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Internship Provides Insight Into Translation Industry

Internship provides insight into translation industry

As a second year undergraduate at Cambridge studying modern languages, and hoping to focus on translation when I finish my degree, I thought it was time to start investigating what the translation industry might look like from the inside.

However, after many ignored emails any hopes I had for a summer internship were fading fast… until a response from Lingo24 appeared in my inbox, explaining their Lingoneers programme and ultimately leading to a two week internship which I am just about to complete.

When I arrived on my first day I wasn’t sure what to expect. Of course I’ve heard all the internship horror stories from friends, involving unfriendly colleagues and a fortnight spent photocopying and making coffee. I’m glad to say that my experience couldn’t have been more different!

Rather than endless photocopying, I was having one on one Skype training sessions, learning about the whole workflow of a translation, the details of the different translation services offered by the company, how to create an effective translator’s CV and the ideal way to communicate with project managers.

I also had practical opportunities to improve my translation technique, working with texts that had actually been translated for clients and learning how to use CAT tools such as XTM and Lingo24’s own system, Coach.

In addition to all this I had the chance to benefit from the online Lydia training videos. The courses on ‘Job Hunting Online’ and ‘Up and Running with LinkedIn’ go really well together. They are quite lengthy, but they’re really useful if you’re starting to think about how best to put yourself out into the job market!

When it came to the ‘Writing Email’ course I thought it might be full of things I already knew, but it contains some really useful tips and being reminded of the basic etiquette and expectations surrounding something you’ve become so accustomed to is never a bad thing!

I’ve undoubtedly had a great two weeks. When I first sent round my CV looking for internships I was just hoping for something else to put on it. But at the end of this fortnight I really feel like I’ve had an incredibly valuable internship experience here at Lingo24, acquiring real-world translation skills that I simply wouldn’t at university, and getting an insight into how the commercial translation process really works.

One of the things that struck me most was how personal this commercial process is, which is all thanks to the wonderful people I’ve met over my two weeks here. I’ve felt really at home in the Edinburgh office and, thanks to the wonder that is Skype, I’ve had training sessions all the way from Romania, with some of the loveliest, most helpful people you could hope to meet.

Whether sending through extra documents, or setting me exercises to practice new skills, nothing was ever too much bother and no question I had was ever a stupid one.

Thanks to the understanding and new skills I’ve gained during this internship I feel much more confident about taking on the world of translation when I graduate in a couple of years, and I can only hope that I’ll have the chance to work with Lingo24 again one day!

*Picture credits: Ivelin Radkov /

April Shepherd

April Shepherd studies French and Spanish at the University of Cambridge and recently completed an internship at Lingo24's Edinburgh office. She is about to move to Spain to spend a year working as an English Language Assistant as part of her degree, and hopes to pursue a career in translation and interpreting upon graduating.

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