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OCR for page 7
Number of Government Translators The exact renumber of government in-house translators is impossible to determine, although it is a simple matter to determine the num- ber of persons in the Civil Service classification, "Translator." It sometimes happens that the translator who decides to better his economic situation must first contrive to secure a more prestigious occupational title. Thus the way is open for advancement, even though the bulk of his duties might remain the same. The picture is further obscured by the fact that bilingual persons in other job categories are often called upon to produce rough or oral translations for their colleagues or superiors. This situation is not, of course, peculiar to agencies of the U.S. Government. Keeping in mind the indefiniteness of the number of persons actually classified under "Translator," we give the figures obtained from the Civil Service Commission for October 1962: Translators and clerk-translators employed in the United States 262 Translators and clerl:-translators employed worldwide 453 (For the number of translators in each division and grade, in each agency, and for the CSC salary schedule for 19 64, and CSC qualifica- tion standards, see Appendix 7.) From the data supplied by the CSC, we have figured the average yearly salary of the federal translator (clerk-translator not included) employed in the United States to be approximately $6,850. When one compares this figure with the median annual salary of government scientists ($9,000. American Science Manpower, 1962, A Report of the National Register of Scientific and Technical Per- sonnel, NSF 64-16, National Science Foundation, Washington, D.C., 1964), it is apparent that technically trained bilingual persons would derive more advantages from working as scientists and technologists in their subject specialties than from serving as technical translators in their respective fields . Despite the fact that the average pay for government translators 7

OCR for page 7
is not as high as the average for government scientists, there seems to be a very low rate of turnover among government trans- lators. Indeed, the facts are that the supply exceeds the demand. Although there is not now on hand at the U.S. Employment Service (Washington, D.C.) a single request for a full-time translator, there are approximately 500 translators on its rolls who desire work (part time or full time). (For the availability of translators and their languages, see Appendix 8.) 8