Innovating in translator training: A pilot course proposal on developing professional and entrepreneurial abilities for future translators
Globalisation and technology had changed the translation market upside down. We notice the emergence of many working patterns due to this change; such as the phenomenon of tele- work or online freelancing and self-employment. This practice requires a combination of both academic and business competencies. Nevertheless, as far as I know, the entrepreneurial aspect of our practice is not something that is taught within university level translation units or departments in the Arab world. Only few translation programmes in the west and Europe managed to embed such type of courses as workshops or ‘elective’ course (and not as a core course), despite the fact that it is the type of competencies that employers insist on in the market place.
Our recent review of many translation programmes in the Arab world do not contain courses or modules that address these types of new practices. The focus has always been on mainly developing linguistic skills and other types of cognitive abilities. This applies in other western or Asian countries as well. My ongoing research is on how to embed such type of workshop/ course in a translation programme and the type of pedagogical approach(es) to adopt to facilitate such course on training students to engage in developing self-directed and autonomous skills and abilities in entrepreneurial activities in translation (or other language jobs: interpreting, revision, proofreading , transcription) constructing as well as empower them to gain these types of meta-cognitive competencies that will accompany them for a life time, such as the case of setting up their own business as team of students (an agency or company) or as an individually owned business.