Well I promised to update you on my translation course, and I’ve just completed the first module: specialisation.
So what did we have to do?
Firstly we were asked to think about the topic(s) we would like to specialise in and why.
But specialisms are special for a reason. We either have an interest or deep knowledge about the topic(s) in question. So the second thing we had to do was think about how we would maintain this level of knowledge.
All this then had to be written up in a one-page document and submitted to the module leader.
So what was my specialism?
Well I have plenty of personal interests but I decided that tourism would be the obvious choice for me. Why?
The simple fact is that I know a lot about tourism having spent 12 years in the industry.
During this time I covered a range of roles: advising tourists on where to go in Britain; working with the UK travel trade to market themselves overseas; running marketing campaigns to bring visitors to Britain from France.
At the same time I’ve always enjoyed writing tourism copy.
I enjoy putting myself in the shoes of the potential visitor. Who are they? Why would they want to visit this place? Which words will convince them that this is a place they need to visit?
I also enjoy finding out about new destinations and products. What makes them different? How do I convey this to the visitor?
In terms of updating my knowledge, I’ve always devoured the travel supplements in the Saturday and Sunday papers and will continue to do so. That way I’ll be exposed to different travel writing styles and terms.
And to keep up to date with French tourism I’ve subscribed to Quotiden du Tourisme’s e-newsletter. France is the number one destination for foreign tourists and a country I know well so I’ll be focussing on this market to begin with.
Was this exercise useful? Definitely. I had been thinking about translating for another sector such as finance. But I now see that this is a more long-term goal. Better to play to my strengths and take advantage of those 12 years in tourism.
So one module down, four to go! Next time: proofreading.