Translators Associations North America: NTE

The bridge between English and French

Translators Associations North America: NTEThe Canadian Network of Translators in Education (or Réseau des traducteurs et traductrices en éducation), NTE, is a professional translation association made up of translators, revisers, terminologists and writers who work as freelancers or for employers such as translation companies and share an interest in education in Canada. The organisation was founded in 1985.

This translators association is “a self-help group” whose members live in Canada but also abroad, in many parts of the world. The first objective of NTE is to harmonise the usage of French and English terminology in Canadian institutions. This does not invalidate the respect for the diversity and complexity of national educational systems and Canada’s linguistic heritage.

Nowadays, NTE has more than 80 members, representing over 30 employers and translation agencies. There are five different sectors in which the translation association works: elementary and secondary education, postsecondary education, government organisations and agencies, professional associations and independent translators.

The writers and translators association focuses on its members’ professional and personal development. One of its goals is to research the French and English vocabulary used in education and then to clarify, update and standardise it. Another objective is to make the results of the above-mentioned research available to as wide an audience as possible.

In order to enhance its members’ quality standards, the translation association organises symposia, workshops and lectures that will help them expand their skills and knowledge of the field. NTE is a channel of communication and mutual assistance that all members can benefit from. In order to “help budding translators”, the organisation has established a scholarship programme and a series of information sessions.

The translation association gets together for its annual general meeting in Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa, alternately. The great event happens sometime between the middle and the end of April. There are also at least two regional meetings per year: one in Spring and one in Autumn. In these meetings, members attend terminology sessions, reference-sharing and brainstorming groups for pressing translation challenges.

Employers that are associates of the translators association take turns in hosting network meetings. NTE states that “as firm believers in the value of precise terminology and good writing in education, they've supported the efforts of the Network since its inception and, in the process, have played a huge role in the organization's impressive growth”.

Every two years, at the end of October, NTE holds a two-day retreat. It comprises conferences and workshops led by both guest instructors and the most experienced association members. This event provides members and everyone interested in the field with plenty of opportunities for informal discussions and socialising.

The translators association ensures that it continues to devote itself “as energetically as ever to mutual assistance, professional development, linguistic research, symposia, meetings, scholarships” as well as the internet. It says that its members “make full use of the power of technology”. For example, as well as communicating through email, members of NTE can benefit from the association’s listserv Lnorte. This may be of help when the wish to call their colleagues at once for help. Moreover, if you’re looking for inspiration to help you find an original expression or you can’t quite hit on exactly the right word – especially when time is of the essence – it is likely that someone amongst the approximately 80 subscribers of NTE’s listserv is able to come up with an answer to your questions, “often in less than twenty-four hours”.

Since 1999, the Canadian translation association also has an online terminology databank, which members can explore as they wish. It includes Recommandations Terminologiques. These are the result of intensive research in periodicals and educational works, in linguistic databases and amongst experts in the field. According to NTE, “what sets these terminology briefs apart is the wealth of information they contain: each French equivalent comes with a detailed justification, the touchstone of the brief”.

In addition, NTE has spent several years commenting more often on the relevance and appropriateness of the English terms. The network can now draw on four or five sources to draft clear and simple definitions when those appearing in traditional glossaries and dictionaries seem too wordy or pompous.

NTE goes so far as to say that Recommandations Terminologiques is its “greatest achievement, without a doubt”.

The network has also compiled a list of useful links, especially relating to education in Canada. NTE is happy to receive comments or suggestions to help improve those listings. In particular, they need short descriptions and evaluations of all the sites displayed. If you visit one, NTE requests that you send them a concise assessment of its value.

As an organisation with direct links to education, the network has been awarding scholarships to outstanding students since 1990. Worth $1,000 each since 2006, the scholarships are awarded on a rotating basis to the best third or second-year students studying translation at the following institutions: Collège universitaire Glendon, Concordia University, Université Laval, Université de Moncton, Université de Montréal, Ottawa University, Université du Québec en Outaouais and Collège Universitaire de Saint-Boniface.

Through these prizes, the translation association hopes “to reward, support and motivate” those who will follow in their footsteps. To be eligible, candidates must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents and full-time students, and not have been awarded any other scholarship.

NTE publishes a bilingual newsletter called En bons termes / On Good Terms. It is written for anyone who wishes to learn more about usage, style, vocabulary, terminology and translation problems.

To join this translation association, you must simply complete the membership form and send it, with a cheque, to the organisation’s address.

Keep in mind that Canada’s two main languages are English (58.8 % of the population) and French (23.2 %). Around the world, there are around 328 million native English speakers (the actual figures are estimated to be much higher), whereas French native speakers are about 125 millions.

When you fill-in your profile details to become a Lexis member, always choose your mother tongue as your working language. Lexis – Connections with meaning

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