Last Friday I was given the opportunity to attend the event ‘Future-proofing the profession: Equipping the next generation of translators’ organised by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Translation in London.

Apart from the exquisite (and free!) French white wine and appetizers served after the talks during the reception, I very much enjoyed the discussions and the presentations given by representatives from the EU, the Chartered Institute of Linguists, the Institute of Translation and Interpreting and the worlds of academia, business and technology.

Some of the topics that were discussed were:

  • The need for translators and translation agencies to combine translation with other services such as cultural advice or multilingual SEO, also needed to accomplish the communication mission;
  • The need for translators and translation agencies to have ‘the competences of a lifetime’: the ability to learn, develop, research, analyse and change; as well as to be able to conduct productive face-to-face meetings with clients and be in constant contact with the professions – not only the translation profession; and
  • The fact that translators and translation agencies need to specialise if they want to be ‘Premium’.

I was fascinated by the speakers (real industry experts), by what they were saying and by the atmosphere, filled with many other translation professionals with whom I shared experiences, opinions and laughs during the breaks.

Going back to the ‘what they were saying’ bit, I noted down a few of the speakers’ quotes (I love doing this!), which I’d like to share with you for your own reflection:

“When translation is very good, it’s invisible” by Gurli Hauschildt, Director at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Translation

“Humans helping machines instead of machines helping humans” (regarding machine translation) by Gurli Hauschildt

“’Is this effective communication?’ As opposed to ‘Is this a good translation?’ by David Jemielity, Senior English Translator and Head of Translations at Banque Cantonale Vaudoise (BCV)

“Luck is not a business plan” by David Jemielity

And because luck is not a business plan, our business plan at Genuine Translations has been written with the above statements and principles in mind; and we are, and will keep, working hard to stay true to them. We want to be full-time page-proofers of this wonderful profession!