What does a translator need to know?

“Translators work with the written word, converting text from a source language into a target language. This is far more than replacing one word with another. The translator must also convey the style, tone and intent of the text, while taking into account differences of culture and dialect.”

Translators must be familiar with the dialects, registers, and terminology needed for the type of translation project they are responsible for. When working in teams, translators may be responsible for editing, proofreading, summarizing, localizing and transcreating.

This text is taken from the descriptions of translators, interpreters and terminologists issued in March 2016, endorsed by 10 professional associations. We practice most of these skills in our course.

The Gaucha Translations training program for translations now meets many of these requirements. In the last few weeks, we have been explaining the importance of some issues in preparing for our work.

40 hours of class work – plus a significant amount of homework. Attendance to sessions is required, and there is an admissions test. Those who need support to meet our requirements are encouraged to consider joining our Spanish Writing class in the fall. The 40-hour benchmark was established by the Oregon Department of Administrative Services and we were already there.

Challenging source texts. We tell our students where we find our texts, so they can continue their own research as they prepare for the exam. We help them discern what to look for in a study text. Exam practice texts are not necessarily the same type of text a participant will work with in daily life, but working with material that is more challenging than what we encounter every day will prepare us to be ready for everything.

Personalized feedback on every assignment (submitted on time). We review every text our students submit on time (two days before the class) because we use their material to develop the discussion for the week. Material that is submitted late is not always graded. We discuss the texts and the challenges involved live, in a teleconference, with the translators involved. Often, the students come up with alternatives we had not considered, and we learn from them!

Not a webinar. A live training requiring weekly participation. This is not a series of webinars people can watch at their convenience while they fill out multiple choice answers to verify understanding. Rather, the instructors present materials to the group and have a discussion based on the translation done that week. It is training by teleconference. Participants learn by reviewing each other’s work before submitting their work to the instructors because it is easier to identify mistakes in another person’s work than in our own. They learn how to give each other productive feedback and how to work in teams. The group has access to an email discussion group to stay connected and ask questions. In this distance-training we do everything we can to break the distance-learning barriers. We even check in with people who miss a couple of sessions in a row to see how they are doing, because their classmates are concerned about them! It is a cohort.

Student-teacher ratio of no more than 12 students per teacher. This means that we cannot accept more than 24 students. Registration, therefore, is non-refundable.

The instructors have passed the ATA exam and are ATA-certified translators and certified court interpreters. We are active translators and interpreters and share what we do in the trenches with our colleagues in the class. We are mindful that many of the members of the cohort will call to say they are certified.

Join us! The early bird discount has been extended till December 10 to allow those who were bombarded with Thanksgiving and Cyber-Monday deals to come out of the fog. Please check the registration page.

Translation class overview page, with registration link

Detailed syllabus