A PhD friend of mine in MontrÃ©al teaches translation to university students at the UniversitÃ© de MontrÃ©al, where ironically, I didn’t study because I couldn’t do it in Russian. Instead, I went on to McGill University to keep studying Russian which I get to use three times a year if I’m lucky.
I have been asked to talk to them via Skype on February 6 about what it is like to do translation work in Europe with countries like Belgium. Both the Flemish and French ask for English translations, but certain choices need to be made, for example, when to write the names of streets in Brussels in French, Flemish or both. I also translate French texts into English which will be read by the Flemish, so the names of cities need to be in Flemish rather than French. I learnt all this the hard way and it’s great to be able to share that with fellow French Canadians who really wouldn’t know these things unless they’ve worked in Europe.
Like in many other institutions, students at the UniversitÃ© de MontrÃ©al are oblivious to the way translation is done on the job market, either at a company or as freelancers. According to my friend who has worked in both companies and for himself, his students are focused on explaining away their choices and busy satisficing rather than doing assignments the way they would be done in the real world. Some of them still can’t look up things in Google. The biggest problem is that they have a serious lack of independent thought.
Let’s see if I can knock some sense into them before the job market does in a less caring manner.