Personal Profile

Years of translation experience

Director - Helen Robertson

I studied German with subsidiary French at the University of St Andrews, graduating with an upper second with distinction in spoken German in 1977. I then spent a year teaching at the Ruhr-University Bochum, following this with a postgraduate diploma in translation from the University of Kent, where I studied German, Dutch and Italian and received a distinction. I worked in Germany as a translator, interpreter and editor for ten years, gaining a wide base of experience with the optical and precision engineering company Carl Zeiss and subsequently with top management consultancy McKinsey & Company, Inc. I returned to the UK in 1989 to pursue a Master's degree in Business Administration at the Manchester Business School, graduating on the Director's List in 1991. I also hold a Diploma in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing and was upgraded in 2006 to Fellow of the Institute.

I have a strong professional affiliation with the Institute of Translation & Interpreting (ITI), of which I became a Fellow in 2007, having been a qualified member since 1993 (membership no. 1626). I have been a member of ITI Council twice and was also for many years the coordinator of Yorkshire Translators & Interpreters, a local professional group affiliated to the ITI.

My translation and editing work has included a number of book publications as well as individual articles, in many cases together with my former in-house team and therefore involving extensive editing and project management.

I have also published a number of articles on the management side of translation in The Linguist and in the ITI bulletin.

A selection of my past projects

Translation work includes a number of projects for publication, the main ones are listed below. Those marked as “translated and proofread” were done together with my in-house team:


Series in ITI bulletin on management issues:

  • Be the star of your own show - ITI bulletin May-June 2009
  • Summertime – who said the living was easy? - ITI bulletin July-August 2007
  • Outside influences - ITI bulletin May-June 2007
  • Marsh Award for children’s literature - ITI bulletin March-April 2007
  • Career minded - ITI bulletin January-February 2007
  • Known quantities - ITI bulletin November-December 2006
  • What makes you work? - ITI bulletin September-October 2006
  • What if it all goes wrong? - ITI bulletin July-August 2006
  • Value judgements - ITI bulletin May-June 2006
  • Knowing your market - ITI bulletin March-April 2006
  • What are you charging for? - ITI bulletin January-February 2006
  • A big deal - ITI bulletin November-December 2005
  • How do you rate yourself? - ITI bulletin September-October 2005
  • Running a small translation company - ITI bulletin, January-February 2004
  • Translator's progress - job or career? The Linguist Vol. 41 No. 5 2002
  • Regional Groups - the forgotten force published in 2 parts, ITI bulletin September-October and November-December 1999
  • The development of networks between engineering contractors and their clients: the special case of partnering with A.W. Pearson and D.F. Ball, R&D Management Volume 26 Number 4 October 1996

Other publications:

  • 2009: Translated “Anything but Ordinary”, Foerster, A. & P. Kreuz, approx. 250 pages, published in English by Marshall Cavendish Ltd.
  • 2008: Translated part of and copy edited the remainder of “Where does responsibility start?”, a joint project of brand eins Wissen and Siemens, 316 pages. This project involved managing a team of four freelancers.
  • 2007: Translated part of and proof read remainder of “The Puma Story”, R.-H. Peters, approx. 225 pages, published in English by Cyan Communications Ltd.
  • 2005/2006: Translated part of and proof read remainder of "Global Production Manual", E. Abele, J. Kluge, U. Näher (Eds.). The book was to be further edited for the US market. Approx. 400 pages. German version published by Carl Hanser Verlag 2006.
  • 2004/2005: Lead manuscript editor of "Value Creation - Strategies for the Chemical Industry", F. Budde, U.-H. Felcht and H. Frankemölle (Eds.). Published by Wiley-VCH 2005; approx. 450 pages.
  • 1996: Translated part of and proof read remainder of “Quality Pays”, G. Rommel et al., approx. 250 pages. Published in English by MacMillan Press Ltd. 1996.
  • 1996: Revised and polished translation of “Shrink to Grow”, J. Kluge et al., approx. 180 pages. English version published by MacMillan Press Ltd. 1996.
  • 1995: Translated "Simplicity Wins”, G. Rommel et al.,  approx. 210 pages. Published in English by Harvard Business School Press, 1995.
Helen Robertson