Bristol suspension bridge translation office

This week our blog features a special entry from one of our English translators: she shares her experiences as an SMG in-house translator and talks about embarking on an exciting career in translation.

Why translation?

When I first arrived at the doors of SMG Italia, a newly fledged language graduate, little did I know that I was about to discover a world of opportunities within the translation industry. I decided to become a translator because besides being passionate about languages, I liked the fact that you could find yourself working on such a wide range of texts covering everything from numismatics to neuroscience. I originally envisaged that all it took to be a good translator was knowledge of a foreign language. However, I soon realised that there is more to it than meets the eye. Despite having some translation experience on my degree course, I had really thrown myself in at the deep end. I discovered there was a huge difference when the translations were a product sold to a client rather than just an assessment of your language abilities as they are at university. I had to consider the purpose of the translation and learn how to adapt the language and style to fit instructions manuals, brochures, reports and websites. I was surprised to discover that my writing skills in English improved just as much as in Italian, especially when tackling texts such as legal contracts and scientific reports of which I had little prior experience. It was a steep learning curve but I received support from the senior translators and revisors. I was impressed by the way the staff worked as a team and shared their knowledge. If I was unsure about which phrase sounded best in English I could consult another English translator for a second opinion, and if I was unclear about the exact meaning of an Italian idiom I could ask a native speaker. It was inspiring to be part of such a multilingual team. It was also interesting to communicate with the staff in SMG Languages global offices such as Peru. Consequently, when the Director Mr Luca Moretto asked me if I would be interested in pioneering a project to set up an office in the UK I was delighted. I began researching the best cities for expansion in the UK.

Why Bristol?

I searched for somewhere more personal than the capital and was attracted by the diversity of business in Bristol. It is home to huge aerospace companies such as Airbus and is also important in the media and creative industries and financial sector. It has maritime trading links due to its port, and is also the location of two excellent universities. Bristol has recently been named the top European city for the future in the UK due to its excellent high tech and knowledge industries. The success of this sector in the Bristol and Swindon area is demonstrated by the fact it is referred to as the Silicon Gorge. It is home to technology companies such as Toshiba Telecommunications Laboratory and HP labs. Bristol recently emphasised the importance of protecting local businesses by launching an independent currency to encourage local spending. This highlights Bristol as an innovative and forward-looking company.

What next?

I suggested Bristol as an ideal location and since then our plans have really taken off. We are preparing to visit the south west’s biggest city at the end of July to view our chosen office and kick start SMG’s UK company. The grand opening of the new office will take place in January 2014.  I am honoured to be involved in such an exciting project and am certain that the UK location will allow the company to achieve even more success and provide translators with direct access to the English language.

Visit our blog again soon to find out about our visit to Bristol.

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