Celebrating ten years of translators and interpreters coming together in Cardiff 2

For those not familiar, a ProZ.com powwow is an informal, local get-together of language professionals. Any ProZ.com member can propose and organize a powwow in their area. Since 2001, thousands of powwows have been held around the world, in 110 countries.

So far, 454 powwows have been held in 63 cities in the UK, with 3,748 attendees total. At least 50 of those powwows have been organized by Victoria Burns and Alexandra Chapman. This May 5th, Alexandra and Victoria are celebrating 10 years of powwows in Cardiff by holding — you guessed it — another powwow!

I asked Alexandra and Victoria to talk a bit about how the Cardiff powwows got started, what the experience has been like, and what benefits they have been able to see from coming together in person with colleagues. Here is what they had to say:


Celebrating ten years of powwows in Cardiff is a great opportunity to reflect on how far we’ve come. Vicky and I met at the first Cardiff powwow, which came about as a result of Cardiff-based translators Vicky and Trinidad Clares meeting at an earlier powwow in nearby Bristol, back in May 2008 and immediately hit it off. We had both started translating the previous year, Vicky full time after deciding to finally bite the bullet and leave her job in export sales and me more gradually as my daughter started playschool. We had both studied languages at school and university, shared a love of travelling and hoped that a powwow would offer social opportunities to enhance our more solitary professional lives. It did that and more!

To date we’ve organised over 50 powwows between us with other local translators organising at least another 50 in that time. We’ve had attendees from all over the world with a wide variety of language combinations and we’ve heard about powwows in other countries where minutes are taken or talks are given. Ours are more informal, usually a meal or drinks in a city centre bar or restaurant where we chat about current projects, share tips on translation issues and plan our next social gathering. We’ve grown into a group of fifteen or twenty regulars of many different nationalities and we’re joined by new people almost every time we meet, usually on the first Saturday of the month. There’s been a Christmas powwow every year and often a summer picnic. We’ve celebrated birthdays, weddings and baby showers, with more and more children joining the scene, not to mention Vicky’s dog Alfie. Recently, we even arranged a Mother’s Day powwow and brought our mums along! That’s something we may now find we have to make an annual event….

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We travel further afield together too, organising a bunkhouse weekend and camping on the Gower Peninsula and attending translation conferences in Berlin (ELIA), Brescia (MET) and Vienna (BP18). Regular powwow attendee Juliet Haydock owns a house in Capena, near Rome, and that’s become a regular destination for some sunshine and co-working.

Perhaps the greatest outcome of the Cardiff powwows has been the foundation of ITI Cymru Wales, the Welsh network of the Institution of Translation and Interpreting (ITI), the UK’s professional association for practising translators and interpreters. Although founders Trinidad Clares and Elvana Moore initially met at a powwow in nearby Bristol, it was the Cardiff powwows that formed the recruitment ground for at least 28 of the current membership of 40, of which 15 to date (including Vicky and me) have taken the prestigious MITI assessment to become qualified members of the organisation. Its aims are to promote the highest standards within the profession by supporting on-going career development for language professionals and to represent the sector at the very highest level. When the ITI Conference was held in Cardiff in 2017, our members, who had met through the Cardiff powwows, played key roles in welcoming delegates to the city and organising fringe events alongside the informative talks.

Under this same banner, the Cardiff co-working sessions have become a weekly fixture, thanks to the organisational efforts of local boy Lloyd Bingham. We bring our laptops to a central café and work alongside each other, building ever-greater potential for professional collaboration. As several of us translate from German, another regular Andrew Godfrey recently initiated a Peer Review Group, where we all translate a text and then meet to discuss the relative merits of our different versions. It’s rather like a translation slam and is a great way to pick up new ideas for those ‘untranslatable’ expressions. We pick up new clients from powwow contacts too, stepping in when someone is on holiday and likewise passing on work in return, as I did when I was on maternity leave. This close collaboration is possible not only because of the trust brought about by friendship but also because of our mutual professional respect. As a group, we take the opportunity to learn from one another, rather than considering other translators to be competitors, and this mutual inspiration and support brings out the best in us all.

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We’ve come a long way since that first Cardiff powwow, and have plenty of exciting things in the pipeline for this year, including our 10th anniversary powwow in May, to which everyone who has attended a Cardiff powwow over the past 10 years has been invited, the seemingly now-annual summer picnic, another bunkhouse powwow and potentially a Cardiff translators’ ski trip next winter – our first ‘international’ powwow!

