It’s a fact of life that translation is a lonely profession. Most freelance translators who have worked in-house with colleagues say that they miss the companionship, advice and stimulus that peer contact can provide. Some are lucky enough to share an office with colleagues, as I did when I lived in Manchester, but those who don’t are obliged to rely on networking. This is where ITI comes into its own. The Institute not only organises conferences, training and other professional events at national level but also has a large number of regional, language-specific and subject-specific groups. I’m a member of three:

ITI West Midlands Group (WMG)

This network was dormant for many years but was revived and revitalised in 2004 by Ros Mendy, and since then, has hosted several ITI national events. It has also established a strong working relationship with Aston University in Birmingham, which will be hosting the 2011 ITI Conference.

I’m a member of the WMG committee, and my “job” is to organise a walk and pub meal for the group, twice a year. We’ve explored quite a lot of the Midlands already on our WMG summer and winter walks –
see for more photos.

Our latest outing, in July 2010, was to Winchcombe in the Cotswolds –

North-West Translators’ Network (NWTN)

This independent body was founded a year earlier than ITI, but represents the Institute in the North-West of England, where I lived and worked for many years. NWTN is the largest and most active ITI regional group outside London, so despite moving away from the Manchester area in 2006, I have kept up my membership and attend  as many of its meetings and events as possible. This year (in June 2010), NWTN celebrated its 25th anniversary, an event marked by a gala dinner at the Piccadilly Hotel in central Manchester.

ITI French Network

Colleagues are an invaluable resource, and the French Network’s e-group constitutes a formidable body of “interactive expertise”. Members post queries and receive rapid replies from other translators based in the UK and across Europe. One particularly useful feature is that this e-group comprises both English and French mother-tongue translators. The ITI French Network also organises social and training events around the UK, and fosters links with its sister associations in France and Belgium.

Our latest outing, in July 2010, was a trip to the world-famous Kew Gardens in London.