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Work experience gives insight into career in translation

So there I was, at school, having a perfectly awful and cold Monday morning in December, when suddenly we’re told we have to go the lecture theatre for a briefing about work experience. We arrived. We were bored. We left. However, I was left thinking: “Where on Earth am I going to get work experience?”

After some research, I discovered Lingo24. I had been considering a career in translation for some time, so Lingo24 was perfect – it’s a translation service, it’s just one bus ride from my house and it would give me an insight into the industry. Thus, I wrote to them (and others who never replied!) A few weeks later I received a reply and everything was arranged. I had work experience. Thankfully.

In all honesty, I was half expecting to be the “tea boy” for the week; but, I was wrong. I was put to good use, apparently. I was placed under the wise and brilliant guidance of Stephanie van Breugel (Global Operational Sales Manager).

To begin with, I was researching competitors (checking out Lingo24’s competition). Then, I compiled the research I had found into one document. This was relatively easy, especially considering it was “important work”. Once this was done, I shadowed the Account Mangers (Emily, Roxana, and Fred) for a little while. I must say that this gave an excellent insight into the translation industry and its workings.

On this first day, I discovered the Lingo24 office had a relaxed atmosphere – a lack of dress code was probably the first sign of this – and a little informality which made it seem less like an intense working environment. Don’t get me wrong: everyone was still hard at work; yet the relaxed atmosphere just took the edge off any feeling of intensity.

The next day, I was given more researching and compiling tasks. However, this time the focus was not on competitors but on events. Not just any events – events which potential clients might attend. Again, I had been given another “important” task. Again, it was relatively easy.

I then tried my hand at shredding. The shredding itself was easy; or rather, it would have been had the shredder not kept overheating. Obviously, this frustrated me greatly. The thought of smashing the shredder to pieces did cross my mind once or twice.

It came to my penultimate day, after doing a translation test (I wish to become a translator) which they give to all of their potential translators, I was due to get some work from a language manager (Noemi) working for Lingo24 at their office in Timişoara, Romania. These tasks illustrated what the language managers have to do on a day to day basis. This also gave me further insight into a career in the translation industry.

On my final day, I was given the task of writing a blog. That which you are currently reading is the result of this endeavour. I am no expert at this, but as you can quite clearly read for yourself, I have tried.

Daniel Greig

Starting a career in translation isn’t easy – but it can be varied, fun and rewarding! At Lingo24, we believe it’s vital to support the next generation of translators and language professionals. So we were delighted to welcome Daniel Greig, an Edinburgh student and aspiring translator, who recently spent a week doing work experience with us. Here, he shares his experiences…

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