A LOVE of languages inspired a St Albans entrepreneur to create a whole world’s worth of words at a city centre business.
Clare Suttie, 44, studied for a degree in Spanish and Linguistics before finding work at a translation agency and setting up in Cambridge, then London, before recently moving the business to St Albans.
Atlas Translations in Upper Dagnall Street provides services to both individuals and businesses in no less than 339 languages – including the most unheard of dialects such as ‘Fante,’ ‘Baoule,’ Igbo’ and ‘Zande’ among many, many others.
Clare said: “It’s vital that even the most uncommon languages are represented today as we live in such a multicultural, cosmopolitan world and we have to be able to communicate.
“People underestimate how important communication is, it’s vital to the working of the business world, for people to be able to contribute and live well and to have their voices heard.”
Atlas Translations works with worldwide charities and corporations – they helped out with projects at last year’s London 2012 Olympics, as well as avoiding problems at the Doha Asian Games by providing 24-hour interpreting services – down to providing help with tax credit application forms and utility bills. It also works with Councils such as Tower Hamlets, where there are a staggering 33 different languages spoken and schools in Peterborough where many parents can’t speak English.
“There’s a vast array of areas where translations and interpreters are needed. We also work with people appearing in court, people needing medical advice or financial advice, down to publishing children’s books, visitor guides and even poems on the underground,” added Clare.
And as signing and Braille are also officially recognised languages, Atlas Translations can help with the deaf, the hard of hearing, and the blind and partially-sighted.
For travellers, the business provides a 24- hour telephone interpreting service for people who may be having problems abroad.
The business also reached the finals of this year’s FSB Herts Awards.
“It’s unfair to have the age old attitude that everyone speaks English – or should do. It doesn’t always work like that, as we know or we wouldn’t have a business.” Clare concluded.
To find out more about Atlas Translations and its services, go to:www.atlas-translations.co.uk or telephone: 01727 812725