Legislation on translation and interpreting (3 of 3): professional college

The emergence of translation and interpreting schools at universities lead to the creation of TRIAC (pro-college translators and interpreters associated), which aims for a professional college, in Catalonia in 1995.

As seen before, the lack of awareness of the need of training and proper work conditions beyond speaking a couple of languages keeps recognition and wages low. Moreover, translators and interpreters tens to work alone, isolated from their colleagues, which diminishes their capacity to influence administration. A college would put an end to these problems.

A professional college is a legal group of pressure recognised by the law that consolidates the profession. A college would fight for the interests of the collective and would define who is a professional and who isn’t, and would be legally able to publish reference wages, which is forbidden to other associations.

Apart from the important task of defending the interests regarding regulation of the professions, a college would also guide inexperienced translators, who now have to face endless administrative forms and conditions on their own and find their way into a confusing market.

On the other side, conditions of admission to the college should be discussed. In Finland, a recommendation is needed; in Norway, a tribunal analyses some translations by the applicant. Conditions of admission should be the fairest and most objective in order to accept the actual professionals, regardless their training or experience, and filter those who are not.

Considering the territorial reach of the college; a regional college would be more viable and easier to manage. The lager the reach, the more heterogeneity and the harder to set it up from scratch. Thus, the creation of regional colleges would be advisable before a state one. The latter should be created in the future supported by the experience of the former.

Years go by, nevertheless, and neither do TRIAC’s efforts seem to success nor is the awareness of the different agents raising enough to improve the situation of the profession.

Views from Saint Paul's cathedral in London [Vicente Villamón]

Views from Saint Paul’s cathedral in London [Vicente Villamón]

BAKER, Mona. Routledge Encyclopedia of Translation Studies. Routledge: London, 1998.

PUJOL, Marta. «Hacia un colegio profesional» in La traducción y la interpretación en España hoy: perspectivas profesionales (p. 225-231). Granada, 2000.

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