Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for Translators

9th December 2014

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is the systematic maintenance, improvement and broadening of knowledge and skills. It also encourages the development of personal qualities necessary for the execution of professional duties throughout a translator’s working life.

Why CPD?

Every profession requires constant development. Continuous changes in the market and customer requirement necessitate constant skills development and improvement of market knowledge. This change requires adaptation from the professional linguist.

Working as a translator is a never ending learning process but the level of CPD depends on the sector specialised in. If the majority of your work lies in website translation, for example, you’ll need to stay on top of any SEO changes (search engine optimisation) and listen to Google recommendations and demands. Attending various SEO events such as Brighton SEO and Search Love will help you to stay current and in-the-loop. Linguists also need to keep up-to-date with the changing vocabulary, jargon and language trends.

How should translators stay up-to-date?

There are several approaches that can be taken to stay up-to-date:

1. Attend conferences and language shows:

21-22 February 2019TOGETHER 2019

Theme – Mastering Digital Transformation.

It focuses on what your business does best to stand out from the crowd and provide solutions to the changing needs of your end clients.
Barcelona, Spain
28 February – 1 March 2019TCWORD INDIA

Learn about technical communications, emerging trends, technologies, and best practises in the field of technical communication.
Taj Hotel MG Road, Bangalore, Karnataka
27-28 February 2019LOCWORD39

Theme: Go Global, Be Global

About: foreign markets, cost of entry, ROI, localisation,
strengthening your brand and maintaining and growing and presence.
Shangri-La Hotel, Kuala Lumpur

Learn about implementing machine translation and machine learning into translation process, new technologies and innovations aiming at increasing efficiency.
Amsterdam, Netherlands
21-22 March 2019TEKOM SPRING CONFERENCE 2019

This conference offers up-to-date knowledge in technical communication and at the same time an ideal platform for new ideas, projects and networking.
Vienna, Austria

This conference focuses on the future of translation industry shaped by AL technology. It welcomes all members of translation and localisation industry and gives you a networking and peer-to-peer learning opportunity.
Munich, Germany

Theme: Translation Beyond the Margins

Learn about new territories, new landscapes in Translation Studies and practices, cross-overs in interpreting, audiovisual translation, transcreation, self-translation and much more.
Doha, Quatar

Theme: Ready, Set 2020!

This annual conference focuses on the latest technologies, localization industry trends and various domains of translation. Full of presentations, workshops and debates, it offers a unique opportunity to meet with LSPs, translators and end clients.
Warsaw, Poland

Theme: People, looks & tech

Event aimed at language industry decision-makers who are seeking to maximise their key assets, remodel their businesses and deploy the best strategies and technologies to break into new markets while ensuring their company’s image matches its extended offer.
Tallinn, Estonia

Best for freelance translators, interpreters and language
Bologna, Italy

Who should attend?
Anyone who wants to learn about the most recent industry trends, see what’s cooking at memoQ and get real-life tips and tricks from the memoQ team and other experienced memoQ users. This event is for those who believe that technology is crucial to success.
Budapest, Hungary
4-5 June 2019EVOLUTION OF TC 2019

Evolution of TC is the annual gathering event for all technical communicators with a focus on innovations in software documentation.
Sofia, Bulgaria
11-13 June 2019LOCWORD 40 PORTUGAL

Theme: Go Global, Be Global

Event focused on international business translation and localisation.
Estori, Portugal

Get educated in new technologies and best practices for translation and localization, learn how to redesign translation processes and how to benchmark strategies for global intelligent content delivery.
Salt Lake City, UT, USA

This conference is a great opportunity for translators and language expert to discuss and learn about machine translation including advances in various MT, human factors in MT and user interfaces for MT, ethical issues in translation, linguistic resources for MT.
Dublin, Ireland

This event is best for translation and localisation professionals who are looking for a practice-oriented and state-of-the-art introduction to translation and localisation processes, issues and tools.
Antwerp, Belgium

Themes range from the quantum leaps we make in machine translation and machine learning to the design of modern translation pipelines that are invisible, autonomous and data-driven.
Dublin, Ireland
9-13 September 2019EST CONGRESS 2019

Theme: Living Translation: People, Processes, Products

This event mainly targets scholars, researchers, and professionals interested in the scientific side of the language industry.
South Africa

Who is it for?
Anyone working in 10+ CEE languages, freelancers or companies offering CEE languages and PMs and VM seeking insights and inspiration.
Prague, Czech Republic

This conference brings together leading academic scientists, researchers and research scholars to exchange and share their experiences and research results on all aspects of Interpreting and Translation. It provides a platform for researchers, practitioners and educators to present and discuss the most recent innovations, trends and practical challenges encountered and solutions adopted in the fields of Interpreting and Translation.
London, UK
23-26 October 201960th ATA Conference

The ATA Annual Conference is essential for professional translators and interpreters to get the education and career development specific to their needs. Over 150 sessions are offered, featuring a variety of languages and specialisations.
Palm Springs, California
15-17 November 2019THE LANGUAGE SHOW

FREE exhibition is for language learners, language teachers and everyone who loves languages.
London, England

2. Read reference books:

Both Amazon and Ebay have a wide selection of paperback and electronic books.Here are some recommendations:

  • Found in Translation: How Language Shapes Our Lives and Transforms the World

Found in Translation reveals the surprising and complex ways that translation shapes the world. It covers everything from holy books to hurricane warnings and poetry to peace treaties.


