Athens skyline at night

Summer Placement Diaries

Annalisa's Summer Placement with EL-Translations

I have carried out my first-year placement with the translation agency EL-Translations. The company suited my interest as it was looking for students willing to practice with subtitles and emphasized the importance of a placement where interns can develop soft skills, such as personal ethics, good manners at work and during interviews, patience, and how to stay calm during difficult tasks. EL-Translations is a 20-year-old company located in Athens, Greece. It works with an international clientele, offering the services of translation, interpretation, localisation, subtitling, recording and video transcription, and quality control.

Direct contact with the company through emails has been fostered since the beginning. We have decided that, due to covid related issues, I would have carried out the first two weeks of the placement online, while concluding it onsite in the office in Athens. In so doing, I have been able to experience both the online and onsite workflow, adding the great opportunity to discover the beautiful city of Athens.

Every Tuesday the interns were required to participate in the weekly meeting with supervisors. During the meeting, interns could express eventual doubts and report the work completed during the week before. In the office the atmosphere was welcoming, and the project manager was always available to help with any issue related to the tasks assigned.

007. Annalisa c

Regarding the projects carried out, I have mainly worked on specialized translations and subtitling projects. For the translation projects, I have been required to use Memsource and Phrase. To be able to use the software, I had to familiarize with it first, and then start with the actual translation. The translations assigned to me were mainly from English into Spanish; unfortunately, the agency did not have requests of translations into my native language: Italian. Translating from and into my two foreign languages has been challenging, but a great exercise, emphasized by the comments of the editor and project manager afterwards. I have been using machine translation when available and other online resources to look for specific terminology.

Additionally, I have undertaken interlingual and intralingual subtitling projects with the program VisualSubSync Enhanced. The software is straightforward, easy to use, and its interface is user friendly. It works similarly to Aegisub, the subtitling program that I have been using during the first year of my Master. EL-Translations provided me guidelines for the captioning and subtitles, such us the maximum number of characters per line. I have worked on subtitles of trailers and commercials, from English audio into English captioning for the deaf and the hard of hearing audience, and from English audio to Italian subtitles. Some of the challenges encountered, such as describing soundtrack and noises with written text, rendering cultural elements in an effective way, and translating slang, idioms, swear words, and particular expressions, have proved useful for the development of my dissertation.

Overall, the projects undertaken during my internship aided me to have a better insight on the work of translators and translators for subtitling. Moreover, I have familiarised with new software for translation and for subtitling and I have been able to see what resources were found to be the most useful.

Post Written by Annalisa Ranzengio