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Summer Placement Diaries

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Nadia's Summer Placement at Mitra

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My placement at Mitra Translations, in Sofia (Bulgaria) has started on the 1st of September 2020 and it will last approximately 160 hours over a one month period, which equates to almost four full-time working weeks. As required, part of placement is conducted online and part onsite. I was offered the possibility to undertake the onsite part of the placement in Varna, near the coastline of the Black Sea, where the head office is located and where most of the staff work, but due to logistic problems, I have confirmed to undertake the placement directly in Sofia once I arrive there.

Due to the current pandemic and the choice to undertake part of my placement virtually, I am now experiencing how to work and how to be trained online. Although I can work comfortably from home, this can sometimes lead to a number of technical issues: the internet connection is not always good, there are sometimes background noises or miscomprehension in communication.  As well as the impossibility to fully experience the work place, or to collaborate in a team or to use computers and software provided by the company and furthermore, not being able to have access to some data or documents.

However, since the beginning of the placement, I have already learnt a lot; such as the history of the foundation of Mitra, the Code of Ethics and the Code of Conduct of the company, the ISO standards, the process involved during the translation, the different types of services offered, and so on.

Mitra provides a great variety of language services such as translation, editing, proofreading, legalisation and apostille, sworn translations, localisation and transcreation, quality assurance and many others including consecutive, simultaneous and conference interpretation. Mitra also offers the possibility to manage and create glossaries and dictionaries, it deals with terminology, TM Management, Content Management and DTP (desktop publishing translation). Furthermore, the company makes use of Machine Translation Post Editing (MTPE) and provides linguistic services for Machine Learning (ML) and Natural Language Processing (NLP).

Texts translated at Mitra involve a great range of industries and areas of interest. They may vary from technical, to medical and legal texts and they may include subjects such as marketing and media, finance, IT and even localisation of videogames.

Although I have no knowledge of the Bulgarian language, as reported on their website, Mitra deals with a lot of different languages: central, west and east European languages and Asian languages. Even though the language combination of Bulgarian and Italian (my mother tongue) is not common, I have already had the chance to work with Italian texts of different genres such us: nautical documents, business, chemistry and food, and advertisement.  

Other activities to be carried out include following presentations about TMs such as SDL Trados Studio, MemoQ, MateCat, MTPE and QA, learning about computational linguistics annotation and transcription tasks, assisting with extracting and finding definitions of legal and medical terminology documents pre-processing and post-processing.

My objectives in doing this placement are first of all to develop employment skills, such as working both independently and in team, create networking professional connections, mature problem-solving skills and experience a different cultural environment.

To date, my flight will be in ten days and I look forward to starting the onsite placement in Sofia.

Post Written by Nadia Basicu