  • Lingo: A Language Spotter’s Guide to Europe

‘Combining linguistics and cultural history, Gaston Dorren takes us on an intriguing tour of the continent, from Proto-Indo-European (the common ancestor of most European languages) to the rise and rise of English, via the complexities of Welsh plurals and Czech pronunciation.’


  • Is that a Fish in your ear?

‘Is That a Fish in Your Ear? by David Bellos asks: how do we really make ourselves understood to other people? This funny, wise and life-affirming language book shows how, from puns to poetry, news bulletins to the Bible, Asterix to Swedish films, translation is at the heart of everything we do – and makes us who we are.’


  • Lost in Translation: An Illustrated Compendium of Untranslatable Words

“Did you know that the Japanese have a word to express the way sunlight filters through the leaves of trees? Or, that there’s a Swedish word that means a traveler’s particular sense of anticipation before a trip? Lost in Translation, a New York Times bestseller, brings the nuanced beauty of language to life with over 50 beautiful ink illustrations.”


  • Empires of the Word: A Language History of the World

‘Nicholas Ostler’s Empires of the Word is the first history of the world’s great tongues, gloriously celebrating the wonder of words that binds communities together and makes possible both the living of a common history and the telling of it.’


  • Through the Language Glass: Why the World Looks Different in Other Languages

‘In Through the Language Glass, acclaimed author Guy Deutscher will convince you that, contrary to the fashionable academic consensus of today, the answer to all these questions is – yes. A delightful amalgam of cultural history and popular science, this book explores some of the most fascinating and controversial questions about language, culture and the human mind.’


  • The Translation Studies Reader

The Translation Studies Reader provides a definitive survey of the most important and influential developments in translation theory and research, with an emphasis on twentieth-century developments. With introductory essays prefacing each section, the book places a wide range of seminal and innovative readings within their thematic, cultural and historical contexts.’


  • Routledge Encyclopedia of Translation Studies

‘Translation has long deserved this sort of treatment. Appropriate for any college or university library supporting a program in linguistics, this is vital in those institutions that train students to become translators.’ – Rettig on Reference


  • Translation: An Advanced Resource Book

‘Routledge Applied Linguistics is a series of comprehensive textbooks, providing students and researchers with the support they need for advanced study in the core areas of English language and Applied Linguistics.’


  • A Practical Guide for Translators

‘This is the fifth revised edition of the best-selling “A Practical Guide for Translators”. It looks at the profession of translator on the basis of developments over the last few years and encourages both practitioners and buyers of translation services to view translation as a highly-qualified, skilled profession and not just a cost-led word mill. The book is intended principally for those who have little or no practical experience of translation in a commercial environment.’


  • In Other Words: A Coursebook on Translation

Drawing on modern linguistic theory, this best-selling text provides a solid base to inform and guide the many key decisions trainee translators have to make. Each chapter offers an explanation of key concepts, identifies potential sources of translation difficulties related to those concepts, and illustrates various strategies for resolving these difficulties. Authentic examples of translated texts from a wide variety of languages are examined, and practical exercises and further reading are included at the end of each chapter.’


3. Write a blog:

Writing a blog is not only stimulating for the brain but also very educational. You can create online presence that is truly and fully yours and share it with the world. Creating interesting articles requires a lot of research and thought but it also has many other benefits: it can boost your SEO, develop relationships with existing and potential clients and allow you to show a personal side of your business that perspective and current customers won’t see through outbound marketing techniques. Undoubtedly, many interesting things will be learnt along the way.

A WordPress blog can be created for free. You should start with choosing a modern design, easy to navigate and customise it with your content and brand. All responsive designs are mobile friendly. Once your blog is live you can optimise it for search, integrate with social media channels and sharing features. The next step is to connect it to Google Analytics to monitor visitor levels and activity and to Google Search Console to keep an eye on your blog’s health.

4. Attend training courses:

Whether a beginner or a translator of long standing, attending courses on the topic of translating and/or interpreting will help to improve expertise. It gives a holistic non-biased view of the current viewpoints and methodologies within the language industry. Many of the universities in the UK offering an MA in Translation or equivalent qualifications are Corporate Education Members of ITI. Whilst this may be costly, it can only be of benefit in the long run.

5. Subscribe to news from industry experts:

Research sector specific industry blogs and subscriptions to weekly or monthly newsletters, with the most current news and articles, will not only provide the opinions of industry experts but helps keep pace with changes and new insights.


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