Why is language access important?
Ana: Language access is key for people who, like me, decided to have a fresh start in an immigrant welcoming society like ours. It allows people to break cultural barriers and also have access to basic services such as health care and employment.
Seckin: Language access is critical when it comes to healthcare and legal settings. It is impossible to participate in your own healthcare when you cannot fully understand or communicate in the language. The same is true for legal settings.
Africa: I believe having access to language enables communication and is a basic need and right for all of us.
Why did you want to become a language professional?
Ana: I became a language professional because I am a strong believer that language is a powerful tool to build bridges between communities and to provide information to those who due to language barriers cannot have access to it.
Seckin: I have always been interested and involved in languages. I have always helped my family and friends when they needed a document translated or interpreted. When this opportunity was presented by MCIS, I did not want to miss it.
Africa: There is a personal reward in knowing you are not just doing a job but also you are directly helping someone in a way only a few of us can.
Why did you choose to be trained with MCIS?
Ana: MCIS has a big reputation among language professionals around the GTA. It is a reliable agency run by professionals who care about providing great community language services as well as continuing education programs for translators and interpreters.
Seckin: Having worked with MCIS as an interpreter, I was familiar with the organization. Also, MCIS provides a unique translator training that is language-independent.
Africa: I chose MCIS because they were the leaders at creating a translator training program outside of the University level and inclusive of many languages otherwise excluded, that was very much needed in our field of work.
What was your favourite part of the MCIS training program?
Ana: In general terms: the instructors and my classmates. The program was really well structured and the workload was heavy, but we had a great time.
Seckin: The variety of topics covered and the experience of instructors and the participants.
Africa: I very much enjoyed meeting other language professionals, both students and facilitators, who understand the challenges of our work. There was a great variety of background knowledge that was so interesting to explore and learn from.
What advice would you give someone who’s thinking of becoming a language professional?
Ana: Work hard and make good use of all the tools you have access to. Keep the continued competence. It is fundamental!
Seckin: Take a course, and see if you indeed like this field. You will not only learn about the technical aspects of the work, but also the market, jobs, and establishing your own business.
Africa: I think the best advice that I can give is that you should start this as a work of love since it takes time and effort to turn it into a career, and that success goes truly hand in hand with your commitment to self-development both in your language and people skills.