Tom Ryan, In-house translator and project manager, Nova Language Solutions
I studied French and Irish as part of a liberal arts degree at Mary Immaculate College with the aim of becoming a teacher.
However, having studied a language you’ll find that there are many other opportunities available, and so during my
undergrad course, I came to realise that translation was in fact the path for me. I then went on to complete a masters in
advanced language skills in NUI Galway, which explored the area of translation and interpretation in depth.
Work and languages
I’m currently working as an in-house translator and project manager for a company called Nova Language Solutions based in Cork. We translate, edit and proof texts in many areas including marketing, tourism, IT and publishing as well as providing terminology management, third-party review and content creation services. The work offers a lot of variety and each day I get to work on translating and localising texts as well as liaising with customers and managing projects that require daily input, for companies such as Google, Sony and Expedia.
A solid background in languages is obviously essential in my line of work. I use my languages on a daily basis and communicate with translators and customers from a variety of locations, such as UK, France, Germany, USA, to name but
a few. We help customers in Ireland reach a global audience and provide foreign companies with a distinctive English
voice so that they can expand into English-speaking markets.
Working in localisation and translation means that languages are the foundation of my career. Companies no longer have to limit themselves to selling products and services within their own countries, and travelling is easier than ever. Localisation and translation play a pivotal role in helping people and businesses to communicate with different audiences and adapt their message to new markets.
Importance of continuous learning
Whether you want to work at an international level or a local level, languages give you a major advantage.
If you want to work in this sector, it is of course important to research which languages are increasing in popularity in the
field of localisation and translation, and then my advice would be to keep your language skills as fresh as possible. It may be a cliché, but languages are a living entity and are constantly changing. I’m currently doing an Irish grammar course one
night a week in UCC to brush up on my Irish language skills. In terms of localisation and translation specifically, practice really does make perfect. Ireland is offering increasing opportunities in the localisation industry, tourism and IT. Internships are also a great way of gaining experience and getting your foot in the door of the industry, which is still quite small in Ireland, but is growing exponentially.