Mentoring for Translators and Interpreters


SURVEY RESULTS - Conclusions


PART IV: Proposals to raise awareness and increase adequate, customized mentoring in our community


A General Standard of Mentoring Practices should provide a reference system and the building blocks for a successful Mentor-Mentee experience, to help our Community’s Freelancers and companies build up their own customized program, given the great variations among translation markets, languages and industries. It should explore all the possibilities and lay the groundwork for individualized Mentoring Charters. To this end, it should list all areas and aspects of mentoring, explaining their different possibilities. This would enable mentors and mentees to set up their personalized program according to specific language/market/specialization/mentoring needs.

To get more professionals into mentoring, the Standard should help tackle the most common fears and unclear expectations – both among mentors and mentees – and provide guidance as to what a mentor should do, by outlining not only all eligible mentoring fields but also their sub-areas to choose from. This would improve the prospects for newcomers to achieve professional excellence at an earlier stage of their careers.

The Standard should explicitly explain the value of mentoring, especially among our industry’s Freelance Community. Standardized and customized mentoring models allowing for flexible adaptations according to the varying needs of specific mentors and mentees, are of the utmost importance for all professionals within our Global Community of Translators and interpreters.

A General Standard on Mentoring for our Global Translators’ and Interpreters’ Community should also hint at the existence of different, often scattered and highly heterogeneous mentoring programs in the different countries, as offered by institutions, associations, universities or other actors/stakeholders, as well as Freelancers/Coaches working on an individual basis but adhering to a Standard. Given the impossibility of listing them all, it could provide guidance regarding the different mentoring landscapes existing in different countries and markets.

The Standard should encourage the development of mentoring models which take into account already existing working schedules, time and financial restraints primarily of mentors, but also of mentees. More mentoring hours might be offered and taken up in our industry if our Community developed new coaching models to facilitate customized, “out of the box”, peer-to-peer mentoring in the Freelance Community, given that lack of time is apparently a hindrance either to providing more mentoring hours or to providing any at all.

Consequently, such a Standard should envisage the possibility of receiving sponsoring from third parties for Mentor-Mentee-relationships to tackle the mentor’s wishes of payment as well as strong time restraints. It should also contemplate the fact that an important number of mentors does not necessarily or exclusively seek financial compensation for their efforts, but wishes to receive recognition or some other kind of benefit in a non-monetary form.

It should take into account all necessary technologies required to build up adequate, standardized and customized Mentor and Mentee profiles and charters, to match up eligible mentors and mentees and to establish coaching relationships and networks across our Global Translators’ and Interpreters’ Community (whereby the risk of direct market competence some mentors fear could also be tackled).

Conclusions drawn from practical implementation and experience of this Standard should be assessed and necessary modifications possibly made. Our Global Community’s Translators and Interpreters are invited to join us in this effort.

Furthermore, such a Standard should promote cross-disciplinary cooperation with other specialist communities (e.g. Computational Linguists) to create customized, tailored solutions for our industry’s needs.

Last but not least, it should specifically hint at the lack of and need for mentoring among our Global Freelancer Community in the field of business and break down eligible mentoring aspects in this field.




(< Back to PART III: MENTOR AND MENTEE COMPARED – Joint analysis 
of Mentor’s and Mentee’s trends)


Download the Conclusions:  Mentoring for Translators and Interpreters. Survey Results – Part 2: Conclusions  (PDF, 7 pages)


Download the resulting Mentoring Guidelines for Translators and Interpreters


Add new comment