A year in the life of First Edition

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

This year certainly has not been any less busy than the previous one: we’ve handled over a 1,000 memorable translation projects, including museum guides, cookery books, children’s books, pharmaceutical translations, technical websites and tourist brochures.

Besides the usual hustle and bustle of a translation company, there have been some special moments, some highlights for the year. In January, we welcomed a new member to our team: Ben Ablett, our Head of Sales and Marketing who has been helping us to further develop the business. In March there was another joyful arrival, Frieda, the new baby of Melanie from the Editorial Team. In March we also attended the prestigious London Book Fair which always provides a good opportunity to catch up with our valued clients and translators. May was a month for innovation as we learnt about the latest developments in the world of translation software at the SDL Trados Road Show in London. In October, we ventured a bit further afield and travelled to Frankfurt in Germany for the world-famous book fair to meet some of our lovely clients and translators in person. The end of the year also had some adventures in store: Ana, our Commercial Translations Manager visited Prague for a conference on Project Management, organised by Elia, the European Language Industry Association.

And there we go – with all this excitement the year is already at an end. We cannot wait to find out what interesting projects the new year will bring.

We would like to thank you for being such great clients and translators throughout this remarkable year. We are looking forward to working together with you again on new, exciting projects in 2018!

Mindfulness at Work

This time last year, I attended ND Focus, the first ever conference for Project Management organised by Elia, the European Language Industry Association. That first conference took place in sunny, warm Barcelona and it was a great way of meeting colleagues across the industry and to develop further skills as a Project Manager. Needless to say, when Elia announced a sophomore conference in (less sunny, colder but gorgeous) Prague, I was more than happy to attend again.

Elia conference

Although there were different tracks and exercises this year, overall the content still focused on the importance of PMs within the industry, highlighting several aspects of how better to serve our clients and provide the type of good service they expect and need. Two of the best ways of doing that are: being efficient with your time and keeping cool under stress/working under pressure by using Mindfulness. I talked about the former in my recap last year but the latter was more or less new to me – especially in a work environment. Guest speaker Joanne O’Malley was excellent in sharing her expertise and experience and I know I am not the only one who found her track to be extremely useful.

So just like last year, I brought back tips to share with my co-workers and with you – translators and clients alike – because I know how we all find ourselves at times working under stressful circumstances. What should we do to cope better?

  • Awareness: be aware of what you are doing at all times, paying attention to your body and mind. Sometimes we get so busy it is easy to lose track of time, to find ourselves in less than ideal situations where we suddenly feel overwhelmed. Stress and overwork doesn’t happen without warning, however – they are a build-up of situations. Be aware of what is happening so the build-up doesn’t hit you like a truck.
  • Learning to be with the experience: you have a huge workload and a lot to do. Excellent, you are aware of it – now, learn to ride that wave. Engage with it, run with it, act rather than trying to react to it.
  • Making wise choices: how do you act at times of stress and overwork then? Stop and take mindful breaths multiple times per day. Be aware of the curve – when you know you are about to feel overwhelmed, take a step back, breath in and out for a couple of minutes, and step back into the fold with a clearer mind because you took a break to create a space in which you can see different options to act skilfully rather than in a knee-jerk way. Take longer breaks if needed, manage your technology well so you are not interrupted when you need to concentrate, cull your to-do list when possible.

These tips work really well with the tips from last year too with regards to time management: to organise better, learning to prioritise and schedule your tasks.

And remember to always: breathe, drink plenty of water and do go out at lunch time.


(post by Ana Grilo, Commercial Translations Manager)

Safety first! – Translating MSDSs

GHS pictogram If you deal with hazardous substances at work, then the acronym MSDS is no stranger to you. An MSDS or a Material Safety Data Sheet is a document that includes various information about chemical substances in the occupational environment, such as safe handling, potential hazards, fire safety, first aid measures, storage, etc.

