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Friday, 15 February 2013

Empowering Future Student Translators/ Novice Translators on facing real world risks after their graduation:

(a personal experience and initiative on my Students)


I will share with you an initiative I took a couple of years ago in the hope to find a possible solution to the pleague of exploiting new freelance translators (students...) that has been haunting our profession for quite a while..It is not only the translation agencies that demean us ...the issue is social as well....society underestimates who translators are and what they do ?. Whose fault it is : US.

Coming back to my initiative : I designed and facilitated a training course on translation ethics and professional realities at the university I worked in (Arabic/Englis MA programme in Morocco) . Its aim was to empower future translators and engage through authentic real life scenarios to get acquainted with the potential UNJUST and  PATHETIC behaviors from translation agencies onlien or in their home countries. I used material that extracted from  online resources in addition to my own expereinces inmy early days of translation. This type of study material, plus the personal expereince of the trainer (myself) may make students think critically and intelligently about how they will posture themselves in the onlien translation market. The objective is that they will be able toTRANSFORM the existing deploring status quo (liek negotiating a JUST and fair pricing rate and be the ones who decide what to ask for for providing langauge services and not the opposite) when they are on the field after graduation. Again , I stress that this is a risk calculation strategy for future translators who might be thinking of working for their own. Like in any business , there is always a margim of risks...it is normal practice.

My idea was that the solution remains with what the new cohorot of student can do to improve and transform(eventually) the way thngs are in the translation market. That is what happen when parasites get into a trade as artisans who never sought to get professional development or have never though of taking a decent ( I reapeat : a decent) university translation programmes. This does not mean that the current translators ( freelance translators, especially virtual translators) cannot do anything about it,  on the contrary, they need to put their heads up and get professional developments and get INFORMED....our profession should not be seen only as an 'artisanal activity', it moved far beyond this...conferences are held on translation and translators, academic programmes (even PhDs) and research on translator behavior and practice are mushrooming....we need to participate in this trend of institutionalisation to improve our status as social actors and gain the respect. Society has its own way to perceiving things. Let us play the game as well.

Some of my students now succeeded in forming  teams of translators and have their own virtual or physical agencies ..BUT THEIR BUSINESS APPROACH AND PHILOSOPYY IS DIFFERENT....(So the educational and social objectives I designed in my training course has been fulfilled/ tehre has been an impact: students achieved a meaningful and life long learning experience) ...we hope to have to more examples like this, for it is a viable solution to the problem we dicuss in this forum. IT all starts with EDUCATION ( Know how ' to do things' . 'to be someone  and ' to become like that person (translator)'.............

Fouad
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