McGill Associates Prize in Translation (English): Danièle Powell

Published: 23 October 2009

Ms. Danièle Powell, an experienced communications manager, has followed in the footsteps of her mother, also a McGill graduate in Translation Studies (English to French), and embarked on a professional career in language. In recognition of her excellent work, Ms. Powell was awarded the McGill Associates Prize in Translation (French to English) at the 2009 Convocation. The prize is awarded annually to the student with the best academic record in the Certificate in Translation.

Ms. Powell, who comes from a bilingual family, received a B.Sc. in biology from Concordia University in 2001. She started her career in administration and marketing, but changed streams to work in communications, gradually becoming more involved in the language industry. Bilingualism came naturally to her and she quickly realized that there was a rapidly expanding market in the industry.

After her initial work in general linguistic services, she became a communications coordinator and handled press releases, advertising texts, employee newsletters and texts that were specifically designed for Internet distribution. In January 2008, she became a translator and communications coordinator for Nova Bus, a company in Saint-Eustache. This Quebec business produced all of its documentation in French, but after having decided to open a manufacturing centre in the United States, the company managers became aware of the linguistic reality involved in dealing with their southern neighbours. Gracefully accepting the situation, Ms. Powell suddenly found herself working on a 250,000-word project translating technical texts, administrative procedures and publicity into “American” English. There was no dearth of material, but with her newly-honed translation skills, she rose to the occasion!

In addition to her work, Ms. Powell also found time to help the community by becoming involved in organizations such as the Table de concertation des aînés for the Island of Montreal and Action Communiterre. Her gift of self is simply another form of the dynamism she has continuously displayed in her career and studies.

“Ms. Powell has a remarkable sense of excellence. Her natural bilingualism, her flair for communication and her all but inexhaustible energy, combined with her proficiency in translation, make her a standard bearer for the new generation of translators needed in Canada,” declared Dr. James Archibald, Director of Translation Studies.

McGill University offers both a Certificate in Translation and a Graduate Diploma in Translation for budding translators interested in the language industry.

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