Albion Languages owner Alistair Binks and his colleagues look back over what has been an eventful yet transformative year.

Undoubtedly, 2020 will be remembered as the year of Covid-19; the year we learnt what ‘social distancing’ and lockdown were; when we realised how fragile everything we hold dear can be. While 2020 has been full of negatives, it has also had some positives; kindness, being thankful for the NHS and for some, the opportunity to re-assess priorities and start afresh.

Impact of Covid-19

At Albion Languages, we decided to do just that. We came into 2020 at Albion Languages feeling optimistic following a promising 2019. Then, along came Covid-19 and lockdown. Suddenly, one of our key client sectors, healthcare, was plunged into the spotlight. As healthcare teams battled the pandemic around the globe, we joined in by helping the sector communicate with organisations around the world. One such notable job was for Dräger where we translated documents concerning life-saving medical equipment.

2020 at Albion Languages was also the year we looked inwards; seeing with a more critical eye what we were offering and considering how we might better solve problems and support our clients. Despite the team being physically distanced, we came together virtually, reflecting on who we are as a business, what we want to achieve and where we want to be. This led to our new branding and website as we decided we wanted to be more customer-centric across all communications; cutting through the noise and offering real tangible case studies and results to demonstrate how we support our clients.

Highlights of 2020 at Albion Languages

This year has also been a thought provoking one; giving us the opportunity to reflect on the conversations we want to be involved in and evaluating the insights we share. There are plenty of interesting topics where our team have thoughts to add, building on years of expertise in a variety of sectors across the world. Aside from the pandemic, this year has been a turning point for sustainability; a conversation that we as a business want to continue, while also helping our clients to communicate their eco-friendly innovations and initiatives. A personal highlight has been surviving this year as a team and welcoming some new faces and bright minds to the business.

The pandemic has been a market shock but also an opportunity to reimagine the company. I’ve also been pleased to see how we can be creative as a team in the face of adversity. Looking ahead, in a wider sense, I am curious about what aspects of life will never be the same after Coronavirus. Will companies reconsider their environmental impact, and will we develop green ways to travel? Will working from home become a permanent fixture? Only time will tell…

Albion Languages would not be what it is today without our team, so I’m glad to share some thoughts from my colleagues in the business about 2020 at Albion Languages and beyond…

Peter Marton, CFO

My personal stand-out moments of 2020 were the spotless ISO surveillance audit, the new additions to the team, rebranding the company and launching the new website. While work needed to be reorganised during the pandemic, our home office set up proved to be efficient. There have been some light-hearted moments too as we checked out the new company logo plans for the first time and thought we could see a cheerful half-vampire with a single fang and a smile attached! It has been a challenge to get here but I am looking forward to next year and, with this team, no pandemic can stop us!

Piroska Ténai – Production Manager

The highlights for me have been taking over the helm at the PM team and introducing new working methods while onboarding new colleagues remotely! We have seen many COVID-related jobs this year, making information available in many languages to tight deadlines. There have been perhaps fewer technical projects, but little or no drop in medical projects. I’ve enjoyed seeing the teamwork on projects where PMs worked together, and also more complex projects involving many providers. 2020 has been a year of collaboration! I have noticed how everyone has been more flexible and understanding this year, and communication internally has improved and brought the team closer than ever. Funny moments like getting used to not pointing with our fingers when sharing a screen in online calls (as people can’t see that) have kept us all amused!

Bianka Balogh – Linguistic Team Lead

We’ve all coped well this year since switching to home offices in March. Despite our vendors also having to juggle homeschooling and working remotely, everyone has adapted really well and we didn’t notice any drop in performance. Working from home made training new colleagues a challenge, but we got accustomed to that as well (it’s fun to hear background noises like children and dogs– it’s a familiar feeling!). From a linguist’s point of view, I’m glad we could do so much in-house training this year. One of the highlights was the automotive training by our vehicle industry expert Máté Varga as regularly receive a lot of projects in the transportation field. The introduction of the new company brand and changes to our logo, mindset and communication have also been positive. We are now hopefully in a position to tackle next year afresh.

Stevan Ulama, Supplier Relations Manager

This year has been challenging but I believe we have made the best of it. Preparations for ISO 17100 started in April and I had lots to do including updating our database. The September audit was a great success and I was happy to have been able to play my part. As a team, we have received many kind and supportive messages that keep us going even during this difficult period and I have also been praised for my friendly and kind approach by some freelancers.

It seems vendors have perhaps become more flexible and hard-working. It is good to know we can rely on so many of them. Long-term cooperation and friendly communication make business that much easier! The funniest situation I’ve experienced may be reading all the possible slogans and new gadgets for rebranding that our Team came up with. There were some creative and funny suggestions!

With 2020 soon ever, it’s time to look ahead. We’d love to discuss your translation plans for 2021 – just contact us today!