The Critical Importance of a Translator’s Continuous Education in the Digital Age

The Critical Importance of a Translator’s Continuous Education in the Digital Age

Continuously learning and improving is the only way to remain relevant and accurate in the ever evolving language translation industry. This is the salient point made by Geoffrey Samuelson- Brown in his book entitled “Practical Guide for Translators”.

It is interesting to note that the author, who has been a veteran of the translation industry for decades and has even run his own language service agency, believes that it is important to consistently study language, or even learn a new specialist area. Samuelson-Brown believes that translators should focus their efforts on 2 major areas of study:

1. Business and Commerce

Samuelson-Brown states that translators would be wise to enrol in a business degree. Through the wonders of modern technology, such qualifications can even be attained online, with coursework being performed through a cloud-based server.

The author argues that one of the key areas of business that translators need to be comfortable with is marketing. This is because companies dedicate of lot of funds and time to promotion, and seek translators with an in-depth knowledge of marketing. Professional translator John Bunch argues that many translators lack rudimentary business skills, as many university translation courses do not teach the business side of the profession.


2. A Major Technical or Specialist Area

Samuelson-Brown indicates that learning a specialist area is vital when attempting to differentiate from other translators. He also believes aspiring translators should study specialist areas that are likely to be important in the future, such as alternate energy.

It would also make sense to learn a specialist topic based on your language. For instance, if you are focusing on Japanese translations, it may be an excellent idea to study robotics or mechanical engineering.

If you are unsure where to you can acquire such knowledge from, John Bunch recommends scouring the bookstore for any relevant publications that may be relevant to your study. Similarly, he also states that there are some excellent online courses, as well as several university courses that can help you specialise in certain areas.

If anyone has any more information, specifically about excellent learning materials, online courses, or university programs, don’t forget to leave a comment below. Also, for those interested in looking at Samuelson-Brown’s work, his book is available online.

Written by Matt Train
Matt Train
Matt Train is Operations Director at TranslateMedia - responsible for working with clients and system integration partners to advise, plan, and deliver multilingual digital content for international brands and content publishers.

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