As a competitive translation company, we’re always eager to hear all kinds of feedback on the experiences that our translators have had with us. It is also intriguing to know how one deals with the transition from working in-house as an intern to working independently as a freelance translator. For this reason we’re delighted to have taken the opportunity to interview one of our ex German interns, Annika Brunk, who decided to start up her own freelance career after having completed a successful internship with us. Let’s see what she has to say!
What inspired you to do an internship at Pangeanic in particular?
I began looking for translation companies in Valencia that offered internships for students, and Pangeanic stood out to me as a prestigious and successful translation company. I read up on the in-house translation tools it uses and I knew that having this opportunity would be an excellent asset to both my studies and career. Let’s face it; Valencia is also a beautiful place to live in so I was thrilled when they accepted my request to carry out an internship with them.
In just a few words, describe your overall experience at Pangeanic.
Positive, stimulating and rewarding.
Has your internship at Pangeanic helped to kick-start your career as a translator?
Most definitely, in so many ways! I’m now so much more clued up on how to use certain CAT tools such as various versions of Trados and Memsource. Not to mention, I’ve also learnt how to use translation quality assurance tools such as QA Distiller and XBench, which have enabled me to carry out quality assurance checks on multiple languages during my internship. These sophisticated and modern programmes have given me the opportunity to review translated bilingual files and learn how to efficiently consult translation memories to aid the translation process. For people who have never translated professionally before, this internship is extremely helpful in terms of putting them on the right track and easing them into the mindset of a professional translator.
What would you say were the most beneficial aspects of your internship?
Firstly, I’d say that the working environment helped a great deal in terms of my productivity levels and comfort. Everybody was so open and friendly that I always felt I could ask all kinds of questions – no matter how stupid they may have seemed! I never felt alone or helpless. I was lucky in that I worked closely with an experienced in-house German translator, so this made me feel at ease and meant that I was able to consistently receive direct feedback on my work. I also enjoyed the aspect of being able to use professional translation tools that many other translation companies do not offer.
Were there any particularly challenging aspects?
At the beginning it can be a little challenging as you’re still becoming familiar with tools and learning to work at a fast and efficient pace. However, as you’re working alongside much more experienced translators and project managers, the team encourages you to grow into your position. You develop your skills rapidly as you’re always learning and facing new obstacles every day, so you soon become accustomed to working with a strong team in a professional environment.
How does working as a freelance translator compare to working in-house?
Having gained in-house experience during my internship, I’m now much more confident and independent when using CAT tools at home such as Trados and it means that the company can now rely on me for more complicated projects that other external freelancers would not be so familiar with. Working as a freelance translator is of course more challenging in its own way, as you are no longer being closely supervised and it’s down to you to know how much work you can take on, as well as to be in control of the financial side of it. That being said, you have so much more freedom and flexibility and you are essentially your own boss when you work freelance, which is quite an empowering feeling. I’m extremely grateful that I had the chance to get a first-hand experience of working in-house as I’m now so much more prepared to begin my career in the translation industry, with the relentless enthusiasm and thirst for knowledge that I acquired from my colleagues at Pangeanic.
Based on your experience, what advice would you give to future interns at Pangeanic?
Be ready to learn a lot! Keep a positive attitude and you will really reap the benefits, as once you overcome the initial barrier of learning how to adjust to their system and using their CAT tools, you’ll find that you won’t ever want to do it any other way. As with any other work sector, you just have to remember that when you’re climbing the career ladder, it’s all a learning curve and is all worth it for the future. If you are hoping to set up a freelance business at some point, having the opportunity to see how Pangeanic efficiently manages projects and works with its external providers will give you a well-rounded knowledge of how the industry works. Pangeanic’s experienced team of native translators, cutting-edge technology and its perfect location in Valencia will make it the best internship experience you could get as a student.