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How pro bono translation can lead to paid work

Posted by Annemieke, August 08 2011

CAWN, a small international NGO based in London, carried out a funded research project on violence against women and asked Media Lingo to translate the report into Spanish. When Media Lingo, a subtitling and translation company in Kent, asked their network of Spanish translators if they would be willing to help out with the translation of the 60-page Toolkit for Intersecting Violences, almost 40 linguists were keen to get involved. The work was divided over nine translators with expert knowledge of the subject and proofread by local volunteers at CAWN in South-America. The charity gave the translators feedback and acknowledged their work in the translated version, which in turn has led to more work for the volunteers involved.

Pro Bono translations cost the charity or NGO nothing, however translators who undertake pro bono work are generally looking for two things. There's the feel-good factor, the satisfaction one gets from putting his or her skills to good use and helping groups of people or charities who are in need of help. The other rewards pro bono translators are looking for relate to professional development, recognition and recommendations.

Pro bono translation work is becoming a popular way to enter the translation profession. The subject matter is often interesting, the charity usually provides useful feedback and references, and translators work together in teams where they can make valuable connections. References are particularly important for freelancers starting out in the translation industry, because prospect clients are normally unable to judge the work a translator has done previously. A good reference from an NGO can just give the freelancer's career the boost it needs.

Media Lingo plans to carry out more pro bono translations to help charities and provide valuable feedback and experience for translators. It points out that pro bono translation is not to be confused with free translation. “Free translation refers to the use of automated tools. In our opinion, no self-respecting translation company would offer so-called free translation. Just as a Michelin-star chef wouldn’t serve up boil-in-the-bag coq au vin, a translation company that is serious about producing high-quality translation would not recommend free translation”, says Annemieke de Bruin, Managing Director of Media Lingo.

Media Lingo is a translation and subtitling company based in Royal Tunbridge Wells. It was incorporated in 2009 and is growing quickly thanks to the unique mix of services offered. Dealing with one company that offers both translation and subtitling under one roof is especially beneficial for companies in the media industry, who need text and website translation as well as video subtitles, because it ensures consistency across all communications and allows for quicker turnaround and a more efficient service.

  Posted by Annemieke, August 08 2011
  Free Translation, Press Release, Pro Bono Translation, Recent Projects, Translation



Thanks to the Pro Bono translators who volunteerd for CAWN!

Posted by Annemieke, June 29 2011

We have just finished the translation of a 48-page booklet for Central America Women’s Network (CAWN) from English into Spanish. A large number of translators offered their time and services for this cause, and we put together a team of nine volunteers who did an amazing job in a short space of time.

A big thank you to these translators:

  • Suani Vera
  • Laura Miguez
  • Virginia Muñoz Bermúdez
  • Ioana Basterra López
  • Mariela Gonzalez
  • Ana Mattioli
  • Aldana Michelino
  • Iballa López Hernández
  • Ana Clara Pergamo

Thank you all. The English and the Spanish version are available on

  Posted by Annemieke, June 29 2011
  Free Translation, Pro Bono Translation, Recent Projects, Translation



What we’ve been up to at Media Lingo

Posted by Annemieke, April 21 2011

Wow, the new website is certainly doing its job. We’re receiving more quote requests than ever for our Multilingual SEO and Translation services, and we’re loving it. Over the last few weeks we’ve subtitled a Japanese corporate film, helped out a Dutch client with his Arabic DTP, and recorded a Chinese voice over for an online video production company. The client, David, wrote:

“I was really pleased. [The interpreter] has an excellent clear voice and was really good to work with. She'd also done a lot of preparation, which meant we've got a much better translation than the at-event simultaneous translation. Thanks for sorting this out for me. I felt like you took the problem away, so it's much appreciated!”

Well, that’s always great to hear. Right now we’re in the planning process of some major e-Commerce site translations, we’re about to move onto a new Project Management system to meet the growing demand more efficiently, and we’re always on the lookout for the best linguists out there with translation qualifications and experience, media expertise and a knack for media lingo.

If you’re looking to get your website translated or your corporate film subtitled, give us a call on +31 (0)23 - 2024 723 or email

I look forward to hearing from you!

Project Manager Media Lingo

  Posted by Annemieke, April 21 2011
  Languages, Recent Projects, Subtitling, Website Translation



Interpreting for Jack Black at Blenheim Palace

Posted by Annemieke, February 10 2011

Media Lingo was recently asked to interpret at Blenheim Palace, for a number of families at the 'Gulliver's Games' event organized by Sublime promotions for 20th Century Fox.

The Media Lingo team consisted of four interpreters: Ilaria Feltre (Italian), Jana Kohl (German), Claudio Elgueta (Spanish) and Annemieke de Bruin (Dutch). We worked all day and evening in the sunny but freezing cold weather, interpreting for families from all over Europe who had been lucky enough to win a trip to the beautiful Oxfordshire palace.

"You were punctual, efficient and provided a great service and I was very happy!"
(Matthew Loader, Sublime Promotions)

Jana interpreting for Jack Black:

Ilaria interpreting for Jack Black:

Ilaria interpreting for the Fox crew:

  Posted by Annemieke, February 10 2011
  Interpreting, Recent Projects, Translation