I turned 44 on 24 June 2021. The momentous realisation was that I was halfway between graduating (23) and retirement (65), and fortunately I had an excellent opportunity to take stock of things, giving a talk to a class of MA course Translation students at the Department of Translation Studies at the University of Graz 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.
I talked about 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.
I also explained about language services in various governmental and near-governmental settings, the challenge of starting up language services, how language services work with freelancers, the kinds of profiles looked for, and how Europeanisation in public administration contributes to the need for language services.
I covered issues about training, project management, the use of technology (CAT and MT) and trying to illustrate how technology can be used well also in QA of translations, as well as also giving a brief overview about the state of the industry, and 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 teaching in higher education in Austria is interested in me giving a similar talk – feel free to get in touch. My employer supports this kind of outreach exercise, and is usually very forthcoming in approving such speaking engagements.