Bye bye AJT: My translation internship in Cornwall

As I’m embarking on my last day of work at Anja Jones Translation, I hesitate to bestow on the time I’ve spent here the rather generic label of “internship”. This word – generally speaking – cannot ever give an accurate idea of the actual experience an intern has, as internships differ so vastly from one another. And it would be too lacklustre a term to represent the fantastic training I was so fortunate to receive here. But for the sake of this last blog post of mine, I would like to encourage all young language talents out there to apply for an internship at AJT. I will do that by sharing with you my personal account of the AJT experience.

My work at AJT included a variety of tasks. There was of course translation and editing: I had the opportunity to work with lots of different texts, translating in Smartling, MemSource, SDL WorldServer, Excel and Word. Each translation job was quite different from the other and this allowed me to identify some of the pros and cons of each translation platform.

The work I enjoyed the most was the translation of games. It’s a bit like literary translation – only you get to see the context you are translating for (and occasionally you actually get to play your way through the context). Other work assignments spanned the whole gamut from website and app translation to marketing texts and travel information. Of course, most of our translation work is strictly confidential, but I was assigned a couple of projects the results of which I will be able to showcase in the future.

Friday afternoons here at AJT is creativity time! We would usually set aside an hour or so to work on something other than translation. Anja came up with the idea to consult the random line generator and have him generate us some random lines around which we would then spin our creative yarns. If you’re interested in the results, check out my Jasper Fforde inspired dodo story. Not being an avid hobby writer myself, I’m nonetheless absolutely convinced that this exercise helps the translator get into the right frame of mind for some transcreation.

I would also like to share a few words about the office life here at AJT. The atmosphere is rather informal. Whenever I needed help with the work I was doing, there was someone at hand to help. As I was mostly doing English to German translations, I was lucky enough to have the support of a fabulously talented German team. So whenever there were grammar issues, or if I was in need of creative input, the German team was my first port of call. All questions were welcome and were always treated with due consideration.

Even outside of office hours, the AJT experience continues. Anja regularly invited the whole team for a day or evening out, for drinks, meals, a walk on the beach, a pub quiz (no we didn’t win, but it’s all about the taking part, isn’t it? … Isn’t it?), and for my penultimate day we made a trip to the Eden Project.

And so, three months’ worth of extremely enriching work experience come to a close. My time here at AJT has provided me with a wonderfully diversified insight into the work of an in-house translator and the workings of a translation agency – an experience I would not like to miss. I strongly recommend to any aspiring translators out there that they apply for an internship here at AJT. You will be sure to receive a warm welcome and the necessary support all throughout your work experience. If you feel that your talents are lacking in certain areas of translation, you will either receive the necessary help to improve your skills or alternatively be given the work assignments that will best suit your talents.

AJT is the perfect environment for any young language talent eager to learn the ropes of the profession. So hurry up and secure yourself one of the golden internship tickets for Anja’s translation factory 🙂