BRIGHT IDEAS

BRIGHT IDEAS

In late January, LRG members gathered for a special CPD-focused event led by LRG member and ITI CPD Chair Kari Koonin.

Traditionally, LRG starts its year with a CPD related event. Kari

Koonin, Chair of ITI’s Professional Development Committee, had kindly agreed to lead an informal discussion about the kinds of CPD that can help to boost your career, improve your productivity, and extend and enhance your specialist areas.

We were pleased to be back at The Devereux pub, which had been our rendez-vous of choice before COVID struck, and everyone enjoyed another opportunity to meet in person, enjoy drinks provided by LRG, and savour some panettone, from packs left over from the Christmas Party. We had organised the room with separate tables and four to five chairs at each.

Kari started by referring to ITI’s Code of Conduct point 2.1.1, which states that: “[members are] required to undertake continuing professional development as appropriate, in order to continue to offer the highest possible standards of work by maintaining and updating their language skills, subject knowledge or any other skills or knowledge necessary for the work.”

Members are expected to achieve 30 hours per year – both formal and informal (self-directed) – in order to qualify for the CPD badge, which can be downloaded from the ITI website. The recommended 30 hours per year is commensurate with that demanded by other professional associations.

ITI CPD log

Members can log their CPD using the form on the ITI website, from which you can also download a CPD ‘badge’ to add to your email sign-off. To achieve the higher membership grades, and FITI in particular, you are expected to be able to provide evidence of three years of recent CPD.

In answer to a question, Kari said that, in her opinion, research carried out in order to translate a new document does not count as CPD because you have to do that research as part of the assignment.

CPD is important because it reassures your established clients that you are keeping up-to-date both in your SL and TL skills and your subject knowledge. You can use it to keep in touch with existing clients, providing periodic updates on new CPD that you have achieved and new qualifications that you have gained.

It can also help when you are preparing a dossier prior to approaching new clients. So, it is an important part of your marketing strategy. Language changes all the time so anything that brings you abreast of changes in your SL and TL counts as CPD. It sends a strong message to LSPs and project managers that you are a freelance translator who is committed to improving your skill set and your knowledge.

Evidence of your CPD is a way of showing that you are keeping up with new technology, learning a specialist subject – by dint of achieving a qualification (such as a Diploma, MA, or MSc) – or attending a course in a specialist subject, in either your SL or TL or specialist subject area.

Other CPD options are: open lectures at a local university, podcasts, or a free MOOC (massive open online course); talks and lectures delivered by professionals from other spheres; attending ITI and CIOL conferences and workshops; and attending talks at local universities or conferences organised by bodies based in your source language country.

These offer access to new ideas and new information and also offer an opportunity for face-to-face contact with people – a particular benefit for freelance translators, who generally work alone.

Discussion time

After Kari’s introduction, the floor was open for contributions from participants and questions and further discussion. There was some discussion as to whether watching TV series and documentaries in your source language counted as CPD.

In the end, it is up to each person to assess and evaluate anything they have done that may count as CPD; it is not formally evaluated by ITI.

Mentoring can also be counted as CPD; it benefits both the mentor and the mentee. The important thing is to log it, and to summarise what has been learned in the mentoring process.

Kari reminded us that money set aside for CPD – your CPD ‘budget’ – is tax-deductible.

LRG is indebted to Kari for coming to talk to us about CPD and sharing her knowledge and expertise with the Group.

Christmas Cheer

Christmas Cheer

After more than a year of COVID-induced disruption, December 2021 saw the return of the LRG’s much-loved Christmas festivities at the Glassblower pub. Pamela Mayorcas reports.

Three years ago, and thanks to scouting by Committee member Marta Prieto, LRG had organised its 2019 Christmas Party – with a resplendent buffet – at The Glassblower pub.

Our usual venue, The Devereux – also a pub – had closed down, having been sold to developers for conversion – yes, you guessed it – into luxury flats (of which more on page 6). But, in any case, we had decided that the upstairs room was not big enough for the large crowd that usually attends the LRG Christmas Party.

Due to COVID, we could not hold a Christmas Party there in 2020, so it was with great delight that the Committee was able to announce to LRG members that there would be an in-person Christmas Party, back at The Glassblower, on 8 December 2021.

Still mindful of COVID-related precautions, the Committee decided we would not have the usual buffet spread, as that would involve people crowding around the buffet table and serving themselves from bowls and plates from which others would also be serving themselves.

We therefore decided on providing the traditional mince pies, which come in individual foil cases, and slices of stollen and of panettone, together with small, individual bags of nuts, crisps, and savoury crackers. We also bought clementines that came in their own individual wrapping!

Safe arrangements

We arranged several small tables around the very large room, with four to five chairs at each one. Committee members arrived ahead of the designated start time, opened windows, identified an area where guests could leave coats and bags, and started to put the food items on each table. This would minimise the amount of contact people would need to have with one another.

The pub staff were also extremely kind and helpful, providing lots of plates and napkins and putting individual candles on each of the tables.

The room itself looked very festive, with garlands, lights, and Christmas wreaths.

Free bar

Since we had had to cancel the Christmas Party in 2020, the Committee had decided to use some of LRG’s funds to offer the party free-of-charge to all LRG members (there was a small charge for non-members). On arrival, everyone was given three cloakroom tickets, which they could exchange for drinks at the bar – prosecco, mulled wine, wine, beer, and soft drinks.

There was such a buzz as people started to arrive and greet friends and colleagues who they had not seen, in person, for more than a year. Everyone commented on how wonderful it was to be able to do this and there was still a crowd at the bar as late as 11pm! We held a brief AGM in the course of the evening and announced that there would be an online AGM in January 2022.

The room looked very festive, with garlands, lights, and Christmas wreaths

Most Committee members were standing again for election, apart from Daniela Ford, who was stepping down as Webmaster. In her place, we welcomed back Cecilia Lipovsek onto the Committee (see Committee News on page 2).

It had been a lot of hard work and schlepping (Yiddish for ‘hauling’) both before the party and on the way to the pub. But it was definitely worth it, just to see everyone so happy, smiling and generally cheerful after almost 18 months of Zoom meetings.

Face-to-face

The life of the average freelance translator is generally a solitary one, so the average of six events per year, at a pub or university venue, were and are a welcome opportunity to get out of the office or house and meet and exchange news and views – both work related and personal – with fellow professionals.

This had been so much missed since March 2020. We hope to be holding several more in-person meetings in the course of 2022.

Thanks are due to all the members of the LRG Committee who worked so hard to plan and deliver LRG’s 2021 Christmas Party.