My name is Valentina Peralta and this is my Intern Experience. I have a Bachelor of Science in German and Spanish Translation, and as of 2017, I was finishing my Master in Spanish Translation from Kent State University, Ohio, USA. It was during 2017 that I worked at Pangeanic as an intern for six months. I first came to know Pangeanic through a friend, who suggested that I should contact the agency and ask about the possibilities to intern there. I had already done another internship at the beginning of my Master’s, but it had been at an international organization and, although the experience was incredible, I felt that I needed to work directly with a translation agency in order to be prepared to work as a professional translator in the future.
I had already been in Valencia before and I really liked the city, so I decided that applying to Pangeanic would be a good opportunity. I contacted a staff member to express my interest and, after taking two practice tests—a translation test and a quality assurance (QA) test— and discussing my plans and expectations with both the company and my university, I was accepted into the internship program. I traveled to Spain in July.
The truth is that I did not know what to expect on my first day, because despite all my academic knowledge, I had only a vague, theory-based idea of the steps of the project management process when it comes to translation. I thought being a translation intern would entail just translating, but soon I realized that it was much more: depending on the day and the workload, I would also have to do quality assurance checks or I would help the project managers with file preparation. It was completely new ground for me, as I had never used QA software in school or at my previous job. Suddenly, I had to learn how to be the final checker for files translated into languages I did not understand, some of which had alphabets I could not read at all. It was an intimidating task, but the Pangeanic team was always ready to answer my questions and point out the areas that required close attention, such as translation consistency among segments, the use of the proper terminology, or the need to confirm whether the translator had followed the references provided by the client.
I have nothing but praise for my co-workers: everyone in Pangeanic is a seasoned professional, and all the team (from the translators to the project managers and to the Human Resources staff) was always welcoming and supportive. The work environment and the location of the office are also ideal. Pangeanic is located in a nice, centric area of Valencia, the third largest Spanish city—and a city known for its beaches, good food and nice weather.
My experience as an intern was even better than anything I could have imagined. I learned invaluable lessons, especially about the stages of the translation process and how the translation industry works. Cooperation is the key to a successful translation: the translator is not the only main player; rather, the process of translating is made of a series of interdependent tasks that rely on teamwork to succeed, and those tasks would never be done without the project managers. And let’s not forget the client: the person or company that sets the whole process in motion and whose needs we need to meet.
My advice to translation students or people thinking of becoming professional translators is: approach translation agencies like Pangeanic and ask about internship opportunities. Pangeanic, for example, is always open to receiving new interns—and there is certainly enough work for everyone, because globalization keeps increasing the amount of content that needs to be translated or localized every day.
I learned skills I did not have before (such as performing quality assurance tasks), honed my CAT tools skills by working with SDL Trados Studio on a daily basis, and improved my translations. Also, now I am even more detailed-oriented and careful when translating because I would not want to be the one causing trouble for the future QA checker! I would go back to working with Pangeanic in the future, because my experience there was truly enlightening. I recommend it wholeheartedly, both as an employer and as a language service provider. This is my Pangeanic Intern Experience!