Do translation professionals need to worry about continuing education?
Yes, very much so. You need to stay current on a number of levels:
- Linguistic skills. Languages morph, and—at least for me—my ability to speak a language I’m not using daily can rust over surprisingly quickly. You need to keep your writing, reading, and speaking skills active in all your languages.
- Translation skills. You should be growing in your craft every time you take on a new project. But you still want to make sure there aren’t better, more effective, or innovative ways of accomplishing what you do on a regular basis.
- Industry-specific skills. If you’re doing medical or judicial interpreting, there are industry-specific regulations that you need to be aware of. One of the biggest sea-changes in the medical profession, for example, has been the new privacy regulations through HEPA, and any professional involved even peripherally needs to be aware of them and their ramifications.
- Cultural knowledge. There are some fields where this is more relevant than others.
- Knowledge of the tools of the trade. This is currently a very dynamic part of the profession, due to the inroads that computers, the internet, cloud computing, and CAT tools have made.
- Marketing/ business tools. If you want to grow your business, instead of letting it stagnate or wither, these are good to keep abreast of—which leads us to the next question.
-By Adriana Tassini
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