Most countries have their own regulations, and within the European Union, these documents must also comply with EU regulations and official language-specific wording. It’s not surprising that each substance must have its own data sheet in the language of any country where it is used or exported to. Continue reading Safety first! – Translating MSDSs

Case study: Speak of the devil… – Angels and demons in art

Angels and demons 1One of the biggest projects we worked on recently was a book called Angelus & Diabolus. And when I say, big, I mean BIG. The book weighs about 12 kg, and its dimensions are 8 x 30 x 45 cm!

Although the size of it is awe-inspiring in itself, of course, this is not only why this project is so memorable for us. Continue reading Case study: Speak of the devil… – Angels and demons in art

Meet Ben, our new colleague

Ben AblettJanuary is the first month of the year and many regard it as the time for exciting new beginnings. I must tell you this January is super thrilling for First Edition: we have loads of remarkable new projects in the pipeline both for our Commercial and Editorial teams and we are also welcoming a new member of staff: Ben Ablett, our new Head of Sales and Marketing. Continue reading Meet Ben, our new colleague

Welcome to the world’s largest book trade fair!

Flying round Frankfurt – 36 hours, 2 countries, 10 meetings – Welcome to the world’s largest book trade fair, Frankfurter Buchmesse!

Stood in front of a squat, circular, fairly unimposing building with the words ‘messe frankfurt’ emblazoned stylishly on the side. Up the short flight of steps and into the foyer. A few people with wheeled suitcases and rucksacks bustling back and forth. A row of clean-lined counters, behind which stood the smiling, uniformed ticket collectors. It was like some futuristic departure lounge and they were gatekeepers to the shuttle.

Frankfurt Book FairTaking off on this whirlwind adventure, you realise this shuttle doesn’t just travel in space, but also time. Stepping into one of the six gigantic halls, you enter another world as timeless as the written word. Aisle upon aisle and floor upon floor of books. Fiction, non-fiction, art books, novels, children’s books, antiquarian books, cookery books, mathematics books, self-help, DIY, craft, scientific books, architectural books, history books, books, books, books, books, books. And people talking about books. Recording TV spots about books. Presenting new technology for producing and reading books. For anyone with a love of languages like us at First Edition, it’s like returning to the mother-ship. And this is where I got to spend my day.

It’s true I had a lot of meetings, but that just meant I got to hang out and chat with so many lovely people, who are passionate about what they do, in an atmosphere buzzing with enthusiasm. And experience that amazing collision of the ancient and the futuristic. And hear myriad different languages talk about myriad different worlds. I’m already booking my shuttle for next year!


Post by James Stedman, FE’s Editorial Project Coordinator

Translation musings: Thirty five years in business

First Edition OfficeSeptember 2016 is an important milestone in the history of First Edition since it marks the 35th anniversary of the founding of the company: 35 years of delivering high quality translations and language solutions.

Established in 1981 as a company providing translation and editorial services, First Edition’s aim from the outset was to offer something more than the average translation agency: professional bespoke services and a very personal and agreeable experience. A measure of our success has been that UK and overseas clients who were with us from the very early days, still remain loyal to First Edition in 2016. Continue reading Translation musings: Thirty five years in business

5 + 1 things to consider when requesting a translation

5 + 1 tipsRequesting a translation can be daunting if you are not familiar with the world of languages and how translators work. These quick ideas will help you to get started with your translation project and they can also lower your costs while ensuring that the end product is of the highest quality.
Continue reading 5 + 1 things to consider when requesting a translation

A journey through time… – 35 years of First Edition Translations

This month is a special one for First Edition Translations: we are celebrating the company’s 35th birthday!

Come and join us for a quick journey through time and discover some key events in FE’s life in the last 35 years.

First Edition company timeline

Translations Musings: Happy Internaut Day!

internetToday we celebrate Internaut Day – the day when the internet went public.

This month 25 years ago the first ever website went live, which marked the beginning of a new era. The World Wide Web started out with the aim to aid communication between the scientists of CERN, however, shortly after its internal use began, the public was also allowed access to it on 23 August 1991. Little did anyone know then that it would change so many aspects of our lives within a short period of time. Today we use the internet for finding information, learning and entertainment, and of course for work!
Continue reading Translations Musings: Happy Internaut Day!