By Daphné Crête
Translated by Charlotte Doane
As this is the final year of my BA in translation (co-op option) at Concordia, my experience at Cartier et Lelarge is my third and final internship. Over the course of my degree, I have had the opportunity to do a wide variety of internships: one at the government, one at a private company and this one, at a translation firm.
I have greatly strengthened my independence, an important quality in any translator.
Cartier et Lelarge is of course new to me in terms of the team and company, but as a translation firm, it is also a new kind of workplace. Given the current global situation, it has certainly been an unusual experience. I was revised “remotely” during my first internship, where I was introduced to the Track Changes feature in Microsoft Word—every language professional’s best friend. However, working from home is a first for me, and that aspect of my internship required more adaptiveness on my part than I had expected. It took me some time to find the best way to set up my home office, and I had to work on my concentration. But I do think that the positives of teleworking outweigh the negatives. I am happy to skip the commute—especially since mine normally involves trekking from the suburbs to downtown and back—and even more so since having foot surgery! I now know what setup works best for me, should another remote work opportunity present itself, and I have greatly strengthened my independence, an important quality in any translator. I also must admit that the occasional cuddle with my cat can instantly improve any workday, even if it was already a good one! Although it wasn’t planned this way, I am glad to have had the experience of working from home during this internship.
Even remotely, the work environment is friendly, and my coworkers are talented, welcoming and helpful.
Another challenge was that the texts and subjects of my translations were much more difficult than in my previous internships. I expected that working at a firm that specializes in translation would be harder, but going from general or marketing texts to those in the financial domain and other technical fields was a bigger jump than I anticipated. Fortunately, the Cartier et Lelarge team also turned out to be more supportive than I expected. No matter how heavy the workload becomes, everyone helps each other out, and someone is always available to answer my questions. The translators here all have different writing, translation and revision styles, but what they have in common is being ready and willing to share their experiences with interns. Although the remote work situation sometimes makes communication less convenient and can slow the development of professional and personal relationships, I have really felt like part of the Cartier et Lelarge family since my very first days here, and I know that I am in good hands—as are my translations! Despite the excellent support and useful tools (both linguistic and administrative) available, there are times when I have to do my own research or work harder to take on the style of a particular field or client. Whenever this is the case, the company’s philosophy ensures that I can take the time that I need, which I appreciate as it allows me to learn more and in a new way.
Overall, many aspects of my internship and of life at a translation firm are not quite what I expected, but they are different in a good way. Even remotely, the work environment is friendly, and my coworkers are talented, welcoming and helpful. I am learning and improving every day, little by little. Cartier et Lelarge has given me an effective and enjoyable internship experience, and the lessons I’ve learned will serve me for the rest of my career, no matter where it takes me!