MAATS student represents the Centre for Translation Studies at Translating Europe Forum in Brussels

MA in Applied Translation Studies 2018-19 student, Jae Marple, was selected to represent CTS at the event in Belgium.

“On Thursday 07 and Friday 08 November, I (MAATS 2018-19 student, Jae Marple), was fortunate enough to represent the CTS at the Translating Europe Forum (TEF), which is arguably one of the most prestigious networking events for professionals serving the language services industry. Over the course of the two-day conference, some of the most iconic figures in the industry, including academics, gave insightful and thought-provoking speeches on a vast array of topics, ranging from the latest developments in translation technology to efforts to coordinate translation-related endeavours in response to humanitarian crises. There were also drinks breaks and networking lunches in between talks where I had the pleasure of meeting people at very different stages of their careers: freelance translators with very little or many years of experience, students representing other member universities of the European Masters in Translation Network, translation theorists, etc.

On a personal note, the talk dedicated to industry newcomers was by far the most useful. Klaus Fleischmann made it abundantly clear that we, as translators, are essentially selling “trust,” since the buyer needs to believe that we are providing them with high-quality work. Therefore, the primary concern for those starting out in the industry, like myself, is to ensure that quality work is produced before worrying about setting one’s rates accordingly, for example; building a long-lasting reputation is the ultimate key to success in the language services industry. Likewise, by proving to our clients that we are trustworthy, they are likely to be understanding when we encounter problems meeting deadlines, for instance; by raising issues like this in good time, we create the impression that we are proactive and responsible, and, subsequently, professional. David Jimielity also suggested that language professionals are over-indulgent, and thus, claim, albeit erroneously, to specialise in multiple areas. By choosing a single specialism, translators gain an in-depth understanding of domain-specific knowledge and text types, which, in turn, enables them to produce target texts that meet the target audience’s predefined quality expectations. For Jimielity, specialisation is a prerequisite for the attainment of effective communication – the end goal towards which all translational decisions and processes must be geared. 

In addition, given my personal interest in translating for the tourist industry, I found the session dedicated to translation in this particular field extremely useful. The panellists discussed the need for target texts to serve as a narration, especially those outlining historical events, in order to maintain readers’ interest. Similarly, unlike most specialised translation fields, texts produced for the tourist industry are not addressed to peers, i.e. the target audience consists of non-specialists, meaning that translators need to put themselves in the shoes of the traveller rather than domain experts. In addition, there are many specific considerations to take into account, such as SEO constraints – multilingual keyword research is vital if consumers are to reach companies’ web pages – and the use of MT in the face of tight turnaround times and large volumes of translatable content. Likewise, David Katan raised the issue of cultural knowledge – aspects of the source-language culture considered common knowledge may be completely unknown to target-language tourists, and therefore, must be made accessible in some way via the translation itself. Recordings of all TEF sessions  are available.”

We would like to thank Jae for representing the Centre for Translation Studies so professionally, and we wish him all the best in his professional career.