Helena leaves Prestige Network after nearly 10 years’ service!


In an emotional farewell, we had to say goodbye to one of our most dedicated employees last week as Helena (below right) will be leaving the UK shortly to spend more time with her family back in Slovakia. Her dedication and length of service sets an example to us all – such loyalty is rare. Chairwoman Shohreh Fleming (below left) said “Helena’s friendly and pleasant personality will be greatly missed by all of us.”
She started with us here at Prestige Network in early 2007 and has seen changes in staff, customers, interpreters and even a major office move this spring. A hit with customers and interpreters alike, Helena could be relied upon to solve problems of all shapes and sizes – her ability to persuade interpreters and liaise with clients has fulfilled many a booking. She trained new staff in the Interpreting team, where her deep operational understanding meant she was perfect for the job, and also advised our IT team on process optimisation of our internal CRM systems.


Services To The Public Sector


Prestige Network are delighted that we have retained our positions on key frameworks such as CCS, ESPO, LPP and HTE, offering a full range of managed services to the public sector, including:

– Interpreting (incl. face-to-face, telephone and video)
– Translation
– Deaf, Deafblind and British Sign Language (BSL)
– Easy Read and learning difficulties
– Transcription

Our linguists are qualified, vetted and categorised according to their ability and specialist experience, and our database of interpreters is regularly audited.

Get in touch with one of our public sector specialists today to find out what we could do for your organisation.


About Official Parallel Corpus


The United Nations has released its official Parallel Corpus, made up of manually translated documents, between the years of 1990 to 2014, in each of the UN’s six official languages: Arabic, English, Spanish, French, Russian and Chinese.

This official release by the United Nations marks the first time such high-quality parallel corpora are available in the public domain in Arabic and Russian. Progress in natural language research is driven by the availability of data, and particularly in the field of statistical machine translation (SMT), which thrives on large quantities of parallel text – original documents paired with their translations into a second or more languages. Typically, researchers count on multinational institutions such as the European Union, or governments of multilingual countries like Canada or Hong Kong.


Get A Quote!


I sat down with James, our Head of Corporate Relationships, to find out more about the factors influencing a translation quote.

So what does a quote depend on?
The word count of the document, obviously, but the style and content of the document is really important too. Then it depends which languages the customer needs, and if there’s any post-processing required, like independent proofreading or specialist formatting. The urgency too. We do lots of work with clients who work so last-minute that we’ll often get asked for next-day or even same-day turnaround.

Right. Which language pairs are most common then?
Well, it depends. We do a lot of work in German, French, etc and because there are a lot of qualified, experienced translators out there, we can get competitive rates. However, if a client needs medical paperwork translating from say Icelandic, then that gets a lot more interesting – there is much less choice, which usually means higher translation costs.

That makes sense. So how much can a translator get through in a day?
Depends on the document really, but amongst professionals up to 2,000 words a day is pretty typical. Here at Prestige we prepare quotes based on a rate per 1,000 words, which means clients can have some idea of different rates between source and target languages.

OK. But what makes documents easy or difficult to translate?
Basic correspondence can usually be turned around quite quickly, but anything more specialised, especially technical, medical or legal documentation requires a sector-specific translator with expert knowledge of the subject matter.  On top of that, marketing material is amongst the hardest, because a client won’t want an accurate, literal translation – our translators will have to recreate the original meaning into the desired language, which can take some time to make sure the original impact is retained.

Anything else?
Yes, so the last two things that we take into account would be whether there’s any extra post-processing required – some clients ask for independent proofreading, where a second translator will check over the first’s work to give an extra level of assurance to a client. Or others will give us files in Adobe formats which we’ll need to deliver back ready for print in the target language. That kind of publishing work adds time.
The last one is the client’s deadline. We’ll estimate how long it’ll take based on our current workload, but if a client needs shorter turnaround times, we can reallocate projects but this tends to mean higher costs.

If you’d like a quote for a translation project coming up, do get in touch with James Trigwell, Head of Corporate Relationships, on jt@prestigenetwork.com or 077522 180648.

