At the beginning of the semester. none of the students had any idea what the course "Special Topics in Computer-Related Translation - Introduction to Webpage-Translation", offered by Don Kiraly, was going to be about. At first we thought that we were going to learn about strategies for the translation of Webpages. However, the course was much more interesting and practically oriented, as we soon found out. After the first few lessons, we were told that our task was to take on real jobs from real customers. In total, we were given three different projects. While working on the translations, we learned how to act as responsible translators. The first project, "Oberkircher Winzer", only had to be finished off, since most of the translation had already been done by another group during the previous semester. However, the completion of the second project was almost entirely our own responsibility. We translated the Webpages and used an editor to transform the translations into HTML documents (Ritschel Translations). Finally, the third project required us to work as fully self-reliant and responsible translators. (Drausy Systeme).
All three jobs had originally been given to Don Kiraly, who passed them on to the class. The second project was to translate the German Webpages of Martin Ritschel into English (Martin Ritschel is a translator who graduated from the School of Applied Linguistics and Cultural Studies here in Germersheim. On his Website, he presents his small translation agency to potential customers). Don supervised the project with the support of Andrea Dannhäuser. He proofread our translations and helped us with the organisation. Therefore, we didn't yet have sole responsibility for our work.
Initially, Martin Ritschel had contacted Don about the job of translating his Homepage - but he proposed passing it on to us. Martin was enthusiastic about this idea right away. We divided up the Webpages among the different groups. As the job had to be finished rather quickly, we received the texts on short notice. After having familiarized ourselves with the work, we soon realized that we would have to hurry to meet the deadline - one of the problems we encountered being small mistakes in the layout and spelling of the text, which had to be corrected before handing in the final version. Although we didn't get paid for the job, we had to take it more seriously than our usual translation courses. After all, our translation was to be published on the Internet.
Since Martin knew that his Homepage was being translated by students, we had the possibility to contact him via e-mail should any questions arise. He especially helped us with tricky passages by suggesting possible translations.
As already mentioned, we didn't get paid for the job. But even if we had received money as we had for the other two projects, we would have donated it to charity. After all, it was not the money we were interested in, but the possibility to experience the real working conditions of a translator.