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UNAI Internship Programme
Ten BA students worked as volunteer translators for United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) from January to April this year. The UNAI internship programme is co-organized by the Department of Translation and the Social Responsibility and Sustainable Development Office of CUHK. Using a web-based computer-aided translation (CAT) tool, two project teams translated collaboratively a selection of UNAI’s English newsletters into Chinese for their publication on the UNAI website, spreading stories about global efforts in sustainable development to Chinese language readers/speakers.
Two of the students serving as project managers shared their experiences with us.
Sigis YAU’s words:
Personally, the most memorable part of the UNAI CAT internship was when I tested positive for COVID-19 and was too ill to lead the project in March. While laying sick on bed, I was constantly worrying that my team would encounter great obstacles without a project manager. It turned out I was over-worrying – having observed me organizing tasks for the first two months, our most capable translators and editors had learned how to take on the duties of a project manager.
Since the nature of this project is CAT, it is also necessary to reflect upon the debate on whether technology such as translation software could threaten the market demands for human translators. Throughout the internship, our team managed to solve problems and complete our tasks smoothly without any face-to-face meetings, relying solely on Memsource and WhatsApp. This internship is an example that encourages translators to not fear technology but to embrace it and make hay out of it.
Cheuk Wang LUK’s words:
As the project manager of the team, I had been the member responsible for the coordination between different workflows, schedule planning and the final translation and editing job. Had it not been for the precious opportunity to work for UNAI, I would not have known that there were so many inspiring initiatives and volunteer groups which had put on hard grafts to promote the sustainable development.
From the vantage point of a translator and project manager, the use of CAT software prompted seemingly independent translators to unite and cooperate with each other-- in the first place, to cooperate with team members who were not familiar could be difficult, and it was rewarding when I was able to demonstrate and develop my leadership skills. In a few months doing the project, I had a strong feeling that translations were not only textual exchanges; translation was inseparable from society and culture, and that’s the reason why I enjoyed the experience – the feeling of having connected between the world and my profession.
Read the translated articles here: