Mediterranean Editors and Translators Meeting 2011 Report

Written by josecarlos

Last October, at the METM11 conference in Barcelona, I was lucky enough to meet Isabel Hurtado de Mendoza in person. She is an experienced and resourceful translator based in Spain and the UK whom I got to know through her interesting and insightful articles in the ITI Bulletin. Since then we’ve been in touch, and being that we both took a positive impression from the meeting, we arranged this featuring entry with her review, which is a summary of the article published in the January-February issue of the ITI Bulletin.

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Back in May 2011, an ITI colleague recommended the Mediterranean Editors and Translators (MET) association to me. MET is a forum for translators and editors who work mainly into or with English and believe in peer-generated continuing professional development. In my opinion, CPD is vital in our profession, so I soon became a member of MET and registered for their annual meeting (METM).

METM11 took place at the European Institute of the Mediterranean in Barcelona (Spain) on 21st and 22nd October 2011, with 1.5 days of pre-meeting workshops before. This 7th meeting of MET bore the title “Quality in English translation and editing — from research to practice and back” and offered a rich programme of keynote speeches, discussion panels and parallel sessions.

On Thursday 20th, there were four afternoon workshops on offer, which dealt with translating research articles, medical translation, financial translation and improving text flow respectively. On Friday morning, five workshops run in parallel; two were related to medicine, one to scholarly writing and another one to readability. I opted for one entitled “Translation revision: why, how and how much”, conducted by Ailish Maher and Luci Vázquez. In this session, the figure of the reviser was defined and practical tips for revision and self-revision were discussed. With its hands-on exercises, this was a very informative and in-depth workshop.

The MET meeting itself started on Friday afternoon with a panel discussion on “Establishing a dialogue between research and practice”, with Iain Patten, Theresa Lillis, Valerie Matarese and Mary Ellen Kerans. After coffee, there were parallel presentations divided into two threads – promising practices and research –, which was meant to give the audience the chance to attend diverse sessions. Out of these, the highlight was Oliver Shaw’s on “Twitter for language professionals”, which was a huge success, not only for the topicality of the subject but also for the superb presentation skills demonstrated. The programme for the day ended with a plenary talk on machine translation (MT). Dorothy Kenny confidently presented this controversial topic, presenting us with challenging questions, giving us practical advice and even managing to convince part of the audience to give MT a try. The reception that topped off the first day of the meeting gave attendees plenty of opportunities to network and enjoy an exquisite and innovative catering service.

On Saturday morning, I chose a panel discussion in which three presenters (Anne Murray, Ann King and Jason Willis-Lee) described tools that save you time and make your working environment easier. Among the tools showcased were desktop-haring software, storage services, PDF annotators, fences, mind-mapping software and smartphones. After that, I attended a presentation by Helen Casas, which dealt with peer revision and mentoring and presented the benefits of cooperation over competition. “Translating audio guides for art exhibitions”, ably presented by Joanna Martinez, was a very practical and interesting talk on the whole audio guide production process. Ros Schwartz was in charge of Saturday’s plenary talk “Making silk purses”, where she presented the translator as a writer, who needs both ability and attitude to prepare a text that is fit for purpose and meets the client’s unarticulated requirements. In her view, we must ditch the humble-servant approach to our work, take the reins and submit translations of superior quality. This will give us job satisfaction and a good reason to increase our rates. After lunch, I attended a panel discussion on CAT tools, with David Cullen, Kelly Dickeson, Sarah Griffin-Mason and Rob Lunn.

This year’s METM also included the so-called "town hall meetings” on a variety of subjects, from presentation skills to literature in translation; “off-METM networking get-togethers”; the MET General Assembly; and a closing supper. This packed programme of events seemed to cater for all tastes; the speakers were fabulous; and it was a great opportunity to meet old and new colleagues.

If you would like any further information, my full report of this event has been published in the January-February issue of the ITI Bulletin, and you can check the association’s website (www.metmeetings.org) for further details. I’m sure you’ll want to become a member too!

Last modified on Monday, 09 January 2012 19:10

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