Starting a career in translation: has it become more difficult in the last 20 years?

Keller, Nina M. (2008) Starting a career in translation: has it become more difficult in the last 20 years? MA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Employers' expectations of translators have risen significantly in recent years. The market is increasingly demanding for individuals who meet a wide range of requirements, ranging from specialist subject knowledge to marketing skills and document formatting abilities. At the same time, developments such as the outsourcing of in-house translation departments have left translators with little possibilities to practise their profession, other than setting up a freelance business. Above all, novice translators are affected by this trend. With no practical experience to prove their ability to translate, the majority of them are confronted with limited opportunities to gain employment, as a translator, after graduation. This dissertation attempts to examine whether it has become more difficult to embark on a career in translation in the last two decades. The research is based on identifying the impact of three key developments that have influenced the industry in recent years: globalisation, technological progress and professionalisation. In addition, the skills profile of a modern translator will be elaborated upon. To develop an accurate picture of the state of the profession, supported by the findings made from the research of books, journals and websites, a survey was developed and distributed among freelance translators, as well as one-to-one interviews arranged at a UK translation agency. This part of the research project revealed highly interesting and partially unexpected results. Without doubt the profile of the modern translator is undergoing a significant change, sideling individuals who are not able or willing to adapt. However, this development also bares chances for a new beginning. Translation plays an increasingly important role in the world economy, offering various employment opportunities for a new generation of translators. This new generation of translators will not be represented by traditional linguists, but by multi-skilled language experts from a wide range of sectors.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Languages and Area Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2011 12:48
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:14

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