TBP2015 Students’ Work

Here are the outstanding projects (in no particular order) that the students of the Translation Business Project 2015 have created. Well done all!


Katie Davis, Alice McAnulty,
Lani Huens, Emily Phillips,
Oliver Dobkin, Thomas Griffith, Olga Kadeshnikova, Helena Thomas and Connie van Zanten

A company specialised in subtitling. Check their website and facebook page


GERMAN TEAM:                                 transhistoria

Bryony Culliford, William Hopcroft,
Gerard Owen, Lucy Armstrong,
Hayley Johns and Tasmin Hirst

Specialised in translating museum material.

Check their website and their Twitter page



Caroline Seng, Kezia Cochrane,
Ross Britcher, Anjali Mukhi,
Rebecca White, Rosie Lewis
and Eleanor Weekes

This company specialises in the translation of graphic novels

Check their Powerpoint and a sample of their work

Henry Carr, Charlotte Evans,
Melanie Sackett,
Esther Cadle-Hartridge,
Guy Janaway and Emily Avent

A translation company that specialises in the translation of children’s books

Check their PowerpointFacebook page and Twitter




Edward Stanford-Clark, Yi-Hsuan Lee, Yulu Wan, Qin Wu, Hao Li,
Emily Decker and Alice Raymond

Exechange is a small, independent translating company based in Exeter

Check their website. Here is a sample of their work with their own illustrations!


RUSSIAN TEAM: transvod

Rebekah Olson


Final Gala Event and Feedback from Judging Panel

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Translation Business Project 2015.

It was truly inspiring and motivating to see each team presenting their impressive translation projects in our Final Gala Event on the 18th March after quite a few weeks of hard work.

Congratulations to the German group for winning! And congratulations to every group for doing an outstanding job.

We had a great judging panel of professional translators, Lisa Simpson, Cathy Dobson and Alison Exley and a business expert, Dr Alex Thompson, Senior Lecturer in Marketing at Exeter Business School.

Here are some comments from our panel on the presentations event and the whole project:

Once again I was blown away by the standard of the presentations. Each team had a different area in which they excelled, but the common denominator was their sheer professionalism and drive. I was particularly impressed by the participants’ attention to detail and determination to overcome obstacles as well as their formidable presentation skills.

The artwork for the booklets and advertising materials had obviously been lovingly prepared and was of a very high standard. Above all, there was a real sense of everyone working together and, most importantly, enjoying themselves. I feel privileged to have been involved in this project and hope the students found the whole experience worthwhile. I wish them every success in their future careers.

– Alison Exley

I was truly bowled over by the very high standard, attention to detail and professional approach of all the students taking part in the Translation Business Project.
Congratulations to all of you. I hope you enjoyed the experience and if it has given you a clearer insight into and understanding of the translation world then that is a job well done. Congratulations also to the staff who, once again, did a great job in getting the project off the ground. 

– Lisa Simpson (See extended feedback)

Thank you very much for inviting me to judge on Wednesday. I really enjoyed the afternoon and was amazed at the amount and quality of work the teams had put into their projects and the professionalism of their approach and presentations. Everyone who took part has much to be proud of.

Choosing one overall winner was tough as every group excelled in different areas and ways. Here is a brief summary of what stood out in particular for me.

One afternoon wasn’t really enough time to do the different projects justice when so much work, time and effort had clearly gone in. I would like to congratulate all the students who took part and wish them all the best for their upcoming exams and the future.

– Cathy Dobson


Judging panel, TPB 2015

Judging panel, TPB 2015


Interview with a Project Manager

Hello, we’re your four mentors for the TBP, Ema, Catharine, Alex and Faye.  We’ve been in touch with various people who work in the translation sector and have managed to ask them a few questions about their roles and also for some advice about getting into the industry.  We hope that this will provide a useful insight for everyone involved on the project.

Our first interview has been with Emma Bird who graduated from Exeter in 2014 with a Modern Languages degree.  Since then she has gone on to work as a Project Manager at STAR Translations UK based in Woking, which is one of the largest translation companies in the country.

How did you get into the job?

I wrote to various translation companies asking for some work experience in the last summer of my degree, and STAR came back to me and offered a short internship to gain an insight into the industry. I was offered a job with STAR the following year after I graduated.

Which duties do you carry out in your role? 

As a PM, I’m responsible for all aspects of the project workflow; quoting, scheduling, arranging translation/review steps, dealing with queries and final delivery to the customer. My role also encompasses terminology management, some DTP work and managing reference material. Most projects are simple, though others have special requirements which would also be my responsibility. In addition, my role includes a sales/marketing aspect; we attend trade fairs, write marketing documentation and also provide technical support for our software tools.

How do you use your language skills developed during your degree at Exeter for your job?

We have many partner offices located abroad, from whom we get the majority of our projects, and we communicate with some of them in their native language, for me, I mainly use German but sometimes French as well. It’s also great to have the languages when we get queries about projects or when we need to double-check a translator’s work, as we can fully understand the content and therefore the problems. We also need to understand the language for quality assurance procedures, for reviewing translator’s work when the customer required an extra review, again, the list goes on and I wouldn’t be half as good at my job if I couldn’t speak German or French, the more languages you know, the better.

