Professional Development as a Translator

Why professional development is a translator’s job? First, professional development as a translator is the ability to translate texts from one language to another. Secondly, it is the ability to do so without changing the meaning of the original text. Professional Development means developing skills as a writer, as a reader, as a connoisseur of language, and as a translator. It does not refer to gaining an advanced degree in a specific discipline, although such is often pursued by many professional Translation Service providers.

In a Guest Post on Joanna Martine Woolfolk’s blog for newbies to translation and interpretation, she makes the case for Professional Development as a Translator. I took exception with part of this article, but found the overall tone of the article to be lucid and well-crafted. But I will add my own comments in the quote to Joanna Woolfolk’s piece. “There are lots of great reasons for reading, writing and translating. A few gems of advice on how to be a better communicator are the following: By the time you have graduated from High School, you should have some real experience to show you are not just ‘another kid’ who can’t compete with adults in conversation, literature, or conversation about complex issues.

If you have completed a Master’s Degree in the field of Translation, you should not be considered a Graduate Engineer in the field of Professional Development as a Translator. This is because it is a different function. And speaking as a former college student and current college student, I can tell you that the requirement for Graduate Engineer positions in the US is ridiculously high. That is why I think it is important for students to consider Translating to a more limited professional background, instead of embarking on a professional path after graduation. I have been lucky enough to have served two years as a student and translator of Professional Development material while completing my undergraduate degree, so I have very direct experience with this topic, and can offer my own opinion here.

There are plenty of reasons to read books like The Smart Newbies blog for newbies to translation and interpretation. The blog entry on “Book Translation As a Career” by Rosemary Pellott is worth reading for translators and interpretation professionals. In the introduction, Pellott states, “translator and interpreters alike require an enormous amount of creativity and perseverance in their crafts.” Rosemary continues on to say that translation requires constant research and development of new concepts and approaches. Translation involves a lot of translation crunch. I agree with Rosemary on this one, and I have learned this from my own translation projects.

In her Guest Post on “Book Translation as a Career”, Corinne McCay outlines four steps for successful professional development in translation, each focusing on a different aspect of the profession. The first three steps focus on training and preparation, the fourth on marketing strategies and practice, and the final step focuses on globalization. This article will focus on the last step, which is globalization.

Kevin Hendzel recently wrote an excellent book on International Business Strategy and Development. In his book, he recommends that companies expand by investing in translation and interpretation services. Hendzel notes that translation and interpretation are the keys for “transparency, accountability and change.” While there is much that can be said in support of the benefits of outsourcing these tasks, Hendzel provides his readers with an excellent starting place with his book, which makes it an excellent reading resource for people considering a career in international business.

In his book, Kevin Hendzel identifies three areas of expertise: translation, interpretation, and reference materials. For most companies, the translation and interpretation departments handle most of the work, although references materials – like encyclopedias and travel guides – may also be outsourced. Reference material can include manuals, dictionaries and other printed materials. As you read through the book, you will likely identify many of your own sources, especially as you read between the glossary and index.