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News & Events

27/03/2017

PD opportunity: 7th Annual Legal Interpreting Symposium 2017

Our colleagues at UNSW have now opened registrations for the 7th Annual Legal Symposium. The aim of this year's symposium is to examine the status of interpreting in police settings, discuss the interaction between police and interpreters, share concerns and discuss ways of improving interpreted communication.

There will be a panel discussion that will allow police and interpreters to establish a direct dialogue with each other, explain their professional needs and expectations, and relate the highs and lows of working together.

The program for the day also features an audience Q&A session along with speeches from Professor Sandra Hale, Associate Professor Ludmila Stern and Associate Professor Uldis Ozolins.

By improving the interpretation users’ and interpreters’ understanding of each other’s professional role and needs, the forum is key to leading to the development of a ‘best practice’ approach to working together in police settings.

Key Details:

  • Date: Friday 21 April 2017
  • Time: 3:30pm to 5:45pm
  • Venue: Central Lecture Block 2, UNSW Kensington Campus
  • Cost: Free!

Click here to register or click here for more information. 

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22/03/2017

PD opportunity: interpreting in the Magistrates Court

Did you ever interpret for the police or courts? If not, are you planning to take on interpreting assignments for the police or courts in the future? If you answered yes, then this free workshop is for you.

Interpreting in the Magistrates Court is the second workshop in a series of Professional Development workshops WAITI is organising in  2017 to help interpreters cope with the challenges of interpreting in legal settings. The workshop will be presented by the Deputy Chief Magistrate of the Perth Magistrates Court.

Meet the Presenter

Elizabeth Woods was admitted as a legal practitioner in 1984. She was a Magistrate from 1999-2000 and was appointed Deputy Chief Magistrate of Western Australia in 2000.

Key Details

  • Date: Wednesday 5 April 2017
  • Time: 3:30pm to 6pm (4pm start)
  • Venue: Court 37, 501 Hay Street Building, Perth, 6000
  • Cost: Free!
  • RSVP: please email info@waiti.org.au by 27 March 2017
  • Places are limited. Attendees will receive a certificate of attendance.

This workshop is a joint venture between the Western Australian Institute of Translators and Interpreters (WAITI) and the Perth Magistrates Court.

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20/03/2017

Enter now: languages as a life changer competition

Languages in the Mainstream is a 12-month partnership project between the Modern Language Teachers Association of Western Australia Inc (MLTAWA) and the Office of Multicultural Interests (OMI). 

The project involves the delivery of a series of public events throughout the year that promote language learning and will culminate in a revived, state-wide acknowledgement and celebration of Languages Week from 7-14 August 2017. 

Excitingly, MLTAWA have now opened applications for their languages as a life changer competition.

The Competition

  • Share your personal story about how language learning has changed your life:
  • When did your love of languages begin?
  • How has language learning impacted on your life?
  • Do you have a favourite quote about language or language learning? Why does it resonate with you?
  • How has language learning enriched your life, opened new pathways and doors and changed your outlook on life?

Eligibility

This competition is open to all ages, although the short description category via Facebook is only open to adults (18 years or older). The entrant must live in Western Australia and hold a valid Australian residency visa or be an Australian citizen. Entrants under 18 years of age participating in the longer description category must provide a signed and scanned Declaration Form and attach to their email.

Categories

  • Short (up to 100 words) description (LITM Facebook group) for the People’s Choice Prize.
  • Longer (up to 250 words) description for the Judges Choice Prize.
  • Descriptions should be written (predominantly) in English.

Prizes

  • People’s Choice: the post with the highest number of ‘likes ‘on the LITM Facebook group before 14 August, 2017 will win $100.
  • Judges Choice: the top 4 longer (250 word) descriptions chosen by the judges will each receive $100. Their stories and photographs will be posted on the MLTAWA website and may be featured during Languages Week celebrations from 7-14 August 2017.

Click here to learn more about the submission process along with the judging criteria. 

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15/03/2017

Staying positive about disruption

By Sam Berner

Disruption is staring us in the face. We read about it online, hear about it in the news, and participate in it almost on daily basis. Using Uber? Paying by touching your smartphone? Checking out at Woolworth through self-checkout? Booking accommodation on BnB? Telling a cafe owner off by threatening a one-star review on TripAdvisor? Zooming into meetings? All these and more are in a way or another disruptions to how things were done in the not-so-distant past.

Yet as translators we are led often to believe that disruption must be about doing translations better and faster for cheaper. In fact, preferably for free. This is not totally correct. Disruption is primarily about innovation. It also about coming up with solutions to things that could not be done before or to things that were annoying and inefficient in the way they were done.

Remember the days of bulky typewriters? PCs that weighed a ton? running out of RAM? printers that were so slow they encouraged coffee breaks? Xerox machines with perpetual jammed hiccups? fax machines that ran out of carbon paper in the middle of an important job? I am sure few of us would want to go back to working that way.

Everything that improved our modus operandi - from the access to knowledge and professional networks online to CAT tools and electronic termbases - disrupted the way we work. However, it wasn't all positive. The same portals that open global market opportunities to us, also expose us up to global competition.

If we were once big fish in a small pond, we are plankton in an endless ocean. The widening of our horizons meant we are better informed, provided we can deal with information glut. The speeding up of communications means we can access help at our fingertips, but it also means that the clients expect us to be accessible at their fingertips 24/7.

Disruption brought with it TM and its anagram MT. Both help us work faster if we know how to use them, but with these tools come the dubious blessings of ambiguous intellectual property and post-editing. Many practitioners complain that translation quality is suffering and this is also abetted by the disruption known as crowdsourcing.

As I write this, more disruption is predicted, this time from artificial intelligence and machine learning. Welcome to the possibility of Neural Machine Translation (NMT). For the uninitiated, a simplified explanation would be that we are teaching computers to use language like humans do.

Dr. Henry Liu, President of the World Federation of Translators (FIT), called NMT all “hype” during his presentation at the University of Bristol in February 2017. In its position paper on the future of the profession, FIT was more circumspect about what effect. NMT will have on translators – yes, there is progress, but no, it won’t happen tomorrow and meanwhile we must continue working and strengthening the profession.

In the next paragraph, however, is a call to action:

“professional translators have to adapt, be creative and develop business models that make the most of the latest technologies. These models could include various types of added value or involve translation services provided as part of a diversified offering. New innovative ideas are needed.”

In short, disruption is here, we just won’t call it by its name.

Disruption is a two-sided coin, but we do have a bit of say on which side we want it to fall. That ability to decide is called learnability. In January this year, a survey of 18,000 employers across all sectors in 43 countries, published at the World Economic Forum in Davos, showed that,

“One in five employers (19%) expect technological disruption to increase jobs as they adapt to the future of work and six in ten employers (64%) expect to maintain headcount if people have the right skills and are prepared to learn, apply and adapt.”

This means that, regardless of how artificial intelligence will develop, we cannot just continue doing what we have always been doing, the way we have been doing it. The learn, apply and adapt principle is about learning to code, applying the code creatively to our work, and constantly adapting to an environment in which change is exponential.

In August 2017, AUSIT will host FIT’s 21st Congress in Brisbane, and the main theme is, you guessed it, disruption. A golden opportunity to listen to people in the know, to debate and to enrich your professional knowledge.

Remember: learnability is the key.

Sam Berner is currently the principal partner of Arabic Communication Experts, one of Australia’s leading translation and cross cultural training services specializing in the Middle East. Having spent over 30 years translating, Sam continues to mentor and motivate many aspiring translators to expand their vision globally. She is also an active AUSIT member and a former national president.

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