Do you often eat al desko because of a mahoosive job? Has queso become English? And why should you know?
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, in the year 2012 there were just fewer than 64,000 people in the United States working in the field of Translation & Interpretation. This number includes staff positions as well as full-time freelance work. It also includes sign language interpreters. To give a little perspective, that’s less than 10% of the total number of physicians and surgeons in the country.
Why do statistics like these matter? They matter because of the next number provided by the Bureau: projected growth. While those physicians and surgeons are expected to see their ranks swell by about 18% by the year 2022, during that same time period translators and interpreters are facing industry growth of roughly 46%.
To put it another way, in less than a decade there should be half again as many translators and interpreters in our line of work in the US (including sign language interpreters).
This projected growth reflects the public’s need for our services. It also highlights how important it is that we each remain at the top of our game. Growth brings competition and competition – while sometimes painful – tends to promotes excellence.
We must increase our familiarity with technical terminology, learn the latest lingo, hone our skills.
And speaking of honing: languages all around our ever-shrinking world are growing at an accelerated pace. The editors at Webster’s Dictionary analyze new terms daily for possible inclusion in the next year’s edition. Today, Dictionary.com published its list of newly-added words (http://static.sfdict.com/content/press/Words%20Release%20FINAL%2004May15-4fdac.pdf). And Oxford Dictionary now updates its content quarterly (http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/words/what-s-new); the italicized terms in this article can be found in the December 2014 release.
MITA is organizing additional activities for this year. The American Translators Association publishes an industry magazine and holds an annual conference. Look around you. There are classes, workshops, publications, online training, seminars, organizations – in short, a myriad of resources at your fingertips to keep you absolutely amazeballs at your job.
-Carol Shaw, Editor