Judging Criteria

With just over a week to go until the final gala , one of the judges themselves gives us an insight into what exactly they’ll be looking out for…

We are looking forward to coming back, for a third year, to judge your presentations at the student translation business project gala. From previous experience, we know that the teams will be putting a tremendous amount of thought, work and creativity into their projects. It is always a pleasure to see the final translations, but don’t forget that we are also judging the business aspect of your work.

Here is some more information about what we will be looking for on the day:

Understanding of the translation process in a working situation:  what was the purpose and meaning of source text and what is the purpose of your target text? What specific translation issues did you come across and how did you go about resolving these?

Translation industry awareness:  what research did you carry out into the translation industry? How have you gone about costing and pricing your translations?  What information have you included in your invoices?

Entrepreneurial skills: by this, we mean general commercial awareness, marketing strategy, professional use of social media, etc

Transferable skills: here, we will be looking for evidence of teamwork, time management, decision-making and problem-solving skills.

Overall presentation skills: are your presentations well structured? What visual aids have you used?  Have you demonstrated clarity of ideas and effective communication skills?

And finally…

The viability of your business models

Best of luck to all the teams.  See you on March 16th

Cathy Dobson

Roundtable Event

Our most recent event this Wednesday was an absolute success, so thank you to all who came. The opportunity to put practical questions about the industry and the nature of the job to professional working translators with decades of experience was, I’m sure, appreciated by all.


We were lucky to be joined by four translators with a wealth of experience among them. Matthew Bird, an Exeter graduate who finished his MA Translation at Exeter in 2014 gave us insight into the world of translation agencies, as he is Project Manager at Sure Languages right here in Exeter. Hannah Keet, another Exeter graduate, also joined us and spoke about the advantages of freelance vs in-house translation, having worked for Amazon at their headquarters in Luxembourg before moving back to the UK to work freelance. Two of the judges from our upcoming final gala, Alison Exley and Lisa Simpson were present too, and with 39 years of translation experience between them answered a whole variety of questions on every aspect of the industry, as well as what they’ll be looking out for when they judge the projects in just a few weeks time.


The four of them provided a wealth of knowledge and useful tips for budding translators, among them:

– Try calling agencies instead of sending out emails. The more personal approach makes you seem more interested and shows you’ve taken the time to contact that individual company as opposed to clicking ‘send to all’ with a CV.

– Contacting clients directly instead of working through an agency has its benefits such as better rates of pay (due to cutting out the middle man) and often longer time scales as well as being able to build a good rapport with your clients. However, agencies have their benefits when it comes to dealing with trickier clients!

– Getting to grips with CAT tools is unavoidable, so embrace them early on – you’re going to need them.

All in all a great afternoon and some very valuable advice for those wishing to begin a career in translation. We look forward to seeing Alison and Lisa again in a few weeks time at the final event. In the mean time try taking a look at some of the websites that were recommended on the day – happy reading!





New year – new project!

Welcome to the Student Translation Business Project 2016!

This week we had our first introductory event to kick off the project where the teams got to meet each other over tea and biscuits and start to formulate some ideas for their new business ventures. Already there seems to be a wide range of really interesting ideas so I can’t wait to see what they come up with.

I’ll be posting after all our exciting upcoming events so watch this space.

But that’s all for now – Jessica.

Introductory Meet