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LinguisTech Translation Services, the first nationwide student translation agency

Pierre LeBel, Manager
LinguisTech Translation Services

In the language field, Canada possesses an enviable expertise. Our universities and colleges offer future translators and revisers training programs that follow the highest standards. This is not surprising: linguistic duality and the adoption of the Official Languages Act have created conditions favourable to the emergence of a large number of language researchers and practitioners all across Canada.

It is true that our universities and colleges offer top‑notch academic, technological and human resources to future language professionals. However, workplace practicums, on top of being hard to come by, rarely provide a framework for training that is conducive to learning those skills not taught at university but required for success in the industry. Students finishing their degrees often lack practice using language technologies, a global knowledge of all the tasks related to a translation project or actual feedback on the quality of their work.

Since 2011, the Language Technologies Research Centre (LTRC) has been offering an online portal of translation and writing tools to students registered in various university translation programs in Canada. More than 1000 students have benefited from their access to LinguisTech. Since the LTRC has been offering internships in translation, writing technologies and communications for years, it was only natural for it to take an interest in managing a student translation agency. Accordingly, the LTRC drew upon its experience with the LinguisTech (www) English Hyperlink Notice portal to develop the LinguisTech Translation Services (LTTS) project. The translation agency was officially launched on April 24, 2012.

The LTTS mission can be summed up in three words: learn, train, and excel. The student interns are recruited from the top graduating or recently graduated translation students. During the internship, through professional practice, the interns will perfect the skills they acquired during their degree. They will benefit from the feedback of their revisers, expert certified translators. The team atmosphere of LTTS will complement their training and allow the interns to learn from each other. The internship will also include training on various aspects of translation project management, from procuring clients to invoicing. Training will also focus on language technologies. LTTS wants the interns to become experts so that they can be recruited by the best employers at the end of their training.

LTTS would like to grow to 6 interns in September of 2012, and then to 15 by January. Telework will play an important role in the work of many of the interns because they will be handpicked from among the top students in Canadian universities.

Since its inauguration in 2004, the LTRC has been involved in the network of language industry researchers, developers and professionals. With the integration of LinguisTech, the LTRC expanded its mission and directed its focus toward students in translation and writing programs. With the addition of LinguisTech Translation Services, the LTRC has now strengthened its role as a support organization in the language sector.