The on-going benefits are clear to see and they play a crucial role in our success as translators. What started as a simple lunch is now a fully-fledged network of high-calibre professionals even greater than the sum of its parts. If you’ve tended to shy away from networking, maybe it’s time to give it a try. And if there’s nothing in your area, setting something up is straightforward using either the ProZ.com powwow system or another social media channel. Meeting for lunch might just be the best thing you ever did for your career!

 


Well, there you have it! Congratulations to Victoria and Alexandra, to all the language professionals who have contributed to making these get-togethers a success, and have an excellent anniversary powwow!

If you are wondering whether there are extraordinary colleagues like these in your area, chances are there are– it’s simply a question of getting the ball rolling, and good things can happen. 

 

 

Tablet interpreting, remote interpreting platforms, and tips and tricks for interpreters Reply

Since 2009, ProZ.com has hosted an annual, free, online event for language professionals in celebration of International Translation Day (ITD), September 30th. You can see past events at ProZ/TV. The name of the day notwithstanding, interpreters also deserve some of the spotlight at these events! Here is a selection of some recorded sessions from past ITD events which may be of interest to you if you interpret, or are considering getting into the interpreting field…


Tips, tools and apps to make the most of a tablet while interpreting

In this video from the 8th annual ProZ.com International Translation Day conference held online, interpreters Alexander Drechsel and Josh Goldsmith talk tablets and how interpreters can leverage them for their work:


The evolution of remote interpreting platforms

Also from the 8th annual International Translation Day celebration, Barry Olsen provides this overview of emerging technologies and platforms enabling remote interpreting:


Tips & Tricks for Remote Interpreters

Claudia Brauer is an English – Spanish translator, interpreter, trainer, conference speaker, and member of the Certified PRO Network. In this video, she shares some tips and approaches to help remote interpreters:


If you are a professional interpreter, you can use ProZ.com Pools™ to connect with new clients.

Participate online in Elia Together 2018 (free for Plus subscribers) Reply

As you may have already heard, the European language industry association (Elia) and ProZ.com have teamed up to broadcast this year’s event, Together 2018Together is an annual two-day event from Elia, where language service companies and independent professionals convene for open dialogue on industry trends, to learn mutually-relevant new approaches, to update technical skills and, ultimately, develop lasting relationships to serve their end clients better. This year, the event will be held on February 22nd and 23rd.

If you are a ProZ.com Plus subscriber, you will have access to the broadcast and recordings from this year’s event for free.

All you have to do is:

  1. Make sure you are logged in to your ProZ.com account.
  2. Go to ProZ.com/TV at https://www.proz.com/tv/Together2018 (also found under the “Member activities” section of the site menu).
  3. Enjoy.

Elia Together 2018

This event has been approved for up to 7 ATA Continuing Education points. Important: in order to earn CE points, you must click the “Get credentialed” button on the timer above the video player on https://www.proz.com/tv/Together2018.

Guest post: Paula Ribeiro on APTRAD’s 2nd international conference (May 17 – 19) Reply

Translation challenges over the next decade and how to address them

Today’s guest post was written by Paula Ribeiro – president and co-founder of the Portuguese Association of Translators and Interpreters (APTRAD). Paula is a long-time ProZ.com member and part of the Certified PRO Network. APTRAD will be holding its second international conference on May 17th, 18th and 19th in Porto, Portugal.


APTRAD, the Portuguese Association of Translators and Interpreters, was established in February 2015 by a group of freelance professionals in response to a perceived need for a modern, creative and innovative approach in order to achieve greater cohesion and exchange of information at a national level within the profession. After almost one year of hard work we are proud of achieving some of the important goals we initially set.

APTRAD’s motto – Interpreting the present to translate the future – reflects the Association’s aim to promote and foster the growth of its professional members, and to support the integration as professionals of all future translators and interpreters into the market.

Pursuing this thought, APTRAD is to hold its 2nd International Conference from 17 to 19 May 2018 in Porto, Portugal – a bilingual event full of opportunities to explore, learn, share, and of course network! The conference, based on the theme Translation challenges over the next decade and how to address them, will explore the challenges of a professional freelance translator and/or interpreter during the next decade and how to address and overcome them.

As in 2016, where we welcomed more than 300 participants from all over the world, we are all trying to turn this event into a big party for translators, interpreters and linguists in general joining us in our beloved hometown – Porto.

The organization of this event becomes much easier with the valuable help of our partners, in which ProZ.com is included as an essential reference in the career of so many professionals. Thank you for your support!

Feel free to visit our website at and more specifically the conference website and drop us a line if you need help or some extra information about the event!

And if you are still considering, see what participants had to say about APTRAD’s 1st International Conference in 2016 here.

