The Translation business, by Jenni Ajderian

Anyone can tell you that the world after graduation looks terrifying. It’s all graduate programs you can’t get on and job interviews you’re unprepared for and living in your parents’ attic until- oof, I need a sit-down.

Honestly, it’s events like this, in which seasoned translator and employer Anu Carnegie-Brown gave us an insider’s view of the translation business, which make it all look manageable. Catering largely to the MA Translation crowd, Carnegie-Brown gave us a background of her own company, STP English-Nordic Translations, as well as a glance into how the whole industry works. 

What made today most valuable, though, was Carnegie-Brown’s incredible honesty about the convoluted links which tie the client, and, essentially, the money, to the person doing the translation. The links are many, and each one needs pay and time, meaning both are taken from the person doing the actual work. As Carnegie-Brown put it, “nobody goes into translation because they want to become rich.”

Highlighted in particular was the incredible range of translation software available which has gone from being cutting-edge to a simple necessity, shaping both the kinds of work possible for a single translator and the volume of work expected by clients. This is an industry in a constant state of flux- and one, we are reassured, which is growing.

It is this realism and honesty which organiser Kari Dickson was aiming for. Many MA Translation courses don’t include a placement at an actual agency, and software developments move at such a pace that it’s hard for institutions to keep up. Internships seem few and far-between, though the European scheme ELIA Exchanges seems to be making some headway into solving this particular problem. It seems that networking and information sessions like these will serve to bridge the gap between the purely academic and the more earthly, practical side of things.

 

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