Back in July, the Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIOL), the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI) and the European Commission’s Directorate General for Translation (DGT) organised a joint event entitled “Future-proofing the profession: Equipping the next generation of translators“.
The event posed the following questions:
Are translators being trained to meet the future expectations of work providers and users of translation services?
Are they equipped with the skills they need to deal intelligently with technological change?
What part can academic institutions, professional bodies and international organisations play in preparing new and current practitioners for the challenges facing the profession?
I attended the event and to my mind it completely missed the very important question of basic employability/self-employability skills – a lack of which is a problem for all school- and university-leavers, not just translators. But no less important for that. My own question would have been:
As a work-experience provider, I find language graduates lack employability skills (marketing, business, targeted social media, web-savviness, IT (even MS Office!)) for employment/self-employment. Who, if anyone, is addressing this gap?
The ITI addresses some of these training issues in its Setting Up as a Freelance Translator course. At a more basic level, I think schools and universities should be providing young people with a sort of tool-kit or “leavers’ pack” telling them what skills they need to enter the world of work as it is today and, most important, where to obtain them (including information on grants and training available from government agencies, local authorities and organisations such as the Prince’s Trust).
Watch the videos and take the survey
You can watch the videos of the “Future-proofing the profession presentations”. And, if you’ve got 5-10 minutes to spare and ideas to share, you can take the follow-up survey (you don’t need to have attended the event to do so). I think today (2 October) is the deadline, unless it’s been extended.
If you do have ideas on how best to equip translators for the future, don’t forget to share them here in the comments too!
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By Marian Dougan