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Translators Love Events

This blog post somehow comes a bit later than expected. 2016 has definitely been for me a year of events, not so much as an organizer, but as an attendee.

Two events have been especially relevant for me: the Translating for Europe Forum in Brussels (from now on T4EUF), organized by the DG for Translation on October 28th and WATIFY “Boosting technological transformation in Europe”, organized by the DG Growth and implemented by a consortium of companies led by the GOPA Group on December 7th.

Attending events is extremely enriching, especially if these are relevant to your industry or business idea. You get inspired, meet new people, see old friends and sometimes you even feel like you’re back in a classroom, and with lots of homework!

As far as T4EUF is concerned, it is one of the most important events in the translation industry, as it touches on a wide arrange of aspects; from institutional work to academic programs and onsite software demonstrations, to the latest advances in this industry. My main takeaway was that translators must get acquainted with new technologies—such as machine translation—and start using them to our benefit. We also need to acknowledge and accept that, in many fields, this is already an essential part of the translation workflow.

From my point of view, the coolest part about T4EUF is that it is just not an extremely well-organized, vibrant, exclusive Brussels event, as many other roadshows under the same title are organized all around the EU, involving stakeholders that are just as interesting as the ones at their flagship event. Their topics also vary according to the location. For instance, one of these was celebrated in December in Madrid and revolved around the translation opportunities within the IBEX35 companies, Spain’s main stock exchange.

Other topics, such as entrepreneurship, were also tackled. Curricula has probably changed a bit since I graduated in 2011, but little time was devoted to preparing ourselves to what the translation industry really looks like: vendors, chains, agencies, end clients, freelance paperwork, etc.

Entrepreneurship needs to be included into degree curricula (if it isn’t already) from a very practical approach. Students need to be not only able to prepare CV’s, cover letters and interviews, but also to get ready to go out there, market themselves and become real freelancers and potential entrepreneurs. Being able to become your own manager is probably one of the most attractive facets of this job, as well as knowing that this industry is in good shape:

In this regard, what could a translator possibly do for your business to reach the next level of amazingness? SO many things. From a multilingual SEO strategy and content localization to helping with your international development, for which you will probably need an amazing polyglot partner to give you a hand, too.

The Watify event was a very good example of how traditional businesses are using new technologies, starting to have an online presence and marketing themselves in other countries.

A series of SME owners gathered in Brussels to showcase their best practices and meet potential partners. Family-owned hotels or marble producers were among them.

With only 40% of European SME’s using the Internet to boost their business activities, the time has come to innovate and try to compete with well-established online reseller’s, and I am confident that a translator can help you out with that!

My next event will be on March 26th in Amsterdam, at GALA’s Annual Conference (Globalization and Localization Association), the world’s leading trade association for the language industry, where I will be visiting the booths of software providers that offer free workshops. This non-profit membership organization supports their member companies and the language sector by creating communities, championing standards, sharing knowledge, and advancing technology.

Very much looking forward to it and to my next blog post!

Also published on Medium.

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