Rebecca Janota, MA Applied Translation Studies

Rebecca Janota

Please tell us a bit about yourself and your background?

I studied French and German Studies for undergraduate at Warwick University, and I spent nine months of my year abroad teaching English at a secondary school in Germany and the rest of the year living in France, working as a receptionist at a youth hostel. I always enjoyed translation and while my undergraduate course included some basic translation modules, I wanted to explore this subject further so I applied to the MA Applied Translation Studies programme. I now work as an in-house French and German into English translator at a language services provider.

What made you want to apply to your course and to Leeds?

I wanted to gain an in-depth understanding of the translation industry and receive hands-on experience with translation tools. The MA at Leeds also offered extra-curricular sessions, such as the professionalisation talks and workshops from industry professionals. The professors here are leading experts in their field and constantly encourage us to try out the latest software in our industry. 

What is it that makes you passionate about your area of study?

I love the creative aspect of translation inparticular and in the MA we studied a whole range of text types that have come in useful in my current job. I enjoy combining my passion for foreign languages with technology and learning about new ways to improve productivity. 

What aspects of the course did you enjoy the most?  

I really enjoyed the practical aspect of the whole course – the MA focuses on training students for life in the translation industry and this is highlighted in the weekly professionalisation talks given by industry experts. The main module, CAT (computer-assisted translation), trains you in an extensive number of different translation software and gives you the confidence that you will need if you want to become a freelancer. This particular module has come in handy in my work now as a translator and was excellent experience to put on my CV. The course also has some really interesting optional modules and I studied ‘Introduction to Screen Translation’. This module taught me all about subtitling and as part of my final assessment for it I was able to subtitle a clip from a David Attenborough documentary, which was something I never thought I would be able to do.

What would you say to anyone thinking of applying to your course?

While the course was intellectually challenging, it has been one of the best decisions I have made and I thoroughly enjoyed my year at Leeds. The MA is perfect if you’re career-driven and will provide you with all the practical skills that you could need to succeed in the language industry.

What do you plan to do when you’ve finished your course, and how do you think the skills and knowledge you’ve developed at Leeds will help with these plans?

I currently work as a French and German into English in-house translator and the company for which I work is particularly interested in translation students from Leeds, due to all the extensive software and practical training we receive. The MA really made my CV stand out.