In developing countries, literacy in English, French and other European languages is increasing fast, so translators in developed countries fear they will lose out on jobs to colleagues in countries with lower wages. Some report that they already do. Nevertheless, as developing economies grow and become more open, many of them still face a huge translation skills shortage. Although European languages are official in many developing countries, relatively few people reach native-speaker proficiency, and even fewer study translation. Purchasers of language services in those countries often cannot find competent, professional, full-time translators and interpreters and have to resort to part-timers, with varying results.
This presentation was inspired by the positive experiences I had while living in Namibia, where I have acquired half a dozen clients willing to pay my rates because they needed the high-quality work that I provide. To get a broader picture, I interviewed several other translators who have clients in Africa, Asia and Latin America, and I will present my findings.
Timothy Barton is a freelance translator and editor currently based in Dundee, Scotland. In the past he has worked from Catalonia and Namibia. Timothy specializes in macroeconomics and has translated reports for the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development since 2007. He has also translated documents for the Inter-American Development Bank Group and two economics books by two different authors. Timothy is a member of four associations: MET (Mediterranean Editors and Translators), APTIC (Associació Professional de Traductors i Intèrprets de Catalunya), the SFT (Société française des traducteurs) and the IAPTI (International Association of Professional Translators and Interpreters). He has previously made presentations for MET, APTIC and the Professional Editors Guild of South Africa. In 2018, he joined the roster of United Nations translators, having passed the entrance exams.
This short talk is scheduled for Friday, 3 May 2019.
The exact time will be announced by mid-April.