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How Translation Services in Canada help its International Students

canada translation services international students

international students canada document translation servicesHow Translation Services in Canada help its International Students

The World Looks at Canada

In recent years, Canada has risen to become one of the prime destinations for immigration.  Canada hosts a strong economy, thriving industry, abundant natural resources, and has worked hard to position itself as an open, friendly nation eager to better itself.  But why are so many international travelers choosing Canada?  Immigrants do not typically cast themselves out into the world with no plan or landing place; they want a location and culture where they can help support the community and build a prosperous life for themselves.  Language is an enormous factor here, influencing school and work life.  As we’ll see, translation services of all kinds are a vital resource.

Our target group today is the international student community in Canada.  Where do students coming to Canada come from?  What languages do they speak?  How can Canada attract more students from around the world?  Most importantly, how can you target Canada’s international student market?  Let’s look at some answers backed by research.

How Many International Students Does Canada Have?

Canada is the Group of Seven member with the highest international population growth.  The Group of Seven is composed of nations considered to have the most advanced economies; the other six members are France, Italy, the United Kingdom, the United States, Japan, and Germany, in no order.  Canada is also now the 4th most popular target country for international students.  How popular is that?  Between 2015 and 2018, international student entry to Canada rose by 60% to a total of 570,000 individuals per data from Bloomberg and the International Monetary Fund.  In the year leading up to September of 2018, Canada accepted 425,000 newcomers, making this the largest rise in international entry in over one hundred years of Canadian history.  Many of these are students, alone or with their families.  That’s a lot of transcripts, textbooks, brochures, and syllabi in need of professional document translation, whether English to Canadian French, Traditional Chinese translation, Spanish to English translation, and more.

Where Do Canada’s International Students Come From?

The primary source nations for Canada’s international students are China and India.  About 28% hail from China, 25% from India, with a sharp drop-off to the third nation, South Korea, at 5%.  France contributes 4% of foreign students in Canada, and the United States 3%.  However, nations with small percentages of the total student population, like Vietnam and Bangladesh, are growing most rapidly and may soon outstrip their counterparts, according to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada and the Canadian Bureau for International Education.

The languages spoken by these students run the gamut from French to Bengali to Cham, a Vietnamese dialect.  Dialects make the linguistic landscape even more complex, increasing the need for professional translation and localization.  Let’s use French as an example.  Did you know that French has seven major dialects in France alone?  It is also Canada’s second official language (English is the other) and makes up a large part of the legal, academic, and commercial language sectors.  With that status and Canada’s size, regional dialects develop.  Conflict, colonialism, and oppression also leave their linguistic marks on the world, as seen in Vietnam where forms of French have been spoken for over a century.  This only illustrates the extreme need for translation services of all kinds, from certified document translation to legal translation.

What Kind of Translation Services Do Canada’s Students Need?

A student pursuing higher education and possibly a career in a foreign country is fighting a high-stakes battle.  Their endeavor represents a large investment of time, effort, and money.  Accurate document translation services are absolutely crucial to making sure the student can enter that university and get that job.  What sort of document translation do students need?

  • Transcript translation helps universities and colleges see how an international student has performed and what they’ve accomplished.
  • Personal statements. Professional document translation ensures that personal statements are correct, expressive, and persuasive in the target language.
  • Curriculum vitae. Curriculum vitae translation for international Canadian students allows them to show their other qualifications and experiences.
  • Letters of recommendation. Only professionally translated letters of recommendation will be as effective as the originals in conveying to schools the achievements and character of a student.
  • Exam results and course grades. These require special care during academic translation because not every nation or academic system uses grades A through F.  The services of a credential evaluation agency may be required.
  • A student desiring to pursue a career in Canada should use professional document translation and legal translation services for applications, birth certificates, and travel documents.

