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Due to the country’s long and varied history as well as its tight economic links with trading partners all over the world, translation has a long tradition in the UK. The United Kingdom serves as the base for many English-native linguists as well as speakers of other languages, who translate for direct clients and agencies in the UK, the EU and the rest of the world alike.
One could say that the British people’s reluctance to learn foreign languages at high-school and even undergraduate level indirectly benefits the numerous language professionals who graduate from one of the country's excellent postgraduate schemes – from the specialised MA in Legal Translation offered by London’s City University to the ICL’s MSc in Scientific, Technical and Medical Translation to language-specific postgraduate degrees at the University of Edinburgh. In addition, the translation business in Britain is characterised by an exceptionally high number of professionals who switch to translation from other fields and can then leverage their industry-specific knowledge in their translation work.
The UK’s multicultural population and its strong and well-developed economy are two major boosters for the translation industry. Not everybody speaks English, and British companies are realising the need for translation if they want to branch out and export their products to other countries, putting particular emphasis on quality work and a professional appearance.
The British language industry is regulated by two major bodies: the specialised Institute of Translation & Interpreting (ITI) and the "wider"? Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIoL), both of which represent the interests of language professionals, aim to establish and maintain high standards of work, and seek to create links with companies and other potential clients. Both organisations provide varied networking opportunities to their members – among them newsgroups and email lists, smaller regional events such as workshops and big annual conferences.
Of course, ProZ.com also serves as a major platform to connect UK-based translators with fellow professionals and clients alike. Some of the most successful events in ProZ.com’s history have taken place in Britain: In addition to numerous and frequent powwows, the country has already been the venue of international as well as regional conferences which have attracted a large number of attendees from all over Europe.
With the growing globalisation accompanied by an increasing need for localisation, a strong focus on quality work and manifold opportunities, the future for the translation business in the UK is looking bright.