Also, and because an event is just not work time, be sure to check out the amazing fringe events awaiting you in Porto

See you this May! We promise you an unforgettable event and lots of fun!

For more information:

APTRAD website: www.aptrad.pt

APRTRAD conference: www.aptrad.pt/conference/conference

Facebook event page: www.facebook.com/events/2019483394940324/


About Paula RibeiroPaul Ribeiro

Paula Ribeiro started translating in 1997, and since then she knew that this was the career she wanted to pursue! She graduated in 2006 with a Master’s Degree in Specialized Translation and Interpretation with English and French as her working languages, and later Spanish as her third language. She is currently pursuing a postgraduate degree in Computer Assisted Translation.

In 2010, Paula decided to create her own company – Crossingwords – and to undertake translation and interpretation as her main occupation, always maintaining her education and training as a key part of her professional and personal development.

As an event organizer, Paula has planned several conferences on both a national and international scale, including the 2013 ProZ.com International Conference.

Since February 2015 Paula has been one of the founders and the President of APTRAD, the Portuguese Association of Translators and Interpreters, a formally constituted non-profit organisation based in Porto.


ProZ.com hackathon in 2017, and the site team bids farewell to one of its key members 5

There was a bit of a flurry of activity in the third week of October as various members of the ProZ.com site team gathered in Syracuse for a second hackathon.

The team gets together to brainstorm, discuss, plan and work on the hackathon projects.

For those not already familiar with the term, a hackathon is short event where developers and others get together to work intensively on one or more projects, with the goal being the creation of usable software, services, or other features. The first ProZ.com hackathon was held in July of 2016, and resulted in the creation of the What I am working on feature, in which to date just over 19,000 entries have been made.

This year, the team broke off into smaller groups to tackle four different potential services:

* The announcement of this project was made to the Certified PRO Network forums and will only be accessible if you are a member of the network.

A big thank you goes out to all the ProZ.com site members who made themselves available on short notice to participate in testing some or all of these potential services, and provided feedback which will help determine the value and direction of each.

Group photo. We’re not a bad-looking bunch, for the most part.

A hackathon is a lot of work for everyone involved. For a group as culturally and geographically diverse as the ProZ.com site team, it is also an excellent opportunity for team building, to work face to face with coworkers who are usually in another country and/or time zone, and to get to know each other better, both professionally and personally. And it is a lot of fun! Despite the long days, the team still made room for other activities: group breakfasts, lunches, dinners and drinks, a bit of walking and talking around the town of Syracuse, and some team members might have been spotted in impromptu ping pong and football matches (not at the same time).

There was still time to get together at the end of the day, socialize, and talk plans for the next day.

In addition, this hackathon included the celebration of the impending retirement of Enrique Cavalitto, who many may know from his seventeen years on ProZ.com as site user, member, moderator, conference speaker, powwow attendee, and staff member of eleven years.

Enrique’s retirement party. There may have been a tear or two in the room.

Enrique helped start and oversee the Argentine office of ProZ.com, spent years coordinating with Translators without Borders, and more recently has been coordinating the development of the ProZ.com translation center, a service available to Business members on the market for ways to improve the management of their translation projects. As part of the celebration, Enrique was inducted into the ProZ.com Hall of Fame. I don’t think you’ve seen the last of him on ProZ.com, though. Best wishes in whatever comes next, Enrique!

Enrique and Jared at the Tech Garden, home to the Syracuse offices of ProZ.com.

 

5 Translation Conferences you might attend in 2017 2

Pieter_Beens
Pieter Beens is a freelance translator and copywriter working in English to Dutch, and a frequent guest contributor to the Translator T.O. 

In this post, Pieter takes a look a few upcoming events for translators in 2017.


January has already come to an end. It’s February now and the conference season is about to start. In this article I present to you 5 translation conferences you might attend in 2017. They’re presented in order of date, so this overview can still be helpful if the first few are already past.

The benefits of attending a translation conference

Translating generally is a silent job. Many of us do not regularly meet clients or colleagues in daily life. At the same time it can be difficult to cope with all the changes in the industry or simply have a fresh view on what you’re doing or using day after day. Visiting a translation conference can be a good idea then. They offer you opportunities to meet like-minded colleagues from all over the world. As the conference often takes two or more days, there are a number of sessions, combined with some great relaxing opportunities. So there’s always something to take home for every participant: if you don’t like one presentation, it is compensated for by another.

And then there is the networking part of conferences. During conferences you’re drawn into discussions with forum members, fellow participants and providers of industry-leading software or tools (who in many cases sponsor the organization of the conferences). So don’t forget to take your business cards and networking apps, and exchange your details.

