Friday, 12 May 2017

Translation Professionals in the UK: Survey's Final Report at Europe House London

On 11th May I had the privilege of attending the launch event of the UK Translator Survey Report at the European Commission Representation in London.

In a standing room only, six panellists and over 120 translators and linguists were interested in finding out the results of a survey which most of them completed in 2016. 

All participants received a printed copy of the actual report, which was compiled by the Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIOL), the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI) and the EC Representation in the UK.

The findings were presented in the form of statistics, including some comments from translation professionals who took part in the survey.

Panel members Karen Stokes - Chair of Council, CIOL-, Sarah Griffin-Mason- ITI Chair-, Geraint Wyn Parry -Cymdeithas Cyfieithwyr Cymry-, Antonia Lloyd-Jones - Co-chair of the Translators Association and Dr. Jo Drugan- Senior Lecturer at the University of East Anglia- shared their opinion about the results of the report as Paul Kaye, Language Officer at the EC was leading the discussion.

One of the topics that generated more questions was "Remuneration and pricing". It is not surprising that the survey results showed that translators do not feel well-equipped in business skills and therefore their strategies for negotiation of rates may be poor. As Sarah Griffin pointed out, Translation Associations are not entitled by Government regulations to set a guidance on pricing, but all they can do is look at past patterns which may be helpful for translation professionals who would like to have an idea of how the industry was valued on previous years. I could not agree any more with what Karen Stokes (CIOL) mentioned on that respect: "We need to encourage people to act more in a business-like way". She also stated that, as other professionals do, prices (in translation) should be set on a per job basis or per hour, rather than per word. 

Taking into consideration those comments, the different associations agreed that there is a need to educate clients about their views on the translation industry. As the general public would surely choose a Chartered Accountant, or a Chartered Surveyor over a non-chartered professional, now Chartered Translators can demonstrate their competence and offer quality services to clients.

I think that the Professional Associations in the UK have increasingly evolved in educating the public and graduates about the importance of professionalism in translation. A new vision over the Translation Industry would result in more appealing pricing strategies if translators were actually seen as other professional contractors or consultants who hold professional qualifications, have undergone training or learned on the job, and  are continually developing their skills and knowledge, following a code of ethics to offer the best for their clients. 

Chinese-English Translator: Sidney Wu, Greek-English Translator
Vasiliki Prestidge, Spanish-English Translator Jaquelina Guardamagna &
French - English Translator Karine Chevalier-Watts

Following the panel discussion and Q&A session, I enjoyed an uplifting networking reception where I had the chance of talking to some of the panellists, other translators and CIOL staff. 

The survey may take place again in the future and further comments or suggestions for potential editions could be added to this blog or sent to

As per your opinion on this review, your experience on the day, professionalism in the translation sector, translation rates and pricing, please leave your comments below.

Thanks for reading!


Jaquelina Guardamagna BA MCIL, IAPTI, APARU
Translator in London, Chartered Linguist

BA English-Spanish Translator
BA Teacher of EFL

Friday, 30 September 2016

International Translators' Day on Google

...So....I started my day as usual, in front of the computer, ready to start working on the translation project that was unfinished at 1.00 a.m., but with a feeling of excitement about this special day for all translators.
-"It is International Translation Day and for sure Google would surprise me when I open my browser", I thought. 

To my disappointment, all I could see when I started browsing the Internet was Google's logo. No doodle to remind users of our patron Saint Jerome or to make people aware of the day when we celebrate our profession and of how Translators contribute to international communication in this globalized world. 

It seems that our profession is still struggling for recognition. Not many companies offer the option of "Translator" on drop down lists when you need to specify your profession. In many cases you end up choosing "other", or isn't the case?
Probably, many people believe that speaking a foreign language is a skill that could be acquired without much effort, especially if you have the advantage of being born in a multilingual environment, and therefore, working as a translator is second nature to many.
The work of a translator involves much more than mastering the grammar and vocabulary of different languages. Our main mission is to enable communication between cultures. We are constantly learning about new topics, specific jargon of different professions, diverse software, CAT Tools. We are in the quest for knowledge at all times.
Presently, there is more information available online about the translation industry and about the role that translators play in this world without borders, where only language and communication may become barriers in establishing connections if it was not for the work we do.
Therefore, on this 30th September I would like to wish a Happy day to all Translators, and I hope that next year when I access my Google browser on International Translation Day I could see a Google doodle to honour our profession.

For resources and events related to the Translation Industry, visit the Directorate General for Translation of the European Commission:

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Translation of Qualifications for UK Schools, Universities and Professional Associations

On the last edition of 'The Linguist', the bimonthly magazine published by the Chartered Institute of Linguists, I wrote an article with information about the translation of qualifications, degree certificates and transcripts for submission to UK institutions. You can have access to the full article by looking at the picture included on this blog or by clicking on this link:

I hope you find all the information useful and if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at

Thanks for reading and sharing.

