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A Day in the Life of Molly Lincoln!

LincolnA day in the life of a Translation & Localization Management (TLM) student is pretty hard to predict, but for this particular student, on this particular day, it means that breakfast is spent wrangling with my computer over a software compatibility issue before rolling into Spanish translation class for a midterm. There are just seven of us in the class, and we share a stack of specialized dictionaries stacked at the middle of the table to help us get through a summary of the history of a Mexican arbitration court.

Once time is up, I head to my lunchtime meeting with the Globe Center, a student-managed localization business. We have a project manager for each language at the meeting along with our faculty advisor, who is also the head of the TLM program.

During the meeting we test out new applications to help us manage our projects and translators (also students, from the Translation & Interpretation program), get caught up on new projects coming down the pipeline, and talk about internal projects to work on like redesigning our website and updating the current translations on MIIS.edu. The meetings are only about an hour, and it’s always fun to be working with my TLM classmates. Unlike the Translation & Interpretation program, in TLM, although we study different languages, we still have all of our localization classes together.

Some students elect to take extra business classes to hone their managerial skills before leaving school. Many of the companies that we intern and work at are quite small, and you may be expected to help with aspects of the business besides just localization or project management. But there are also students in TLM who are more interested in the translation side of things, and so they take more translation classes and may even start working on freelance work in their free time.

But we’re all together for our localization classes, like my next class, video game localization. This is where the software-wrangling comes from: there are always unexpected hurdles to deal with when you’re talking about technology, but finally every student is able to get the Unity 3D game engine up and running on their computer, and we spend class poking through sample game projects and internationalizing the code behind them. When you internationalize something, you’re basically setting it up so that it can later be painlessly localized into a new language. Once we’ve successfully implemented internationalization techniques into one of today’s sample games, our homework assignment is to localize – that is, translate and implement – the game’s text into each of the eight languages studied at MIIS. So long as we can find all of the text that needs to be translated, we should be okay – assuming, of course, that the game still works in the end! And so it looks like my day might end the same way it started…

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