Personal Profile

Helen Robertson

Helen Robertson, MA DipVocTec MBA DipM FCIM FITI NGTV

I studied German with subsidiary French at the University of St Andrews, graduating with an upper second with distinction in spoken German in 1977. I then spent a year teaching at the Ruhr-University Bochum, following this with a postgraduate diploma in translation from the University of Kent, where I studied German, Dutch and Italian and received a distinction. I worked in Germany as a translator, interpreter and editor for ten years, gaining a wide base of experience with the optical and precision engineering company Carl Zeiss and subsequently with top management consultancy McKinsey & Company, Inc. I returned to the UK in 1989 to pursue a Master's degree in Business Administration at the Manchester Business School, graduating on the Director's List in 1991. I also hold a Diploma in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing and was upgraded in 2006 to Fellow of the Institute.

I have a strong professional affiliation with the Institute of Translation & Interpreting (ITI), of which I became a Fellow in 2007, having been a qualified member since 1993 (membership no. 1626). I have been a member of ITI Council twice and was also for many years the coordinator of Yorkshire Translators & Interpreters, a local professional group affiliated to the ITI.

My translation and editing work has included a number of book publications as well as individual articles, in many cases together with my former in-house team and therefore involving extensive editing and project management.

I have also published a number of articles on the management side of translation in The Linguist and in the ITI bulletin.


  • Be the star of your own show ITI bulletin May-June 2009
  • Summertimewho said the living was easy? ITI bulletin July-August 2007
  • Outside influences ITI bulletin May-June 2007
  • Marsh Award for children’s literature ITI bulletin March-April 2007

Series in ITI bulletin on management issues:


  • Career minded January-February 2007
  • Known quantities November-December 2006
  • What makes you work? September-October 2006
  • What if it all goes wrong? July-August 2006
  • Value judgements May-June 2006
  • Knowing your market March-April 2006
  • What are you charging for? January-February 2006
  • A big deal November-December 2005
  • How do you rate yourself? September-October 2005


  • Running a small translation company ITI bulletin, January-February 2004
  • Translator's progress - job or career? The Linguist Vol. 41 No. 5 2002
  • Regional Groups - the forgotten force published in 2 parts, ITI bulletin September-October and November-December 1999
  • The development of networks between engineering contractors and their clients: the special case of partnering with A.W. Pearson and D.F. Ball, R&D Management Volume 26 Number 4 October 1996