A different voice

When you start blogging, you're never quite sure where it will take you. I guess it was as much an impulse as conscious strategy just over six years ago to write about my 'feelings' with the birth of the new CPLS website. As I wrote back then, "let it be a collage of my reflections at this point in time. And let's see how we go from there..." and apart from getting things off my chest, I hoped secretly that anyone who read it might find the content interesting enough to think about it. Since then there have been 49 blogs in all, pretty equally shared between Josh and myself. With any luck, they will have shown insight into not only our interests but also our personalities.


Blogging is a vehicle for exposing yourself to others, not exactly dancing down the High Street in your birthday suit but revealing the things that move you, drive you, affect you in the realm between the personal and the professional. Whether this involves the collage of innovative technology, culture, art, architecture, food during a conference in Barcelona or Helsinki and all the other stimuli that regularly pepper the senses, I must extend my gratitude to our clients that employ us to report on symposia and conferences in foreign lands and communicate content across a range of media.

Foot in two camps

And, of course, in the process of this work, I have gained new insights and knowledge that enrich my life. The challenge of bringing complex and innovative technology to readers that may not necessarily be familiar with the nuts and bolts of that technology yet enabling them to understand the nature of such innovation and the impact it has on real life – that requires having a foot in both camps. As a translator, editor or copywriter, you must be able to understand the technology well enough to convey it with clarity so that the reader gets it. That's where our art comes into its own. And when clients remark that we are doing an excellent job, then that's a pat on the shoulder like no other. Hopefully, we'll continue to get more of these pats in future.

- Chris

A little time capsule

I have to confess that I don't remember the moment that Chris invited me to write the second blog post for the then-new CPLS website, but a quick look back through old emails reveals that we were full of ideas: untranslatable phrases, conference reflections, the future of English and the impact of machine translation, to name but a few. All of these and more found their way into the collection over the last six years. Further exploration of emails also reveals that we set ourselves a mandate to cover "relevant current issues but always with a personalised twist." Although I had long since stopped thinking about this when choosing topics, a look through our 49 previous posts shows that we consistently kept to it. In fact, rereading the blog has been a trip down memory lane regarding everything the world has recently been through, with multiple posts covering everything from Brexit to COVID and from the invasion of Ukraine to the rise of AI. A little time capsule of how Chris and I have felt in truly interesting times.

Having never blogged before, I've often been surprised at how tough it can be. Copywriting is part of our trade, yet it usually takes me longer to write 500 words for a blog post than it does to finish 1000 words for a client. The freeform nature – no brief, no guidelines, all research done by us – means that it takes more effort to uncover the core of what we're trying to say. I'm therefore very grateful to Chris for both his ideas and feedback, helping me to tone down some of my more pseudish tendencies and bring out a playful spirit where appropriate. A shared interest in language and communication has been a cornerstone of our writing but we each bring a distinct voice that I hope has given life to the serious (and not so serious) topics we've covered. Here's to 50 more!

- Josh