No Recession for Michigan's Translators

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Michigan Translators/Interpreters Network to Hold Fourth Annual Conference

Knowing how to drive doesn’t make you a mechanic, and just knowing a foreign language doesn’t make you a translator.

The Michigan Translators/Interpreters Network (MiTiN) will hold its fourth annual Conference on Interpreting and Translation on October 12, 2013, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Novi, Mich.

This year’s keynote speakers will be:

  •     Bruno G. Romero, Manager of the Interpreter Services Program at the Supreme Court of Ohio
  •     Kirti Vashee, VP of Enterprise Translation sales for Asia Online and statistical machine translation enthusiast

Instructional sessions will include topics such as court interpreter certification testing, the impact of machine translation on the translator, the interpreter’s role in medical settings, and many more workshops on translation technology, interpreting and doing business as a freelance translator.

The Michigan Translators/Interpreters Network (MiTiN) is a 22-year-old organization that helps foreign language professionals develop their linguistic and technical skills, and educates the community in working with foreign language professionals.

While most of Michigan has struggled through hard times, the state’s translation industry is a bright spot: There is no shortage of work for qualified professional translators and interpreters. In fact, the US Department of Labor Statistics expects demand for such services to grow by 42 percent by 2020.

Translation is one of Michigan’s unsung export industries. The Internet and other technologies now allow translators to work for clients anywhere in the world, as the need for translated business and technical documentation grows across the globe.

Meanwhile, stricter official standards at home are increasing the need for qualified, certified interpreters to work in the state’s courts and medical system.

However, the right skills aren’t acquired by magic. They are gained through lots of practice and continuing education.

“Knowing how to drive doesn’t make you a mechanic, and just knowing a foreign language doesn’t make you a translator,” says MiTiN president James Kirchner. “This is why MiTiN offers monthly educational seminars as well as a yearly conference, where translators and interpreters can network and learn new skills.”

“We think we’ve put together a very good set of workshops that will build on the success of our previous conferences,” says Evelyn Villarruel, MiTiN’s vice president and a certified court interpreter. Previous conferences were attended by professionals from seven US states and Canada.

The MiTiN conference is open to experienced and beginning translators, to students and to translation services clients. Registration is already underway, and space is limited.

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