METM15 presentation

Getting the best out of mentoring: a mentor and mentee’s experience


Emma Goldsmith, Madrid, Spain and Jane Marshall, Barcelona, Spain

Novice translators have a lot of questions at the beginning of their career. Experienced translators have some of the answers. What is the best way to bring the two together to make mentoring work for both sides? A formal mentoring scheme? An improvised arrangement?

The speakers will look briefly at what different mentoring programmes cover in terms of translation skills, subject expertise and business know-how. Emma Goldsmith will then describe her experience as a mentor in the scheme organised by the Institute of Translation and Interpreting Medical & Pharmaceutical Network.

In the second half of the talk, the speakers will share their experience of a more informal arrangement. Emma Goldsmith has been a freelance translator for over 20 years and is often approached by newcomers for advice. Jane Marshall made a career switch from medicine to translation in 2014 and sent an email to Emma asking for “advice for someone just starting out”. This email exchange blossomed into a mentor-mentee relationship that lasted until Jane was ready to launch her business in January 2015. Through Skype, emails and written assignments, Emma and Jane discussed research and translation techniques, marketing and computer issues.

Attendees will come away with a clearer idea of what mentors and mentees can gain from different schemes and how mentoring can develop from a temporary alliance to long-term symbiosis.

Emma Goldsmith is a freelance Spanish to English medical translator. She originally trained as a registered general nurse in London and some years later she retrained as a translator in Madrid. Emma likes networking with fellow translators on Twitter and she writes about medical translation and SDL Trados Studio on her blog, Signs & Symptoms of Translation.

Jane Marshall trained as a doctor in Scotland and worked in various hospitals in England and New Zealand, before finally moving to Barcelona. She began translating in 2014 and has been working as a freelance Spanish to English translator since January 2015.


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