Abstract: An Authentic Localization Process in Translator Training

In the Faculty of Communication Sciences at the University of Tampere we have a Master’s Programme in Multilingual Communication and Translation Studies with very intensive connections to the “real world” and working life. In my module “Introduction to Localization” we carried out an authentic assignment: localizing a part of a software application for smart-phone from German into Finnish.

The students in the course represented various working languages and not all of them were able to take part in the actual translation process. But those not in command of German language were given other kinds of tasks: project management, proof-reading, taking care of the layout of the end product delivered to the client etc. The students themselves took care of the whole project. Two of them worked as project managers and others in teams with their own tasks. As a teacher I was just one of the translators doing my one page amount of the job.

Questions we met were problems connected with the copyrights of the students to their own work and the contents of the confidentiality agreement. We learned a lot of a real working-life process and not only about localization but about project management, teamwork and signing agreements – and about struggling some software problems. The students were extremely motivated and found their own way to solve problems, keep in touch with the client and negotiate with each other.

In my presentation I am going to define the concept of localization in the framework of our project, describe the work flow in an authentic translation assignment within translator training and sum up what we learned and what you should think about when starting such a project.