In the words of... Yvonne McLaughlin

Yvonne McLaughlinYvonne McLaughlin is president of NB Translation and member of AILIA's Board of Directors.

You have been very invested in NB Translation since its creation in 1995. How would you describe NB Translation?

NB Translation is an organization that brings together people connected to the translation industry in New Brunswick. It is important to point out that it is not a professional association of translators and interpreters. The organization’s members include translation companies, independent translators, interpreters, educational institutions and representatives of certain provincial departments and economic development agencies. In fact, NB Translation’s mission is to promote the translation industry, support the creation and expansion of translation companies and ensure the development of a qualified labour force in this sector.

You could say that its mission is similar to that of AILIA.

To some degree, yes. But NB Translation, which came into being before AILIA, only targets translation rather than on the whole language industry.  Having said that, it is the only provincial organization in Canada focused on the translation industry. I believe that our actions would have greater impact at the national level if there were similar provincial organizations elsewhere in the country.

Tell us how NB Translation has contributed to the translation industry in New Brunswick.

Our greatest achievements began in 2007. Thanks to a grant from the federal government, we were able to establish a permanent office. With this foundation, NB Translation was better equipped to promote the translation industry. We expanded our strategies to raise awareness of the profession by launching a two pronged advertising campaign around the main theme of: “In New Brunswick, Translators Mean a Lot”. One component of the campaign focused on encouraging young people to embrace the translation profession in order to build a pool of qualified professionals, and the other focused on raising the profession’s visibility and reputation in the business community so that companies would seek the services of professional translators.

What were the results?

In five years, our efforts have resulted in an almost 50% increase in registrations in the bachelor of translation program at Université de Moncton. Three new translation companies have also opened. In addition, over 260 companies in the province have taken advantage of the translation assistance program offered by our organization. Most of these businesses had never used the services of translation professionals.

What are NB Translation’s next projects?

The next three years will certainly not be easy. The foundation grant provided by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) will come to an end. This means that we will have to find new solutions, primarily, new sources for self funding. With the help of our financial partners (ACOA, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, the Department of Post Secondary Education, Training and Labour, and the Regional Development Corporation), we have begun restructuring and expanding our organization to encompass all of the Atlantic provinces (Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland). We have developed a three year action plan that we believe will enable us to achieve financial independence. We will have to be enterprising to find new business opportunities, a formidable challenge ahead.

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