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Priory turns 20!

July 15, 2019

2019  marks twenty years since Priory Translations was founded to provide legal and technical translations to clients throughout Europe.

Originally established in 1999 by a group of four translators and situated in Colchester close to the picturesque ruins of St.Botolph’s medieval priory (from which it takes its name), the company quickly grew, taking on more in-house translators to form a larger team and expanding its network of freelance translators, some of whom have been with us since the start. Then, as now, Priory specialised in the field of intellectual property translation, working for patent attorneys and direct clients, many of whom have been entrusting us with their translations since 1999.


 When the company was first founded, dial-up internet connections could be heard in offices across the UK, CDs were all the rage and the overhead projector was still a common sight in classrooms and meeting rooms. In the world of translation, many people still relied on paper dictionaries and the local university library for research resources, and Computer-Aided Translation (CAT) tools were far from common. Translation orders came through the post or by fax, complete with hand-written annotations to be deciphered, and almost all enquiries were handled over the phone.


 Much has changed at Priory translations since those early days. We now do almost all of our translation work using Translation Environment Tools (TEnT), and online resources mean that we no longer have to search high and low for the answers to more technical questions (although we do still love our paper dictionaries). We have moved from our original office to new premises closer to the town centre, and the list of languages we work with includes French, German, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese, along with a number of others.


Two of the original founder members are still working hard here at Priory today, and over the years many people who have worked with us have gone on to start their own translation businesses or have successful careers in the translation industry both in the UK and abroad. We’re also pleased to have been able to welcome a number of interns and work experience students, ranging from secondary school pupils to students studying for a degree in translation with varied language backgrounds.

In a changing world full of uncertainty, it is more important than ever to communicate effectively with each other, which ultimately is what translating is all about. So as we celebrate 20 years of translation at Priory, we leave the last word to Cyril Connolly: "Translating from one language to another is the most delicate of intellectual exercises…To take a piece of Greek and put it in English without spilling a drop; what a nice skill!".


Photo attributions:

St Botolphs,_Colchester_03.JPG

Portraits: Priory Translations Ltd Adrian Multon

Sky: A Hargreaves

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