What advice would you have for people looking to get into the translation industry?

The most important thing is for you to be qualified enough, as most agencies are certified to EU standards and aren’t likely to hire people/work with freelancers who do not meet the requirements as that would mean that those translations would not be certified. Broadly speaking, although you may want to check the standard itself for clarification, the requirements are: possession of an MA in translation, a languages BA plus 2/3 years full-time professional experience as a translator, or minimum 5 years full-time experience as a professional translator.  We find that the best translators are those who have worked in-house somewhere, either at an agency or for a company. Translators with in-house experience often have greater attention to detail and broader experience of different subject areas, something which translators coming fresh out of an MA might lack.  We review all translations here and make a note of any changes made; sloppier translators are less likely to get repeat work, so quality is very important in every job you do.

Secondly, I would say that it’s important to be realistic about your skill set, i.e. avoid saying that you’re specialised in legal or financial when you have only done a couple of contracts. There’s nothing wrong with not being specialised in any areas, it doesn’t mean that you won’t get any work. As with any job application, keep your e-mails/CVs/cover letters very professional, honest and comprehensive.

Finally, personalise your applications and e-mails, tell agencies and/or companies why you want to work for them in particular, generic e-mails tend to get deleted or ignored.

Do you find that many people in the industry have come straight into it from university, or is there a tendency to work in other professions first, and then move into translation later on to use that specialist knowledge gained elsewhere?

From my experience, most translators do come into it straight out of university, but some do go into other professions first. Specialist knowledge is certainly very beneficial in the industry, as you need to be familiar with the subject area just as much as you need to be competent in the language, and when a specialist project does come along, you can be very sought-after because of the extra knowledge you possess; having said that, this knowledge can also be gained from translating a variety of projects, something which you will most certainly do if you work in-house somewhere. For example, I am responsible for all translations for our agricultural customers and, as a result, have gained specialised knowledge of tractors and other agricultural machinery. The kind of experience that we would value most highly is experience working in the field in which you would translate, i.e. as a solicitor/engineer/doctor, though an MA in translation will not normally open doors into these fields, so it requires you to be fully qualified and have experience in both fields, which is definitely a rarity.

Do you find that sites such as LinkedIn, ProZ, Translatorscafe etc. are at all useful in developing contacts in the industry and finding work?

They can be useful to an extent, as with any industry, but are not necessarily useful for finding work. I suppose it really depends how active you are on things like LinkedIn and Translatorscafe as to whether or not you establish contacts and/or find work. ProZ is probably the only one of the three mentioned that agencies use to find translators, but that does tend to be a last-resort as it isn’t a recognised body like the ITI or IoL.

Are you a member of any translation organisations and if so have you found the membership valuable?

We as a company are a corporate member of the ITI (Institute of Translation and Interpreting) and ATC (Association of Translation Companies) as well, which is essential for demonstrating our credibility as a certified translation agency. The ITI is always our first resort for looking for more freelancers as it the most well-regarded translation body and being a member certainly pays off; our second resort would be the IoL (Institute of Linguists), which is also highly regarded. In short, yes, the membership is very valuable.

Thanks for reading, we hope that you found this interesting!  We will have another interview up shortly.  In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you need any advice about your projects.

Ema, Catharine, Alex and Faye

Next event: Roundtable with professional translators

Hi everyone,

A big thank you to Phoebe for her interesting insight into her experiences of the project last year. I’m sure all final year students will agree that it’s reassuring to know that Phoebe’s been able to use her experience of the project in interviews as an example of teamwork. It’s that time of year where we’re all trying to balance our university workload with filling out job applications, so any transferable skills we can refer to help make the process that bit easier!

Hopefully you’ve all managed to come up with a name and logo for your translation company, as well as think about your target market and audience. Next week’s Round Table event with professional translators should help you with your research into the translation industry. Just to remind you that the event will take place on Wednesday 25th February, from 2-4pm in Room 209 of the Harrison Building.

This is a really great opportunity for you to meet industry professionals who will be able to offer you an insight into the field of translation. It would be useful for you to prepare some questions for the translators ahead of the event, as well as ask any that occur to you on the day of course.

In the meantime here a few snaps Isabel took at the last event of us all tucking into tea and biscuits for you to enjoy…

Sophie Davies
BA CH English and Spanish

Introductory Event January 2015 Introductory Event January 2015 Introductory Event January 2015

Welcome to the TBP2015!

Hello everyone,

The Translation Business  Project is starting this week and so is this blog!

In this space we will be posting about all the events we have organised, but you are all also welcome to contribute with your own posts and comments.

The next entry will be written by one of our Modern Languages students who took part in the project last year and wants to share some tips with you. So keep an eye on this blog!

If you are more of Twitter user feel free to use the hashtag #Exetertbp2015 to talk about your work and translation events on Twitter.

We are very much looking forward to working with you all.

Isabel Santafé and Richard Mansell