Training and qualifications of translators and interpreters worldwide
Thread poster: Patricia Will

Patricia Will  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 17:15
Member (2004)
German to English
Jul 12, 2009

Hello all,

I am doing some research into how translators and interpreters are trained and qualified in other countries and how this compares to the situation in Australia. I know I can find out a lot of information on the internet but if any of you had the time to give me some general pointers about the situation in your own countries it would be most appreciated. No need for very detailed responses, just a rough idea of how it works would be fine!

For example, are T&Is in your country generally trained at tertiary level, via undergraduate or postgraduate courses, or do they undergo more practical vocational training at other institutions? Are there are lot of private establishments offering T&I qualifications?

Is there a system of accreditation or licensing of T&Is in your country? Some form of registration board?

What about "community" interpreters working e.g with migrants and refugees in hospitals, health centres, social welfare organisations etc.? Do their qualifications differ from those of T&Is working in the business and private sectors?

Do court interpreters require to have special qualifications or training in this sector?

Are there many T&Is in your country working with no formal qualifications or training at all?

What is the main professional association in your country and does it provide training, qualifications or some form of accreditation?

Thanks and regards
Patricia Will
German-English translator, Western Australia


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:15
Flemish to English
+ ...
A try Jul 12, 2009

Patricia Will wrote:

Hello all,

I am doing some research into how translators and interpreters are trained and qualified in other countries and how this compares to the situation in Australia. I know I can find out a lot of information on the internet but if any of you had the time to give me some general pointers about the situation in your own countries it would be most appreciated. No need for very detailed responses, just a rough idea of how it works would be fine!

For example, are T&Is in your country generally trained at tertiary level, via undergraduate or postgraduate courses, or do they undergo more practical vocational training at other institutions? Are there are lot of private establishments offering T&I qualifications?

Is there a system of accreditation or licensing of T&Is in your country? Some form of registration board?

What about "community" interpreters working e.g with migrants and refugees in hospitals, health centres, social welfare organisations etc.? Do their qualifications differ from those of T&Is working in the business and private sectors?

Do court interpreters require to have special qualifications or training in this sector?

Are there many T&Is in your country working with no formal qualifications or training at all?

What is the main professional association in your country and does it provide training, qualifications or some form of accreditation?

Thanks and regards
Patricia Will
German-English translator, Western Australia



For example, are T&Is in your country generally trained at tertiary level, via undergraduate or postgraduate courses, or do they undergo more practical vocational training at other institutions? Are there are lot of private establishments offering T&I qualifications?

*-*-*
In the country where I come from Belgium, there are 7 state subsidized institutes for T&I. 2 with French as target-language and 1 with French or German as target-language and 4 with Dutch as target-language.
As you might have noticed, this is due to the linguistic situation of the country (trilingual). If I had known that in my youth, I would have chosen a training with French as A-language. The reason being that I alternated between two linguistic worlds on a daily basis. The demand for interpreters with Dutch as "A"-language outside the E.U., is almost 0. Moreover, some international institutions (Council of Europe, UN) are looking for translators having French as their main language.

For the content of the program, have a look at :

http://www.proz.com/forum/being_independent/54742-professional_translator.html#412772

At the time, such a program was made of a thorough study of the A-language and the target-languages. You had to be able to translate both ways. It was not a university "sensu strictu", but at training at university level.
In the 90-ies the program was revised and found to general with regard to the job-market. So courses like art were replaced by marketing.

T are trained a undergrate level.

"I" are trained at postgraduate level for which you have to pass an entrance exams. That is the case all over Europe.

Whether you start with T or I, there is always the requirement to have a sufficient knowledge of 2 foreign languages.

Have a look at:

www.emcinterpreting.org/
www.ciuti.org

Is there a system of accreditation or licensing of T&Is in your country? Some form of registration board?

What about "community" interpreters working e.g with migrants and refugees in hospitals, health centres, social welfare organisations etc.? Do their qualifications differ from those of T&Is working in the business and private sectors?

I know that in the UK there is the DPSI and that sometimes I get offers to interpret before a court, but I never answer to those. It is not that well-paid.

