“We are not just translators. We are bridge makers”

NLEAP in collaboration with the Department of Official Languages (DOL) organizes a Five-Day Training for Government Translators.

NLEAP, under its Technical Assistance (TA) to the Department of Official Languages (DOL) to enhance its capacity to deliver professional translation and interpretation services, supports the continuous training of Government Translators. As part of this ongoing commitment, twenty-eight (28) Government translators were trained on different aspects of translation skills. The training program was conducted by resource persons drawn from professional translators, well renowned in the field of translation for their wealth of insight and commitment. The TA thus assists the government to provide effective gender-sensitive bilingual public services to ensure that women and men of diverse communities are served in the choice of their official languages.

Addressing the participants at the closing ceremony, Commissioner of DOL Sanoji Perera, had this to say ‘I too started my career as a translator. I am dedicated to develop translation services as much as I can’. She noted that amongst the participants there were many who had the capacity and talent to be trained as trainers of translators. She requested them ‘Continue to sharpen your skills so that you can grow to be a top translator’. The Commissioner encouraged them to recognize the contribution that they could make to improve the standard of translation services in public services.

Echoing and affirming her thoughts, Don Brownell, Director of NLEAP said ‘We view translation as a profession and have been working with the Commissioner to have translation recognized as a profession. Investing in trainings such as this to enhance your translations skills is part of this ongoing commitment’. He underscored the important role of translators noting ‘We see the uplifting of translation services as being critical to helping our partners provide better translation services to the citizens of Sri Lanka’.

Mr Chulananda Samaranayake, the lead trainer for the workshop, urged the participants to remember ‘We are not just translators, we are bridge makers. Translators build bridges between worlds and cultures. We should be explorers with determination and courage’. He reminded them of three important factors – enthusiasm, determination and thirst for knowledge – which were integral to the mission to see translation services receiving professional recognition in Sri Lanka.

The Workshop concluded with the awarding of certificates. 28 participants received certificates for having successfully completed the five-day training. They voiced their appreciation to DOL and NLEAP for providing for such opportunities to further their training and sharpen their skills.

NLEAP will continue to work very closely with the DOL to conduct similar capacity building programmes that will help strengthen translation and interpretation services in Sri Lanka, by producing skilled,  professional translators.