Friday, May 17, 2013

Collaboration: The Key To Interpreting's Future

Of all the changes technology is bringing, the ability to collaborate on much grander scales is perhaps the most important new resource to latch onto. [Collaboration] is “a fundamentally generative act. [It] isn’t just about achieving a goal or joining forces; it’s about creating something together that it would be impossible to create alone.”[3]

Our field, once so separate, is now brimming with the possibilities created by such innovative efforts, a collaborative blogging site for the sign language community, the soon-to-be revealed Voices Academy, the newly-minted combination online/onsite Masters in Conference Interpreting at the Glendon College of Translation, and Interpreting for Europe, which was originally maintained by both the European Commission and the European Parliament to address conference interpreter shortages and which grew into the largest social media site for interpreters anywhere in the world (more than 25K likes). Both entities have now launched separate campaigns to more specifically target their different social media objectives.
As my co-president Barry Olsen recently shared on Facebook:
“For all the possibilities that communication technologies represent, their use for good or ill depends solely on people. Forget all the talk about machines taking over. What happens in the future is up to us.”[4]
All of these innovators and many more will be present at the 4th InterpretAmerica Summit on June 14-15 in Reston, Virginia. Come join us to help shape our profession’s future! Early bird rates good through Monday, May 20th!
Excerpted from InterpretAmerica's Co-President Katharine Allen's guest post for The NAJIT Blog. To see the full article, click here
Then go REGISTER for the 4th InterpretAmerica Summit and see where your collaborative powers can take interpreting when joined with others in our field!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Martin Scorsese, Cinema and the Future of Interpreting

Last month, Academy Award winning film director Martin Scorsese delivered the 42nd annual Jefferson Lecture at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Earlier this week, I had a chance to listen to Scorsese’s lecture on the power of images, motion pictures, and what he calls “the language of cinema.” His insights were enlightening, but one of his comments was particularly poignant and encapsulates what I think is the state of the interpreting profession today. 

“Cinema,” he said, “has always been tied to technological development. And if we spend too much time lamenting what’s gone, then were going to miss the excitement of what’s happening now. I mean, everything is wide open. To some this is a cause for concern, but I think it is an exciting time precisely because we don’t know what tomorrow will bring, let alone next week.” 

Of course, interpreting has not always been tied to technological development and it has been around much, much longer than cinema. But the development of interpreting in the modern age has been closely tied to technological development, beginning with the first microphones, amplifiers and mixers that were used to test the feasibility of simultaneous interpretation at the International Labor Organization in Geneva and later to facilitate the war crimes tribunals in Nuremberg. Technological advancement continues and is having a profound effect on how, where and when interpreters work, but more importantly, on how the world communicates.

I agree with Martin Scorsese, it is an exciting time precisely because we don’t know what tomorrow will bring. But there is an unprecedented opportunity to influence the future of interpreting and the way the world communicates. InterpretAmerica 4 will take place on June 14-15, in Reston, Virginia, just outside of Washington, D.C. This will be an unprecedented gathering of interpreters, interpreting industry leaders and technological innovators meeting to bring interpreting into the 21st century. Won’t you join us? 

Early bird registration ends May 12, 2013. 

Barry Slaughter Olsen