American Translators Association (ATA) President David Rumsey was featured on CNBC’s Where the Jobs Are series and the PBS Nightly Business Report. The news programs interviewed Rumsey, Past ATA President Jiri Stejskal, and ATA Member Jutta Diel-Dominique for stories concerning the growing demand for translators and interpreters.
“As the economy becomes more globalized and businesses realize the need for translation and interpreting to market their products and services, the opportunities for people with advanced language skills will continue to grow sharply,” Rumsey said.
According to CNBC, language services companies work with about 1,000 independent contractors in translation services in any given year and recruit on a daily basis. And while there was once a fear that technology would replace humans in the process as demand for services increased, the opposite has happened—it’s enhanced their work.
“The overall industry is growing because of the amount of content out there—it’s increasing exponentially,” said Stejskal, president and CEO of CETRA Language Solutions in Philadelphia. “Technology is helping to translate more content, but for highly specialized content, you need an actual human involved.”
Rumsey highlighted the complexity of the interpreting and translation industry and the sustained skills and adaptive approaches needed by practitioners of the craft, stressing that translators who want to distinguish themselves as professionals have to continue to work and hone their skill sets. “It’s a lifelong practice, and it requires keeping up not only your language skills but your subject matter skills so that you really understand the industries and fields you are working in.”
Diel-Dominique, who has been translating for over 20 years, echoed Rumsey’s thoughts on the necessity for perfecting one’s language skills to become a qualified professional. “I like finding the rhythm of language,” she said. “I am a complete word nerd—I realized I wanted to learn the English language, the nuts and bolts of it, almost to perfection.”
Founded in 1959, the American Translators Association is the nation’s largest professional organization for translators and interpreters. Its primary goals include fostering and supporting the professional development of translators and interpreters and promoting the translation and interpreting professions. ATA, based in Alexandria, Virginia, has nearly 11,000 members in over 100 countries. For more information on ATA, please visit www.atanet.org.
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