Tag Archives: professional

Need help translating an Arabic document? STB can help!

Our dedicated and qualified team of professional project managers and translators will provide you with the perfect English & Arabic translations. In addition to our core translation service, we also offer editing, revision, and many other services. We provide a high-quality, comprehensive and professional service to all of our clients.


First spoken in Iron Age North-Western Arabia, there are now over 1.6 billion Arabic speakers. Residents of over 27 countries speak Arabic today! So are you having trouble finding a translator for Arabic translations? Look no further. Surrey Translation Bureau can help you translate any Arabic documents you need.


Arabic writing at Surrey Translation Bureau


Many people find it difficult to understand the language, but many more struggle to read and write the language. It is written in abjad script, which runs from right to left across the page. This means many people can find Arabic a difficult language to read and write.


We are a trustworthy organisation, and we prioritise confidentiality for our clients. As a result, our customers rate us very highly. Here at Surrey Translation Bureau, we strive towards the best with every document. We make sure every piece of work that we do is both perfectly analysed and translated.


Get in touch with us today and we can instantly provide you with a quote and deadline for Arabic translations. One of our dedicated project managers will oversee your translation. They will ensure everything is completed efficiently, and to the very highest standard. Because we want to make sure every customer is 100% satisfied, our project managers are on hand at all times.


We would be delighted to answer any questions you may have regarding translations from Arabic to English, and vice versa. Contact us on 01252 601 058 or email us your query at hello@surreytranslation.co.uk for a quote or to discuss our services.


Busted: 6 common misconceptions about finding a translation agency





Finding a translation agency that can help you to take your business global can seem overwhelming: where in the world are people going to be reading my documents? What languages do they speak? How can I know that my message is being conveyed accurately? Will the translator be able to post me my documents in time? What time is it there? What time is it here?!




Whoah there! Step away from the search engine. It doesn’t have to be difficult to find a translation partner – it’s actually quite simple! The perceived difficulties come as a result of a few common misconceptions. Today, we’d like to debunk a few that we sometimes hear from first-time translation buyers here at STB:




1. I should work with a translation agency based in the same geographical location as my company




Once upon a time, this would have been the case, but thanks to email and the internet, this is simply no longer a prerequisite. Nowadays, you can focus on finding a partner who fits your requirements best, no matter where in the world they live.




At Surrey Translation Bureau, our team of project managers are just an email or phone call away, ready and raring to take care of your translation project. They are well-equipped to do this, with a Masters degree in translation and many years’ experience in managing a whole range of translation projects.




Email and phone calls are a fantastic way to communicate, but we love meeting our clients in person too, and are always keen to do so and to learn more about what they do! We’re only an hour away from London by train, and we regularly attend trade fairs, conferences and business events across the UK, Europe and sometimes even further afield. We would be delighted to arrange a meeting and put a face to a name!




2. I need to translate documents into Chinese. I have to use a translation agency in China, right?




Not necessarily! You don’t need to work with a translation agency in the country where they speak the language you are looking to translate. In fact, it’s best to just find a partner who you can communicate well with, and let them do the heavy lifting when it comes to communicating your project to the translators. That partner might be in the country of your target audience, but they could just as easily be in your country – or neither!




Here at STB, we have an extensive, carefully developed database of translators across the globe. We cater for almost every language combination and specialisation, from aerodynamics through to zoology, and pretty much everything in between.




Many of our freelance translators live in the country where the language they translate is spoken. This means you benefit from excellent communication and customer service, while our expert, native translators handle your translations. The perfect combination!




3. I’m not sure I could work with a translation agency based in a different time zone




You can! Time zones can be confusing, but you don’t need a wall covered in clocks like a newsroom from the 80’s. As a UK-based translation agency, we run on GMT, and as such overlap with most time zones. Essentially, this means that in a working day, we can communicate with clients and translators based in other parts of the world with different time zones.




This time zone map shows just how well placed the UK is for communication across the globe. Our working day shares hours with both China and the West coast of the USA. As you move further away from the Meridian Line, this overlap moves too, making quick communication trickier.




4. I will have to send hard copies of the document I want to translate and receive hard copies of the translation back. That’s going to take days!




Only rarely; the vast majority of the projects we handle are digital documents, such as Microsoft Word or InDesign files. In an instant, we can download the files via email to give a quote. Once completed, it only takes another instant to deliver them back to you. A far cry from the days of pen, paper and post!




Of course, when clients need hard copies of documents, we can arrange for couriers to take your files wherever they need to go.




5. My project is important. I should send it to a big translation company.




Not necessarily. A smaller translation company might be a better fit for you than a huge corporation. Large translation companies have a lot of resources such as sites and employees. However, they can’t always guarantee that you’ll get the personal attention and detail that smaller, boutique agencies can offer. You might find that the guidance and expertise offered to you by a smaller agency is exactly what you need.




6. Can’t I just use an online translation app?




At your own risk! While handy for getting the gist of a sentence, machine translation still falls a long way short of professional translation. Your customers will instantly be able to tell the difference between a text handled by a professional, highly-trained native speaker and the garbled, automated output of a computer. Just search for “Google Translate fails” to find the millions of funny –  and sometimes very expensive –mistakes made by other companies. That’s not a list you want to be on!




So, finding a translation partner isn’t as difficult as all that after all! Have a read of our guide for first-time translation buyers if you’d like to learn more about ordering your first translation project, or get in touch with STB to talk through it with one of our team.




No matter where you are based, contact hello@surreytranslation.co.uk or call 01252730014 to see if we could be your go-to translation partner.

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?

Quality translations – certified

This year we once again passed our ISO inspection with flying colours; this ensured the renewal of both our ISO 9001:2008 and BS EN 15038:2006 certificates. As well as looking very pretty in their display frames that add a welcome splash of monochrome to our lobby, these certificates prove that we have a robust and consistent quality control system in place for all service levels that we offer.

BS EN 15038:2006 in particular really marks us out as a provider of high-quality translation services. This ‘European Quality Standard for Translation Service Providers’ covers both the core translation process and all other related aspects; among these are quality assurance and traceability. It emphasises the high-level of professional competence required by everyone involved in the translation process; from recognised translation qualifications or documented professional experience to the importance of a final review stage.

The Inspection

The inspection covered all facets of our business. This included the initial quotes to our communications with clients and suppliers to the polished final product. The inspector verified that our documented procedures meet the stringent requirements of the standard; there was also an on-the-spot check of a random selection of projects to ensure that we complete all projects to the same consistently high standards. If you’ve not dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s, you’re sure to be found wanting! He also scrutinised the reports from our quarterly audits, weekly translation spot checks, and examined our continuous improvement process.

There aren’t many translation companies that can boast both of these certifications; the hard work that we put into our quality assurance system is something that sets us apart from our competitors. We’re proud that this recognises the efforts made all year round by our staff. When we say that we have rigorous procedures in place to guarantee quality, you don’t just have to take our word for it.

To find out more about our commitment to quality translations, why not have a read of our quality & confidentiality page, or contact hello@surreytranslation.co.uk for a direct quote.