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Monday, 28 January 2013

About mentoring students or novice translators...away from classroom....in the real world..

About mentoring translation students or novice translators....away from classroom context...in the real world..

I forgot to mention this point earlier in my blog. The event goes back to 2011 when I was lecturing in the MA course in Professional Translation at Hassan II  University- Morocco. At the end of the year, I decided to set a team of 4 competent students who I felt could be mentored to carry out some of the paid freelance assignments I was receiving from time to time  from clients over the internet. These students have been insisting all over the year to show them how to do cyber freelancing in translation or revision. At the beginning of the program, I was not sure yet that they were ready for it, as this activity requires special skills, attitudes and aptitudes , which I felt they did not have at that stage. So, I decided to venture with them and invite them to participate in one of my upcoming but suitable project . 

They were excited . When the documents came,  divided the work on them and supervised their activities and process. This was via e-mail and telephones. So, my support was handled at distance using online information and communication tools. For the students, this was a special experience. They were  doing real and authentic translation to be sent to clients in another country. It is not a translation to be returned back or checked by the teacher. It is real.

For me, I took a risk. My image in front of the client Is at risk. Neverthless, I took the decision until the right time and for the right project. Being the first time to work with an unknown and novice co-workers was also a risky move. We need to take calculated risks in life, some times.

After fixing the deadline and being strict on it via close monitoring, I revised the assignments to secure quality in the translation and its format. Then, the following week we met in a coffee and I was thrilled by the way they really enjoyed the experience. They said < now we feel we can do it> . If they can do it online , they can easily do it face to face in an office like in-house translators.

Sure, they did not have all the qualities required to be a proper entrepreneur in managing online translation projects , but they tried part of the project lifecycle (doing translation) and were involved via e-mails and phone calls or (Skype) in the actual operational phase of the project. So, they knew how it works.

In canada, after the student graduates from the BA programme in translation, and if he wants to be certified by the certification body, he or she needs to undertake a 6 month Mentoring process she or he needs to pay for prior to getting certified. 

Would it be possible to integrate that activity in the translation curriculum given its direct application nd relevance in professional translation? how it can be organized at the budget and logistic level in the institution that delivers the program?


Fouad
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