DELC422: Translating in a Professional Context

20 credits

DELC422: Translating in a Professional Context

This placement module enables students to gain professional experience and to reflect critically on that experience. The module constitutes a structured period of work-based learning.

The work placement will provide the opportunity for students to take responsibility for their learning experience in a language-related professional environment. We can assist in organising placements for students in reputable language services companies in the UK. However, the department cannot guarantee a placement will be found and students are strongly encouraged to source their own placements, subject to departmental approval, and these may be overseas.

Work placements provide an invaluable insight into the work of professional linguists, are valued highly by employers and greatly enhance students' employability in a competitive market. Students also benefit from mentoring and support from experienced professionals.

This module provides students with the skills required to contribute effectively to the operations of a translation working environment. Through practical application and critical reflection, students will develop an understanding of how to adapt a broad range of transferable skills to the specific demands of a language-related environment:

  • Networking and people skills: translators often work in teams, revising each others' work or sharing projects. Freelancers have to meet and attract a range of clients, market and advertise their work therefore a thorough understanding of people skills is essential. 
  • Attention to detail: revising and proofreading skills are paramount to most language-related tasks
  • Flexibility and adaptability: In a fast-changing profession, translators have to be prepared to pick up new skills and offer new services such as transcription, copywriting, post-editing adapted to a competitive market
  • Organisational skills: Translation is a deadline-driven profession that demands excellent time management skills and initiative.
  • Writing skills: Translators are professional writers; they need to know their own language perfectly: grammar, vocabulary, style, register and spelling.
  • Research skills and general knowledge: language-related projects cover a wide-range of topics from current affairs to specialised technical translations and require subject-knowledge as well as cultural awareness.