LK Translations encouraging next generation of translators

Date published: 22 December 2017

Middleton-based LK Translations (LKT) has been taking steps to ensure the next generation of translators are encouraged to enter the industry by running an academy to develop newcomers to the business.

Director Louise Killeen, who founded LKT in 2004, said she recognised how difficult it can be for newly-qualified graduates to step into the world of translation for the first time.

Ms Killeen said: “We are working in a fast-growing sector and entering the professional translation world is a daunting experience, so we set up our Translator Academy to give graduates joining us the support they need.

“Being tasked with a translation that would have taken a week at university, but now has a time limit of an hour, can be a shock to the system. The first on-the-job stage of training involves quite literally getting a trainee up to speed, with the mentor there every step of the way.”

Siobhan Gorrie, now lead translator at the company, went through the Translator Academy when she joined LKT in 2006. She said she had not anticipated how steep the learning curve would be after moving straight from a postgraduate MA in translation.

She said: “Working as a translator in the real world means considering so much more than just dealing with the linguistic side – it is about communicating with clients, being aware of costs and timings and following the right procedures for project administration.

“Despite the Translator Academy being in its early days, I was assigned a trainer who examined all my work and gave me in-depth feedback, ensuring my translations were at a consistently good standard before I was allowed to progress. More than a decade later, I am still here and I have had the opportunity to on pass the knowledge I gained.”

Roy Allkin, chairman of the Association of Translation Companies (ATC), is calling on senior Government figures to recognise the vital importance of languages in schools and colleges in helping secure a prosperous Britain following EU withdrawal.

He said: “It is a big worry that fewer young people have the opportunity to study modern languages. There could soon be fewer translators in the UK, and this is bound to affect our global trade. We should be investing in upgrading our ability to understand and engage with people internationally. The Department for Education needs to take action before it’s too late.”

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