Translators Conference in Jerusalem, Feb 2016 - Day Two

... so it came about that on the second morning of the conference, right after breakfast, we had three visiting speakers from abroad*.

First among them was Andre Lindemann, President of the BDU - German Federal Association of Interpreters and Translators. I'm sorry I don't remember exactly what he said. I think my colleague Ruth Ludlam wrote about it in her post about the conference. All I recall is that he'd been asked to speak in English, which is not his mother-tongue, and he has a beautiful, deep voice.

Second was the sprightly Stefan Gentz (originally from Germany I believe), full of energy and pizzazz, with a presentation entitled The Future is Now. Creating a good presentation is an art in itself, which I, for one, have not yet mastered; my slides are far too wordy. Gentz could teach you how it's done: his slides were short on words but loud and clear on message. And as I've said before, a good speaker should be a bit of an entertainer. Translators, apparently, have become but a footnote in this huge, world-wide industry with a turnover of Lots and Lots of Money. Customers expect us to come up with innovative solutions to their needs. The industry is far from dead; it has a future, but as it evolves, we have to change too. Why don't you just go to SlideShare and enjoy Gentz's slidewhow.

Third was Andrew Morris with his talk, Standing Out: Changing the Game. This talk could probably have benefited from a slide show, just to help make his point and give the audience an additional something to focus on. Morris spoke mainly about the good and bad aspects of social media, as it applies to us translators. Israelis are addicts of social media. (I can't say exactly how they compare with other nationals.) We know only too well how [some] users get carried away with ranting and raving, creating the website or app they're using into an arena seething with foul language and hatred. As translators and wordsmiths, we seek excellence, success, enjoyment. The last thing we need is that sort of filth and stress. Acting on this conviction, Morris created an online safe haven, much like our own Agenda and Members of the ITA forums on Facebook. That's where we consult each other, help one another, joke around, and enjoy what we do.  Morris also spoke of the need to be open to change. But each of us has to decide what type of change is best for them, since every decision, every change, entails its pluses and minuses.

Coffee break, with all those mouth-watering cakes. And time for agonizing over the huge choice of lectures. I had to go by process of elimination. So, with a heavy heart, I gave up the Business Track, the Technical Track and the Specialized Track. I don't mind much having missed "10 New Ways Your Smartphone Can Help You in Your Business and Life", because I'm trying to cut down on smartphone time, as well as on my business. I'm trying to get on with other important aspects of my life. But if any of you, dear readers, went to one of the Business Track lectures -- do tell.

Similarly, I skipped the Technical Track: I've stopped using Babylon because it seemed to me to get less user-friendly and more annoying with each new version; I don't do enough work to warrant the use of Translation Memory software; and I have live-in tech support who rescues me when disaster strikes. On the other hand, I suspect I might have found the panel on assessing translation quality interesting, even though it's something I've been doing rather intuitively for dozens of years.

I always give the Specialized Track a miss, since I've never seriously dealt with legal, medical, or financial translations. Not my expertise, neither in this incarnation nor in the next. (I've applied for "ballerina" in my next incarnation, but...)

Mazal tov, I've landed in the Jericho/Masada Hall, for the Academic& Other Track. But by this time you're feeling this post has gone on for too long already, right? So I'll tell you about it next time. See you soon!
P.S.  It is now "next time" :-)  Here's installment #3.
* This annual conference is not merely a local thing. Some of our leading translators -- Sarah YarkoniInga Michaeli, to name but two -- are active on the international scene, submit papers, go to translators' conferences abroad, make friends, tie ties, and invite foreign professionals to come visit us. That is, to attend the ITA conference, give talks and workshops.


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