Are there many T&Is in your country working with no formal qualifications or training at all?

T: yes, just do a search of all the members of Proz.com in say the UK, Germany, the Benelux, France...

Conference I : no, because without formal training you risk to go flat on your face.






[Bijgewerkt op 2009-07-12 08:02 GMT]


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Cristiana Coblis  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 11:15
Member (2004)
English to Romanian
+ ...
Some resources Jul 12, 2009

Some resources I found interesting:
"Survey of the FIT Committee for Information on the Status of the Translation & Interpretation Profession", carried out by Jiri Stejskal for the International Federation of Translators in 2005.
You can find it here: http://www.cetra.com/publications/FIT_Report.pdf
It is also uploaded somewhere on the FIT website, but I do not seem to find it now.

A collection of articles published by Jiri Stejskal in ATA Chronical was published in the volume: "International Certificatin Study", published by ATA in 2003. I bought this volume from ATA, but it seems it is nolonger available. The two do not contain the same information, although for your research you will find the first study very useful.

Good luck!


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Fouad El karnichi  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 04:15
Arabic to English
+ ...
Translation /Interpreting in Morocco Jul 24, 2009

Translator training programmes in Morocco are little despite the fact that multilingualism (Arabic, French , Berber , Spanish ...) and multiculturalism (Arabs,Amazigh, jews...) is widespread !!

Currently , we have one of the most prominent establishment for training translators in the Arab world (Ecole Fahd de Traduction in Tangier ) established in late eighties...

Then just recently , 2 private institutes (One in rabat and the other in casablanca ) have kicked off programmes for training translators and Interpreters .

At the university level there are 2 Master programmes in Translation were established recently ( 3years ago)@ the universities of Mohammadia and Al -jadida .


Also , Translation is a course which has been taught at universities as part of language programmes ( about 2 hrs a week).

Overall, Translation rsearch is still in its enfantile statatus , since more activities are needed at the academic and professional level to empower the discipline and the profession alike in the country.

Hope the above will help.

Fouad





[Edited at 2009-07-24 21:34 GMT]


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Patricia Will  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 17:15
Member (2004)
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Jul 25, 2009

Thanks to all of you who have contributed so far. Interesting to hear how things are done elsewhere. Hoping for a few more contributions from other colleagues elsewhere in the world.

Best regards
Patricia


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Martina Chalupova  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 10:15
Member (2009)
English to Czech
+ ...
Czech Republic still figuring it out Jul 25, 2009

In the last few years I was gradually preparing for a shift towards a freelance status so I was trying to figure out how to gain qualification, education and maybe a degree in translation in the Czech Republic. Yet the situation is rather sad.

1. To start a business as a translator you don´t need to have any actual qualification. You just file in an application and receive a business licence for delivering translation services. This is a big problem well known to the community and there are people calling themselves "translators" based on these licences. But I think steps are being taken to change this legislation.

2. There is only one official university program offering a degree in translation - the Charles University Master´s. The problem however is that this program focuses mainly on art translation and the students aren´t well prepared for the mainstream translation business. I haven´t studied this program so I´m just offering the general opinion on this program. There are classes on translation being taught as a part of linguistics and philology studies of foreign languages but I believe these are also focused on art translation.

3. Apart from the university program there is a possibility to attend a one-year translation course at so-called "state language schools". At the end of this course you can sit for a "state exam". I visited this course in one of the major Czech cities and to be honest, it was horrible. The teacher had no experience with translations whatsoever and the class consisted of long and boring translations of various newspaper articles etc. The teacher wasn´t able to deliver an explanation for what is wrong and what is right and why. She always said things like "Well, both versions are OK, but let´s prefer the first one." The "translation exam" is not very well known and it´s content is unknown to me.

So basically if you want to become a translator (meaning to actually learn the skill) you can opt for international language exams (Cambridge ESOL) and wish to be lucky enough to get some clients and slowly start rolling.

I´d like to be proven wrong by some of my Czech colleagues but this is to my best knowledge. Patricia, feel free to contact me if you have any further questions.


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