French Translation Transforms a Career

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“When I signed up for the introductory course, learning was my only expectation. I had no way of knowing that 15 months later, I would end up being a living ‘best case scenario’ embodiment of what continuing education at SCS is all about.” - Sophie, SCS learner

Sophie had always loved studying language. After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Spanish in 2010, Sophie pursued a career in administration. A decade later, she made the bold decision to explore new possibilities and broaden her employment prospects. “French is my first language, so as someone who speaks English, French, and Spanish, I was typically the sole multilingual employee in most workplaces,” reflects Sophie. “I was often relied on to provide translation, interpretation, and other language services. I was browsing through the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies (SCS) website one evening in January 2020 and came across the French Translation Program. It seemed like a natural and logical fit: I figured that if I was going to continue to provide translation services off the side of my desk, it was a good idea to formalize what I was doing.” 

She decided to go for it, and began taking the first course in our Certificate in Translation: French to English. “I figured, if nothing else, it would give me something more to do outside of work, and I would learn a few things. If I liked the introductory course, I could carry on with the next one and perhaps all the courses required to obtain the certificate, and I would think of what to do next after that,” says Sophie. “When I signed up for the introductory course, learning was my only expectation. I had no way of knowing that 15 months later, I would end up being a living ‘best case scenario’ embodiment of what continuing education at SCS is all about.”

Sophie immediately connected with her instructor, Pamela Lipson. “Not only is Pamela an engaging, knowledgeable, and motivating instructor, she also did a great job of simulating the real, professional world of translations,” recalls Sophie. “As part of assignment feedback and at every webinar, Pamela provided insider knowledge of what the professional translation field is actually like, examples of what distinguishes top quality translations from passable ones, and so much practical advice on how to stand out in this competitive field. We went beyond the fundamentals of translation, and Pamela consistently emphasized the importance of mastering related skills, including scrupulous research practices, quality control procedures, and revision strategies. She coached us to sharpen these important skills.”

As Sophie neared the end of her certificate, she felt confident in her new abilities and began applying for translation roles. She was hired by a linguistic services company, and is now applying her translation skills on a daily basis. “I felt appropriately prepared throughout the testing and interview process, and I’m now employed as a full time French to English Translator,” shares Sophie, who earned her certificate in May 2021. “Thanks to SCS, I feel well-equipped and ready to enter this exciting new chapter in my career. Pamela’s holistic approach, combined with her expertise and intellectual generosity, set me up for success in this field.”