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Challenges of the translation market in the Oil and Gas area

Extremely important for a wide range of sectors, translations increased significantly in Brazil. In addition to areas such as navigation, mining, metallurgy and medicine (where technical translations gained daily application), the sector of oil and gas, currently one of the most promising, have also contributed to the growth of such activity.

As an immediate consequence, the demand for professionals to work in the translation of such area, as well as in several other process-related sectors, have grown and stayed high. On the other hand, the number of individuals qualified for this job is amazingly inferior to meet the needs of companies. There is an overall shortage of qualified professionals in all practice fields and translation is far from being an exception.

Despite the urgent need, the specialization of people to meet demands is fundamental. As the translator profession is not regulated, there is no ideal qualification basis. This allows anyone to be considered capable and prepared to translate, in theory. However, although there is no qualification requirement, there is no doubt that a great deal of study is required for the good performance of the professional in this area. The mere fact of knowing fluent English is not enough for a good translator, as this professional cannot simply choose the words he/she thinks as the most appropriate ones, but rather use specific terminology in line with the client needs. To exercise the profession with perfection, it is essential to become an expert in one segment. The good translator, in addition to seek specialization in specific areas, needs to be constantly researching and updating his/her knowledge to improve his/her translation skills.

Simple translations are those without legal equivalence, that is, they can be performed by a non-sworn translator and are used for any particular ends. Most of the times, they deal with commercial proposals, reports, manuals and technical standards. In order to meet this demand with quality, well-prepared professionals are required, preferably those with a long and proven history in the target areas, as well as those most familiarized with the vocabulary, technical terminology and business dynamics.

In order to become a successful technical translator, one must seek technical qualification. The translation field is a vast one comprising many segments, such as interpretation, which further divides into simultaneous and consecutive. In this segment, there is a very restricted group of professionals, highly specialized and demanded that, within the area, tend be the ones getting the highest pays.

The translation market is huge and dynamic, but competition has increasingly become more and more aggressive. However, there is always room for new professionals, provided they somehow stand out, either by means of specific study or by a postgraduate degree or mastery of a CAT tool. Specialization in sectors where growth is highly expected is the path to be trodden in order to reach success and take advantage of opportunities that will appear in the years to come.

*Bruno Nogueira is graduated in business management and is a managing-partner of Prowords.

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