I had the privilege of participating as both a presenter and attendee in two online Translation Day conferences this week, specifically the three-day KTLC Conference in Poland and the Proz.com two-day International TranslatorsDay 2021. Aside from being well-organized and highly informative, they presented quite a panoramic picture of the present and future of the language industry. The most striking image was how inclusive the industry is today in terms of the variety of roles available, the people involved and the actual importance of translation. These conferences left me with a sense of how broad the terms translation and translator can be.
Beyond the what and who, some presenters exposed the inspiring world of the why. Translation is not merely the technical representation of content. It also opens the world to the disadvantaged. Sabina Jasinska (KTLC) exposed the importance of means of Internet access to the disabled, temporarily and permanent. M. Paula Jacinto (Proz) discussed gender pronoun use and its importance, a highly debated issue worldwide today. My contribution was to highlight the importance and manner of translating legal language such that vast majority of the population can understand the contracts they sign. The message that these and other speakers reinforce is that proper translation matters and affects millions of people.
I regret that I was not able to mention or even attend many of the lectures that were presented. However, I completed this marathon with the strong belief that the language business is much more diverse in tasks, skills, people and social roles than it has ever been before. Anybody with a love of language, skill in a relevant area, a willingness to learn and a desire to make the world better can make it a career. Translation as an industry is truly encompassing.
* All pictures from Pixabay.