Sunday, August 24, 2008

On the FIT Conference

Earlier this month, I attended the FIT conference in Shanghai. It was a huge event, with over 1500 attendees from 70 countries, 4 keynote lectures (including one by Karl-Johan Lönnroth, the Director-General of the Directorate-General for Translation of the European Commission), and 8 parallel sessions with ten or so choices per session (i.e. 80+ parallel sessions, some with 5 speakers per session).

There were presentations on everything from the translation of Chinese medicine to terminology, from interpretation studies to translation and culture, from corpus-based translation studies to the translation industry, from publishing and copyright to translation criticism. I myself spoke about translating allusions in children’s literature. Talks were given in Chinese, French, and English, and despite this being a translation conference, only the keynote speeches were interpreted, unfortunately.

There were also poster presentations, including one by Yann Foucault, who translates accounting texts between English and French. His conclusion was relevant to fields far beyond accounting, however: Mr. Foucault felt that by translating texts and not just keeping them in the international language of English, one was both expanding the target language and allowing new, useful ideas to be created in that language.

In the next post, I will discuss a new kind of translation I learned about at FIT.

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