Without effective language and document translation services in Canada, universities and workplaces cannot hope to attract or retain international students.  What material does the school need to translate for the students?  Here are some important university publications needing professional translation:

  • Campus maps so students can navigate the campus safely. These should be translated on the school’s website and given as handouts.
  • Conduct policies. These help protect the university and the students.  Professional legal translation is needed here to ensure high-quality, thorough guidance.
  • Study guides. Recalling and processing information is easiest in one’s native language, so using professional translation services is a perfect way for Canadian professors to help their students.
  • Presentations, such as PowerPoints. Whether a presentation is subtitled or a translated version is given as a handout, these combined with translated study guides make for an effective team.
  • Exams! Tests are made less stressful and more comprehensive with academic document translation.
  • Brochures and marketing materials. If Canadian universities want international students to choose them, professional document translation services are needed to make the benefits of attending that school plain.  Other valuable tools are website and video translation.
  • International editions are available, but schools should make sure that they are done accurately by using a document translation agency with access to professional translators skilled in the correct field of study.
  • Research papers. Publishing professionally translated articles to academic journals worldwide gives the school prestige and attracts collaboration.  In this way, document translation services advance discovery and industry.

What Do International Students Experience in Canada?

International students in Canada report a vibrant educational scene with friendly people and freedom to explore.  Canada’s universities are top-notch, turning out scientists, engineers, and professionals of all sorts every year.  Though exciting changes are taking place, and brilliant minds are entering the country desiring to stay, Canada has long had a job market that has been slow to catch up to them.  Mediocre job prospects arise from real or assumed language barriers and can force people to settle for jobs below their skill level and pay grade.  That is not only unfair but leads to the country missing out on invaluable labor, insights, and innovations.  Translation service providers are working to get rid of those biases by making it effortless to transition from one language to another for documents and speech.

Canada’s government has recognized the problems people are facing with integration and is working to help students in hopes that they will stay and use their skills in Canada.  Canada has long had an appetite for sharp skillsets from other shores.  In 2017, over 65% of resident adults born outside Canada had at least a post-secondary degree.  The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is delighted by this, citing that Canada is better positioned for globalization and development.  The province of Quebec is looking to attract international students as part of a solution for job vacancies caused by retirements and thin domestic population growth.

How Can Canada’s Universities and Government Help International Students?

Students need more language translation services immediately available to them to reduce stress and save time.  Translation services need to be more widespread at all levels- academic, commercial, public- to support the new professionals Canada wants these students to be.

The University of British Columbia plans to add 30% more international students by 2022.  The Institut Du Quebec reports that the province has historically had a rough time attracting and retaining international students and graduates.  Part of the problem was that the school taught primarily in French, when many nations are transitioning to English or something else as their language of academics and commerce.  In 2018, with increased awareness and government backing, Quebec set out to add 25% more international students by 2021, and plans to encourage graduates to stay through strategies like job fairs and assistance getting work permits.

Some universities have individual language-sharing programs, like Prince Edward Island University.  These provide a more personal approach, using a buddy system with frequent meetups.  P.E.I.U currently works with 11 languages, including Spanish, Korean, and Japanese.  Using a language in conversation helps it translate better to writing.

How Can You Make Friends with Canada’s Multilingual Students?

Today’s students are today and tomorrow’s entrepreneurs.  Through them, your business can form strong connections with international communities in Canada and in your clients’ countries of origin.  These mobile, tech-savvy students possess tremendous buying power.  International students contribute about $8 billion CAD to the economy every year, and generate thousands of jobs and untold amounts of opportunity.  They cannot and will not be ignored.  Boost your company’s international presence by letting Canadian students know that your business is ready to serve their needs by using professional language translation services.

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Jackie Ruffolo
Jackie Ruffolo
Jackie was born in Venezuela. Jackie has a BS in computer engineering; As President of JR Language, she spends time researching new technology and productivity tools for the Company. She holds a certificate of Localization and Project Management- Localization. Through her many years of experience working in multilingual corporate environments, she understands firsthand the value of bridging language barriers in creating smooth communication that allows for productive and happy work environments. She is fluent in Spanish and English, and is a frequent contributor to both our English and Spanish blogs. Jackie loves nature and to be outdoors.