17. 08. 27
posted by: Margaret Wiens
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By Margaret Wiens

I and dozens of other students of language and translation have spent the last three months participating in an online internship with Modlingua Learning Pvt. Ltd., a leading translation company in New Delhi, India. Modlingua is certified by ISO 9001:2008 and provides various translation and interpretation services in a multitude of languages all over the world with their team of language professionals. The internship is designed to enable students to gain different perspectives on the global translation industry and an appreciation for the translation process, to understand why translation is steadily growing in importance with the globalization of information through the internet and social media and why it is important to be informed, trained, certified, educated, and in contact with language professionals all over the world. By extension, we noted the importance of developing skills in areas other than translation proper, including marketing, promotion, editing and proofreading, and how those skills increase your visibility in the translation market. In this edition of their summer internship, Ravi Kumar and his team combined these areas into six main lectures: Project Management, Quality Standards, Business Development, Entrepreneurship, and Social Media Marketing in translation. Our task was to gain knowledge and think critically about these subjects, which we addressed in corresponding assignments.
The first assignment was designed to get the interns accustomed to working within the Modlingua website by having us create our own user profiles. As all of our future assignments would be assigned and submitted through this platform for the remainder of the internship, it was important to ensure that the interns were comfortable navigating the website and that we were able to adapt to new learning environments. As translators, the needs of clients are always changing, and we must be prepared to adjust our methods to align with those needs while continuing to produce accurate and consistent work and while following instructions. Creating our profiles was an easy way to test the flexibility and adaptability of the interns. We were asked to provide our education, background, experience, professional goals and areas of expertise we wished to develop, all within a specific word count and deadline.
The second assignment had us choose from one of four photos that related in some way to an aspect of translation work (workflow and project management, networking and team work, citizen journalism and social media, and the discrepancy between the world’s most spoken languages and most used languages on the internet), give our thoughts and answer questions about the subject it related to. As a native English speaker who was born and who works in Canada, I chose to discuss the English language phenomenon and relate it to a Canadian context, where we find a large discrepancy between the content written in English and French, despite the fact that Canada is a bilingual country. During the conference before this assignment, Mr. Kumar had spoken in his lecture about how India has been particularly subjected to English language colonialism and how that continues to affect the culture to this day, which inspired me to write about my personal experiences.
In the third assignment, I wrote about Google ranking and its benefits for translators. The theme for the corresponding lecture encompassed content writing, online marketing, globalization, localization and internationalization. I was able to touch on all these areas through my discussion of Google ranking because on the Internet, content is primarily written in English. However, that does not mean that you can access all necessary information by searching in English. For this assignment, I again drew from my own experience as a native English speaker who learned French as a second language, stating that I found I was able to access more information by searching in both languages.
The fourth assignment was about clients and entrepreneurship, in which we had discussed freelancing as a viable option for translators. That week we had heard Professor Ioanna talk about how to become and remain visible to clients in the translation market. I chose to specifically talk in my assignment about how to retain old clients and market yourself for new clients, of which some methods include attending conferences and workshops, developing your online profile to be open and welcoming to new clientele, and remaining up-to-date on the latest technology and news in the world of translation.
The fifth assignment was all about quality standards. As a Canadian, I was aware of the quality standards in Canada and how they differed between federal and provincial associations, as well as between individuals and companies. I discussed in my assignment how quality standards are a large part of how translation is taught at universities and how they help regulate the practices of translation agencies across the country, while at the same time, each company and individual has the option to develop their own standards and actually use them to market their own skills and attract a specific kind of client.
The sixth assignment related to project management and workflow. For this last assignment, I chose to write about how project management is connected to all aspects of translation quality and increases the efficiency of any workplace. I also felt it was important to note that project management is not just for companies; individuals should use project management practices in any job because it will only help them organize their time and resources, thereby enabling them to produce consistent quality work.
I enjoyed the format of the assignments because we had the option to choose to answer the question that we felt most comfortable writing about and could either write an opinion piece or support our answers with research from both internal and external sources. These exercises also challenged us to be concise and to manage our time accordingly. A large number of interns were attending the meetings from across various time zones and were balancing other work and responsibilities, which forced us to find a method that best suited our personal schedules. Throughout the internship, we were able to ask for extensions on assignments if needed, but the exercise was nonetheless worthwhile to give us goals and standards to reach for.
I feel I have gained a new appreciation for media and technology and how they can be used to expand your audience. Seeing how we were all brought together through online communication and how we were able to support a learning environment around the world is a testament to how far technology has progressed. In a more technical sense, I learned about international quality standards, including the short but impactful history of how quality standards began as a country-wide regulation in Germany and quickly branched outwards to encompass Europe, Asia, and North and South America. It was interesting to connect my ideas about quality standards to its history and to see how it has evolved into different factions as the translation industry has grown on these continents.
Regarding the learning platform, I found that the GoToMeeting application was very conducive for this internship’s success. We were able to see Mr. Kumar’s slide shows and access the recorded sessions later to assist with our assignments. The only glitches came from having so many people active at one time across time zones, but as a result, we limited the number of webcams and microphones in use at one time, which seemed to help eliminate some of the problems with lagging and lost connection. The lectures were comprehensive and extensive: clearly, a lot of effort was put into the delivery and preparation of the slide shows.
The guest lecture by Professor Ioanna regarding self-marketing and personal branding for translators exceeded my expectation. Her presentation was informative and very interesting. Additionally, she was clear and concise when delivering her lecture and answering questions, with a lot of useful advice for all levels of translator, whether you are a novice with no formal training or experience, a freelance translator trying to expand their potential clientele, or an in-house translator looking to develop new skills and branch out into new domains. In the future, I believe these kinds of guest lectures will only improve the course. As we delved deeper into the course, the discussion with the group also became more engaged, which ended with everyone taking away new knowledge.
What I enjoyed the most about this internship was having the opportunity to hear and read different perspectives on different aspects of the translation industry from such a diverse group of people—not only the lecturers but also the students. All different levels of experience and education were represented in this group, and I enjoyed learning from them through their assignments, participation during lectures and profiles, and I hope to hear of their achievements in the near future!


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