The concept of a global village has finally come to pass. People from all corners of the world are now interconnected and working remotely owing to internet technology. Gone are the days when business owners had to fly thousands of miles to meet a client. Today, all you need is a stable internet connection to communicate with anyone across the globe. There are online forums providing translation internships to aid in smoothening this communication.
However, the language barrier remains a big problem: people from different geographical locations have unique languages. This is where translation services come in handy. The demand for translators is higher than ever before.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects a 19% growth in interpreter and translator jobs from 2018 to 2028. If you have a knack for learning new languages, this is the best time to grow a career in translation.
If you are a translation student, a translation internship will aid in developing your career. It will help you to learn the craft of translation first-hand. The activity will create a hands-on experience where you put everything you’ve learned at school into practice.
This guide explores the world of translation internships to help you transition smoothly from a student to a professional translator.
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This post was updated in April 2021
Translation in Contemporary Society
A translator is a language specialist who interprets written or spoken material into one or more other languages. As a translator, you have to maintain meaning and context in a translated text. In translation training, you will learn the theory, description, and application of translation.
Translating is not the same as interpreting: it covers diverse fields of knowledge. As a translation student, you will focus on cultural studies, gender studies, comparative literature, history, linguistics, philosophy, rhetoric, computer science, and semiotics.
A translator’s job description covers a diverse range of responsibilities, including:
- Translating online, video, and television media by providing subtitles
- Reading and understanding the meaning of a text and converting it into a second language while preserving the original intentions
- Voice acting in radio or digital productions
- Working on specialized works by consulting with subject matter experts, e.g., in finance, religion, computer programming, and other areas
- Using the latest technology for translation
- Specializing in a particular industry where one has a background in, for instance, law, finance, etc.
There are different fields of translation, and you can pick one depending on your background training. They include:
- Legal Translation
- Technical Translation
- Marketing Translation
- Business translation
- Financial Translation
- Website Translation
- Subtitle translation services
The contemporary world’s multicultural and multilingual society demands fluid communication between languages and cultures. As a translator, you ensure effective, efficient, and empathetic discourse between people of different language backgrounds. As businesses, governments, and not-for-profit organizations venture into new countries, the demand for translators will keep growing.
The Dominance of English
While English is the dominant language in the world today, not everybody speaks this language. The economic rise of China, whose population predominantly uses Chinese, has emphasized the need for professional translation.
Countries like India, South Korea, Singapore, Brazil, among others, have continued growing economically, yet their populations are not predominantly English speakers. As international companies launch offices in these countries and many others, translation services are increasing in demand.
In essence, translation services are integral in enabling a global economy. It is through translators that investors and governments with different backgrounds can work together.
Translation has also played a crucial role in the spread of information. Since the early ages, translators have been instrumental in the conversion of valuable knowledge, some of which are still in use today.
Translation Internships as a Springboard
if you want to get a sneak preview into the industry, get into Translation internships. An internship is an eye-opener to help you apply your skills in practical tasks. Through the internship program, you can finally put into practice those skills learned in class.
Below are other reasons to use an internship as a springboard to your translation career:
1. Build your Resume
One of the most significant challenges for new graduates in the job market is a lack of experience. It is a paradox of sorts because employers need experience, yet you have just come out of college. An internship serves to fill this gap and give you that hands-on experience you need to get started in the field.
It might not be well-paying, but the work experience will give you an edge over other graduates. You can explain the workings on translation to a potential employer now that you have worked in the field. During your translation internship, you also acquire invaluable insight on how translators work, and this gives you a head start in your job search.
2. Find Your Future Employer
If you are good at what you do, it is highly likely that your internship company will not let you go. Many translation interns work hand to impress their first employers, and they may end up getting employed.
Whether you have completed college or not, always give your internship everything you have. This is the easiest way to get yourself a job. Employers now use internship programs to nurture the type of translators they need in their ranks. As they closely monitor your input, you might just get yourself a good job.
