On 24 May 2012, the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Translation (DGT) will organise the 1st Forum of the Language Industry Web Platform (LIND-Web) in Brussels under the banner: Share – Cooperate – Grow. The Rosetta Foundation will actively contribute to the discussions in Brussels. We preview some of the topics, highlight some of the central issues, and report on the work of LIND-Web.
Information on how to prevent Aids or Malaria is of no use unless it is available in your language. That’s why translation aid projects have been set up by language professionals, for example in Kenya, to translate this information into Swahili, Luo and Kikuyu.
But, as it happens so often, you don’t even have to travel as far as Africa to experience first hand that translation is crucial for people and society – not just for markets and business. There are schools in Dublin (Ireland), for example, where pupils speak dozens of different languages and English native speakers are in the minority. One primary school apparently has only a handful of native English-speaking pupils. The Irish charity Ruhama, which supports women affected by prostitution, has trouble getting life-saving messages across to many women with limited or very rudimentary English. You could say: Africa is right in the heart of Dublin city. And, of course, Dublin just stands for any city in the developed world.
Translation has a role in society
Translation is a fundamental and universal human right. Not a commodity – nor a form of aid we need to bring to poor countries in the developing world. It is also needed right on our doorsteps. Translation can help bring about a more cohesive society in the context of integration, working with immigrants and asylum-seekers. This group often requires language assistance to be able to interact with public services, such as health care, social security, education, police, etc. Translation is a first step, a stepping stone, for integration.
In this context, non-market and non-profit translation play an essential role. This is a new reality, which – together with the radical transformations the sector is presently undergoing – will bring about new attitudes towards translation and new working methods. It is therefore essential to reflect on these developments and take them carefully into account, so that we can manage these changes and are not taken aback by them.
On 24 May 2012, the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Translation (DGT) will organise the 1st Forum of the Language Industry Web Platform (LIND-Web).
This forum aims at bringing together market and non-market language industry stakeholders (i.e. SMEs/multinationals requiring language services, language service providers from the private and public sector, translator associations, language and translation departments of universities, etc).
The goal is to promote visibility and recognition of the language industry as an important, independent economic sector and boost skills and job offers.
The Forum will address a variety of topics – including the role of non-market translation – with the goal of reaching concrete conclusions and suggestions for further initiatives. The discussion will develop around 4 axes, which will be dealt with in 4 workshops:
1) Defining a Classification for the Sector
This will help getting a clearer definition of the sector and its various subsectors, which will help the industry to get better recognition.
2) Pilot Projects on Statistics
This workshop will discuss possible pilot projects on statistics aimed at getting relevant data on the language industry.
3) Qualifications for Better Employability
This workshop will discuss how to improve the employability prospects for translators and other practitioners in the language industry and how to best match qualifications and new requirements.
4) Visibility, Ethics and Awareness
This workshop will focus more specifically on best practices to promote the language industry. How can the language industry contribute to more efficient (public) services? What could be the role of non-market translation, for example in the integration of immigrants or the need to access health care, social security, etc.?
Besides working with the stakeholders through LIND-Web, over the last few years DGT has actively promoted the role of translation in society through a number of initiatives:
1. The European Master’s In Translation (EMT): a partnership project between the European Commission and higher-education institutions offering master-level translation programmes.
2. Studies carried or contracted out by DGT, looking into matters such as:
– To what extent can language-related policies bring about a more cohesive society?
– How to strike the balance between linguistic persity and effective communication?
– How does language use reflect power?
– How do social media affect translation (and vice-versa)?
– What role does translation play in the dissemination of knowledge?
– What is the impact on translation of new phenomenons like crowdsourcing?
Through the EMT, the studies and the Language Industry Web Platform we seek to pool knowledge about the translation field and the language industry at large, so as to raise awareness among policy-makers of the role of translation in society.
Please join us for:
LIND-Web: 1st Forum of the Language Industry Web Platform
“SHARE, COOPERATE, GROW”
Brussels, 24 May 2012
Inkaliisa Vihonen and Reinhard Schäler