The opening of the industry’s flagship event, the FIT World Congress, couldn’t have been more spectacular. All eyes were on stage where the South East Queensland Indigenous locals performed a breathtaking Welcome to Country spectacle and took over 800 international, interstate and Qld delegates to a journey through the sacred Aboriginal dances, songs and stories.
What a start!
A proud Australasian language industry community welcomed right here, Down Under, on the banks of the Brisbane River, thought leaders, translators & interpreters, academics, researchers, language service providers and other industry professionals from around the world.
Lord Mayor Graham Quirk opened the conference together with AUSIT President Prof. Sandra Hale and FIT President Henry Liu. It was my enormous pleasure to be FIT World Congress Chair and MC the conference and to start by highlighting the importance of our ecosystem and that all players are vital to drive innovation and professionalism of our language industry. Knowledge sharing rather than knowledge transfer is the key here and therefore I encouraged everyone to throw any misconceptions or prejudices they might have right at the start into the serpentine Brisbane River outside and be open to what colleagues, peers, technology providers, corporates and academics had to say including NAATI‘s new certification system.
The first keynote was Colleen Rosas with her team from NT AIS (Northern Territory Aboriginal Interpreter Service) who showcased harsh realities of Aboriginal interpreters’ professional lives. Many eyes didn’t stay dry during the powerful presentation.
Every three years, the International Federation of Translators (Fédération Internationale des Traducteurs or FIT), a UNESCO NGO, hosts the conference and 3 years ago in Berlin it was awarded to Brisbane to host the prestigious XXI FIT World Congress 2017. And so they did successfully. The next one will be in Cuba.
For more than 3 days the global community of the language industry gathered at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC) and immersed themselves in the field of translating and interpreting, cutting edge research and real life professional experience.
Disruption and Diversification
The theme was Disruption and Diversification and highlighted the impact of advances in technology, globalisation, policy, and economic and social change on the delivery of language services, with dedicated streams for localisation, social media translation trends, globalisation, technology and creativity. Specific streams for indigenous and sign languages, interpreting in the community and conflict zones, and literary translation were also a feature.
Hands-on workshops, thought-provoking discussion panels, posters and presentations stimulated delegate interaction, along with the 70+ sessions, four keynote addresses, FIT World Congress awards ceremony and concurrent trade exhibition. As a platform for international exposure, global networking and latest industry intelligence, this was the place to be in Australasia and the Stakeholder Panel on the afternoon of the first day featured that as well. The so-called “Knowledge Fest” panel included Jesper Sandberg, Chair of GALA, Hagen Issel , Vice Chair of AALC, Paul Filkin, SDL, Jeremy Ducklin, Congress Rental, Mark Paintin, CEO NAATI, Chris Durban, Translator, James Powell, Vendor Manager TransPerfect and myself, Tea Dietterich, as President of AALC/GALA Board/CEO 2M.
Exceptional line-up of industry professionals
This international conference was supported by Tourism & Events Queensland (TEQ) and Brisbane Marketing, and was fantastically delivered locally by AUSIT, the Australian Institute of Interpreters & Translators. Brisbane was the focal point of the over 100,000 professional translators, interpreters and terminologists which FIT represents, as well as high level policymakers in multilingualism, inter-cultural and inter-lingual communications, international literary publishers and international intellectual property and copyrights.
Among exceptional speakers were Australian Professor Anthony Pym, Distinguished Professor of Translation and Intercultural Studies at University Tarragona, Spain, Jemina Napier, Professor & Chair of Intercultural Communication at Edinburgh’s Heriot-Watt University, Michael Cronin, Professor of Translation Studies at Dublin City University, Ireland. Follow this link to view the full conference program.
New NAATI certification system
The FIT World Congress conference was also a great opportunity for Australian translators and interpreters to find out details about NAATI‘s new certification system that comes into effect in 2018. Rather than fear the change, Australian language professionals were able to get the low down on how to transition to certification and the opportunities that come with it.
The Australasian Association of Language Companies (AALC) sponsored the session with Jost Zetzsche about the future of the translator by bringing him in via videoconferencing link from Oregon through Redback Conferencing facilities.
2M FIT World Congress networking sessions
Our General Manager Susanne Creak surrounded by our Chief Operating Officer Tanja Forestier and our Digital Marketing Officer Thomas Lespes-Muñoz
The 2M Team had a great time meeting new and old colleagues from the translator and interpreter community and as proud sponsors and exhibitors made sure that the precious linguistic minds of all translators and interpreter were constantly nurtured with vitamins through those lush juicy Australian grown mandarins that share their inspiring orange shades with 2M’s corporate and favourite colour!
Written by Tea C.Dietterich, CEO of 2M Language Services and Chair of the XXI FIT World Congress 2017.
2M provides translation services into 200+ languages and NAATI certified translations. Other services we provide include interpreting services, video translation and subtitling, cross-cultural training as well as export marketing to corporate clients worldwide. Our experienced team includes NAATI accredited and university trained qualified translators, translation CAT tool specialists, interpreters, voice talents, subtitlers, cross-cultural trainers, foreign language copywriters, technical editors, journalists, and export industry advisers. Contact us to find out how we can assist your organisation.