The TAUS Asia Conference in Beijing on March 22-23 is shaping up as exciting. Here’s a sneak preview from my own vantage point.
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“Find two Latvians, they’ll form three political parties”, goes a saying about the Latvian tendency to oppose each other. Even if they share common values and goals, they’ll find something to disagree over and waste time in petty quarrelling while diverging from the issues that really matter. As a result, they end up with multiple, often contradicting solutions to the same problem and poor reputation among their neighbors.
5 ways to optimize your conference experience
Many of us go to industry events to meet new people, gain knowledge and experience or learn new skills. If you’ve ever attended a conference, you know that they can be a bit daunting, because they are high-paced, the days are long and there are lots of people. You are sometimes also dealing with a jet lag and lacking the comfort of your own home (and bed). To make your conference experience a little easier and, more importantly, more rewarding (in time, energy and money) here are a few tips to make the most out of your conference experience.
A summary of the TAUS DQF Manufacturing Industries Workshop hosted by John DeereThere are a few things that really make a man's heart beat faster. One of those is a 250 horsepower 6R tractor produced by John Deere. As I walk through the entrance gate of the flagship factory of the manufacturing giant in Mannheim (Germany), the lyrics of Rodney Atkins' Friends with Tractors come to mind ("I got everything I need 'cause I got friends with tractors"). Founded in 1921 and spread over more than 40ha, the factory produces a new tractor every 3 minutes. The place, just like the machinery, oozes quality, making it the perfect location for the TAUS DQF Manufacturing Industries Workshop about translation quality management (QM).
What makes a good conference? If you ask me, the answer is: purpose, people and program. As simple as that. Let’s start with ‘purpose’: you have to have a good reason to make people travel from all over the world to a single location and have them spend a few days of their precious time together. As Eric Liu, General Manager of Alibaba Language Services, said in his keynote at the TAUS Annual Conference in Portland last week: it all starts with a mission - “Preparing for a future that is without language barriers”. The same goes for TAUS and the TAUS Annual Conference. Why do we have a conference - what is the purpose? Because we want to work together to help the world communicate better.
Globalization and new technology have not left the translation services of the EU institutions untouched. Successive enlargements have more than doubled not only the number of member states but also the number of official languages. The extension and deepening of the European integration have led to more and more different text types being produced and to an ever-increasing translation demand. At the same time, in-house translation staff per language is progressively being reduced. The pressure to provide more, faster and with fewer resources has led to a need to constantly re-think how we carry out the translation work. We all know the buzz words: doing more with less, doing more and better with less, being effective and efficient, doing the right things and doing them right. Increased focus on processes and on making optimal use of technology does lead to efficiency gains. Mostly, however, what saves the situation is an increased use of outsourcing, which implies challenges for the quality assurance.
Can translation service providers and technology providers meet translation buyers’ requests? How can we evaluate the quality of both source and target within the translation process? How do we measure localization processes? These are just few of the questions that passed the review during the roundtable hosted by TAUS in Barcelona on May 12, 2016.
I was recently involved in a project to clean up TM pollution, where the target included a lot of translations from a different language variant. I had to work with the internal linguist to prepare a plan to do it in the most efficient way. No matter how many automation tricks I pulled from my hat, the linguist had reservations for them all and it seemed that, quality assurance-wise, nothing could beat running content through a pair of eyes. And yet the cost of manual review was prohibitive; plus one could also argue about the effectiveness of this approach, considering the amount of errors that keep showing up at every stage of a typical translation workflow, where manual review is present everywhere: translation-editing-proofing, client validation, QA/testing.