Being a newcomer in the translation and interpretation industry is like being in one of those reality shows where they drop adults with various skill sets in the middle of nowhere, and see what happens:
Will they adapt to the wilderness?
Sounds dramatic, I know. Just keep reading, you’ll see what I mean.
In those TV series, the participants rely on skills acquired in life while learning new ones to survive. They go further outside of their comfort zone than they thought possible. At the end, an airplane whisks everyone home, back where they started, and they do a happy dance because, "Whew, I won’t ever have to go through all of that again!!"
For us, new translators & interpreters, it’s kind of the same – minus the ending and with less drama. We find ourselves on new terrain, using our skills from previous careers, and gaining new ones by pushing our boundaries. However, instead of getting to leave, we stay… because we love it! We learn the ways of the land, cultivate it, and connect with the inhabitants.
In this environment, one of the best survival tools… whoops, I mean, learning tools is a professional association for translators and/or interpreters. The instructors in the Bellevue College translation program all insisted on the importance of actively participating in the ATA and, if possible, NOTIS, the local chapter. However, my classmates and I did not understand how we could participate because, well, it's for professionals, and we weren't professionals, yet. We said things like:
“Professor C told us to join and participate, but how?
Need more? Click on the icons below: