Hannah Josephson has been selected as the 2022 recipient of the Excellence in Translation Award for the MS in Translation & Interpreting. Regarding her experience in the MSTI program, Hannah says, “Getting to take legal translation during my first semester in the program was something I will never forget. I came into the program with the intention of going into legal and governmental work, so being able to find and work with those kinds of texts for the first time was amazing. After about the first week, I knew I had made the right decision about what area to specialize in.
Hannah’s thesis advisor Jean Campbell, PhD, praises Hannah’s hard work throughout her thesis. “I am thrilled to hear Hannah won this prize. Her thesis project aligned beautifully with her objective to work in the government. She understands both the limitations and reasonable potential for the use of parallel texts and applied brilliant research to the task of understanding the parliamentary members and committees, not to mention the public and nonpublic school systems at play in the bill she translated from French. The sensitivity she has displayed in this capstone achievement will serve her well in her future professional activities.”
Hannah discusses her thesis stating, “I knew right off the bat that I wanted to translate something governmental; originally I had wanted to work with some sort of inter-governmental text, but finding one that hadn't been previously translated into English was pretty impossible. After that idea didn't pan out, I decided to start looking for documents from the French government. I quickly found the text that I ended up choosing, which was a draft bill regarding France's regional languages. It's a topic I have previous experience with—I did a quarter-long research project on French regional languages as an undergrad—and something that I'm very interested in, so it was an easy choice to make. Working on my thesis was definitely a labor of love and I learned so much about myself as a translator while I completed it. A big part of what made me successful was using CAT tools for the first time. I got a little experience with them in classes, but I wasn't a true believer until I had to execute this big project. Arguing my thesis was pretty terrifying, but I was so comfortable and familiar with my text at that point that nothing was a shock. It was so much less painful than I was anticipating and my committee was amazing—I wouldn't change it for the world!”
Some advice from Hannah: “Figure out the niche you’re interested in. The program allows for a lot of choice in terms of what you translate for assignments, so practice in the field that you’re interested in. For example, I’m interested in the legal and political side of translation, so I choose to use texts like treaties, contracts, and court documents for my class assignments.”