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Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Internship for translators....another brilliant extracurricular activity to count on!

About the internship programme as Sherbrooke University .

As part of my ongoing research activities, I visited three days ago the person in charge of placing student translators into various places in Quebec region and elsewhere ( in Canada) to gain experience and build their self concept as well as competences as future professionals. I was amazed at the way the translation industry has changed in Canada due to Globalisation and impact form technology (mainly the Internet).

In Canada, the employer No1 is the Translation Bureau (The government) due to the fact that ALL documents should be in both French and English. So, the entity did not only offer internship for students, but also : 1- recruit them ; 2- and give financial support for universities to maintain the translation programs. Recently, according to the man in charge of the SERVICES de PLACEMENT (placement services), the governments reduced the budget. Why? well! they went global as well. They started outsourcing their work to countries where translation is done cheaper...and with Quality as well ( North African francophone countries, for instance). This had obliged the internship service in all universities in Canada to seek placements for their students elsewhere (the Private sector). Here, they found another problem ! ...difficulty to find a place, especially if the internship is PAID. In Canada students get paid for their internship. For small translation agencies, this would be an overhead. So, things could not be easy as they were with the internship process with the Federal Bureau of Translation.

This means that translation programs need to be conscious of this shift and develop new contents, teaching and training methodologies and pedagogies to respond to that....BUT gradually! not too slow though!...I am aware that as long as translation is taught within a university context, it will always be behind in catching up with the industry...This is quite understood!

For sure, matching our pedagogies and course contents to respond to new working patterns in the market of translation will always be a concern for faculty....especially with the technological impact and changing working patterns in language industry (Translation, interpreting , revision...etc). It is crucial to shift our attention to develop human resources and competencies (teacher development scheme) to cope with ( in our proper rhythm as academics as well as professionals) the ongoing practises....as long as these practises are not only market bound but also EDUCATIONALLY sound...because, we are, before anything else an educational institution that empowers and builds human capacities to serve a SOCIAL PURPOSE a well as.

Fouad


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