I’ll admit it, I came to specialise in tourism by accident. With my background in administration, I had set myself up as a business translator. It only came about when a client I regularly translate company reports for asked me to translate a travel guide. I enjoyed doing the translation and he was pleased with my work, so I started to think about tourism as a possible specialisation. I have always loved travelling and read travel literature like most people read novels but I had always thought that the translation of this genre was too creative for me. However, as I had enjoyed translating this particular text I began to consider specialising in tourism translation
The main problem I have with this specialisation is that continuing professional development (CPD) options are hard to find. While there are numerous CPD options: books, courses and webinars relating to financial, legal and other specialist fields, the only option I have found for tourism is Oliver Lawrence’s excellent webinar for eCPD Webinars. Could this be because tourism translation is seen as creative work and therefore CPD efforts should be concentrated on clear writing and copywriting? Is this lack of CPD part of the reason why tourism translation does not seem to be taken seriously (mistranslations and simply laughable mistakes appear to be even more commonplace in tourism than other translation specialisations)? Is reading travel literature in all his or her languages to keep up with the latest developments in the travel industry and learn the style of various types of text enough for a translator to be competent in this field? If not, what types of CPD should be offered both in order to increase the translator’s knowledge and to improve the reputation of tourism translation with clients?