I have years of experience delivering workshops for adults and children, covering a range of topics relating to languages and literature. My main specialisms for training and workshops are literary translation, running a freelance business and language careers more generally. I regularly run events for all these areas both at an advanced level for a specialist audience and as taster sessions for complete beginners.
Having worked as a professional linguist in many different ways since graduating in 2003, I’m often asked for advice about careers using languages and I have been a mentor to several early career linguists. I regularly present on panels and at careers events for students who are considering language careers. I give specialised continuous professional development (CPD) courses to emerging and practising translators, including on business skills such as social media and marketing, and professional skills such as translating different genres and editing.
Professional CPD: training events for translators
I’ve given workshops on the practicalities of a career as a freelance translator at London’s City University (Translate in the City annual summer school), the University of Edinburgh IMES department (MA Advanced Arabic) and the ITI Western Regional Group (if you are a member, please see the ITI Bulletin winter 2016 issue for a detailed review of this event). I’ve spoken about literary translation as a career at London Book Fair, focusing especially on translating nonfiction and children’s books.
From 2019, I plan to give a series of 90 minute training events for professional translators focusing on social media and setting up a personal website. These sessions will demonstrate the impact social media can have in terms of attracting new clients and maintaining ongoing relationships. I’ll show how quick and easy it is to set up and maintain an effective presence on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and a very basic WordPress website. Please get in touch if you’d like to host one of these CPD events for translators.
Language careers: advice for secondary and university students
I’ve curated and hosted lots of fun, practical workshops at secondary and middle schools, aimed at encouraging students to see the practical application of languages and to tempt them to take a language GCSE at Key Stage 4.
I’ve talked about careers in languages at the universities of Cambridge, Bath and Edinburgh, and to students at Oundle School. I’ve given introductory Arabic taster sessions (including role play activities for total beginners) for European Day of Languages at many schools including Cheltenham Ladies College and Bredon Hill Academy. I ran a practical introduction to interpreting event with UN interpreter Helen Reynolds-Brown for AS students at The Cotswold School. I condensed my 15+ years of experience at a language careers speed-dating event at Cheltenham College. And with Shadow Heroes, I give workshops to students aimed at giving an insight into the very varied and fascinating world of translators. Who are translators? And what do they do all day?
Besides being an engaging speaker with a wealth of professional experience, much of the impact of the events I run is in helping participants pinpoint reliable information and advice online, as I select the best sites from the overwhelming sea of information available. Here are links to more information about language careers – the sort of things I tend to cover at careers events.
Professional linguist CPD
Emerging literary translators
- English PEN: Writers in Translation
- Translators Association (part of the Society of Authors): join for networking, negotiations advice and free access to an excellent model publisher-translator contract
- Emerging Translator Mentorship at Writers Centre Norwich (formerly the BCLT mentorship scheme)
- American Literary Translators Association (ALTA): ALTA guides to starting out in literary translation
- Daniel Hahn’s Translation Diary (Free Word Centre blog)
- ArabLit blog: 10 rules for translating series
- British Centre for Literary Translation
- Emerging Translators Network (ETN): Google Groups forum and support network for early-career literary translators working primarily into English
Successful freelance translation (not just literary)
- The Prosperous Translator – by Chris Durban
- Intralingo blog
- Thoughts on Translation blog
- 101 Things a Translator Needs to Know
Professional organisations for UK linguists
- Chartered Institute of Linguists (UK)
- Institute of Translators and Interpreters (UK)
- National Register of Public Service Interpreters (NRPSI) – supporting public services in the UK
- Translators Association at the Society of Authors (the professional organisation for literary translators)
Why study languages?
- Routes into Languages – why study languages?
- 700 Reasons to Study Languages
- 2008 report by HEFCE: three and a half years after graduating, languages graduates have the highest average salary of all graduates
- Speak to the Future
- British Council Languages for the Future report
- Target jobs – linguist careers advice
Language careers in international organisations
- UN language careers
- UN linguist competitive examinations
- International Organisation for Migration
- Lawyer linguists at the European Court of Justice
- Translator in EU institutions
- European Commission Directorate General for Translation
Charity sector / NGOs
- Why MFL teaching needs an overhaul (Guardian blog)
- UK Dept of Education
- The Association for Language Learning
Research and academia
Comparative literature, linguistics, art history, speech therapy, history, archaeology, international relations, politics, philosophy, translation theory… So many academic fields involve or require an understanding of foreign languages
Customer services, marketing, leading your own start-up company trading internationally… the possibilities are endless!