How MCIS’ Translator Training Program Bridges the Gap

By: Jack Xu

To define translation, we often use the image of a bridge: we say that translation “bridges the gap” between cultures, languages, and people. In this analogy, translators are mediators who relentlessly transfer the meaning from one shore (the source language) to the other shore (the target language).

In today’s world, and particularly in Canada, there is a growing need for translation due to globalization, international markets, and increasing migration.

In a multicultural and plurilingual setting such as ours, having access to translated texts often means being able to understand and obtain critical care and services. Translation also enables us to fully participate in our society as citizens and have our voice heard. Many people become translators for friends and family members as a matter of necessity, rather than by choice. But the best translation is informed by an education which includes the basic skills and guidelines of translation. In Canada, there are a few translation trainings and courses available, but at the moment they are limited to specific languages and they do not necessarily cater to the increasing need for trained professionals in many non-official languages and dialects.

This is where MCIS stepped in to fill the gap. With funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, MCIS developed a one-of-a-kind non-language-specific Translator Training Program geared to people who speak languages of “lesser diffusion”.

As a professional translator, and having had the opportunity to study translation through a certificate and masters at Glendon College, I know how important it is to be able to learn about best translation practices. So when I first heard about the new Translator Training Program, I was eager to participate. I helped to develop some of its content, and I went on to facilitate some of its modules.

Working as a facilitator for the MCIS’ Translation Training Program has been a heart-warming and rewarding experience. Seeing how many people are interested in learning more about translation in a non-language specific setting made it clear that a program of this kind is very necessary.

Through this program, students learn about both the soft and hard skills necessary for translation. This program includes a great introduction to fundamentals in the theory of translation, as well as a variety of specializations, with a special emphasis on community translation. There are also several modules dedicated to technical competencies and Computer Assisted Translation (CAT) tools, which are crucial for today’s translation industry. Finally, the last few modules are dedicated to building and managing a translation business, which has proven to be a very popular subject.

Additionally, the training brings together students from a wide variety of backgrounds and fields of expertise, which enriches the experience immensely and allows for amazing knowledge exchanges to happen. The classroom is also a great networking environment where students form friendships as well as teams of same-language partners.

This training is a thorough introduction to translation, which provides new translators with an array of tools and resources to keep progressing. With new tools and knowledge, translators who work with languages of “lesser diffusion” can better bridge the language gap for their communities and find new work opportunities in the ever-growing field of translation. For me, being able to facilitate their way onto the “translation bridge” and see how many of their faces light up as they start finding their path in this career is one of the best gifts one can receive.

I would like to thank the whole MCIS training team, all the fellow facilitators, content developers, and students for working so hard towards this goal and encouraging such a great initiative which I believe will make the future brighter.

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

Adrijana Jerkić
MCIS Facilitator & Translator