MET workshops

International Translation Day: Bridging Cultures, freelance views from two associations, MET and APTIC
Becoming more competitive through cooperation: peer revision and mentoring

Helen Casas

Background: Cooperation among translators and editors is becoming more commonplace due to increasingly tight deadlines, more demanding projects and an interest in bettering the profession. In working together, linguists are better able to meet clients’ requirements and enhance the end result, while also sharpening skill sets. One approach to cooperation is peer-reviewing, a form of collaboration in which linguists share ideas and edit texts. Mentoring, on the other hand, is a type of coaching in which assistance and guidance is given to promising individuals with less expertise, for the purpose of shortening their learning curve. Although the benefits of collaborative efforts are recognized, many linguists are unsure of how to provide or seek assistance from others.

Purpose: To identify promising practices with regard to recognizing potential for cooperation and defining the relationship in terms of scope and length, as well as to provide practical ideas and resources to help ensure a successful collaboration from the three perspectives (whether peers, mentors or mentees).

Session content: The presentation will briefly discuss the benefits of peer-reviewing and mentoring, and then provide practical ideas on how to identify a good match, define the relationship clearly, lay out some goals, and make it work. The session will stress the need to define several aspects related to time and financial commitments, length and scope of the relationship, and the usefulness of identifying strengths and weaknesses. Several guidelines on how to keep the relationship on track will be mentioned. In addition, tips on how to move a mentoring situation to the next level will be discussed.

Helen Casas, an engineering graduate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is a freelance translator based in Barcelona who specializes in pharmaceutical and medical translation and editing. She has 19 years of experience working for a variety of clients including translation agencies in Spain and abroad, as well as direct clients in business and academia.