29 April 2021

Ross Ranger

I graduated from Modern Languages (French & Japanese) in 2019 and now live in Brighton where I run a translation business, Roots Translations. I am passionate about intercultural communication and spreading awareness of the importance of foreign languages in enriching our lives. My current working languages are French, Japanese, and Spanish, but I hope that this will increase to many more in the future! 

Forming my own translation and language company

Fascinated by foreign languages, I had always hoped to become a translator in my life – I just didn’t know how to do so! After graduating from UEA with a Modern Languages (French & Japanese) degree in 2019, I knew that translation was the career I was still so passionate about and wanted to pursue – I just didn’t want to be working alone in a quiet office! After thinking about possible paths to take, I decided to form a translation and language company with a close friend of mine who shares my passion for intercultural communication. The vision was to build a people-focused business with a team of multilingual individuals who really love the profession. Today, we are still growing our company, and Roots Translations has just celebrated its one-year anniversary! Here is a small insight into my what my typical daily work involves, and why I love this career so much. 

As well as actually translating texts, another huge factor that drew me to a language-related profession was the opportunities to network with people and build strong, trusted relationships with potential clients. Attending conferences, presenting yourself professionally, and spreading awareness of the importance of translation in business were three things I was keen to do. I decided that a people-facing role was just as important to me as one where I could use my languages daily. Often when working for translation agencies these are things that are taken care of by project managers, and so the translator’s job can be just to provide the text – a role I felt did not fulfil my two passions. By forming a company, I have the opportunities to do both of these things on a daily basis. Being your own boss can be tough, but great at the same time! 

After hours pondering over a name, we took a leap and formally registered our company during the first lockdown of 2020, along with purchasing a website domain and business email addresses. Now came the overwhelming part – building our brand. Creating a company identity brings a whole scope of things to consider, but seeing your vision come to life is so rewarding. We finalised our logo, font, morals, principles, website design, text, and translations.  Soon afterwards in April 2020, we launched our website and our Instagram. 

The thing I love most about running Roots Translations is the huge variety of jobs that I have on my to-do list every day. Some of them include: 

  • Researching and designing posts for our social media platforms. Social media is a key way to spread awareness of your brand and show people your business’ personality. LinkedIn is a great platform for professional networking; we also have our Instagram, and run a blog on our website. Creating and sharing informative content is really enjoyable. 

  • Pitching our services to potential clients. You can’t run a translation agency without translation jobs! This takes up a large portion of our time. We create contact lists and think about the best way to sell our services to companies, liaise with them on Skype, and discuss how we can help their business. 

  • Volunteer work. In order to build up a collection of testimonials when first starting out, it is common for beginner translators to do voluntary work and continue this throughout their career. It is a great way practise your skills in between paid jobs, and also to help some great causes at the same time. Some organisations we translate for regularly include Translators Without Borders, Make a Wish Foundation, and Kids Connection Haiti.  

  • Continuous Professional Development. You never stop learning as translator! My business partner and myself are currently studying a Part-Time Master’s degree in Translation alongside running Roots Translations, which is proving invaluable for gaining new insights into translation and related fields. 

  • Watching TV! Yes, really – it’s vital to keep your language skills top-notch, including reading and listening, and so a good portion of our time is dedicated to language development. Watching foreign language TV shows and films and reading foreign language news articles are just a few ways of keeping up to date with current affairs and new vocabulary. 

All in all, a career in translation offers me a diverse role; one where both language competencies and communication skills can be used in an ever-changing and exciting field. 

I am more than happy to answer any questions you may have about the field of translation, so please do contact me with any questions! You can connect with me on LinkedIn, follow our Instagram page, or email me at ross@rootstranslations.com.  

I look forward to networking with you and wish you all the best if you are considering a career with languages! 


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