Starting Out in Translation and Interpreting

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Have you ever wondered what it’s like to work in the translation or interpreting profession? Maybe you’re studying languages or you’ve already got your degree, but now you want to see what you can do with it. Come along to ‘Starting Out in the Translation and Interpreting Industry’ at this year’s Language Show London – where four translation and interpreting professionals will be talking about how they got started and what skills you need to become a professional translator and/or interpreter.

The seminar is organised by the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI), the UK’s only professional institute exclusively representing freelance translators and interpreters. ITI celebrated its 30th birthday in 2016. Today, the institute now has over 3,000 members working in more than 100 languages.

ITI supports and represents its members and their interests by providing advice and opportunities to aspiring and practising translators and interpreters to help them develop. But crucially it provides information about the profession to businesses, government, the media and the general public, who generally know very little about what translators and interpreters actually do. Its qualified members also benefit from a listing on ITI’s online public directory – providing a great source of clients! – and they are able to produce certified translations using their ITI credentials.

ITI’s motto is ‘Promoting the highest standards in the profession’, so joining ITI is a clear sign of professionalism, a sign that you take your profession seriously and that you as a translator and/or interpreter continue to develop your knowledge and skills. After all, a professional translator or interpreter never stops learning.

What’s more, ITI members abide by the association’s Code of Conduct, committing themselves to professional values and practises, such as: honesty and integrity with clients, colleagues and competitors; maintaining confidentiality where requested or required; and continually developing their knowledge and skills.

 The session will cover shared career experiences within the translation and interpreting sector. The four panellists – a translator, interpreter, lecturer and translation agency director – will discuss their experience, their career progression, their professional development and the type of work that they do. Then they will answer questions from the audience about getting started as a professional translator or interpreter.


Speaker Profiles


Lloyd Bingham | Freelance Translator, Capital Translations

Lloyd Bingham MITI MCIL (@Capital_Trans on Twitter) is a translator working from French, German, Spanish, Dutch into English. He now runs Capital Translations in Cardiff, having first worked as an in-house translator and senior translator, managing an in-house translation team in the north-east of England.


Katie Belo dos Santos | Freelance Interpreter

Katie Belo dos Santos MITI studied Languages and Literature at the University of Coimbra in Portugal, participating as an undergraduate in the Erasmus exchange programme in France and the UK. After graduating, she remained in the UK to pursue a career as a police and court interpreter and translator.


Lindsay Bywood | Senior Lecturer in Translation Studies

Lindsay Bywood holds an MA in German and Philosophy from the University of Oxford and an MA in Translation Studies from the University of Salford. She has been working in subtitling since 1998, and was latterly Director of Business Development at VSI, an international subtitling and dubbing company with headquarters in London. Lindsay is Senior Lecturer in Translation Studies at the University of Westminster.


Clare Suttie | Director of Atlas Translations

Clare Suttie has been involved in the day-to-day work at Atlas Translations since 1991. Her passion for seeking out just the right individuals with fluency in the most exotic of languages is both exciting and inspiring.


As someone interested in a career in translation or interpreting, you might ask yourself questions such as:

– What skills do I need to be a professional translator or interpreter?

– How do I break the no experience barrier?

– Why should I specialise in a certain field, and how?

– What rates should I charge?

– How do I find my first clients?


All four panellists will be there to provide their insights into these questions and more, all based on their own experience and expertise. They will share tips on laying the groundwork for a future career in T&I. Even if you are still a student, it’s never too early to start brushing up on your native language grammar, honing your writing skills, identifying potential specialist fields and taking additional training in them.

No doubt the speakers will also stress the importance of networking – getting out there and meeting your colleagues, building bridges with them, learning from them, sharing knowledge and resources, and potentially referring work opportunities to each other. ITI’s Language & Subject Networks and Regional Groups could help here, enabling members to meet colleagues who live locally or share the same language pairs and specialist fields.

Business skills is another vital topic that will be covered. As a freelance translator or interpreter, you will be running a business, so it’s important to gain some business acumen. The speakers will also talk about resources that could help you to develop a business mindset, such as ITI’s Setting Up as a Freelance Translator course.

So, join us for ‘Starting Out in the Translation and Interpreting Industry’ on Saturday 14th October 2017 from 15:45 until 17:15 in Room 2. And if you are an aspiring or practising translator or interpreter, pop down to the ITI stand in the exhibition hall and have a chat to staff and members about what opportunities membership could open up for you.






A reunion of ITI’s Setting Up as a Freelance Translator course students, ITI Professional Development Officer Ann Brooks (first from left) and tutor Lloyd Bingham (first from right) at the Language Show 2016












Representatives of ITI speaking to aspiring and established translators and interpreters about the benefits of ITI membership at the Language Show 2016


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