Have you ever had an x-ray done or received anaesthetic at the dentist or hospital? How about having your TB injection at school, taking aspirin, wearing jeans or a polo shirt? Ever heard of Freud and Einstein and are familiar with any of their works? What do you know about current affairs e.g. what’s happening in the EU with prospect of a ‘Brexit’? My guess is that all of us can answer yes to at least one of these questions, if not all of them. Next question: did you realise that all of the above were researched, developed, created and reported on in another language, and it is only thanks to translation that we have been able to integrate, utilise or learn about these, and many more, in our daily lives?
As you have probably guessed, there are thousands of other examples of discoveries and inventions that affect our daily lives, which, without translators, would not have reached the global market to the extent they have. This applies not only to the past, but to the present, and even more so to the future – and your business is not excluded.
So, on the theme of ‘translators’, this blog intends to shine light onto our translators, who otherwise work behind the scenes from the dark corners and shadows of the unknown, with few people acknowledging, understanding or praising the work they do.
For many businesses, translation may be considered a challenge, an obstacle or even a burden.
However, translation is a vital component of our globalised and ever-closer communities; not only when looking to sell abroad, but also when looking to buy, raise awareness and even more so for improvement and development. This is because a lot of the research a company here in the UK relies on, may itself originate from work conducted abroad, and it is via translation that businesses can learn, improve and further develop.
Here at Capita Translation and Interpreting (Capita TI), we are not only focussed on building partnerships with our clients, we are also dedicated to fostering relationships with our linguists. After all, we would be nothing without them. Equally, with many members of staff, such as myself, from senior management to sales, account managers, project managers and administrators, Capita TI is bursting with linguists, trained and qualified translators and interpreters, native bilinguals and an eclectic circle of culturally diverse individuals, all of whom intrinsically understand the importance of our linguists and the role that language and culture plays.
What’s more, we respect the hard work translators do for us and, ultimately, our clients. Their work gives you, your ideas and your business a global reach and presence, yet they themselves remain almost invisible.
To show unity, partnership and thanks to our linguists, Capita shows its appreciation in numerous ways. Depending on the account a linguist works on, the difficulty of the projects handled, and the requirement for 24/7/365 support, Capita rewards its linguists through bonuses, merchandise, training courses, personal development, in-house training, and free security checks and clearance; but we also support our linguists to improve their CVs, applying for membership to associations and organisations, ‘promotions’ to lead translator, QA linguist, and account-specific preferred linguist.
We fight to ensure that the rates we pay are fair and justified for the work they are doing, and most importantly, that the deadlines and support required for them to do the best job they can is in place. We provide feedback from proofreaders, clients and external quality reviewers to help them improve, monthly newsletters to inform them and keep them up-to-date with what is happening in Capita and, more specifically, on the key accounts they are working on, truly helping them to feel part of the team. Depending on client needs, our linguists are given free access or licences to the necessary tools of the trade, translation software, and full training is provided by our project managers, account managers and language solutions team.
Of course, there is more that we could do, but we have to start somewhere. The key indicator is if our linguists are happy working with us, and with many having worked with us since the start, I believe they are. The key question I ask myself when quoting, proceeding with, and placing a project is: would I, as a translator myself, be happy to accept this project. The answer: yes, and I sometimes do!