Innovation in Machine Translation is in Iconic’s DNA; it is key to be able to bring advanced research in to practical applications and use-cases. Iconic is currently collaborating on two European Commission-funded projects under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) programme. Both projects are focused on developing innovative approaches to improve machine translation for lower resourced languages.
Meet Iconic’s newest intern, Méabh Sloane, currently completing a Masters Degree in Translation at DCU, who will be working alongside our scientific team supporting our research on these CEF projects. Méabh will bring her perspective as a translator to our team, as well as her fluency in Irish. We recently had a chat with Méabh to get to know her better and learn more about her new role at Iconic.
Hi Méabh, welcome to Iconic! Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
I have always had an interest in languages and found a career in translation to be very appealing. For my undergraduate degree, I studied Irish and Music, with French as an elective, at Maynooth University. I opted to spend my Erasmus year working as an English Language Assistant in France, and I decided to keep music as a hobby, in pursuit of becoming a Translator. This three-month internship with Iconic is the final step to completing a Masters in Translation Studies at DCU.
Describe your role at Iconic:
My work will focus mainly on one particular project which aims to provide resources in low resource languages for the purposes of language engineering. My focus will be on Irish. I will assist in the development and deployment of machine translation engines, using my knowledge of Irish to evaluate the output of those machines. I am also very excited to review the general prospect and demand for MT in Irish.
What attracted you to Iconic?
What attracted me the most to Iconic was the state-of-the-art solutions they offer in a number of different sectors, like legal, life sciences, and IT. I was also intrigued by their past work with the Irish language for the government, and thoroughly enjoyed their online content. Having webinars, weekly blog posts and podcasts makes for an engaging platform, and these have helped to make the topic of translation technology significantly less intimidating.
What is your favourite aspect about being a Translator?
For me, being a translator seems like an ideal job. Not only are you constantly improving fluency and vocabulary in your languages but you’re also expanding your knowledge and understanding of a wide range of subject areas. Thanks to rapid advancements in technology, the field is constantly evolving and so the modern-day translator is often presented with challenges and the opportunity to upskill themselves.
What is it like to start a new job during a pandemic?
It is quite strange to start a career mid-pandemic but I am also extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to work for a company such as Iconic. The team has been incredibly welcoming and friendly with many members reaching out for calls. It is sad to think that I may not get the chance to work with them in person, but I still feel very much connected to everyone.
What are your hobbies, interests and passions?
Music is a big part of my life and aside from that, I love to read, cook and watch films. I try my best to stay healthy, doing yoga and meditation as often as I can, and although I am the furthest thing from an avid runner I’ll hopefully get there someday!