[Event] FIT2017 World Congress in Brisbane, Australia

The XXI FIT World Congress will be held in Brisbane, Australia in August 2017. For its  newest edition, the triennal flagship event will be hosted by AUSIT (Australian Institute of Interpreters and Translators). It was previously held in Shanghai (2008), San Francisco (2011) and Berlin (2014).

The broad theme is “Disruption and diversification” and will tackle the various technological challenges faced by language professionnels around the world.

To view the complete list of subthemes, please visit http://www.fit2017.org (Section Call for Papers).

Also, on a more personal note, I’m proud to say that I had the opportunity to translate the website into French. So, don’t hesitate to click on “Français” located on the Homepage.

The FIT2017 committee is also very active on social media. All information is made available both in English and French on the Facebook page dedicated to FIT2017. Click here to know more: https://www.facebook.com/FIT2017Congress/

 

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The Translation Nightmare Before Christmas in Strasbourg, France

Claimant to the title of “capital of Europe”, the French city of Strasbourg is known all over Europe for its institutions like the European Council where hundreds of translators and interpreters help politicians communicate. But it is also the self-proclaimed capital city of Christmas, known all over the world for its numerous markets and its exquisite local food.

Located close to the German border, Strasbourg is part of the “Alsace” region where German is probably the most commonly spoken language after French and the local dialect “l’alsacien”. You’d think that language skills would be quite developed in such an international place. Yet, I spotted a funny translation blunder in a hotel in the city centre. As is sometimes the case, hotel owners resort to Google Translate when they only have a few words to translate (ex: instructions in the bathroom), either for financial reasons or just practical considerations. They probably think that given how short these sentences are, the machine cannot get them wrong… well, in this case a proofreader would have been put to good use… Granted, the message can still be well understood, but I reckon it’s not ideal and it reflects poorly on their image. When it’s bound to be pinned on the wall, it’s always best to have it proofread first.

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But don’t let yourself be put off by the wrong grammar and get outside to soak in the magic and explore the numerous Christmas markets. Start with the one located in the borough called “La Petite France”. There, you’ll find the traditional half-timbered houses. Keep on walking and you’ll finP1520911ally end up in “Place Gutenberg” where they usually host a Christmas market honouring a European country. It changes every year.

It’s very close to the impressive cathedral where there is yet another Christmas market. Don’t forget to stop by the visitors’ centre. You can’t miss it, it is located in the building with massive gingerbread decorations.

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And for all the fairy-tale lovers out there, under no circumstances whatsoever should you miss the boutique called “La maison de Hanssen & Gretel”. It is like stepping in a life-size dollhouse filled with Christmas decorations and magic. It’s located in a narrow street close to the cathedral.

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The most famous Christmas market remains the one called “Christkindelsmärik” in the pure German tradition. Don’t forget to sample some of the local food there! Anything with German-sounding names is bound to be delicious!

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AUSIT’s Biennial National Conference ’14: Transition into the Future

Last month, I attended AUSIT’s Biennial National Conference which was held in sunny Brisbane, Australia. It was a very interesting 2-day event where I had the opportunity to meet and hear from colleagues from the other side of the world. There was an impressive line-up of highly-qualified, recognised practitioners who gave insightful presentations and workshops.

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There were many seminars to choose from, including Media Translation: Practices and Expectations”, and Practical aspects of legal translation: the translation of an Italian land sale contract.” Among the several workshops offered, I particulary enjoyed: “Best practices for the translation of official documents” by Susanne Creak, as well as What’s the context? Interpreting, Translation and the Law” by Heather Glass.

It was great to meet and get to know fellow colleagues. As always, conferences are always a great opportunity to network and have challenging conversations about our jobs (translation and/or interpreting).

What’s more, I really appreciated the talk from Brett Casey et Cynthia Cave, a fascinating and funny team specialised in sign language. Their presentation Deaf Professional and Interpreter – A team” was absolutely delightful and entertaining on top of being very informative.

Looking forward to the next national conference in 2016! 🙂

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Translation in the Retail Industry

I recently translated a fascinating presentation about the major changes happening in the retail industry. Although it appears to be all about mobile technology, personalised recommendations and entertainment, the major X factor for successful application is language/communication, and the shadow counterpart: translation.

A Globalised Market | Offering Multilingual and Localised Content

With the advent of the Internet and, more recently, mobile technology, consumers can now purchase products and services anywhere, anytime, from the comfort of their homes, using their mobile phones while at work or during their commute. Options are limitless.

Now many companies take the virtual route, anyone in the world can access their online shops. They can potentially reach anyone on the planet with an Internet connection. But, being able to approach new clients is one thing. Being able to communicate with them is another, a major factor that can make or break sales.

Thanks to surveys, it is now known that Internet users prefer to purchase on a site that provides content in their own language. Offering multilingual websites is really important. You will see the benefit on your bottom line, provided that you used the services of a professional linguist.

The era of brick-and-mortar looks dead and gone? Think again!

The Age of Entertainment and Personalised Services

Physical shops arent’s going anywhere. They simply need to adapt to the new market and the changes in the way consumers purchase items. Mass production is rapidly losing its appeal, and it is now all about offering highly personalised, targeted and bespoke services/items.

Marketing professionals are now trying to figure out what individuals will want and need in the near future. They even possess the tools and algorithms to cater to these needs on a much deeper level. Thanks to predictive personalisation, social media and mobile technology, they can create highly bespoke offers. Using apps and geofencing, they can boost their sales and drive people to purchase goods they weren’t considering buying. Retail 2.0 is here and ready to take your retail experience to new heights!

In order to attract clients in brick-and-mortar shops, creative directors have their work cut out for them. They are now completely rethinking the way products are displayed (magical worlds for kids, etc.), the types of services offered (WiFi lounge, kids playground, coffee lounge, etc.), the way products are available (showrooms, etc.) among other things.

The world is the retail industry’s oyster. And to further its expansion and changes, language and translation will be a crucial part of the process.

Translating your Press Releases is Crucial to your Global Footprint

If you’re wondering whether it’s a sound decision to translate your press releases, please read on. You’ll see how crucial it is for you to translate this type of content in several languages, including French (a language used worldwide).

Good PR vs Bad PR

Your PR communication greatly helps boost your visibility, your sales and your image. Without it, chances are nobody would know who you are, what you sell and why people should choose you over your competitors. As we live in a society of round-the-clock news, it is paramount to be heard and visible in the media (TV, radio and social media). But, you shouldn’t make the mistake of communicating in English only.

To ensure the widest coverage possible, you should know that offering multilingual content is necessary.

English Only Is Overrated

Did you know that search engines categorise content according to the language used? Also, people are more likely to read your PR releases if they’re offered in their very own language (remember this famous quote from Nelson Mandela: “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart”).

Although English is widely spoken, especially among journalists, it is no guarantee that all nuances and references can be understood by non natives. Remember that reading in a foreign language requires extra effort and everybody can make mistakes when interpreting your content.

To ensure that foreign journalists use your PR content, and pass along your message worldwide, you need to address them in their own language.

Offer content that they can be readily used, copied, pasted and talked about.

Don’t let journalists translate the content themselves. You’d run the risk of mistranslations and a potential PR nightmare!

A Sound Investment

Competent and reliable translators aren’t cheap but it is a very sound investment for your company. Your message needs to be accurately conveyed from the start. Think of all the translation-related disasters that forced some companies to spend millions on new campaigns to repair the damage! Think of the companies that are now having difficulties entering certain markets because of communication and language blunders!

As a conclusion, the cost of damage control could certainly be far greater than hiring a professional translator.