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Posted on21 November 2012

The Language Show – Frequently asked questions part 1

Director Clare Suttie recently spoke at the Language Show in London, in October 2012. Language Show Live is the UK’s largest event for people passionate about languages. It’s free to attend and a great chance to join over 10,000 language learners, teachers, translators, linguists, jobseekers and language professionals.

Clare made some notes about questions she fielded, so that she could blog about them for those who didn’t attend… Here’s Part One:

What are the current language combinations in demand (for translation / interpreting / voiceover)?

Our “bread and butter” ones have always been French, Italian, German and Spanish – into and from.

After that demand does change – community languages, Chinese, Russian. We have a bit of a reputation for more unusual languages so we have Wolof, Malagasy, Icelandic, Swahili, Zulu, Shona, Tigrinya…. We are always surprised to discover a new language we haven’t done before…

What subject fields is there a demand for and is this changing?

We used to get lots of court work but stopped some years ago as the pay was so low, and now this is all via the MoJ contract. We do still work a lot directly for solicitors, but for interpreting we pay daily rates (not hourly and no half days). We used to do a lot of banking work too! We have always worked with a lot of creative companies – marketing, advertising, TV/music companies. Technical stuff is always in demand – engineering, medical in particular.

How do you recruit your freelancers?

Any email enquiries (average 90 per week) are referred to our web application form. We receive around 25 completed applications per week. Our database currently holds 9153 records!!

However we can break this down:

1084 pending (incomplete application)
1030 with referees (referees have been contacted by Atlas but have not replied)
3088 approved
454 preferred
3201 rejected (not suitable or never completed their application despite 3 contacts from Atlas)
31 waiting to be processed (applied within last 10 days)
150 added to a blacklist (poor work or attitude, consistently late work)
115 not currently working (maternity leave, extended break).

So many people start an application and don’t complete it – and are presumably wondering why they don’t receive any offers of work.

We recruit for particular languages/projects through contacting our existing suppliers, our newsletter, Twitter, Facebook, ITI, CIoL, Proz, TranslatorsCafe and if necessary further research.

We also try to get out into the community at events such as the Language Show – also university talks, schools…

Look out for Part Two in the next few days!

ATC – Full membership of the ATC (Association of Translation Companies).

CIEP – Corporate membership of the CIEP (Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading) since 1993.

Corporate membership of the ITI (Institute of Translation and Interpreting) since 1994. Corporate Member of the Year 2021.

ISO 17100 – ISO 17100:2017 for Translation Services (since this standard began, in 2008, externally audited annually).

ISO 9001 – BS EN ISO 9001:2015 (certified since 2003, externally audited annually).

Living wage employer – As a living wage employer, we believe our staff deserve a wage which meets every day needs.

Mindful employer

Mindful employer – We are a mindful employer, working toward achieving better mental health at work.


Disability confident committed – We are Disability Confident Committed, ensuring our recruitment, communications and support are inclusive and accessible.

4-day week

4-day week employer since 2019


Good Business Charter Member since 2022

The Slator Language Service Provider Index (LSPI) is a ranking and an index of the world’s largest translation, localization, interpreting, and language technology companies.


The Patient Information Forum promotes access to trusted and high-quality health information for the public and healthcare professionals.

Federation of Small Businesses and the Self-Employed

Member of the Federation of Small Businesses and the Self-Employed

Prompt Payment Code

Signatory of the Prompt Payment Code since 2023.

Accredited with the Fair Tax Foundation since February 2024

Registered with the ICO since 2004.

Go to for more information.