I initially chose to complete a semester-long work placement with Insight Film Festival because the Festival had specified that they were eager to take on students with additional languages. This was what essentially attracted me to Insight since it seemed that it would be relevant to my subject area, given that I am studying MA Translation and Interpreting Studies and have a BA degree in Modern Foreign Languages. I seized the opportunity to work with Insight in the hope that I would be able to utilize my language skills and that Insight could somehow benefit from to my particular area of expertise. When I learned that my title would be as a Festival Assistant I was apprehensive as to how much I would actually be using my language skills during the placement, but nevertheless I felt optimistic that at least I could gain some concrete work experience that would boost my CV and enable me to develop some skills that may be looked upon favourably by prospective employers. Looking back, going into the work placement I had absolutely no idea as to how beneficial the experience would actually come to be and how much I would walk away with just a few months down the line.
Let me begin by explaining a little about the Insight Festival itself. Insight is a bi-annual film festival which aims to encourage young filmmakers from all over the world to create films which discuss the controversial topic of ‘faith’. The festival views faith to be at the forefront of contemporary life and a vital aspect of the human experience, and it welcomes filmmakers from every belief system including those who follow no particular religion at all.
In my first meeting with the Insight team it became clear that they were interested in internationalising the festival and in attracting the attention of audiences and filmmakers from other parts of the world. They discussed with me the idea of building a multilingual website, and eager to use my particular skill set to their advantage, asked whether I would be willing to translate their entire official website into another language. Although in the field of translation it is not the norm to translate into a language that is not your native tongue, it seemed to be an offer I could not refuse and I instantly agreed to it and offered my strongest language, Spanish. I recognised that the task of translating the website, despite being extremely time consuming and a massive commitment, would work wonders for my CV and I would be able to show it to potential employers as proof of my translation experience and my linguistic capabilities. It would also give me a taste of life as a freelance worker since I would be working on the translation from home. This was important to me as freelance work is the career path that I am likely to follow given that the majority of translators are freelancers.
As I began working on the translation I realised what a challenge it would be. I had to juggle university essays with the task of translating extensive chunks of text from the main website, into a language that is not my own and which therefore naturally would take up a lot of time. This challenged my time management skills requiring strict timetables, and I soon realised the necessity of self-motivation and autonomy in a freelance career.
Translating the website was one of the greatest challenges and one that really tested my language skills, however, the benefits of the project far outweigh any of the difficulties I faced. I now have an example of my work published on a professional website and it gives me a great sense of accomplishment to know that people can use my version of the website and that I could be helping Insight to reach more people and expand their audience.
Visit www.insightfestival.co.uk, to view my translation.