If you are considering further study or qualifications in translation, then this little article will be right up your street! It’s been around a while, but is still very relevant: in it, Anthony Pym explains a conflict he found himself faced with given the recent explosion in courses offering training in CAT tools :
As a teacher, I want to convey the whole range of skills required by the labour market. And yet, I admit, my critical students have a point: when they sign up for translation, they should expect to translate, on the basic level of an interface between languages, the stuff of linguistics. So is translation competence really the same as it always was (as those students expect)? Or has it radically altered in the age of electronic tools (as the nature of my course would suggest)?
Pym then goes on to discuss four different models of translation competence, and basically concludes that while good CAT skills are undoutedly key to finding a job in the current market, it’s important that translator trainers remember that they are merely tools and don’t in themselves constitute a “translator competence”. Worth bearing in mind when reviewing those translation courses!
My view? Focus on getting your language and translation skills up to scratch, and keep an eye out for some hands-on sessions with different CAT tools too – the technical knowledge will follow. If you don’t remember a time before internet and email, chances are you’ll just wonder what all the fuss was about anyway … 🙂