INSTB stands for International Network of Simulated Translation Bureaus. It is a partnership of universities that make use of a simulated translation bureau in their translation training programmes. A simulated translation bureau is staffed and run by students as a real translation bureau and is a fully integrated, practice-oriented part of the curriculum that earns credit points.
The idea for a simulated translation bureau, or “skills lab”, was developed by the Maastricht School of Translation and Interpreting of Zuyd University of Applied Sciences in The Netherlands. Its first simulated bureau was set up in 1984. Since then, the Maastricht school has developed the concept further and has inspired others. The idea for INSTB was born at a meeting with interested institutes in Maastricht in 2008. INSTB was officially launched as an international network in 2015.
A major objective of INSTB is to increase graduate employability by offering students practical, market-oriented experience during their studies. INSTB members are free to organize their skills labs as they wish and innovation is encouraged. However, all members agree to simulate real-life conditions with respect to: client contact, project preparation, the translation process and the delivery of the final product.
The following are examples of how members have put this ideal into practice:
- role division
(examples: assign roles of project manager, lead translator, reviser, terminologist etc. to members of the team).
- client contact
(examples: working with a translation brief, working with a quotation …);
- project preparation
(examples: analysis of project, checking availability of required staff and equipment, allocation of a job to translator(s) and reviser(s), registration in a workflow management system …);
- translation process
(examples: translation using up-to-date tools, self-check by translator, revision/review by another translator, where needed check of target language text by domain specialist and/or proofreader, final check, using quality forms, registration of all the steps in a workflow management system …);
- delivering the final product
(examples: billing, checking client satisfaction, complaint procedure if required …).
INSTB currently has members in The Netherlands, Belgium, France, the United Kingdom, the Irish Republic and Finland.