I have always loved languages, from learning how they fit together on a grammatical level to the opportunities they give you to travel, meet new people and generally surprise the locals in tourist destinations when you actually ask for something in their language instead of just shouting LOUDER! I studied French and History at the University of Warwick but was also careful to keep up and maintain the Spanish that I had taken at school. I am also a great lover of my native language, English. I think that continually working on my written English is equally as important to translation as the languages I learned later in life. I’m an avid reader in all of my languages (I might have a slight book buying and hoarding problem – I’m working on it), which has really helped me to develop as a linguist and a translator.
After five years which have seemed at times interminable and at others to have passed simply in seconds, I have finally arrived at the end of my academic studies and am now on Day 1 of my internship at Lingua Translations, where I have received a lovely warm welcome from the team! I was shown the kettle, the fridge, and their wonderful selection of teabags – there might have been something to do with translation thrown in at some point but I think those were the main things… Their enthusiasm for what they do is infectious and I’m excited to learn as much as I can. I have wanted to be a translator since my very first translation class at university (there is something so satisfying about finding that exact word, that phrase that just fits perfectly) and since then I have been busily working towards a career in translation. As a linguist, I have always known that translation is so much more than the word-for-word, simplified process that so many believe it to be (for example, when I was in France I got incredibly frustrated that there was no real equivalent for the word “awkward”, which is such an essential British trait!), but it has been during the last year, while doing my MA in Professional Translation at Swansea University, that my eyes have been opened to the reach of the translation into every aspect of life, the huge variety of roles that it offers and its potential to surprise day to day.
While I have gained an understanding over my years studying languages of the linguistic difficulties and pitfalls of intercultural communication and translation, at Lingua Translations I hope to come to appreciate translation as a business process as much as a linguistic one. I have had some experience in project management: I flew to Rennes 2 University to be a coordinator on the OCTC collaborative technical translation project and I was selected to be Chief Office Manager during an eight-week university module where I was in charge of a simulated translation agency, taking on projects and seeing them through from quotation to delivery. I have a funny feeling that all this wasn’t quite the same as working in a real agency, though. For a start there was never any real money involved, which was a bit of a let-down! So I’m looking forward to getting stuck in here, seeing how it all works in practice and even (you saw it here first, folks) working on a new, very exciting top-secret project!