The Linguist

The Linguist 59,4 - Aug/Sept 2020

The Linguist is a languages magazine for professional linguists, translators, interpreters, language professionals, language teachers, trainers, students and academics with articles on translation, interpreting, business, government, technology

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@Linguist_CIOL AUGUST/SEPTEMBER The Linguist 29 OPINION & COMMENT Back before the times of Covid-19, in the first week of Hilary term in Oxford, I looked out to the beautiful garden of Somerville College and paused for a minute. I had got back to freelance French translation the week before, following the Christmas break, and had a few deadlines to meet. Now began the challenge of marking a big pile of 'Collections' (college exams). It was going to be a busy week, but freelancers are used to working under pressure, right? When I arrived in the UK in 2003, I was determined to make a career in translation and to stay away from teaching. However, some attractive teaching opportunities – at the universities of Leeds and Edinburgh, and at Fettes College, for example – were hard to resist. Fast forward a few years: a Master's in Translation, a teaching qualification and several teaching jobs up and down the country, and I've become adept at juggling the two careers. with fast solutions for challenging source texts. All in all, teaching is giving me what drew me to freelance translation in the first place – varied, flexible work in a field that's always been my passion: languages. If you want to give teaching a shot, my advice would be to consider how much freelance availability you are prepared to give up each week, and to remember to factor in preparation and administration time (meetings, printing and photocopying, emails etc), not just contact time. For most teaching jobs, an hour of contact time typically involves a second hour of preparation and admin. And if you think you might enjoy spending a full hour discussing terminology and language nuances with a captive audience, teaching translation might just be for you. Diversifying into teaching is a good move for translators AMANDINE LEPERS-THORNTON In my opinion… Amandine Lepers-Thornton MCIL CL specialises in certified, corporate and creative translation. TL In an ideal world, teaching would help fill the gaps in freelance work, but I've found that's rarely the case. My experience has been that most types of language work are busiest in the spring and autumn months. Working at an Oxford college, where the terms are short and intensive, means I can usually offer turnaround times that are acceptable to clients while managing my teaching commitments. Weekend work is often necessary during term time, but it's only for eight weeks at a time, and the next holiday brings full-time availability for freelance projects. I started working at Somerville College in 2018 and teach French language across all undergraduate groups. On top of teaching tutorials, the job involves marking weekly assignments (summaries, essays and translations). I teach translation methodology and the texts students have to translate are mostly literary or journalistic. This is a pleasure. This type of text represents a small proportion of paid translation work, and I find it fascinating to consider the best translation of an idiom or a culture-specific term. It provides a welcome break from my obsession, as a freelancer, with daily outputs and coming up PERFECT BALANCE Somerville College, Oxford,

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