“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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The Language Assistance Project – what is it, and how might it affect you?

At the 2017 NZSTI National Conference held in Auckland in mid-June, Quintin Ridgeway gave a presentation on the Language Assistance Project. While Quintin is known to us as the National President of our own organisation, he in fact wears a number of hats, and he was asked to give this presentation in his capacity as Manager of the Internal Affairs Translation Service and Co-convener of the Language Sector Reference Group. Continue reading “The Language Assistance Project – what is it, and how might it affect you?”

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