I turned 44 on 24 June 2021. The momentous realisation was that I was halfway between graduating (23) and retirement (65). Fortunately, I had an excellent opportunity to take stock of things, and gave a talk to a class of MA course Translation students. The students were from at the Department of Translation Studies at the University of Graz. The talk was at the invitation of Hendrik Bower.
Hopefully I provided some insight into all aspects of a career as a translator. The format worked well – the students submitted questions in advance, which I then wove into a presentation.
The talk covered a broad range of topics, starting with what my own personal educational pedigree was, and how a language degree from the UK was quite different to one in Austria.
How language services work
I also explained about language services in various governmental and near-governmental settings, focussing on the the challenge of starting up language services. Furthermore, I addressed how language services work with freelancers, the kinds of profiles looked for. I then looked into how Europeanisation in public administration contributes to the need for language services.
The Role of Technology
I covered issues about training, project management, the use of technology (CAT and MT). I also illustrated how technology can be used for QA of translations. Additionally, the talk also provided a brief overview about the state of the industry. I also mentioned how (N)MT affects the market for translation, and the profile of translators.
I found the exercise rewarding – hopefully I structured it in a way that showed the transition from the theoretical side (as part of a degree course) to the practical side of being a translator), with a particular focus on Austria as a market for translators.
If anyone in higher education in Austria would like me to give a similar talk – feel free to get in touch. My employer supports this kind of outreach exercise, and is forthcoming in approving such speaking engagements.