Monday, 11 July 2016

Continuous Professional Development

A professional translator will have many years of study and/or experience behind them and also many years of learning ahead of them. In the industry we call the latter Continuous Professional Development (CPD).


Like many other professions, it is actively encouraged by our professional associations and is in fact a requirement of some of them.

But that's not the only reason.

It makes our work more interesting and our job easier. It also helps us to understand  our clients' business and the language they use.


Methods vary from the simplest (reading) to the most demanding (but arguably most rewarding) in terms of time and money: going to client events and conferences.


The first of the month is always a special day for me. This is when all my magazines drop through the letterbox.

I specialise in fashion and cosmetics, food and drink and the arts so I subscribe to a variety of magazines. Each and every one of them is a pleasure to read. And I don't just read them. I take notes and write down the latest buzz words for future reference.


eCPD is a specialist webinar provider for the translation and interpreting industry. In April 2016, I presented a webinar for eCPD: Translating for the creative industries: fashion, beauty and wine.

We also tune in to the many non-translation webinars we find on social media.

Another great way to improve our skills from the comfort of our own homes.

But I also like to get out of the house regularly to keep my business brain switched on. 

Local events

Some translators belong to local associations such as the Chamber of Commerce, a BNI chapter or similar. Others find local events which help them learn more about their specialist area.

In November 2015, I learnt how to improve my sense of smell at a Perfume Society event in Glasgow.

Translation industry events and conferences

In my first post I said that we like to speak to each other. Translation events and conferences are the perfect opportunity to meet up with colleagues and learn the tools of our trade.

What's more, we build networks and refer work to each other. So if you have a specific translation request I can't handle I will most likely know - or be able to find - a colleague who can.

Specialist industry conferences

Have you ever met a translator at an event? I suspect many of you will shake your heads in answer to this question but it may not be long before you do.

More and more translators are working in specialist areas and joining associations and attending conferences in their specialist industries.

And so...

I'll be writing about some of my CPD events and courses in future posts. But so it's not all about me - and the creative industries - I'll be asking colleagues to write about how they keep up to date with their particular specialisms.

Would you like to talk to a translator?

If you'd be interested in talking to a translator about your current or future language requirements, then write a comment and I'll do my utmost to find you the person you need.