Well, I am now only three weeks away from completing my internship here at Lingua Translations and so I thought it an appropriate time to give an update on the progress of it 😉
First, some background information on how I came to be here! I started to translate as favours to work colleague when I was a PA in Bosch. ‘Can you tell me what this German e-mail says?’, or ‘can you listen to this voice mail message and tell me what he is saying?’ Always nice to be a resident F.O.C. language helper! This skill however does benefit you in your working life as you interact with people at all levels of the working hierarchy and your willingness to help plus your ability to do so will certainly hold you in good stead. As is the way with word-of-mouth, I was one day approached and asked to help translate software manuals from German to English for a new project at the company. This was my first real taste of translating and I found that I very much enjoyed it. Being able to set my own timetable suited me well, even though it had to be fitted around my normal working day! I had little spare time for a few weeks, but I began to wonder what it would be like choosing a career as a freelance translator.
After spending a few months travelling in South America and having to interpret between English and Spanish on a daily basis for my non-Spanish-speaking travel companion, I came to realise how much I enjoyed this also! The real-time nature of the interpreting situation was one I was beginning to enjoy more and more and as the weeks went on I found I was becoming better at it.
When I returned home, I finally decided to go for it and I took an MA in Interpreting and Translating at Swansea University. The practical modules in translating and especially interpreting coupled with the academic side of the course have been so worthwhile. However it has been the final part of the course – the internship – which so far has enabled me to see firsthand how all the things I have learned are used in reality.
Working at Lingua Translations is giving me such a valuable insight into the ‘other side’ of the language industry. To be honest, I don’t want to simply call it a translating and interpreting agency as this seems to sell it short. Of course, it is an agency which provides professional translating and interpreting services, however it is passionate about promoting foreign languages amongst all ages. For example the – introducing primary school children to languages and cultures around the world. The Academy takes children on a wonderful tour of the culture, food, music and of course language of a particular country. Then there is the Lingua Translations University Challenge, a translation contest open to students in any university around the globe. The students have a chance to show off their linguistic flair and in return the winners can receive not only a cash prize, but more importantly the opportunity of an internship at Lingua Translations itself.
There are so many sides to languages and the same can be said of the industry. If you want to be involved in the actual hands on tasks of rendering source to target language be it via translating or interpreting or prefer to work with and manage those people who do, there are opportunities out there. And you never know you may end up being lucky enough to be involved in the exciting side of promoting languages!