“Enjoy your food!” “How do you say that in Spanish?” “Que aproveche!” “And in Italian?” “Buon appetito!” “And in German?” “Guten Appetit!” “And in Greek?” “καλή όρεξη” And in Romanian, Russian, Japanese, Chinese, etc. – the list goes on.
This would be a typical conversation we have with the interns of Modern Polyglots. We are all people from different countries and different backgrounds, but we share the same passion: languages. Most of us study up to six languages and we love to learn new vocabulary at all times. We enjoy translating and interpreting at work from and to those languages we know fluently, and always strive to get better knowledge of other languages in our free-time. One main motivation is the family of owners of the company. The family speaks several languages, among them: Bulgarian, Ukrainian, Russian, Romanian, English, French, Spanish and German. Besides that, all family members wish to speak Arabic, Chinese, Greek and Latin one day.
A statement from the Irish polyglot Brendan Richard “Benny” Lewis explains our (polyglots’) love for languages in more detail: “One of the biggest problems we have in language learning – but we don’t know it – and that’s motivation. A lot of us start with the wrong motivation to learn a language. We’re learning the language just to pass an exam, to improve our career prospects or – in my case – for superficial reasons, to impress people. But the reason polyglots learn languages is because they’re passionate about that language. They are passionate about the literature and the movies and being able to read in a language and of course to use it with people, and when I changed that priority of using the language with people, I was able to learn the languages myself.”
In the office
Most of us are working as Office Administrators and Translators. In the past, I have heard some people claiming that working as a translator “you are always doing the same work” or people would ask “is it boring to work as a translator?”. This is definitely not the case. The translations we work on vary a lot: we translate all sorts of texts including documents like birth or marriage certificates, legal texts and health reports or websites for example – and we do that in many different languages like Spanish, French, Italian, German and Russian, just to name a few. As a result, us interns get to use all languages we know on a regular basis and keep bringing our language skills to perfection with every single translation we do. If we are not translating a document, we may be proofreading a translation to assure the most accurate outcome.
Next to working with the translation of the documents, we are all taking turns in working as a receptionist. That means, we have customer contact in person and on the phone and learn how to deal with customers in a professional manner. Some of the duties of the receptionist are: quoting prices for the customers, consulting the customers to see whether an apostille or a notary’s signature is needed, searching for a suitable translator within the office or a freelancer and updating the translation schedule.
In addition to the general Office Administration and the Translation work, all interns have permanent occupations. Some of us work as accountants, HR managers, marketing managers or freelancer managers. Additionally, some of us deal with legal advice clients and we all do online and offline advertising. Because Modern Polyglots is a rather small company, the interns get to do many different tasks and acquire knowledge in most fields of work. Even though one may not work as an HR manager, he/she would still gain some knowledge in the department from other working colleagues.
A diverse work place
In the office, the working environment is very comfortable and enjoyable, yet we work professionally and efficiently. Our team is very dynamic and creative. We all have a different personal and professional background, so every single intern contributes to the success of the business in a different way. I believe the majority of the readers are aware of the fact that diversity in the work place is one of the main reasons for a successful business. Even though nowadays universities build partnerships with other universities, offer exchange semesters in a foreign country to their students and some study programmes get more and more standardised, every country still has its own education systems and the valuation of certain knowledge and skills may vary among different countries. Resulting from that, a multinational team leads to more creativity, more ideas and more efficient work.
Our time in Ireland
Apart from the hours inside the office, our ‘Modern Polyglots crew’ likes to meet during our free-time. Cork is Ireland’s second largest city and a lovely place to live. The international metropolis is rich in arts and culture and is known for its good food, that one can buy at the English market, and its top-quality restaurants. During the day we explore the city together, take a walk along the River Lee, go shopping in the Grand Parade or relax in one of the artisan coffee bars. In the evening we enjoy a live-music session and a Guinness together in a traditional Irish pub (there are plenty to choose from). The friendly and welcoming Irish people make every evening more cheerful.
On our weekends we like to travel around Ireland and explore the amazing, stunning landscape. Ireland has a lot to offer – from long, sandy beaches over small, laid-back country towns to spectacular, breath-taking cliffs on the coastline. Us interns like to go hiking in national parks together, camp near the beach and explore the countryside.
We are all very grateful for the opportunity to work at Modern Polyglots and develop our professional skills and to live in the incredible country of Ireland, all while establishing some life-long international friendships.
By Navina Frake