Translation conferences to attend in 2017
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EliaTogether, February 23-24, Berlin

EliaTogether is one of the biggest industry events in the European Union. Together is hosted by Elia, the European Language Industry Organization. It is held in a different city in Europe each year. This year it will take place in Berlin on February 23 and 24. The programme contains sessions for translators and interpreters, as well as for freelancers and agencies. Last year more than 300 participants were present, so it will be a huge event.

Registration is still possible. Rates are available at http://2017.elia-together.org/rates/

 

Translation and Localization Conference, March 24-25, Warsaw

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The Translation and Localization Conference in Warsaw is unique. It hosts 350+ guests from all over the world (last year there were 30+ nationalities). The programme is both aimed at translators and interpreters. The TLC is held in Novotel Hotel in Warsaw, a great place to stay with a multitude of options to relax and enjoy great presentations. The location is good as are the facilities.

The TLC is organized by a couple of volunteers from the translation industry. They succeed each year in setting up a great event with several interesting tracks. Visit www.translation-conference.com/ for more information.

 

BP17, May 4-6, Budapest

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The Business and Practice Conference in Budapest is a yearly event that is aimed at freelance translators. It is organized by a translator and hosts a schedule full of masterclasses and business related presentations. All professionals that have a say at the conference are people with real hands-on experience as a translator. They therefore share their own knowledge and experiences, which makes this conference great for starters who want to learn more as well as for seasoned translators that want to network and share knowledge. The BP conference is also a kind of promotion for Hungary as the organization offers plenty time to learn to know the capital of Hungary.

Check out the full schedule at http://bpconf.com/

 

FIT Congress, August 3-5, Brisbane

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The International Federation of Translators hosts a conference every two years. The flagship conference will happen this year again. It welcomes translators, interpreters and other industry professionals to have their say about disruption and diversification.

The call for papers is still open, so you can try to secure your spot for hosting your own presentation at http://www.fit-ift.org/brisbane-2017/

 

ATA58, October 25-28, Washington D.C

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ATA58 is the 58th conference of the American Translator Association. It will be held in Washington D.C. this year. Each year the organization chooses a different location, but all conferences have in common that they are beyond spectacular. It is a typical American conference in that it is big and bold. There is room enough for networking possibilities, while there are also opportunities to meditate, fitness and relax.

During the conference there are options to pass the ATA examination, and the presentations are full of information for translators and interpreters alike.


ProZ.com
 Conference?

If there is a chance, ProZ.com tries to host its own conference each year. In the past the company held conferences in Rotterdam, Stockholm and other interesting cities. The ProZ.com conference is organized by volunteers from the massive translators and interpreters community with support of ProZ.com. This year’s conference is still unknown, but if there will be one it would certainly worth to visit with it’s great sight-seeing and networking opportunities and hands-on knowledge sharing.

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Other translation conferences in 2017

Of course there are many more translation conferences to be held in 2017. They are spread over the whole world and have varying knowledge levels, networking and relaxing opportunities and price tags. Visit an overview of translation conferences in 2017 at https://www.vertaalt.nu/blog/translation-conferences-2017/


Guest post: 10 things translators need to know about machine translation 3

Meet Gwenydd Jonesa freelance Spanish to English translator and professional trainer. She has two MAs, the first in Translation Studies and the second in Legal Translation, and the DipTrans (CIOL). With 10 years’ experience, Gwenydd specializes in business, marketing and legal translation. She is also a copywriter.

Learn more about Gwenydd and some of the courses she offers by checking out her blog, translatorstudio.co.uk.


I don’t know about you, but I spend much of my life going from one translation project to the next. I want to learn about translation technology, but am always putting it off. Not my idea of fun. For me, m1074712_r55e018418b6a3achine translation is like the hologrammatic elephant in my home office.

Last June, I had to prepare a talk for the ProZ.com conference in Stockholm. Finally, an opportunity to confront the elephant. I set out to find answers to my questions, hoping to put my worries to rest. I wanted to find out: what is going on with machine translation? Is it a real threat to human translators? And if it is, what should we be doing about it?

In my webinar Your Essential Machine Translation Briefing, on 8 Feb, I’ll share what I found out. From the perspective of a technically challenged freelancer. In the first half, I’ll give you a summary of what is currently going on in machine translation. Then, I’ll share the strategies I’m employing in my work, to make sure I develop alongside automated translation. See you there!

In the meantime, here are a few things freelance translators need to know about machine translation.

