Impacts of Covid-19 Pandemic on the Translator’s Profession and Crisis-related Translator Training

Ramunė Kasperavičienė & Jurgita Motiejūnienė, Kaunas University of Technology, Lithuania;     Abstract: The lockdown of economies worldwide due to Covid-19 pandemic in the first half of 2020 has made huge impacts on industries, including the translation business world. The working practices within the translator’s job have undergone transformations, resulting in changed future prospects of the translator’s profession. This paper aims to discuss and describe the effects of the pandemic and the lockdown on the translator’s profession and crisis-related translator training in both bachelor and master levels by presenting analysis of opinions and attitudes of freelance translators and interpreters, heads of translation agencies, and students in their translation study programmes at a university. In recent research, emphasis is put on the need for crisis translators to ensure an effective communication between all stakeholders in disaster settings (Rodriguez Vazquez and Silvia Torres del Rey, 2020). Moreover, translator training needs have to be refined in order to provide language support in crises (Federico et al, 2019). The research design is primarily grounded on surveys carried out to determine the attitudes and experiences of different players in the Lithuanian translation market, with the emphasis on the dynamics in the numbers and nature of translation orders as well as behaviour of customers and the state support. The results highlight varying opinions of translation students and freelance translators towards the future of the profession, trust of freelance translators towards the state support and translation agencies at which they are hired, and anxiety of heads of translation agencies towards the stability of the industry. The results also show that it is necessary to help translation trainees to develop a wider skillset and be ready to contribute in crisis settings.

Keywords: Covid-19, pandemic, translator training, translation industry





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