Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Phoenix not Rising Out of Anything

This pathetic article does such injustice to translators, and shows so much ignorance about what we do, that if the training institution it promotes really is affiliated with Phoenix University, then it is should be renamed the Dodo University. Dead as..

Professionally trained translators who specialise solely in "business language" do not make all the killing. Those who specialise in highly intricate legal jargon, in medical technologies, in engineering and the financial markets, if they are VERY GOOD at what they do, can make a decent living. On the other hand, businessmen who can properly speak a second language open doors for themselves to promotion, but they will never become professional translators unless they undergo proper tertiary training. Not some language course, but theory and practice in the field of language transfer.

Translators might become interpreters, and although these are two related fields, interpreting is much harder than translating and needs a much more rigorous training than translating in quick problem solving techniques, memory skills, note-taking, working with difficult (violent, dying, not altogether there and so on) clients, and mastering by heart whole glossaries of specialised terminology in both languages.

This is just the tip of the iceberg.

So the statement that "if you undergo translation training you can even work as an interpreter" followed by "you will be in a position to carry out a variety of ways of interpreting" which includes simultaneous (known as conference) interpreting is misleading. To become a simultaneous interpreter you don't just need two languages. You need to be widely read, very well educated, and politically savvy, because this is a job for people who will work at the UN, the EU, the Congress, etc. interpreting in situations where an incorrect term could lead to a war.

Global Language Training either got a writer who stuffed up their write-up, or they aren't really training people in Translating and Interpreting.

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