Sunday, 26 October 2014

The Language Show 2014: A translator's view

The Language Show 2014: Beyond expectations

Last weekend I visited the Language Show
at Olympia Exhibition Centre. As an English-Spanish Translator and Language Teacher I was a regular attendee of this event that takes place every year in London, UK. However, three years ago I felt that the Language Show was mainly focusing on Language courses, resources for those learning languages and educational trips to other countries where new languages could be studied through cultural immersion programmes, instead of offering training, networking or career development opportunities for translators and interpreters.

That opinion completed changed this year when I enjoyed an event full of seminars, resources and networking opportunities for professional translators and interpreters!

On Saturday 18th October I arrived to the Language Show at 10.30 am to join the 'Translation and Interpreters Leaders Panel Session' – an interesting and informative talk from representatives of some translation/interpreting companies about what makes them choose one candidate over another, what subject fields are in demand in the translation industry and how to stand out in this competitive profession.

Networking started straight after that session, when I met a colleague that also graduated at the School of Languages of the University of Cordoba (where I did my degrees) and we shared experiences and information about our profession as teachers and translators as well as about the challenges and opportunities of our lives in London.

Just before lunch, I decided to attend the seminar presented by a European Commission Interpreter and a Professor on Interpreting about different types of interpreting, with examples of and a focus on conference and public service interpreting.

After that I felt privileged about being present at the seminar lead by Helen Campbell - Director at the National Network for Interpreting, Routes into Languages - on Conference Interpreting: What future? This seminar as well as the previous one called ‘So you think what an interpreter is?’ emphasised the importance of the interpreter’s mother tongue to a very high standard as well as the responsibility of interpreters for transferring ideas, more than words… ‘allowing for successful communication by being able to ‘sense’ what the speaker of one language is trying to say and structuring that message in a way that is succinct and accurate’.

Once that session finished, I took some time to visit some of the stalls that caught my attention. I could not miss the stall ‘Translate for Europe’ by the European Commission, where I had the chance of asking about opportunities for freelance translators and interpreters interested in working for the EC, as well as gathering a number of resources about the main characteristics and the languages of the countries that are part of the European Union. I also visited the UKTI stand and talked to just the person I wanted to meet, the Language and Culture Adviser at UKTI. After listening to different languages, accents and people, I saw the stand of ‘LA TUNDRA’ a magazine written in Spanish with interesting articles on culture, art and interviews to Hispanic personalities, and I felt at home when I was warmly welcomed by its fabulous team with whom I shared not only a language, but also a feeling for our beloved Argentina. What’s more, I even received a copy of the printed magazine, which I’m still reading with interest!

Last but not least, I attended a panel session jointly organised by the European Commission's Directorate-General for Translation, the Chartered Institute of Linguists and the Institute of Translation and Interpreting with a focus on the results of the survey on translator training launched following Part 1 held in July, examining whether translators are being trained to meet the challenges facing the profession. We were given an extended document with information about the findings of the EC, CIOL and ITI on how best to future-proof the profession and to equip the next generation of translators.

All in all, my love for languages and translation was more intense than ever after being at the Language Show. The organisation was impeccable with detailed information about the exhibitors and the programme for each day on their website. I found all seminars very informative and all speakers were role models within the Translation/Interpreting profession. I have already saved the date for October 2015, since after such a great experience, I could not be missing the Language Show next year!

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