The nineties were pivotal in the development of the Ordre des traducteurs, terminologues et interprètes agréés du Québec and the translation professions. During that decade, I served on several committees, including the Circuit committee, was vice-president for professional affairs, vice-president for communications, and president. The board, staff, and members faced many issues, and Circuit was there to provide information and insight to further debate and decision-making.
Professional recognition was, of course, a major development. Circuit published articles on government regulation, professionalism and certification, ethics, and education and training. In addition, an overview of translation in Québec was provided.
Members needed knowledge and tools to adjust to the new reality. Total quality and the ISO 9000 standard were being discussed, and Circuit explained how they applied to translation professionals. Globalization and localization were big topics at the time, and Circuit examined those issues. Industry Canada sponsored a study on translation in Canada, and Circuit shared important findings with readers. Translation and copyright were another topic that was covered.
New tools were emerging. Circuit provided insight into how translators could adopt them, specifically regarding the Internet, documentation, terminology banks, translation memory, as well as general topics such as revision, freelancing, outsourcing and quality, and lexicography.
Translation was growing in importance in the world generally. Circuit published articles on Spanish-language translation and the North American Free Trade Agreement, and translation in Latin America. Translation in European institutions was also examined.
The number of members grew, as did their areas of specialization. Circuit articles covered areas such as technical (in the sense of specialized in a particular field) language, technical translation, translation in medicine and pharmacology, translation in economics, finance and the insurance industry, legal translation, literary translation, and even translation of religious texts. A couple of issues were devoted to English in Québec and translation in the Ottawa-Hull region. One issue described the evolution of language in general.
In addition, Circuit published regular columns on current trends, history, people, technological tools, publications, and books. In short, the magazine was a treasure trove of information and insight for its readers.
Today, translators, terminologists and interpreters have a vast array of information and insight at their fingertips. Notwithstanding, regular publications (paper and virtual) by their professional association, conferences, and opportunities to get together play a crucial role in helping translation professionals maintain their knowledge and skills.
Circuit has played an integral part in the development of the translation professions in Québec and Canada for forty years now. It was important to me during the years I was a certified translator and involved in my professional association, and I am sure it continues to be for the new generation. Congratulations to the present Circuit team. Keep up the good work.
Bruce Knowlden is a retired certified translator and past president of the Ordre des traducteurs, terminologues et interprètes agrées du Québec.