translator.

 

 

Hi Beth, 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?

 

I loved learning languages at school (French and German) and so decided at an early age that I wanted to make a career out of something I enjoyed. Then I started studying Chinese and Japanese because I thought they’d be interesting and useful, and they became my main language pairs.

 

French, German, Chinese and Japanese – that is quite impressive! What do you see as the benefits of speaking another language?

 

For me, personally, it has enabled me to work and travel freely in China and Japan. I was able to really immerse myself in the cultures and make many close friends for life. More generally, I think that speaking another language gives us an insight into other countries and perhaps makes us more open to different ideas and viewpoints.

 

What does an average working day look like for you?

 

I think one of the main reasons that I love being a translator and working from home is that I don’t really have an average working day as such. I tend to check my emails quite early in case a client in China or Japan has been in touch, but other than that I arrange my day according to my workload and other commitments.

 

And finally, do you have a favourite place that you’ve travelled to?

 

That’s a difficult one, but I think that my fondest memories are of places in China and Japan. I think I would maybe have to choose the scenery of the Li River between Guilin and Yangshuo in China, with its karst mountains; Mount Huangshan, also in China, because of its sea of clouds; and maybe the temples of Kyoto in Japan.

 

I think I’ll start planning my next trip now! Thank you for your hard work Beth!