Few events bring people from so many cultures together quite like the Olympic Games. As the language industry continues to grow in size and recognition, one little-known part of this year’s Olympics stands out in demonstrating the importance of quality language services.
For the first time in the history of the Olympics, an official forum was put together before the games designated specifically for analyzing and coordinating translation and interpretation services. The Sochi 2014 Translation Forum was an opportunity for delegates from around the world to discuss quality standards and to coordinate the over 1,000 translators and interpreters that would be at the disposal of guests to Sochi. Over 650 participants assisted in the two-day forum held in 2011 to undertake these decisions and included translators and interpreters from previous games, translation agency executives, language professors, and government officials.
One of the most important but difficult tasks in the language business is educating potential and current clients on the value of truly professional language services.
Every translator and interpreter knows that “selling” their expertise can sometimes be half the work of being a language professional. This forum shows that our work throughout the industry is paying off. People around the world are understanding more and more that the skills needed for efficient translation and interpretation are acquired through years of dedicated study and practice.
The fact that over 1,000 professionals were screened and hired to provide these language services (twice as many as employed in the 2006 games in Turin) further demonstrates that people are willing to dedicate expenditures to quality language service. Quality standards are becoming more and more common, and expectations are higher than ever. Hopefully, these quality standards will prevent mishaps like the interpretation fiasco at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service from occurring again.
We at CommGap salute the officials of the Sochi Olympics for their hard work in helping those participating and watching the Olympic games come together and communicate in their various native languages.