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Krystel Gosselin

Krystel Gosselin
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Diving into the Web

Published by gosk02@uqo.ca on 2012-02-23

There aren’t a lot of people who do not own or work with a computer nowadays. For most of us, they are an essential component of our everyday lives. They make it possible to perform a range of tasks from personal banking to managing terabytes of information.


As a student in translation, computers are already a great help in my day-to-day tasks. Typing is significantly faster than traditional writing, and a variety of web-based dictionaries are only a simple click away. I also have access to programs like Microsoft Word to help with my translations and homework.


Another essential component to a computer is the Internet, of course. Millions of websites are created by individuals or businesses with an amazing amount of information on a very wide variety of subjects.


I’ve always been attracted to this seemingly infinite world. It was with joy that I discovered, on the Translation Bureau's website, that there is a job niche for translators wishing to translate websites. Although the description is no longer available on their website, I remember reading through the very brief text with a gleam of hope. Further research brought me to the website of the Université du Québec en Outaouais (UQO), which offers a specialized diploma in localization. Brimming with excitement, I called the University… only to find out that the course was on-hold until further notice. (I will talk about localization in greater detail later!)


It was there that I found what would be the first of many stepping stones on my path to learning more about this career that interested me (and still does!).


After my registration, I set out to ask my teachers and fellow students if they were aware of the program and why had it been suspended. For the most part, the answer was the same; they didn’t know. A few teachers told me that the demand for such a program just wasn’t there.


This baffled me in many ways. The Internet is more popular than ever. Wouldn’t it be logical then, for a career based on it to follow in its footsteps?


Finding information about localization was an even harder task, for no one seemed to have any answers to my questions. What skills should I be looking to learn? Where should I look for an internship? Are there any resources available to me? The bookstore only held one copy of A Guide to Localisation on its shelves. From the dust that had gathered on the pages, I figured that no one had looked through it in a while.


Another thing that surprised me was the lack of interest shown by my classmates. As of today, I know of only two classmates with similar interests.


Through pure chance, I met a few people that would spark my hope again. They taught me that there was more than one road to follow, that multiple possibilities existed within the world of web translation. Localization, as I have come to learn, is a jack-of-all trades that wears many masks.


I hope that you will all join me as I set out to discover the true meaning of localization (or at least part of it!), and shed some light on this unknown profession.


1 comment

Hello Krystel!

I am very interested in localization and I try to find a job in this field. It is very hard, as you can read on the BT website, the person must have some computer skills. At university, I took web and computer programmation courses, so it helps when you apply.

It is funny because I wanted to write a text on localization :-)

If you wish, there is a magazine called Multilingual that is specialized in localization. The University of Montreal gives a course of localization and I think there is a localization certificate at Concordia University!

Good luck in your search!

Unfortunately, I would say that maybe from a lack of specialization here, you will see that most of the translations are done in the USA or in Europe.
But, I am sure Canada will follow in the future, since it is a big field.