In this Chronicle of Higher Education article, three distinct lacks are highlighted: the lack of trained translators and interpreters in the United States, the lack of translation and interpretation programs there, and the lack of funding for such programs.
An interesting partial solution to these problems is that the National Virtual Translation Center sends “unclassified government documents to translation professors at several universities to give to their students as course work”. That means that students get more translation practice and the government gets its documents translated. It seems to work well as an additional way of training new translators, even though more funding is needed.
The United States is pretty far behind Europe in terms of the number and content of translation training programs (not to mention translation studies programs, which are not the same thing). The little interest shown there for languages has already been discussed on this blog, but clearly this is a problematic situation.
The next post will be about another way of training translators, this one a program in the Netherlands.
Thank you to Erika Dreifus for sending me this article!