Websites. We put all the stuff we think you want to read, need to know, will make you want to work with Atlas whenever you need a translation. But it can be hard to get a feel for the people behind the business and how they operate. We asked Anna, Chief Blogger and PA, to try and sum us up. Over to Anna:
This is our commitment to the community and to charities, local and international. And also, introducing Roxy, Cynthia, Bertha, Ethel, Simba, T-Rex and Tree-Fu Tom, obvs. More about them later.
Here at Atlas Translations, we want you (the reader, whoever you may be) to understand the personality of Atlas. We aren’t a ‘translating machine’ drumming out other people’s work in other people’s languages. We are about as far away from Google Translate as you can get. We are a collection of good people who do our best to provide you with the highest quality translation service, we take pride in all that we do here, and we would very much like to think you can pick up the phone to us anytime. At the same time as delivering top-notch translation in a friendly yet professional way (yes, perfectly possible), we support local and international charities and our community in any way we can. This is the personality of Atlas. This is our ethos. We are like you and we want you to know you are choosing the right people to deliver your work.
In 2016 our director Clare sent her husband to the North Pole to raise money for: Cancer Research UK, Rennie Grove Hospice Care, Earthworks St Albans and the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust. Yes, it was Mr. Clare who trekked to the North Pole, fair point, but Clare stayed home to look after their 3 children AND run Atlas.
Before he left, Clare and Mr. Clare (he’s called Ed), organised a ball – The Snow and Ice Ball where many of you came along and supported the chosen charities – Thank you! We couldn’t have done it without you! Also before he left, (yes, there’s more), on 01 January 2016 there was the Polar Bear Plunge organised by Clare, AKA the Polar PA, with some admin support from me, Anna, who shall be known as The Polar Plunge PA’s PA. (Pee-pee Pa-pa for short) People from across Hertfordshire, London and beyond, jumped into icy waters to raise money for charity. What a wonderful and generous way to start the year! Again, big shout-out to all you who attended – we couldn’t have done it without you!
This event was such a success that it ran again on 01 January 2017 and 2018 raising even more money for great causes.
We support The Crescent, which is a local centre that supports people and their families affected by HIV and AIDS. We donated money for them to buy cakes for their open days. Here is a bit about them and their wonderful work. We remain committed to their fantastic work and will continue to finance their cakes. Or whatever they need. These places are few and far between and St Albans is very proud to have it.
We have a monthly direct debit to support a child in Africa through WorldVision. Her name is Lightness Sambuya and we ensure she receives educational support as well as financial support to help her have a better start in life.
We are dedicated to supporting local businesses. Even down to the coffee shop we buy our Friday coffee-treats from (courtesy of Atlas – thanks Clare!). The coffee shop is not part of a huge conglomerate chain. It’s a small coffee-shop called George Street Canteen They are brilliant and their coffee is great. And their cakes…. They have very kindly donated free cakes and coffee for our charity event this month Breast Tea Ever.
We hosted a coffee and cake morning to raise money for 2 breast cancer charities. One is Coppafeel.
This charity is dedicated to raising awareness and early detection of breast cancer in younger women. I (Anna, Clare’s PA AKA as Polar Plunge PA’s PA) was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015. I was no spring chicken at 43 (oh, there’s a whole chicken section coming up… stay with), but was still too young for routine screening.
My phone-a-friend on that terrible day was Clare, wife of Mr. Clare who went to the North Pole and also Atlas Founder and Director. And mother of 3. The other charity this event raised money for is Against Breast Cancer which helps finance essential research into treating cancer. It also enables bra recycling. Here at Atlas we offer that Bra Recycling service. Yes, Bra Recycling deserves those capital letters. I don’t throw them round willy-nilly. For a long time, I had wondered where to send bras to ‘rest in peace’. It took my double mastectomy operation to nudge me into re-homing the sack full of: strapless, plunge (non-polar), Wonderbra, lift’n’separate (does opposite to the Wonderbra), sports, maternity and everyday-grey to do the research. That’s how I discovered Against Breast Cancer. I am delighted that women now across Hertfordshire deposit their bras with us, here at Atlas. Against Breast Cancer collects the bras and donates money to cancer charities dependent on weight. Landfill is reduced and the bras get sent to Africa for a new lease of life.
We are dedicated to recycling. In previous offices this was very easy, the council provided the colour-coded wheelie-bins. Not so easy here in our new office as this recycling service isn’t offered by our landlord. So we carry home our plastic milk bottles (from our gallons of tea), our coffee cups (thank you George St Canteen) and our pizza boxes (L’Italiana, a local restaurant). Every few weeks we have Pizza Friday. Makes a change form our packed lunches. And it’s the only restaurant our Italian Project Managers love. Good enough endorsement for me! So we trundle home loaded down with recycling. We even re home our shredding. Yes, The Chickens (note, capitals). We collect all the shredding our office produces it and then take it to a local mum Laura who has:-
Roxy, Cynthia, Bertha, Ethel, Simba, T-Rex and Tree-Fu Tom.
Chickens aside, as well as offering and delivering work internationally, we are active in the local business community, members of St Albans Businesses group as well as the St Albans and District Chamber of Commerce. While we speak the world’s languages, we understand the importance of our local communities and charities. We also recognise that all this work would not be possible without our incredible team of linguists who work for us. We host an event twice a year that allows us to say a big, heartfelt thank you to them.
In a time of the Internet, email, working-from-home and even phone-calls, it’s easy to forget there is a person attached to a name. We are keen to have face-to-face contact with all who work for Atlas. We understand that good relationships are needed for the high quality of work we deliver. Without these incredible language experts there would be no human and therefore real, translation. This is an invaluable element of the service we offer.
There is much written about translation software and whether ‘human-translation’ is needed anymore. By the way, ‘human-translation’ means people who are highly qualified language experts who not only change a word, but understand its context, respect the cultural sensitivities and find a new, yet beautiful and succinct way of saying the same thing in an alternate language. Translation isn’t binary; it isn’t a 2 dimensional science or basic algebra. X doesn’t always = X. It’s far greater than that, there are thousands of ways to say the same things and our vast team of translators find the best way of saying this. Translating is more like art. Or poetry. To show our appreciation for this, we like our translators to join us regularly and enjoy fine food, drink and conversation that isn’t necessarily about work. After these events, we sometimes have left-over food. We deliver this food to local homeless centres so nothing is wasted.
Although we aren’t technically a family-run business, we would never regard each other as just colleagues. We are supportive of one another at different stages of life, parenting, career development and return-to-work. We offer part-time, flexi-working and the option to work from home enabling us to spend time with our families. And pets! On a personal level, Atlas Translations has been a lifeline for me. I am very proud to be part of this wonderful team of incredible people. And I get free eggs from The Chickens.