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Students learn about the language services industry.

This past April, U.S. Translation Company partnered with the University of Utah Career Services Department to host a presentation of the field of translation services for interested University of Utah students. The visiting party of students were led by the Assistant Director of Career Services, Trisha Jensen; and the Academic Coordinator for International & Area Studies at the University of Utah, Amy Elford.

To begin the afternoon, Mel Ott, U.S. Translation Company’s localization engineer and organizer of this event, began by explaining the differences between translation and interpretation, and how U.S. Translation Company successfully provides both types of services. While the two terms are often used interchangeably, translation technically refers to the act of transferring meaning in the written form from one language to another, while interpretation refers to the act of transferring meaning in the spoken form. Mel then delved into the technical aspect of the language translation industry, explaining how technical translation makes up the bulk of the U.S. Translation Company workload and involves the translation of texts that describe the application of technological, scientific, or engineering-related knowledge. Mel concluded his engaging presentation by explaining how one can enter the industry, and the various career paths one can take in the dynamic and growing field of language services. The students, mostly international studies and linguistics students, were captivated by the exposition of a subject that is too often over-simplified; they appreciated learning how complex and interesting the fields of translation and interpretation actually are.

Mel then gave the students a tour of U.S. Translation Company headquarters located on the top floor of the historic Keyser Building in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah. He pointed out the array of artifacts and pieces of art decorating the walls of the office and how they were curated by the company’s president, David Utrilla, in the course of his international travels. Mel also  introduced the students to several of the staff members at U.S.T.C.

During the tour, Mel also introduced Hans Liu, a current marketing intern at U.S. Translation Company and a student at the University of Utah. Hans spoke about his experience working at U.S Translation Company and the marketing projects he had worked on throughout the semester, such as creating infographics, articles, and educational content videos for the company’s clients. When asked by a student about the purpose of creating content that is seemingly unrelated to the language services field, Hans explained the merits of content marketing in a business-to-business environment. “We create helpful, exciting, and educational content for our clients so that they understand that we value them as customers with unique needs and interests. We are not simply seeking for them to purchase our services, but we wish to help them grow their companies and client bases alongside us. This helps ensure the development of satisfied and loyal clients, along with the long-term prosperity of our company.”

Finally, the students’ visit was concluding by stepping into the executive office of U.S. Translation Company’s President and CEO, David Utrilla. David began by introducing himself and then recounting the major motivations and obstacles he faced while starting his company some twenty years prior. David’s story began with him immigrating to the U.S from Peru, learning English, and beginning his time in the U.S. as a college student. He joked with the students about the irony of his desire to start a translation business when he himself spoke very little English at the time. However, David used this anecdote and that of his subsequent success to demonstrate to the students the critical importance of perseverance as a student, no matter the obstacles. David also spoke to the students about the sheer depth and breadth of the field of language services, and how getting certified as a translator for a language service provider is a difficult, but rewarding task.

One student, studying both physics and linguistics at the University of Utah, was particularly inspired by David’s encouragement to pursue one’s passions and explained that many people question her choice to study two seemingly unrelated and difficult subjects. However, these subjects constitute her innermost passions, and David reminded her that if she follows her dreams and works towards achieving them on a daily basis, she will find a way to successfully meld these two subjects and contribute to society in a unique and important way. Another student, studying Asian studies with an emphasis on Korea, explained that although she was born and raised in America and that her family has no Korean ties, she has always been fascinated and intrigued by the art and culture of Korea more than anything else. David encouraged her to pursue this interest no matter what obstacles she faces, because her pursuit of this interest will ultimately be worth it just as his endeavors were.

Ultimately, Mel and David’s comments were highly encouraging and educational for the students. Trisha and Amy, the two liaisons for this visit, were so pleased with the educational value and their enjoyment of the meeting that they made plans to schedule another university exchange at the U.S Translation Company in the future. The U.S Translation Company team loves the passion, curiosity, and talent found in college students, and hopes to host more students in the near future.

To learn more about U.S. Translation Company, read about our expertise in localization and in scientific and technical translation. You can also learn about our translation managment system, our approach to quality assurance, our conference interpretation abilities (we even rent interpretation equipment!), and why we are the translation firm of choice for so many corporate and government clients. As always, don’t forget to keep up on our translation and interpretation blog and our case studies!

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