“Translation Tracks – Vocational pathways for the language professions of the future”

This was the title of the presentation given by keynote speaker David Moore, who opened the AUSIT National Conference held in Adelaide in November 2018. An educator and linguist at the Alice Springs Language Centre, David spoke of the project to extend the teaching of Aboriginal languages in schools in the Northern Territories by offering applied language courses with a focus on translation. As David explained, ‘Translation Tracks’ is an apt metaphor – it resonates with Aboriginal culture through the association with dreaming tracks, or songlines, and it also expresses the ethos and intention of the programme: to forge a link between school and the workplace, and to provide career paths for Aboriginal students with language skills.

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Sam Berner on the ethics of machine translation

The rise of technology is always a hot topic at translation conferences, and the AUSIT National Conference 2018 in Adelaide was no exception – Sam Berner, a legal translator based in Queensland, gave a thought-provoking talk entitled: “Ethical Questions for the Age of Intelligent Machines”.

Most such discussions revolve around the question of whether MT will ever replace human translators – which Ms Berner boldly asserted is fundamentally the wrong question, her premise being that we do not, and cannot, know what will happen and how technology will develop in the future. While I don’t personally fully agree with this statement, Ms Berner instead posed a set of questions which are worth thinking about:

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Course review: Linguistic validation of patient-reported outcome instruments


In January 2017, I participated in the eCPD video course on Linguistic validation of patient-reported outcome instruments. The course was divided into three videos, the first two of about fifty minutes each, and the third of about forty minutes. Each video was accompanied by a downloadable handout, which was a pdf file of the presentation used onscreen in that video. The material was presented in a logical manner, which was clearly introduced at the beginning and easy to follow as the course progressed. Continue reading “Course review: Linguistic validation of patient-reported outcome instruments”

Welcoming the Wake-up Call

I recently had the great opportunity to attend Chris Durban’s presentation as part of the first edition of the “One Day in…” event organised by the ITI in the prestigious venue of Gray’s Inn in London last month. Chris Durban is a French to English translator based in Paris specialising in business and finance. She is the author of The Prosperous Translator and co-author of 101 Things a Translator Needs to Know. She is a popular speaker at translation conferences and is well known for giving business advice to translators. Continue reading “Welcoming the Wake-up Call”

“Language is who we are” – Indigeneity at FIT 2017 Congress

When Nunukul Yuggera Aboriginal dancers performed for us to launch the Congress, they explained things like the “throw-out-sound-through-a-hollow-log” instrument (digeridoo), which sounds like an emu. One man played, the others tapped their fingers and toes; I wondered how d/Deaf people would experience this music. The physicality of the stamping, blowing and percussion made me homesick for Aotearoa/New Zealand, where kapa haka expresses much that seems beyond language. People cried, and all 800+ delegates bodily enacted their response in a standing ovation. Continue reading ““Language is who we are” – Indigeneity at FIT 2017 Congress”

NZSTI Conference Communication & Superdiversity 2018 – Day 1

The 2018 NZSTI National Conference titled “Communication & Superdiversity” was held in Wellington from 26–27 May, at the Victoria University Pipitea Campus. It started with an evening reception on 25 May where the delegates were able to meet in a relaxed atmosphere with drinks and nibbles. The winners of the “Moving Words” secondary schools translation competition, for which NZSTI sponsored the prizes, were also announced at this event: Yuqian Huang for Chinese, Freya Baker for German, and Katie Piper and Margo Montes for French. The students had created subtitles for Taika Waititi’s 11-minute short film Two Cars, One Night. Continue reading “NZSTI Conference Communication & Superdiversity 2018 – Day 1”

Webinar Review: Spanish legal translation – a comparison of two different legal systems

Yesterday I attended a webinar entitled “Spanish legal translation – a comparison of two different legal systems” (eCPD webinars: https://www.ecpdwebinars.co.uk), presented by Sofia Brough-Aparicio, a Spanish translator who specialises in the legal field. What caught my attention was that the webinar dealt with my specific language pair and a field in which I work a lot, both as a translator and as an interpreter. Continue reading “Webinar Review: Spanish legal translation – a comparison of two different legal systems”

Can translators help save the Earth?

A report on Michael Cronin’s thought-provoking ideas on the role of translators in environmental sustainability.

Have you ever considered how translation may be contributing to climate change? How translation workflows exploit natural and human resources? Or how translators may be able to help humankind understand and interact with the natural environment? These were some of the questions that Professor Michael Cronin explored in his keynote presentation at the 2017 FIT Congress, entitled “Why Translation Should Not Cost the Earth – Towards Geocentric Translation Studies”. Continue reading “Can translators help save the Earth?”

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