  1. ‘Machine translation’ isn’t the same as ‘translation memory’ or ‘CAT tool’

Sometimes translators get these terms muddled up, which is understandable. A computer-assisted translation (CAT) tool is an application where you can write your translations. It uses translation memories (TMs) to keep a record of all your past work. Don’t confuse that with a machine translation (MT) engine. An MT engine is an application that automatically translates a text. You can integrate MT with your CAT tool, but they are two different pieces of software. They have different functions.

  1. Machine translation is more effective with certain text types

Since computers rely on data and rules, the more predictable a text, the better the output will likely be. Formulaic and simple texts work well. Creative and complex texts don’t. Life sciences, finance, IT and other technical genres lend themselves to machine translation. But while financial accounts are formulaic, an accountant’s blog is far less predictable. With the second, you may well be faster on your own, particularly if you use voice recognition.

  1. Machine translation engines get better results when they’re customised

Translators and companies that are serious about machine translation aren’t using Google Translate. They get their own machine translation engines and train them for a specific domain. They do this by inputting their translation memories. After that, they input more data on an ongoing basis, so the machine keeps adapting to them. This is how they get more accurate output. Then they post edit it and feed the final translation back into the machine. With a suitable text type, this helps them finish the translation faster than if they did it from scratch.

  1. Neural machine translation is a major change in the translation industry

The world of machine translation is starting to harness deep learning. This is based on neural networks. Neural networks have lots of uses in artificial intelligence. Language processing is one of them. So, computer scientists can use them to improve machine translation. Companies that are using neural machine translation include: Google, Microsoft and Facebook.

  1. Google Translate is now using neural machine translation in some language combinations

Google recently announced that it is using neural machine translation in Google Translate. For now, it is limited to certain language combinations. They rolled it out with a total of eight language pairs. All are to and from English, combined with French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Turkish. It’s free, but remember the data is public, so you can’t use it if you’ve signed a confidentiality agreement. Google Translate isn’t customised (see point 3), but it has lots of data. The jury is still out on how good the updated tool is.

  1. You can subscribe to your own machine translation engine and train it

You may not realise that companies that develop machine translation engines sell subscriptions. You can even pay to train your own engine using your translation memories. Post-editing isn’t just about an agency sending you texts. You can learn how to post edit, get a customised engine and then do whatever you want with it. The profits and control will be all yours.

  1. Companies that sell machine translation are battling for your business

If you want to try machine translation, you have to go shopping for a provider. The different companies that offer machine translation solutions (including SDL, Lilt and Systran) publish data to show how effective their software is. It’s all quite technical and confusing. And it can be biased. You can go to TAUS and the eMpTy Pages blog, for unbiased information.

Perhaps, like me, you prefer to see for yourself. One way of doing this is to observe yourself for a month in your work, and see how many words you average per hour. Then, pick whichever machine translation software takes your fancy and use it for a month. Track your turnover to see whether your hourly average gets faster or not. Then you’ll have your own data to tell you whether it’s worth continuing to invest.

  1. Machine translation isn’t currently replacing human translators

Improvements in machine translation don’t mean we’re all out of a job. But, it may mean our jobs will start to change. Commercial translation is often about getting an acceptable translation as quickly as possible. You can complete some texts faster by using customised machine translation and post-editing. And sometimes that is what the customer wants. As machine translation continues to get better, we can expect demand for post-editing to grow.

  1. Machine translation pricing isn’t set in stone, yet

While machine translation has a long history, it’s still being consolidated in our industry. Lots of translators and translation agencies are struggling to get their heads around it. Some translators are concerned that post-editing means lower pay. Certainly, ruthless agencies will try to use it as another way of driving prices down.

But, that doesn’t mean smart translators can’t use it to increase their profitability. Why shouldn’t we earn more on the days we work as post editors? If we learn about it, and talk about it, we’ll soon know how we want to price it. We’ll know when to refuse a job. Translators can choose to accept post-editing jobs only when they’re going to make more money for their time.

  1. Freelance translators have options regarding machine translation

We don’t all have to go running for the hills before the robots attack. Becoming a post editor is just one option open to us. If you like the idea of it, you could post edit for agencies. But, you could also subscribe to your own engine and use it in your work. If you don’t want to post edit, there are a host of specialisation and diversification options.

Whatever path you end up choosing, now is a good time to get informed and come up with a plan. If major changes do take place in our industry, I for one will be ready for them. Ready to adapt. To continue being the one who controls my career. To protect my rates, serve the direct customer competitively, and understand the jobs (and prices) agencies offer me.

I encourage you to join me at my webinar on 8 Feb, Your Essential Machine Translation Briefing. I’ll share everything I’ve found out about machine translation, in simple, unbiased terms. I’ll also tell you the strategies I’ve come up with, and am now employing in my work. Sign up here!