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Summer Placement Diaries

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Anna's Summer Placement at Wordfast

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When I started my studies at the University of Wolverhampton, I was determined to enter the world of software development and enrich my professional profile with new technical skills. The same reason motivated me to select my summer work placement in the programming industry, so I could have some insights on how the real IT magic happens. In this regard, Wordfast LLC became for me a perfect company where I have been able to get involved with the process of development and learn new things despite the limitations of my initial knowledge.

First of all, a couple of words should be said about the company itself. Wordfast is the second largest provider of CAT and other translation-related tools globally. Overall, the company has 8 offices in Europe, Asia, North and South America. My placement is (it is still in progress) distantly coordinated from Paris and I am lucky enough to be supervised by Yves Champollion who is the founder of Wordfast LLC and a famous expert with forty years of experience in translation and programming.   

I am working on a project aimed at the automatic generation of translation memories from data freely available on the Internet. Such a program is expected to significantly help translators providing them with a powerful resource made on the go literally from nothing and – what is most important – tailored to the particular area and topic of their texts. My involvement includes software testing and conceptual design. The latter is where my previous work experience as a translator comes in handy and enables me to come up with new logic for the tool. Every week I have virtual meetings with my supervisor where we discuss the results of my brainstorming, test code together or where my supervisor explains some new alterations introduced to the algorithm.

In the course of the placement, I also been acquainted with the Visual Studio 2019 and learned a couple of things on the related professional online products such as .NET framework as well as the tools offered by Wordfast for translators. I am also doing some coding on my own with Python that was the language of my classes at the University. Thus, I am writing a short program for the pre-processing of linguistic resources used as a part of the main algorithm.    

I am really enjoying my placement with Wordfast LLC because it allows me to observe from inside the trial-and-error process of development of translation software, to practice programming and understand how a new product is created. Unfortunately, due to coronavirus, I could not go to France to attend the company office, work onsite and see the Eiffel Tour but it did not affect the practice itself which is going in the atmosphere of easy and creative cooperation online. I like that this cooperation is flexible and well-balanced in terms of how individual work and discussion sessions relate to each other. There is no doubt that this industrial experience has become an important part of my international study with EM TTI.

Post written by  Anna Iankovskaia