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  • Anne-Laure Kenny

Stepping out into the big wide world of translation

Updated: Jan 28, 2019

Here I am, fresh out of University (well, at 43, maybe not so fresh looking), eager to get some work as a newly qualified translator, and ready to shower countless translation agencies with my brand new CV. Only to find that most of them require a minimum of 3 to 5 years experience already (how on earth is anyone expected to ever find work I wonder?). Not to mention the fact that they expect you to have the latest translation software, certificates ready to upload, and at least one membership to the professionally recognised organisations such as ITI or CIOL. Having none of the above, I had to reign in my haste and step back. My MA certificate will not be due for a few months, so no point applying to the agencies that request a certificate upload on their application form. I also felt a bit cheeky and big headed mentioning, "MA results pending, expected grade merit". Not sure whether over confidence is a trait of character required in the translation industry... So I thought, well let's get some experience by volunteering. Translator without borders require a test translation, which I promptly took, only to be told it will take 3 to 4 weeks to get reviewed. Ok, never mind, let's go back to my first love, subtitling. I spend the best part of the week subtitling a wonderfully inspiring TED talk with many creative challenges, and thought I could paste the link onto my new website, only to find out that I need to wait for approval before my name can appear on it. Never mind, let's do 3 more before I can claim any credit for it. So I then enquired about software... it is so expensive that I have settled for the 30 day trial so far, hoping I can still claim a student discount after that. I have also applied to ITI, £60 for the application, and a further £53 for an affiliate membership until May. Lessons to learn from this: I am going to keep calm and carry on subtitling, saving, and hoping! Thank goodness I have not given up my day job.

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