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Paid French Translation Internship at Wintranslation – Ian Fafard’s Story

Last week I was in Montreal, Quebec, and had the opportunity to catch up with our translation intern Ian Fafard from four years ago. Ian recently landed a sought-after translator position at a large national insurance company.

Over the course of our delicious lunch at the Bouillon Bilk on St. Laurent Blvd., we discussed our individual journeys to pursue our dreams, our families, as well as the role Ian’s internship played in advancing his career.

Ian is a graduate of the Professional Translation Bachelor’s degree program at Université de Sherbrooke. Upon graduation, Ian started his internship with us in May 2012.

Professional English into French translator Ian Fafard
Professional English into French translator Ian Fafard who completed our translation internship program and successful launched into a career in translation.

In the almost two years Ian spent with us, he was trained by our translation tools expert Sylvie Shen on how to use our cloud based translation memory tool memoQ . He also worked with reviser Léa Bellefeuille-Cossette, who provided detailed quality feedback at the end of each project.  He improved his skills and the experience laid a solid foundation for his career in translation.

It gives me joy and a huge sense of satisfaction to see our internship made a difference in Ian’s life and helped him grow and prosper. On my way home on the VIA train, I jotted down some of the key benefits – a reminder to keep building the Wintranslation internship program to develop talented translators.

In our translation internship program, an intern will:

Learn advanced translation memory tools such as Trados and memoQ, including alignment of source and translated texts, formatting of glossaries, terminology project management, textbase and termbase management, data import and export, translation project management, and preparing translation production reports.

Be mentored by a senior translator and receive constructive feedback directly. There is frequent and friendly communication between the intern and the reviser both through email, phone and using the translation tool itself. An intern can see from MemoQ what changes the reviser has made, and there are also comments as to how a segment could be translated differently. This ongoing feedback loop provides the fastest way for a junior translator to improve.

Translation quality feedback loop
A translation intern will receive detailed feedback from a senior reviser

Be location independent – work from home or anywhere. In Ian’s case, he often travelled between Trois-Rivières, Quebec, and San Francisco, California, where his wife lived at the time. He appreciated a work arrangement that allowed him to be wherever he needed to be.

Have a flexible schedule. While we expect prompt acknowledgement of assignments and meeting deadlines, the work schedule is very flexible.

Build professional portfolio and experience. In the course of internship, Ian developed a solid grasp of agribusiness and not-for-profit sector terminology, amongst other valuable skills. That experience allowed him to take on roles of increasing accountability and responsibilities in various work environments.

Make contacts for future career references. Ian still lists his recommendation letter from Wintranslation on his Linkedin profile and uses us as a work-related reference. I personally acted as his reference for his job at the national insurance company. Building up those contacts definitely comes in handy in a translator’s career advancement.

Make money while at it! Our translation internship is a paid position and after the first three months, we offer production bonuses for translating a higher number of words and high quality!

Ian Fafard says: “I definitely recommend seeking out a translation internship position such as the one Wintranslation offers to gain experience and learn hands-on skills. It enhances the theoretical framework universities teach, and it helped me develop my career as a professional translator. It was a rewarding experience for me!”

[Interested candidates can send applications to Huiping Zhang, hzhang at]


Translation internship for those who are interested in a career path in English into French professional translation (having a translation degree is not required)

English to Quebec French translation

Huiping Zhang is the founder and president of wintranslation. She founded the company in June 1998 as a home-based, one-woman operation and built it into a thriving, award-winning business that works with multi-national companies, governments, and not-for-profit organizations worldwide. She is a Certified Localization Professional and Terminology Manager. Huiping is a member of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization and serves as a board member for the Ottawa chapter.

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