Internship Summary By Paul Rizo

17. 10. 01
posted by: Paul Rizo
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Paul Rizo-Brewington

My internship at Modlingua was an interesting three-month experience. We had weekly online meetings with the supervisor of the program and founder of Modlingua, Mr. Ravi Kumar. During that time, he would go into detail on various aspects of the translation business as well as make us aware of what the proceedings would be for the week. We had written assignments every one to two weeks that would be based on these different aspects. A YouTube video would be accompanied with the assignment and after we would write on it.

Our first assignment was to make our profile on the website. This profile would give us deeper access to the website and be our bio for our international colleagues as well as the higher ups in the company. Along with this profile, we were asked to choose four areas in which we wanted to work and develop our skills. For these areas I chose: Entrepreneurship, Business Development, Social Media Marketing and CAT Tools. Entrepreneurship and business development go hand in hand and are essential skills for any field of work that one enters so I thought that would be very beneficial and would quell some of the questions of my entrepreneurial mindset. CAT tools are something that agencies really look for which was to my surprise. It makes translation a bit easier maybe but I don’t really see a need. However, I must adapt to what will get me more opportunities. Lastly, social media marketing is the most powerful marketing tool that’s available in today’s world. Moreover, it’s free which means everyone can compete and potentially thrive in the market.

As part of the social media group, I was part of a team that had to help promote Modlingua through a social media of our choosing. I used twitter because I feel it has a bigger impact even though Facebook is still the social media giant. The second assignment tied into that aspect. It asked about networking in the translation industry, relating it to a wolf pack or a group of ants. I believe heavily in the saying “teamwork makes the dream work” so I decided on the group of ants.

Our third assignment in my opinion was the most extensive and difficult to work through because there were so many options to choose from. To start, we had to watch two YouTube videos and then write about the following; why Google and being top ranked on the search engine is important, explaining the relationship between content writing, marketing and translation in multiple languages, differentiating globalization, localization, internationalization and translation of content or create a business plan to promote short term courses offered by Modlingua. I chose to write about google and the power of being highly ranked in it because it related to the social media aspect of the internship which was one of my focuses and it wrote itself basically.

Assignment number four took a little spin because we had a different perspective. We had our weekly meeting that week with a guest, Ms. Ioanna Daskalopoulou, a professor and, trainer for entrepreneurship, personal branding and market, and a translator with 20 years of experience. For the assignment itself we could write about how to achieve visibility in society as well as the business sector, how to make and retain new clients, alternate options for language professionals accompanied by one of her videos and power constructs of society with the position of translator. The last option, which is the one I chose to write about was most interesting to me and an area which I have increasing interest in. I study linguistics in my university and the question at hand refers to the subfield of social linguistics which is an ever-increasing factor in today’s world with the advent of the internet.

The fifth assignment discussed quality standards and aggrandizing them across the globe. Also, how the lack of awareness about it in India is hampering the development of translators and language professionals. Lastly, we could discuss the linguistic and non-linguistic aspects of translation and the roles they play throughout the process. I decided to talk about how useful quality standards are for a business and language professionals over time. The last assignment discussed project management and how effective it is in the work place in increasing and retaining clients and holding people accountable for lapses in quality or knowledge etc. On top of these weekly to biweekly assignments, we had miniature assignments in our Facebook group as well as expectations to find outside information if need be.

Overall, the internship was a very different and eye-opening experience. From start to finish we were shown the realities of what it takes to be a translator both working in an agency or the steps needed to be taken if one wants to go the freelance/entrepreneur route. We were expected to attend meetings, fulfil assignments to our greatest abilities and meet deadlines. It wasn’t a cut and dry and robotic internship like one might expect from a large agency or conglomerate. We were constantly challenged in different aspects of translation and business and forced to theorize our potential as an industry.

As someone who is knowledgeable in seven languages and only increasing my arsenal, it was great for me to see the non-translation aspects of being a translator. How to find new clients, how to retain them, how to work on a project together (translation usually is a one-person job from what I’m used to) and other aspects. The only issue I seemed to run into was time, as I was not local to India during the internship so I had about 10 hours less to complete the assignments. However, I managed to get them done on time and I liked it because it was a test to how I would be working remotely vs in an office. Moreover, I really enjoyed it because I am not much of a fixed person. If something gets done in time and with good quality that’s all that matters. Translation is definitely a field for me with my interest in language and ability to be completed anywhere and at any point in time. In conclusion, I had a great time interning at Modlingua and would recommend it to anyone looking to get into the translation business. I assume Mr. Kumar and I will cross paths again at some point as India is an ever growing economic super power and I have a plethora of friends who hail from the subcontinent so I will be there to meet in person in the future. Until then a big thank you to him and everyone at Modlingua.

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