Leading Language Experts Explore Developments in the Translation Industry
A full house attended a research-led Translation and Translation Memory Software workshop for academics, translators, professional societies, policy makers and software providers at Swansea on Friday 24 September 2010. The event was co-organised by Swansea University and Bangor University and sponsored by the Richard Burton Centre for the Study of Wales.
During the day, the eighty delegates heard from leading language experts and practising translators about the benefits of using translation memory software. In addition, the group of experts learnt about recent developments in the industry and explored the extent to which best practice has been adopted across Wales; with Swansea University’s introduction of translation memory software for masters graduates used as an exemplar of the tangible benefits to be gained. Benefits to the translator include increased capacity and reduced time spent on administrative tasks. Using translation memory software also increases export opportunities and supports business growth.
Tudur Hallam, senior lecturer at Swansea University’s Academi Hywel Teifi, and one of the event organisers, explained: "With significant changes anticipated in the Welsh translation industry, now is an exciting time for academics to work with translators, policy makers and other language experts to ensure that Wales is at the cutting edge of the translation industry, using the most recent technology to maximise capacity and develop the Welsh economy."
During the morning session, speakers included PhD student of Translation and Digital Communication at Swansea University, Gareth Watkins, who presented an insightful paper into the current use of translation memory software in Wales. The research, based on a survey into the use of language technologies by Welsh translators, showed that the number of translators using translation memory software in Wales is significantly less than translators in other European countries, despite being very computer literate. The research also showed that very few clients in Wales ask whether or not translation memory software is used. However, compared to previous surveys, Gareth Watkins’ research showed that more and more translators in Wales are using translation memory software and 60% of respondents said that they would like to be taught how to use it.
Delegates also heard from Delyth Prys, lead for the CAT Project and Head of Language Technology at Bangor University, about the CAT Project initiative at Canolfan Bedwyr, and mentioned that the collaboration with Swansea University would continue with a second conference in North Wales in December 2010.
At the end of the morning session, the audience were invited to respond to a panel discussion, chaired by Tudur Hallam, and consider whether or not the Welsh translation industry needed to change in order to grow, develop and prepare itself for the advent of the Assembly’s Welsh Language Bill.
The panel of experts included: Geraint Wyn Parry, the chief executive of the Association of Welsh Translators and Interpreters; Elin Meek, a freelance translator from Swansea; Mair Parry-Jones, the head of the Parliamentary Translation and Reporting Service at the National Assembly for Wales; Elizabeth Hunter, a senior translator at Prysg; Meinir Pritchard, the head of the Translation Service at the Welsh Assembly Government; and Lowri W. Williams, the leader of the Terminology Standardisation and Translation Unit, Welsh Language Board.
During the afternoon, delegates were given the opportunity to test the products of three major international players in the translation memory software industry - Wordfast, SDL – Trados and Atril (DeJaVu) – and to learn more about developments in the market and the benefits that greater use of advanced software programmes and translation technologies can deliver.
Before the event closed, many attendees commented on the quality of the speakers, the software demonstrations and the informed and thought-provoking discussions that the workshops had stimulated. In addition, many confirmed their intention to attend the next event, which is planned for North Wales.
Professor Iwan Davies, Pro Vice Chancellor at Swansea University concluded: "This highly successful event, a joint venture between the universities of Swansea and Bangor, signals the real and immediate impact of Academi Hywel Teifi - a new centre to promote teaching, learning and scholarship, through the medium of the Welsh language, established in memory of the distinguished Welsh academic, the late Professor Hywel Teifi Edwards of Aberarth and Llangennech."