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A busy time of year for networking

The beginning of autumn always seems to be a busy time of year for networking, updating skills, becoming acquainted with what's new in the world of languages and generally getting more involved.

I am very much looking forward to the BDÜ's 2012 conference "Interpreting the Future" from 28-30 September. If the conference three years ago is anything to go by, it will be a wonderfully enriching experience. Contact me in advance if you are going too and we'll meet up for a coffee!

And if you can't attend this event....BDUe_Konferenz_2012_Plakat_DE_RGB_oR.jpg...then perhaps the Proz virtual conference will be easier to attend from your desk or laptop...

There is a week of events for freelance translators from 24-28 September. Check out the details here.

The next event is for all those interested in languages: teachers, tourists, students as well as translators and interpreters.  The Language Show Live is making its annual appearance at Olympia, London from 19-21 October. It is always packed with interesting stands, engaging seminars and presentations and fascinating languages for people at all levels of ability. The Institute of Translating and Interpreting (ITI) will be running a seminar on The Day in the Life of a Translator. I must say, I'm intrigued!


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Conference season

There is always something going on in the world of languages and the early autumn is no exception.

This year, the European Day of Languages will fall on 26 September. Check out the website for further information and inspiration., the translators' portal, is in the throes of organising its third virtual conference to co-incide with International Translators' Day which also falls on 26 September. The conference has been extended from a single day event to one that runs until 30 September. All call for speakers has been issued - so if you have some insights to share with the professional translation and interpreting community this is your chance to put your name up in lights! More information is available here.

The Great Translation Debate also organised by Proz is scheduled to take place on 29 September. Amongst other topics there will be a live panel discussion considering the motion: Translation automation is good for the translation profession. 
This promises to be a lively session and if you want your say or wish just to hear what others have to say, then register here.

If you prefer a non-virtual experience, then perhaps the Language Show Live will be up your street. Held this year at Olympia London from 21 - 23 October there will be hundreds of language-related exhibitors' stands to visit, language taster sessions, short foreign films to watch, career opportunities to investigate and cultural shows to watch. Registration for free tickets is now open.

Conference season

Disappointingly, I did not receive a response to my letter to my local independent cinema suggesting that it might like to show some foreign-language films on 26 September which had been designated as the European Day of Languages (see my post dated 22 July 2010). Undeterred, I decided to bring forward the celebrations by a day and attend the Chartered Institute of Linguists' Members' Day in London instead.

The CIoL had arranged a programme which included six seminars conducted by Members and Fellows of the Institute on topics such as "examining the differences between 'language' and 'dialect'", "Training translators and interpreters in the next 10 years", "Translating the spoken word as opposed to the written one" and others.

These were followed by lunch and then the Threlford Memorial Lecture, which this year was delivered by Professor David Crystal OBE. As the Institute is celebrating its centenary this year, Professor Crystal took as his title "Languages: past, present and future". During his lecture, Professor Crystal outlined the twists and turns in foreign language ability in the UK. It was assumed, for example, that a hundred years ago, the readers of Punch would be able to read the French and Latin captions on the cartoons whereas, nowadays, editors would not expect this level of fluency from their readership. In contrast, children born since 1991 speak the language of the internet as a native language; computer-speak which is sometimes baffling to older generations who are not computer professionals is used as a lingua franca amongst the young and sometimes also across linguistic boundaries. (If you are interested in English language usage Professor Crystal writes a blog on the subject which can be found here.)

The Second Virtual Conference took place a few days later on International Translators' Day, 30 September. As last year, there was a whole day's worth of seminars, pow-wows, prize draws and promotions.  There was a useful  feature allowing attendees, of whom there were approximately 5000 from across the world, to ask questions of the panellists in real time. One slight frustration from the point of view of a relatively experienced translator was the very basic nature of some of the questions. Perhaps Proz could think about naming the seminars to ensure a more targeted approach? For example, Working with Agencies for Beginners, or Advanced Terminology Management. With up to 1000 attendees per session, this would allow people to derive greater benefit from the seminars and ask their questions at an appropriate level. Just a thought!

My third conference of the season was organised by the Western Group of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting and took place at the University of Bath. This event provided the opportunity to meet up with colleagues in the local area which is always pleasant. The morning session consisted of a seminar looking at the important area of work/life balance. After lunch, there was a presentation on another important area of work and life - pensions for freelancers!


Celebrating International Translators' Day

Once again, it is International Translators' Day today.

I wish all my fellow translators a happy day as they reflect perhaps on what they have achieved since last year. Many will no doubt be attending the Proz virtual conference as indeed I shall be.

I hope you all have a fruitful time - and I look forward to virtually bumping into you there!

The Language Show 2010

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At the end of last October, I reported on my visit to the Language Show at Olympia, London.

The show will be staged again but this year the venue is Earl's Court and registration has just opened. This is sure to be a great day out for anyone interested in all aspects of languages with language taster sessions, foreign-language film shows, careers advice, seminars and much more.

logo_languageshow.gifFree entry is available with prior registration. See their website for more details.

Proz Conferences

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Proz has announced two conferences coming up in the autumn.


Building on the success of last year's virtual conference, there will be a second virtual conference on International Translators' Day, September 30, from 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. GMT. Registration is free.

If you prefer to experience the buzz of a live conference and network with your colleagues face to face, there is an in-person conference scheduled for the first weekend in October in Prague entitled "Achieving recognition and prestige". Early bird rates apply if you register before August 1st.

If you're very clever, have the appropriate technology and can time your travel plans carefully, you could even attend both! 1st Virtual Conference

In celebration of International Translation Day this year, one of the foremost websites for translators,, organised its first virtual conference.  TrànslationWörks registered and "turned up" on the day to witness this unusual event. It was of course simply a case of turning on the computer. Easy, really!

Everything that you would expect to find at a conventional conference was there. I wandered round the exhibition hall, visiting the various companies represented, I attended a few presentations which were given with audio soundtrack and powerpoint presentations and had a live question and answer sessions. I also networked with colleagues who had registered as well. This feature was somewhat different to a conventional conference as usually you would recognise someone's face and fall into conversation with them. On this occasion, you had to recognise their names before launching into a chat. One of the advantages of not actually being able to see them was that I had a bit of thinking time before initiating a conversation. This gave me time to recall where I knew them from!

It was a useful event and clearly other colleagues thought so too as over 7,000 people attended over the course of the day depending on the time zone they were in.  I have a feeling that staff are thinking of hosting another conference next year. The date is already in my diary. 30 September 2010 - pop the date in your diary too; it would be fun to meet a few more colleagues there next year!

Übersetzen in die Zukunft


Over the weekend, a huge translation conference, Übersetzen in die Zukunft, or to give it its English title, Interpreting the Future, took place in Berlin. Over 1600 professional language service providers (LSPs) from 40 countries met over a period of three days to discuss a range of topics from market developments to researching terminology to international issues in the translation industry.

TrànslationWörks was there too! I was delighted to have the opportunity to hear contributions from other professionals in the field, to make contacts with new LSPs and to discuss ways in which our services can help our clients' growth in the current challenging market.

I'll be blogging about various outcomes and hope that you will find them as useful as I did!

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