In a world where information flows so freely and via so many platforms, translation professionals have never been busier as the communication demands of a global economy increase. The demand is clear, but how do universities like UNC Charlotte play a role in meeting such needs? What tools and experiences are necessary to prepare future translators and interpreters? How will students make the transition from the classroom to real-world situations as professional translators or interpreters?
The Department of Languages and Culture Studies has been preparing students as translators and interpreters for quite some time now. Students gain experience translating a variety of source language texts in multiple contexts and in a range of formats. Among the qualifications of skilled translators, accuracy and speed are highly valued. As such, students at UNC Charlotte begin their journey to capture the nuances of language as they impact a given audience, no matter where that audience is located around the world. At the same time, students begin to develop efficiency in translation as businesses often request translations within short timeframes. Ultimately, today’s skilled translators need to possess strong subject matter expertise in conjunction with a thorough understanding of technical tools in order to successfully complete projects.
Students enrolled in multiple translation courses (TRAN 6472, TRAN 6474) during Fall 2016 had an opportunity to participate in a hands-on workshop offered by a representative of one of the major CAT Tools in the industry. A CAT tool, or “Computer-assisted Translation” tool, is a computer program that translation professionals use to efficiently translate a text. CAT tools are indispensable in the current language industry.
Ms. McKenzie Gatz, from SDL, introduced the Academic Program and explained how their company is thinking of university students as they make the transition to professional settings as translators. In particular, Ms. Gatz highlighted how SDL supports new translators, and how universities can benefit in turn. Students were able to explore various features of the software and comprehend the use of such tools in several phases of the translating process.
The workshop was organized by Dr. Monica Rodriguez in close collaboration with SDL. SDL Academic Program has supported the Language Resource Center for the last two years with licensing of SDL Trados Studio, SDL Multiterm and SDL Passolo. These kinds of collaborations are crucial in preparing our graduate students to become successful translation professionals.