Published: 27 June 2024

Centre for Translation Studies: Thirteen years of partnership with Dr Kevin Lin OBE

Academic pursuits and business acumen: 13 years of partnership with Dr Kevin Lin OBE at the Centre for Translation Studies.

Dr Kevin Lin OBE

For over 40 years, the Centre for Translation Studies (CTS) has offered courses which address the professional needs and research requirements of multilingual communication.  Maintaining ties with a fast-evolving language services industry has been at the core of our pedagogical approach.  

Thirteen years into this long journey, Dr Kevin Lin, an expert in interpreter training and founder of KL Communications, joined CTS. The result was an innovative collaboration: a truly specialised, professionally relevant course on Chinese-English interpreting, the MA Interpreting (Chinese Pathway). The programme offers students well-rounded training on different types of interpreting (simultaneous, consecutive, remote, dialogue) and has been going from strength to strength. 

Dr Lin’s own academic and professional trajectory has informed the philosophy underpinning the programme. Having completed his doctoral studies and subsequently worked for the BBC World Service, he became keenly aware of the challenges in communication across language and culture.  

Dr Lin comments: “The key lies in understanding our own assumptions, both about ourselves and others”; a principle he has put into practice over many years. He has served as the official interpreter for eight British Prime Ministers, three generations of Chinese Presidents and Premiers and countless Chief Executive Officers who wish to expand their business into China. He was awarded an OBE for services to UK-China relations. 

His company now combines language services with brand strategy consultancy and social media marketing between the UK and China. Dr Lin’s team of Chinese-English interpreters, now the biggest in the private sector in Europe, takes on a wide range of interpreting jobs, responding to different audiences, settings or clients, and requiring the highest levels of linguistic expertise. 

It is this team that teaches CTS students by example, and by bringing real-world scenarios in class. Students have an opportunity to use technology confidently, adopting a systematic approach and behaving professionally at all times. These skills pave the way for achieving nuance in meaning, be it at a telemedicine conference or a two-way business negotiation. At the heart of it all, is a belief in relaying messages reliably, by tapping into cultural and professional norms and by managing the bi-cultural vision needed in interlingual communication.  

Deputy Head of CTS, Dr Dimitris Asimakoulas added: “We are always looking at ways in which we give our masters programmes an element of innovation in design and assessment as well as build on our traditional strengths – this long-standing partnership with KL Communications does precisely that”. 

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