The International Congress for Translators is held every third year and this was the first year it was hosted in the US, in San Francisco, CA. The American Translators Association was organizing the event this year, and I took the opportunity to attend it for the first time.
The Congress had a slightly different feel than the excellent annual conference held by ATA, many of the presentations were more academic and less business oriented and I enjoyed the sessions that were added last minute after some cancellations more than the ones in the original program, since the new ones seemed to be more business oriented. I enjoyed the networking, but missed the stickers from the ATA conference where you can see what language people work with and the specialized networking events , such as the division networking. The number of exhibitors was also fewer than at the ATA Conferences and the representation seemed more focused on education in translation and interpreting.
Jost Zetzsche was one of the keynote speakers during the opening session and I enjoyed his take on new technology trends in translation. After that I attended only new sessions and enjoyed the sessions by Nicholas Hartmann “Practical Aspects of Technical Translation”, “Ensuring Payment Before During and After the Project, by Ted Wozniak (this one I had missed several times during the ATA conferences) and finally a panel discussion with Laura Brandon, Uwe Muegge, Michel Lopez and Kåre Lindahl called “Creating a Lasting Partnership: Working with LSP:s in the age of Post-Editing.
Other sessions I attended during Tuesday and Wednesday were “Hybrid Careers: Atypical Translation Skills in the Workplace”, by Maggey S. Oplinger, “Threat or Opportunity: The Emerging Role of Machine Translation Post-Editing” by Rosana N. Wolochwianski, “Quality Standards and the Translator’s Role”, by Kristen Corridan and “The Simple Life: Using Plain and Controlled Language to Improve Translation Quality and Consistency”, by Erin M. Lyons.
The most rewarding presentation was, however, “Translation Market Trends: What Freelancers need to Know”, by Nataly Kelly from Common Sense Advisory. She was discussing the drop in market rates, machine translation tools, crowdsourcing and where this leaves the freelance translators. I will write about this and other presentations in other posts soon.
Unfortunately many sessions were cancelled last minute and I was particularly disappointed when the session about factors influencing translation rates was cancelled. All in all it was a rewarding congress and I enjoyed catching up with old colleagues and getting to know new ones.