Oxford to Deptford – by Mattia Cattaruzza, Yestrans Relationship Manager

Mattia

I left Oxford in July with my degree in hand and my head held high – I had survived the experience, enjoyed myself along the way, and I was about to take the next step in my life. My head wasn’t held high for too long, though. The next day my bubble had been burst, and the sense of achievement from the previous day had been partially replaced by emptiness, loneliness and uncertainty – feelings shared by many a university graduate, I imagine.

Maybe I somehow thought that my degree would be handed to me together with a couple of job offers and some useful test results telling me which future I would be most suited to. It didn’t. In fact, to everyone’s surprise, we weren’t handed anything at all. The official piece of paper came through the post some weeks later, and that was that. So what next? Along with countless others, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. All I knew was that I wanted to use my languages and interact with other people on a daily basis. During my year abroad I tried teaching, which was a fun job while it lasted, but in the long term, it wasn’t for me.

During one of many browsing sessions in search of my future at the start of 2015, I had found Luke Trinder, Yestrans director and former member of my Oxford college (Lincoln), and he kindly talked to me about the translation industry and how he got into translation, eventually setting up and running his own successful business. The business was doing very well, but Luke felt there were problems with the fragmented translation industry and believed that, with someone’s help, he could simplify how clients interacted with translation providers and create a more personalised approach to this relationship.

Intrigued by the idea of improving and potentially changing how translation services are provided, I kept in contact with Luke, mulling this potential job over, pushing it slightly to the back of my mind during my exams but never quite letting it out of my sight. After my exams I spoke with Luke a few times, and we decided that September would be a good time to start.

Since my first day, things have progressed quickly. At the start I was heavily involved in the translation and proofreading, of which there are substantial amounts as summer fades into autumn, and Luke gave me ongoing training in building strong relationships with clients at the same time – this would eventually become my main role within the business. Once I had been given the appropriate training, it was time for me to get started on building those new client relationships and familiarise German-speaking businesses with Yestrans.

It has been a very stimulating experience so far – stressful at times, and at others a little dull (legal and medical texts, you know who you are), but for the most part it has been enjoyable and rewarding, and I am continually building ever-stronger relationships with our clients. I speak German on a daily basis – a big plus side to this job for me – and I hope to be travelling to German-speaking Europe in the not-too-distant future in order to continue strengthening the Yestrans brand abroad.

By Mattia Cattaruzza, Yestrans Relationship Manager

 

 

Meet Me at The Albany

You might already know that the Yestrans office is based within The Albany in Deptford, London. The Albany is an arts venue that runs all sorts of creative performances, as well as workshops and events for people from the local community.

It’s one of these events that Yestrans has recently become more closely involved with – we’re excited to say we’re now official supporters of the fantastic Meet Me at The Albany  programme.

Meet Me At The Albany

Meet Me At The Albany

Meet Me at The Albany is for over 60s in the local area, enabling people to socialise, be creative, and generally have a great time. Every Tuesday the atmosphere is lively and exciting and makes our workplace a lovely place to arrive to.

The programme reduces social isolation and includes creative partnerships with established artists and professionally-run courses on circus skills – a brilliant idea as it promotes better balance, aiming to reduce falls among attendees.

As The Albany themselves say, this isn’t your usual over 60s programme:

“At Meet Me at the Albany, participants are just as likely to be suspended on silks in a circus workshop, enjoying a performance of jazz or writing poetry with top poets like Simon Mole and Malika Booker, as they are to be drinking cups of tea or knitting.”

Meet Me At The Albany

Meet Me At The Albany

With the ever-increasing challenges programmes like this face due to reductions in local authority funding, we wanted to do our bit to help.

Activities coming up in the next few weeks at Meet Me at The Albany include poetry, sculpting and choir sessions so we’re looking forward to seeing and hearing the results when we arrive in the office each week!

Meet Me At The Albany

Meet Me At The Albany

A Day in the Life

Luke, founder of Yestrans, lifts the lid on what it’s like to run a translation agency and talks about a typical day at Yestrans.

I walk to our office which is in the Albany in Deptford, an amazing community and arts space. I love being based here and the fact that our office rent supports the work that happens at the centre. The Albany recently got some new resident chickens which have been rescued from a battery farm and they’re a cheery addition to the building.

Luke Trinder, founder of Yestrans

Luke Trinder, founder of Yestrans, with some of the chickens at The Albany

Having said hello to the chickens, my first task of the day is usually to allocate new translation jobs to our German to English translators. We work with a team who are experts in their individual fields including specialists in legal, medical, marketing and financial translation. I still do a lot of hands-on translation myself but it’s a great feeling to have such a solid team to work with as well.

Every translation we deliver to our clients is really thoroughly proofed. We use the ‘four eyes’ principle as it’s called in Germany, which basically means that all copy is proofed by at least one other colleague. We also do monolingual review, which is when we review the English version of the text on its own to make sure it reads well and makes complete sense to a native English speaker. Taz, my business partner, often does this as she’s based in the office with me and it’s good to be able to discuss any amends to the copy.

Once I’ve caught up on job allocation and proofing, I usually have time to do some translation work myself. This week we’ve been working with about six key clients and jobs have really varied. I’ve translated an environmental impact report and am now working on website copy for a large German visitor attraction which wants to appeal to the UK and USA visitor markets.

I take a break at lunch time and sometimes eat in the Albany café or maybe go to a local café like London Velo which does amazing coffee – this keeps me going through the afternoon.

I’ll usually receive a few emails from our translators throughout the day. Most of the team works remotely but I’m always around to help with any questions – in fact I love it when translators ask me questions. It’s much, much better when translators collaborate and talk when they get stuck on something. Sometimes you might not be sure which term to use, or you want a second opinion on an ambiguous translation, and it’s always best to get a second opinion.

We’ll be having a keen intern working with us soon so I’m getting ready for his arrival and preparing his projects. He’ll be sharing the office with me and Taz and will get to do everything from liaising with our clients in Germany through to learning about invoicing and business admin.

Throughout the course of the day, I send completed translations to clients and catch up with emails about new projects, and my day generally finishes with an afternoon deadline or sending translations to our colleagues in different time zones if deadlines are tight. Sometimes I’ll stay late in the office and sometimes I’ll take some work home with me. I don’t work late every night though; often Taz and I will drop in to somewhere local like The Job Centre – a bar on Deptford High Street – on the way out.

I’d love to hear about where you work from and what your day involves – let me know in the comments if you’re based somewhere unusual or if you’re translating anything particularly interesting.  I’m always looking for new coffee and lunch recommendations in Deptford too!