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Towards Demystifying Machine Translation for the Freelancer

An international research firm forecasts that the global machine translation market has the potential to grow by one billion US dollars during the period 2020–2024. Yet recent studies also indicate that despite the growing adoption of machine translation in workflow processes in industrial settings, many professional translators, freelancers in particular, still harbour negative feelings about machine translation and tend to resist and/or reject the technology.

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A tale of two conferences

I recently returned to Sheffield for the first time in nearly forty years to attend the Institute of Translation and Interpreting Conference 2019. Sheffield is a city built on the fine steel industry, and when I was a student there it was a city in decline, but on my recent visit I was impressed with the wonderfully revitalised city centre. The conference was held in Cutlers’ Hall, the Victorian headquarters of the Company of Cutlers. It is a very grand but also comfortable building and provided a wonderful, historic backdrop to a very successful conference.

News

“Translation Tracks – Vocational pathways for the language professions of the future”

This was the title of the presentation given by keynote speaker David Moore, who opened the AUSIT National Conference held in Adelaide in November 2018. An educator and linguist at the Alice Springs Language Centre, David spoke of the project to extend the teaching of Aboriginal languages in schools in the Northern Territories by offering applied language courses with a focus on translation. As David explained, ‘Translation Tracks’ is an apt metaphor – it resonates with Aboriginal culture through the association with dreaming tracks, or songlines, and it also expresses the ethos and intention of the programme: to forge a link between school and the workplace, and to provide career paths for Aboriginal students with language skills.


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