“Are you going to be a teacher or a translator?” Back in the day, those were usually the only two alternatives suggested. Universities also did not prepare their academic language students for other types of jobs. If we’re being honest, that type of training is still hard to find. At Delingua, we decided to do something about it.
For several years now, we have been involved in teaching An Introduction to the Language Industry, a course aimed at enhancing the working life skills of translation students at the University of Helsinki. Encouraged by the positive experiences from that course, last year we decided to launch our own talent development programme for new graduates and students in the final stages of their studies who have the potential for a career in language services. Now, two six-month programmes have already been completed and the third #DelinguaLAB started in April 2019.
#DelinguaLAB participants are introduced to language service industry topics that are barely touched upon at the university, such as translation project management, translation memory and term management tools, multilingual search engine optimization, the coordination of interpreting services and the sales and marketing of language services. We share our knowledge and give tips on how to move ahead in one’s career or how to get started as a translation entrepreneur.
#DelinguaLAB is designed to give participants a taste of what it’s like to work in the language industry. This is why, in addition to contact teaching led by Delingua’s professionals, we assign actual jobs to LAB participants and pay them in line with industry practices.
We believe that sharing valuable information about jobs in the language service industry gives us something of value in return: new professionals to take on roles that would otherwise be difficult for graduates to access. In a way, #DelinguaLAB is like a long recruitment process for us that we hope will be rewarded with new resources and great characters to join our team.
Digging for Diamonds
“You could say we’re always looking for diamonds in the rough,” says programme lead Susanne Väisänen. In this rapidly growing industry, there is demand for language technologists familiar with structured content, project managers with ability to manage stress as well as talented specialised translators.
And we have found those diamonds. One such find is Ari Gröhn, who first joined Delingua as a trainee through #DelinguaLAB and was later recruited as a Localization Coordinator. According to Ari, who is pleased to have found a job through the programme, “#DelinguaLAB is a way to see from the inside what the language industry consists of and what skills are required to succeed. What is more, Delingua is also a great place to work.”