Guest post by Lucy Brooks

by Paula Pitkethly

In September Lucy Brooks kindly hosted us as guest post writers on her blog eCPD Webinars. We are now able to reciprocate by hosting Lucy’s informative post on CPD and its importance to succeeding as a freelance translator. Over to you, Lucy.

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At the start of this year I wrote a blog post about the difficulties faced by translators straight out of an MA, degree course or paid employment as they start out on their own as a freelance translator. http://spotlightontranslation.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/investigating-gap-between-translator.html

Today’s economic situation has meant that traditional routes into translation work have become scarcer. Previously, many would-be translators left university with their degrees and sought employment with in-house translation departments where they would hone their skills. Others entered different careers and applied their language skills within their chosen career, thus acquiring an extensive background in their field.

But the market in the 21st century has changed beyond all recognition. There are very few in-house or supervised translation positions available, and the competition for those that remain is fierce. It’s harder than ever for recent graduates to get a foot on the employment ladder. An article published in the Guardian in 2014 provides some statistics. Graduates from an MA course in translating are therefore increasingly turning to freelancing as possibly the only practical option open to them if they wish to pursue a full-time translation career.

Recent graduates and practising translators at all levels of experience need constantly to update their skills and knowledge. Learning simply cannot stop once a person has left full time education. As the modern world evolves, so must we. The tools we use to do our job, the sectors in which we ply our craft, and the markets in which we operate are subject to constant change. This kind of learning is known as continuing professional development (CPD) or continuing education.

Established in 2010, eCPD Webinars was the pioneer of online professional development for translators and, while not neglecting established translators, has increasingly been developing courses and talks for new translators.

One of eCPD’s most successful courses, the Business School for Translators, developed by Marta Stelmaszak, is a fantastic resource for new (and indeed established) translators to build and expand their business and create their own niche in the market.

Freelancers have to plan, pursue (and pay for) career development, unlike those in paid employment. But on the upside, they can plan a precisely tailored career path that precisely fits in with what they want to do.

So, while ultimately it is the individual who is responsible for developing a career, I am now offering my services, through eCPD Webinars, to new and established translators in an online consultancy service to help them along the way. eCPD’s consultancy service for translators and interpreters is aimed at helping language professionals set up and work on a professional development plan and is based upon my, and my fellow directors’ many years of experience in the profession.

I will discuss with you what you are seeking, how you want your career to develop and how you can be fulfilled in your work. After the initial online interview, I will carry out research and advise you accordingly.

All advice is unbiased and will not necessarily recommend eCPD’s own courses. However since eCPD covers so many topics, it is likely that they will figure somewhere in the mix! Work-Life balance is hard to gauge, and every individual will want to work out their own balance. We will be discussing this aspect of your work, as well as ideas for directions in which to move forward and tips for organising your business and work.

My credentials to do this are set out on the information page, along with several recommendations. The service started in September 2015.

The information page also contains a video to explain how it works.

Following a career in industrial PR and IT training, Lucy Brooks became a professional translator in 1991, working from German, French and Spanish into British English. She is a member of the Chartered Institute of Linguists, and attained Chartered Linguist status in 2008. She has always taken a keen interest in continuing education for linguists, having served on the Translating Division committee of the CIoL during which time she pioneered Internet-based training for translators. She is the founder of eCPD Webinars in the UK and works closely with the ATA, the CIoL, ITI and AUSIT on webinar training. She continues to translate for many of her longest-standing customers.

Following a career in industrial PR and IT training, Lucy Brooks became a professional translator in 1991, working from German, French and Spanish into British English. She is a member of the Chartered Institute of Linguists, and attained Chartered Linguist status in 2008. She has always taken a keen interest in continuing education for linguists, having served on the Translating Division committee of the CIoL during which time she pioneered Internet-based training for translators. She is the founder of eCPD Webinars in the UK and works closely with the ATA, the CIoL, ITI and AUSIT on webinar training. She continues to translate for many of her longest-standing customers.

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Last night I had a dream

by Paula Pitkethly

Following on from last week’s blog post about volunteering, I’d like to tell you about the first collaborative volunteering project that the Deep End team was recently involved in. Through a professional contact of Sandra’s, we were approached by the International Editor-in Chief of Anoche tuve un sueño Global magazine, created by Julia Higueras in 2009.

The quarterly magazine handles global current affairs with an eco-social emphasis. It is originally written in Spanish and there is a plan to publish an English version at some point in the future, so we were asked to translate a previous edition into English to be shared with potential sponsors. And what an amazing opportunity this was!

1) It enabled us to work with diverse and stimulating texts different to those we might normally deal with, exploring our creative side.

2) We worked collaboratively to discuss ideas, proofread each other’s work and learn from one another.

3) In thanks for our hard work, we were invited to the magazine’s first award ceremony, which took place in Madrid last weekend, to rub shoulders with Spanish TV personalities and international award winners and celebrate their ‘committed optimism’.

To make the most out of my first visit to Madrid, I invited a Parisian friend to the award ceremony, where I would also meet Felicity and Sandra. This is where my CPD took an interesting turn: not only did I practise speaking Spanish all weekend, I also spoke a mélange of Portuguese and French with my friend Isabel, and as it turned out, the common language between us all was not English, as you might expect, but Portuguese!

The awards ceremony took place at ‘LASEDE’, the headquarters of the Official Architects’ Association of Madrid and the ceremony was hosted by the Spanish comedian Dani Delacamara.

The award winners

Sustainable thinking award: Sonrisas de Bombay, an NGO founded in 2004 by Catalan journalist Jaume Sanllorente that develops education and health projects for children living in the Bombay slums.

Culture and performing arts award: Valentín Vallhonrat, photographer, teacher and consultant to several Spanish art centres and currently responsible for curating the University of Navarra Museum.

Science award: Miguel Martínez, philosopher and author of studies on energy sustainability, particularly in the field of natural gas, and Pilar Mateo, Doctor of Chemical Sciences, committed to the fight against diseases such as Chagas disease, dengue and malaria using cutting-edge technology.

Freedom of the press award: Caddy Adzuba, a Congolese rights campaigner and journalist whose crusade against sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo has won worldwide acclaim.

The team thoroughly enjoyed taking part in translating this particular dream, and it goes to show that sometimes volunteer projects do pay!

Paula, Sandra and Felicity at the award ceremony

Paula, Sandra and Felicity at the award ceremony

Paula at the Parque de El Retiro

Paula at the Parque de El Retiro