3. Meet Industry Mentors
Mentoring matters in today’s job market. So crucial is career mentorship that 71% of Fortune 500 tend to offer mentorship programs. A mentor guides you through a new profession, in this case, translation.
During your translation internship, you should identify a mentor who can hold your hand and help you understand the intricacies of this profession. Take time to establish a relationship with your mentor and build rapport. You will learn more from this experienced translator than when you will ever learn alone.
Working with a mentor also opens your eyes to new opportunities in the industry, identifies challenges to expect, solutions to such problems, and many other things. You will come out of the internship program as a more refined translator owing to your mentor.
4. Test-Drive Your Skills
Do you want to specialize in English-French translation? If you have done your research and identified this as the best translation field, you should use your internship to test-drive your skills. Many translation students boast multiple languages but start narrowing down early.
The internship program is an excellent opportunity to hone your translation skills in your preferred area of specialization. You will handle real-life situations where you can apply your skills and determine your competence.
A translation internship, therefore, gives you the chance to practice your skills in the field. You will get multiple texts, videos, and other works to translate. Hands-on-work is an opportunity to test-drive your capabilities and showcase your proficiency.
5. Learn Work Skills
Have you ever wondered how translators work? Do they work in typical offices or a call center? Are there supervisors, or does everyone work individually? You will find the answers to these common questions during your internship.
Being your first job in translation, you’ll get a taste of what to expect when you join the industry. You will learn essential work skills, including teamwork, office etiquette, timekeeping, customer service, using office equipment, the latest translation software, the relationship between translation agencies and translators, plus much more.
6. Improve Your Communication Skills
A translation internship is an ideal opportunity to hone your communication skills. Working in an organization requires social skills to interact with other employees, your seniors, and sometimes clients. It is a transition period from the informal associations in college to a formal situation.
Moreover, you have to refine your communication skills, including speech and writing. As an intern, your work will come under more scrutiny and this is an opportunity to impress. You will get a chance to refine your language skills and also learn how to handle different situations in the workplace.
7. Networking Opportunity
Translation work requires research and travel. You might be in a number of these office trips. Such are excellent opportunities to network with everyone you meet.
From clients to work colleagues, make sure you create networks for future reference.
8. Boosting Your Confidence
While you might have the prerequisite skills to work as a translator, you will still need some exposure to build your confidence. During a transition internship, you will get to work on projects alone, and if successful, your confidence levels will grow.
This is a crucial attribute for a translator. As you gain knowledge and insight at work, you will become more confident.
9. Invaluable Exposure
Your translation internship is the perfect chance to understand the industry. Your supervisors will ensure you get exposed to a diverse range of translation tasks to give you a holistic experience.
You will translate texts ranging from e-commerce, fashion, software products, religion, politics, holiday planning, password management, home security to advertisements, and many more. This kind of exposure gives you a competitive edge in the job market.
10. Understand the Challenges of Translation
Translation, like any other profession, has its challenges. You will encounter them during your internship. Learning about such problems prepares you before you join the industry. For instance, you’ll experience difficulties in:
- Translating language structure
- Multiple meanings in translation
- Translating phrasal verbs (two-word verbs)
- Prefixes and suffixes challenges in translation
- Translating sarcasm and humor
- Words lacking correspondent in the target language
- translating idioms and expressions
- Translating compound words
11. Missing names in translation
These are only a few of the tests you will encounter during your internship. Luckily, if you have more experienced translators in the office, you can work with them to overcome these issues.
Ultimately, you will leave the internship better prepared to face everyday challenges in the translation profession.
Final Thoughts on Translation Internships
Translation services are in high demand more than ever before. In today’s global world, the services of translators are crucial in facilitating transactions, spreading knowledge, and solving disputes. There has never been a better time to train as a translator.
If you are a translation student, you have to leverage translation internships to get hands-on experience in the industry. Temporal jobs allow you to apply your skills in real-life situations.
Translation Internships are fantastic opportunities to build your profile, learn about the industry, and gain a competitive edge over other translation graduates in the job market.
Ready to go for it? If you’re already experienced, sign up with Bunny Studio today to start getting high-quality translation gigs!