An Eye-Opening Experience – MCIS’ Translator Training Program

By: Jack Xu

bigstock_Young_United_Students_2602981Before I joined the Translator Training Program’s first cohort, I had a limited vision of translation. Going into the training, I thought of translation like adopting a child: just as a new mother needs training, the translator requires more nurturing lessons. And having completed the program, I also endorse the definition of translation by the famous Italian translator and author, Anna Rusconi:

“Words travel worlds. Translators do the driving!”

Because, by the end of this training, I felt like not only a trained adoptive mother, but a licensed driver who can confidently drive on different roads and in various situations!

The training program was an eye-opener, in more ways than one. I never had an idea that there could be as many as 26 subjects to learn in a job that I was assuming I had mastered! The facilitators, each an expert in her/his area of translation, opened a whole world of the Language Services Industry in their friendly and informative way of teaching. Their friendliness never lost seriousness in any topic, be it a seemingly simple, but actually complex, subject like The Translation Process or an important segment like Quality in Translation: Revision, Editing & Proofreading. The best part was that the simple looking Modules were shown their depth, and tough sounding subjects were made lighter without losing their core values.

That was the reason we all were very comfortable, clarifying our misconceptions or confusions; at times even asking silly questions! The classroom ambiance was that of a group of friends who had the facilitator as their leader. She or he would lead the group in such a way that both the theory and practical parts of the program were learned effortlessly. In fact: we were excited for the next class, because the facilitators never left anyone behind. Their patience made every student feel important!

The product of such an atmosphere was not only educational but also endearing and enjoyable at the same time; a rare combination! Hence, ‘homework’, one of the scarier concepts of my schooldays, never felt burdensome. One loved to work at home as much as doing the Group Activities in class, which were an integral part of each Module. Since I did not have a language partner, my strategy was to change my seat in every class. This served two purposes: on the one hand, I was exposed to different languages, and on the other I made friends with most of the classmates. In any case, our cohort was more like a family, thanks to the ambiance of the class. How I wish we could meet every year, at least! Though it was a journey of 40 Modules, on the last day most of us were emotional while parting.

When I look back, the exposure to the concepts like Transcription, Localization, Transcreation, Audiovisual Translation, Research and Documentation, Translation of Advertising Materials, Commercial and Financial Translation etc. were a real eye-opener. Even a simple concept like Translator’s Code of Ethics was also very helpful. In short, at the end of this training, I was like a New Translator, who had knowledge of the latest tools of the profession like Machine Translation.

With the hard work of MCIS’ Team led by Ms. Gabriela Rodas, and the competent guidance of Ms. Veronica Costea, I believe that I received equivalent training that a professional translator gets from a long University course.

In my experience, it helped me realize the apt and smart quote of the legendary German writer Gunter Grass, the Nobel Laureate who famously said: “Translation is that which transforms everything so that nothing changes!’’ This training provided me the tools to meet that subtle balancing act of transformation that a translator needs, and has made me a better professional. Thank you both: my alma mater MCIS and their funding partner, the Ontario Trillium Foundation!

To learn more about the training, or to register, CLICK HERE!

Hasmukh Thakkar
MCIS Trainee & Translator