Tips When Writing For Translation


1. Think Before You Get Started

Background information, including any useful terminology, is really helpful for your translator. Make sure to allow your translator enough time to do the job properly, and don’t confuse them with too many versions of the same text.

2. Keep It Simple (Stupid)

Don’t be tempted to squeeze lots of information into each sentence. Depending on the syntax of your target language, you could leave a translator with leftover subordinate clauses and contracted phrases. Where appropriate, think about using vertical lists for clarity.

3. Don’t Be Afraid Of Being Boring

Variation is the spice of life. But when translating documents, it’s vital that terminology is used consistently throughout, as a translator might think you want to introduce two different concepts into the same document.

4. It’s All About That Font

That font that you’ve spent ages choosing might well not support interesting alphabets. So next time you’re translating brochures into Burmese, Russian, Arabic and more, find a Unicode-compatible font first.

5. Play Nice With Word Order

Standard English word order (Subject, Verb, Object) makes translation smoother. Also, go easy on long strings of nouns – for instance, “Portsmouth has a hospital employee relations program” could easily be changed to “Portsmouth has a program to improve relations among its hospital employees”.

Why We’re Getting Serious About Data Analytics

Andy Mobbs, Risk Information Manager, has taken a radical new approach to identifying high-risk households. Previously, he explained, analytics relied upon historical modelling. But deaths by fire are relatively small in number, so even minor variations can skew the dataset. “We wanted to move away from historic incidents, seeing where fires happened in the past and instead explore where they might happen,” says Mobbs. He turned to enterprise-grade data analytics software more commonly found in the City’s insudreamstime_s_54345935rance brokers and fed in over 60 different data inputs, including geographic area, property type, age, economic circumstances and more. “Results help ensure home visits are based on targeted calling rather than random events – to ensure people are in specific districts, knocking on the right doors in the right streets, even down to a postcode level,” says David Wyatt, Head of Information Management, LFB.

This intelligent, joined-up approach has enabled the London Fire Brigade to target their resources where they will be most effective, in areas of highest risk, and it is by no coincidence that deaths caused by fire in the capital have fallen by almost 50% since 2010.

According to the Policy Exchange think-tank, use of big data analytics could save the public sector between £16bn and £33bn a year. Their 2012 report, entitled ‘Making Government faster, smarter and more personal’,  suggests that savings can be realised through increased data-sharing, and points to the existing linkup between the DVLA and the IPS (Identity and Passport Service) as a basic example. By checking the IPS database for a valid passport photo, new applicants with the DVLA need not provide photo ID or a signature, saving time and adding an extra layer of security.

tescoclubcard-378875The public sector has long trailed behind the private sector in technology investments, with even basic initiatives like Tesco’s Clubcard (now 22 years old), counting on over 15m active members in the United Kingdom alone. The data is stored on a 40-terabyte database, and Tesco estimates that since its inception, the Clubcard has saved them £350m a year on expensive blanket marketing campaigns. This also allows Tesco visibility over the buying habits of their individual customers, to stock the right products in the right stores, and lure back customers heading for cheaper retailers. Back to the present, insurance provider Vitality offers personalised health insurance premiums and rewards customers for visits to the gym with free cinema tickets, coffee and more. They instantly know which customers are most active, and by extension which customers might cost them more to service longer-term.

It should be clear to see that not only does big data enable insightful data mining – a data-mining program in the US coordinated by the FBI to link up and clean existing population data reduced Medicare fraud by $4bn – but it also opens up the realm of viable predictive analytics. We here at Prestige Network have enlisted James Ambler, a data visualisation specialist working with several NHS Trusts, to help us uncover areas that we could improve on.


ISO 9001:2015 Certification



Last week we were re-assessed for the ISO:9001 certification and we are delighted to announce that we passed with flying colours.

All areas of the business were independently audited, with procedures assessed and compliance verified.

Selected highlights from the report are below:

Customer Satisfaction Rate: 97%
Fulfilment rate across all clients Interpreting : 93- 97 %
Fulfilment rate across all clients Translation: 97.83 %
On time delivery of translation projects: 98.89%

ISO:9001 certification means that commercial clients and public sector clients alike can rest assured that our quality management systems are best-in-class.