Jaquelina Guardamagna BA MCIL, IAPTI
Translator in London

Friday, 26 February 2016

'Top tips for starting up as a Translator' & 'Perservera y Triunfarás'

Last October 2015 I gave two presentations at The Language Show in Olympia, London. Here I would like to share some of the tweets and pictures from my seminars as well as a link to the Powerpoint files of the topics presented: 'Top tips for starting up as a Translator' & 'Perservera y Triunfarás'

 Great seminar on starting up as a freelance  from . Key lessons: know your worth & stay organised! 
Tip No.1 Join a Professional Association of Translators in the UK
Oct 18 Need to be patient with clients and yourself: results take time, clients may need time to understand how the process works 
Oct 18  Create a sense of urgency when you define your business goals, says  
Not disciplined enough? Try keeping a diary or fill in to-do lists to optimise your time.  
Persevera y triunfarás
Oct 16 great seeing you too! Very inspiring seminars, thank you so much!“Do not think of money but of VALUE when you define your rates”

Marketing is about  and branding is a self-discovery journey 
 Blogging is your CV in a narrative form; the more info your share, the more you are likely to be trusted 
Oct 18 You never know how close you’re of your dreams, so don’t give up   
Oct 21    Thanks for your follow Jaqui your talks at the  were really interesting!
   muy interesante la charla de hoy, muchas gracias! A ver si vienes a  algún domingo! 
If you follow this link to Slideshare, you can have a look at my presentations from October 2015.
Now, in two weeks' time I will be giving a seminar again at The Language Show in Scotland. I will be talking about "Inspiring confidence and Enhancing Credibility" on 12th March at 13.30 in Room 1 of the Scottish Conference and Exhibition Centre, Glasgow. I look forward to seeing you there and to your tweets and comments from this new edition of the #LSLive Show.¡Gracias! ¡Los espero! 
Jaquelina Guardamagna, BA MCIL

Friday, 9 October 2015

Tips for Translation Startups at The Language Show

In 2014, I summarised the highlights of the Language Show from a Translator's perspective. 

This year I have had the privilege of being invited as a speaker to give two seminars at the event that reunites all language enthusiasts in Olympia Conference Centre, London. 

This coming Friday 16th October, I will be talking about some top tips for starting up as a Translator in the United Kingdom. In addition to the cultural and personal obstacles translators need to overcome in order to get a place in the market, I will mention some tips that will help them stand out from the crowd when looking for their first job as freelancers. I will deal with issues of Marketing, Education, Negotiation and Law to guide graduate translators during their first steps in the translation industry and will provide them with the tools they need to grow in confidence when starting up their business.

On Sunday 18th, my seminar will be about Discipline and Patience in Business, and how these two factors may help translation entrepreneurs to achieve their goals and feel more successful when working as freelancers. 'Persevera y triunfarás' -the name of the seminar- is a popular Spanish phrase which means that with perseverance you will succeed.

So, if you are thinking of starting up as a translator in England, or if you are already working as a freelance translator and need some inspiration and motivation to keep your business growing, come to Olympia, Room 3, on Friday 16th October at 13.30 and on Sunday 18th October at 11.45 to say 'Hello' and to listen to some ideas that will be useful to boost your translation enterprise. 

I look forward to meeting you personally at the Language Show Live 2015!

Sunday, 26 October 2014

The Language Show 2014: A translator's view

The Language Show 2014: Beyond expectations

Last weekend I visited the Language Show
at Olympia Exhibition Centre. As an English-Spanish Translator and Language Teacher I was a regular attendee of this event that takes place every year in London, UK. However, three years ago I felt that the Language Show was mainly focusing on Language courses, resources for those learning languages and educational trips to other countries where new languages could be studied through cultural immersion programmes, instead of offering training, networking or career development opportunities for translators and interpreters.

That opinion completed changed this year when I enjoyed an event full of seminars, resources and networking opportunities for professional translators and interpreters!

On Saturday 18th October I arrived to the Language Show at 10.30 am to join the 'Translation and Interpreters Leaders Panel Session' – an interesting and informative talk from representatives of some translation/interpreting companies about what makes them choose one candidate over another, what subject fields are in demand in the translation industry and how to stand out in this competitive profession.

Networking started straight after that session, when I met a colleague that also graduated at the School of Languages of the University of Cordoba (where I did my degrees) and we shared experiences and information about our profession as teachers and translators as well as about the challenges and opportunities of our lives in London.

Just before lunch, I decided to attend the seminar presented by a European Commission Interpreter and a Professor on Interpreting about different types of interpreting, with examples of and a focus on conference and public service interpreting.

After that I felt privileged about being present at the seminar lead by Helen Campbell - Director at the National Network for Interpreting, Routes into Languages - on Conference Interpreting: What future? This seminar as well as the previous one called ‘So you think what an interpreter is?’ emphasised the importance of the interpreter’s mother tongue to a very high standard as well as the responsibility of interpreters for transferring ideas, more than words… ‘allowing for successful communication by being able to ‘sense’ what the speaker of one language is trying to say and structuring that message in a way that is succinct and accurate’.

Once that session finished, I took some time to visit some of the stalls that caught my attention. I could not miss the stall ‘Translate for Europe’ by the European Commission, where I had the chance of asking about opportunities for freelance translators and interpreters interested in working for the EC, as well as gathering a number of resources about the main characteristics and the languages of the countries that are part of the European Union. I also visited the UKTI stand and talked to just the person I wanted to meet, the Language and Culture Adviser at UKTI. After listening to different languages, accents and people, I saw the stand of ‘LA TUNDRA’ a magazine written in Spanish with interesting articles on culture, art and interviews to Hispanic personalities, and I felt at home when I was warmly welcomed by its fabulous team with whom I shared not only a language, but also a feeling for our beloved Argentina. What’s more, I even received a copy of the printed magazine, which I’m still reading with interest!

Last but not least, I attended a panel session jointly organised by the European Commission's Directorate-General for Translation, the Chartered Institute of Linguists and the Institute of Translation and Interpreting with a focus on the results of the survey on translator training launched following Part 1 held in July, examining whether translators are being trained to meet the challenges facing the profession. We were given an extended document with information about the findings of the EC, CIOL and ITI on how best to future-proof the profession and to equip the next generation of translators.

All in all, my love for languages and translation was more intense than ever after being at the Language Show. The organisation was impeccable with detailed information about the exhibitors and the programme for each day on their website. I found all seminars very informative and all speakers were role models within the Translation/Interpreting profession. I have already saved the date for October 2015, since after such a great experience, I could not be missing the Language Show next year!