I hope you are all having a wonderful and productive summer. I wanted to provide you with a long overdue update on our past and upcoming activities and share the report on the findings from the member survey conducted last March. The remarkable message coming from this study is that we are indeed a vibrant, talented, committed and impressive group of individuals, from diverse backgrounds and cultures, all looking to serve our clients and communities with our expert language services. I am proud, as I am humbled to be in your company. I hope you will find this report informative and helpful and that you will consider getting more involved in DVTA activities. Please do not hesitate to contact me or any other board member with your ideas, suggestions, or to volunteer for any of our committees.
President of the Board of Directors, DVTA
2012 DVTA SURVEY SUMMARY AND MID YEAR REPORT
Who are DVTA members, what do they think and what do they want?
Last March, 270 surveys were sent out by email to both current members and former DVTA members (back to 2009).We received 93 responses. Below is a sample profile of those that participated:
82% of the respondents were current members, with 52% active as interpreters and 41% active as translators and the rest comprised of students, institutional members and “others.”
Languages represented in the survey:
Not surprising, 63% worked primarily in the Spanish language followed by 18% in French. German, Italian and Portuguese shared an average of 12%, while Russian respondents were at 6%. The remaining percentage of respondents reported working in Asian, Central and Eastern European, Asian and Mid East languages.
Most respondents (80%) indicated joining DVTA primarily for the networking opportunities. However, other compelling reasons included jobs, sense of community and professional development.
The Respondent Profiles working in the Language Industry:
Of those who responded, interpreters outnumbered translators by a 12% margin; however, among the interpreters, those who identified themselves as consecutive dominated the poll at 65%, while 52% of these also counted themselves as simultaneous. Of this simultaneous group, however, only 26% classified themselves as conference interpreters. Those who identified their practice as escort interpreters also comprised 26% of interpreter respondents. It is probably safe to say that within the survey, there was a lot of overlap from the interpreter community.
As a matter of fact, 48% of all who responded listed themselves as both translators and interpreters. Of the translators, 44% worked in proofing and editing while only 12% worked on localization and 19% in transcription. Interesting as well was that 15% worked doing foreign language voice over, which is seeing a growth in demand.
Where they work:
An impressive 51% work for private clients, while those who work for local LSP (language services providers) ranked only at 24%, and those working for international LSP’s ranked 14%. In addition, respondents included a handful of staff translators and Project Managers.
What types of training programs are desired by the membership?
Translation: 64.5% polled in favor of CAT SW (Computer-Aided Software) training. This overwhelming vote has been acknowledged by the Board and is already being acted on. (Please stay tuned for announcements regarding the training to be held this coming September conducted by DVTA member and CAT tools guru, Rosalie Wells). Also, many responded that they would like more language-specific courses. We will be developing courses not only in Spanish but also in other languages and welcome volunteers for these committees to make it happen. 28% of our newer members indicated that they would like training for novices. (It should be noted that certified trainer and board member, Gabriela Jenicek, is offering courses for beginners throughout the year.) In early 2013, the DVTA Board is looking to bring in an expert on translation and interpretation software, especially in voice recognition and transcription technology. More news on this in September.
Again, 53% of the members expressed a strong desire for simultaneous conference and audio equipment training to be able to build on their skills and marketability in this field. This past June, DVTA teamed with corporate sponsor, Mainline AV, to offer a one-day intensive, hands-on workshop on the newest technology. (For more details, see Carlota Dalziel’s June blog report). Due to popular demand, a similar workshop with more substance will be offered again in December 2012. Highly ranked (56%) was also the desire for specialized legal terminology for our court interpreters who need ongoing professional development and continuing education credits. Lastly, 40% asked for more medical interpreter training for those members working (or aspiring to work) in hospitals and other medical settings.
Business Skills Training:
This category was highly supported by participants. The three most popular seminar suggestions received 60% favorable responses and included “Creating a Website and Branding your Services,” “Business Development: Generating and Following-up on Leads,” and “Negotiating Skills and Maintaining a Profitable Margin.” Courses on Client Management and Project/Time /Energy Management were also received favorably by 40%. These have yet to be developed but are on the horizon, and we are looking for volunteers to take this initiative and get behind their actualization for the coming Fall/Winter.
Since many of our members are very busy during the week and weekends, or live on the outskirts of the Delaware Valley and must travel long distances to training opportunities, webinars offer a very attractive option. The three leading proposed webinars that dominated the poll category with each receiving more than 50 % support were “Intro to CAT tools for Beginners,” “Effective Note-taking in Various Interpretation Settings,” and “How do language Companies Select their Vendors?” These exciting webinars are all easily actionable if we make use of the impressive talent from within our current membership. Again, volunteers are most welcome!
As for the promotion, timing and pricing for the above seminars, the members asked for an average of 2 seminars per year, with 1-2 months’ advance notice, daily seminar rates of not more than $150 per day (or not more than $35 for webinars), and preferably within 50 to 100 miles travelling distance. Of course, depending on the topic, we acknowledge that a commute of more than 25 miles could be challenging for many, and we will do our best to consider this while evaluating accessibility, availability and cost when selecting venues.
In response to the majority’s request for more than one networking event per year, DVTA reinstated the summer party, with a very nice turnout on August 1st at Maria Weir’s Garden. We acknowledge that many of us were away for the summer and will continue to look for other professional and social opportunities for additional networking events so that they occur throughout the year.
Hopefully, you are reading this report on www.dvta.org. Regrettably, most of the members polled indicated that they rarely visit the website, and if you do, it is once every 2-3 months. However, our job is to make the dissemination of information easy and accessible to all, so we also distribute many postings on our web through our listserv, blog and via email to make sure our members do not miss out on any news or opportunities.
DVTA Meeting Members’ Expectations, Needs and Interests:
The organization was ranked by 44% of the membership as mostly meeting their expectations, and a very encouraging 28% as always meeting their needs. It was both encouraging and gratifying to see that the efforts of the board are recognized and that, as we strive to improve, we are supported. Thank you to everyone who participated!