Translators, interpreters in demand
Pointing to an increased market to host international conferences in Jamaica, representatives of the Translators and Interpreters Association of Jamaica (TIA) are concerned that there are not enough qualified and competent persons to fill the demand for these services.
In an interview with The Gleaner yesterday, Sandra Hamilton, president of the TIA, noted that Jamaica had become a very attractive location to host international events, but she indicated that more support was needed to adequately train translators and interpreters.
"A lot of government agencies host conferences here. Jamaica is seen as a conference destination, and I think the minister is promoting it as a destination, which means we should be in a position to offer all the services that are required at an international level," she told The Gleaner.
"I think if we have more qualified people, we could attract more international conferences. Currently, if there are three conferences running concurrently, we do not have enough people to service those conferences," Hamilton continued.
Vice-president Marjorie Robotham echoed similar sentiments, noting that there were many opportunities for young people to thrive and develop themselves. She advised persons, however, to be prepared for rigorous training if they were to compete globally.
"We have to dispel the misunderstanding that having done languages [at the tertiary level] automatically qualifies you to be an interpreter. That is not it [at] all," she declared.
The vice-president added, "As far as possibilities for young people, there are many avenues for translating. You can work for international companies and organisations which are stationed abroad. A lot of international translators are outsourcing their work to translators via the Internet. More and more as technology advances, there are many avenues being opened to young graduates."
The representatives of TIA used the opportunity to indicate that Jamaica would be hosting the first intensive course for interpreters to be held at the University of the West Indies, Mona, on the weekend. There will be four trainers, all Jamaicans, who currently work, or have recently retired from jobs, in Brussels, Paris, Geneva and New York.