Emily Hinchcliffe takes the Comtec Translation Prize for 2019

comtec translation prize 2019

The Comtec team went back to school last month! James, Emily and Luke attended Warwick University’s graduation day to present The Comtec Translation Prize for German Studies to language graduate, Emily Hinchcliffe.

It was an excellent day, a real celebration of The School of Modern Languages and Cultures at Warwick University and all the language graduates’ successes; we were delighted to be a part of it. Our award will go some way to help Emily as she takes her next steps after graduation, with a £100 cash prize to help with future language learning or travels, and a 1 to 2 week internship at Comtec to learn more about the industry.

The Comtec Translation Prize for German Studies

Warwick University graduate himself and Comtec’s Head of Operations, James Brown, first suggested The Comtec Translation Prize back in 2013. Sophie Howe, Director at Comtec, agreed as the company is keen to give back to the local community. James says:

“As a Warwick University graduate, during my studies, the Modern Languages Department really supported me in building my confidence in language learning, particularly translation. It’s been really rewarding to be able to give something back and highlight the opportunities and benefits of careers in languages and translation to a new generation of linguists.”

comtec translation prize

Since 2013 we’ve welcomed 5 prize winners from Warwick University to Comtec, giving them an opportunity to put their German studies into real-life business practice with our internships, and hopefully inspiring graduates whichever direction their language degrees take them. Dr James Hodkinson, Head of German at Warwick University, wrote about our award:

“Translation in all its forms, both as a practical tool and as a wider set of skills relating to intelligent communication between cultures, is at the heart of German language teaching and learning at Warwick. The Comtec Translation Prize is hugely beneficial to all concerned. Winning the Comtec Prize is not only a feather in the caps of our students, but it helps them make that invaluable leap between the world of theoretical learning and its practical application in the workplace. We in German Studies at Warwick are thrilled to have and to maintain a relationship with Comtec, underpinned as it is through our alumni relations. This form of cooperation provides hard evidence of how universities and business can work together, and shows how language skills turbo-charge students’ career opportunities – even before they have left university.”

comtec translation prize

As fewer people in the UK are choosing to study foreign languages at GCSE, A Level and in higher education, we hope our award contributes somewhat towards encouraging young people with a natural curiosity for other cultures and all things international to follow their passion.

In the context of the UK’s impending departure from the EU and the hot topic of pan-European exchange of skills, in recent years Comtec has also offered internships to students from overseas (including France, Germany and Italy) and we do hope to be able to continue to provide these opportunities, without any added hurdles for those young people looking for UK placements.

The Comtec Translation Prize is awarded based on outstanding performance in German studies students’ final year translation exam, which involves translating a German passage into English. Each year, one of Comtec’s professional German linguists has the privilege and tremendous responsibility to assess the translations. This is what the assessor said about Emily’s winning translation:

“It combines a high level of accuracy with appropriate register for economic analysis. Crucially, it reads as if it had been written in English. Care has been taken to engage the reader with terms such as ‘backlog of reforms’, ‘one of the longest economic upturns’, which match the context very well.”

Well done, Emily! As with all translations, there’s a lot more to it than translating text word-for-word. Context is everything if the final translation is going to engage the target audience and have the desired impact.

We look forward to welcoming Emily to Comtec when she takes up her internship later this year. As our previous interns could testify, the time with us is not about sitting in the corner and doing menial tasks it’s about getting stuck in. Across our business everyone understands that young linguists, like Emily, are going to lead the way one day and who knows, they may even secure a job with us or another language services provider in the near future!

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