European universities are reaching out to the translation industry in their efforts to modernise their course content and to match it to the needs of their students’ future employers. The European Master’s in Translation model has inspired other projects promoting cooperation between translator trainers and the translation industry, including AGORA, which is a cross-border placement scheme for translation students currently involving 10 European universities and a handful of LSPs. The project aims to build a database that caters for both the supply and demand, as well as developing a reporting system to ensure that adequate feedback flows between all parties. It is a worthy example of the academic and commercial worlds working together to achieve results in an area that all parties acknowledge to be a great way forward but few manage to make the most of.

STP’s head office in Whiteley hosted four translator interns this summer; three of them were cross-border placements with interns from non-UK universities. The fourth trainee, Siân Mackie from the University of Edinburgh completed her internship in September and describes the experience as both interesting and helpful: “I had recently graduated with an MA in Scandinavian Studies with a distinction in spoken Norwegian and had also studied for a year at the University of Bergen in Norway. Before I came to STP, I had done the occasional piece of freelance translation, but I had never had the opportunity to use CAT tools or bounce ideas off a strong group of other translators sitting in the same room. When I heard that my test translation had been successful, I jumped at the chance to come down to Whiteley. Everyone at STP was welcoming and helpful, and it has been very interesting to get such a range of different translations to try, from technical to legal, from musician biographies to equestrian equipment, and from all three Scandinavian languages. The PMs did their best to ease me into the pace here, and I never felt panicked. I learned something new every day, and would certainly recommend an internship with STP to other Nordic language students.”

Academia, Icebreaker, Icebreaker November 2012