Displaying items by tag: SENSE conference

Getting language right in 2020: between correctness, warmth and innovation

Lane Greene

Ask most non-professionals what ‘good’ language looks like and they will say something about grammar or correctness. Avoiding mistakes, though, is only one part of writing, and not even the most important one. You must also have something to say and, even more importantly, say it the right way for your audience. This is where understanding what your readers know and don’t know comes into play; you want your prose to be approachable. But on the third hand, good writing should also be innovating and interesting, using fresh or even arresting language (such as ‘on the third hand’) to keep attention. Balancing correctness, human warmth and innovativeness is not easy. Correctness calls for conservatism, warmth calls for familiarity, and innovation calls for stretching rules and breaking formulas. This talk will discuss how to think about getting this balance right.


About the presenter

Lane Greene

Lane Greene is the language columnist and an editor at The Economist, based in London. Previous assignments have included culture, European business, law, energy, the environment, and American politics. He is based in London, after living in Berlin and New York.

Greene is the author of two books, Talk on the Wild Side (2018) and You Are What you Speak (2011), and won the journalism award from the Linguistic Society of America in 2017. He is a former adjunct assistant professor in Global Affairs at New York University, and is a consultant to Freedom House, a non-governmental organization. He received an M.Phil. from Oxford in European politics, and a B.A. with honors from Tulane in international relations and history, and speaks nine languages. Greene was born in Johnson City, Tennessee and grew up in Marietta, Georgia. He lives in London with his wife and sons.

How much time does quality require?

Brian Mossop

Translators and editors face a conflict between business pressures to produce quickly and professional pressures to achieve adequate quality. There is no easy way to resolve this conflict, but I will present some food for thought on the matter, giving special attention to two factors: attitude to the job and the difficult concept, ‘quality’. My presentation will be punctuated at intervals with opportunities to make comments or ask questions.


About the presenter

Brian Mossop

Brian Mossop was a French-to-English translator, reviser and trainer at the Canadian Government’s Translation Bureau from 1974 to 2014. He continues to lead workshops and webinars on revision in Canada and abroad. Since 1980, he has also been a part-time instructor at the York University School of Translation in Toronto, teaching revision, scientific translation, translation theory and translation into the second language. For more, visit www.yorku.ca/brmossop.

Reducing revision time

Brian Mossop

The workshop will look at revisers' various tasks from the point of view of time constraints. We will consider time-saving with both individual texts and overall workloads. The format will comprise brief theoretical presentations followed by text-based or scenario exercises focused on the quickest way to carry out a given revising or editing task.

The English exercise texts selected for this workshop will be of various types: human-generated translations without source texts, machine translation outputs, Translation Memory outputs, and wordings produced by non-native speakers.

About the presenter

Claire Bacon

Brian Mossop was a French-to-English translator, reviser and trainer at the Canadian Government’s Translation Bureau from 1974 to 2014. He continues to lead workshops and webinars on revision in Canada and abroad. Since 1980, he has also been a part-time instructor at the York University School of Translation in Toronto, teaching revision, scientific translation, translation theory and translation into the second language. For more, visit www.yorku.ca/brmossop.

2018 Conference Deb Bosch
Photo by Michael Hartwigsen

There is no shortage of conference accommodation in the Netherlands, so choosing one just requires a map of the country and a pin, right? Wrong, especially if it’s for the SENSE biennial conference…

Two years ago, I was asked to recommend a location for the 2018 conference. It was quite a challenge, but eventually the decision went in favour of ’s-Hertogenbosch – not because it was a city nobody could spell, but because it offered the right combination of facilities that discerning SENSE members expected.

So what is the ideal location for our conference? In short, there isn’t one, as everyone has his or her preferences. Some of us want a city location with good public transport connections, others want a monastery in the middle of nowhere with free parking, no distractions, and waking up to bird song. As we are becoming a more international event, simply choosing a place that is accessible by train, bus or bike is not enough.

Starting last January (yes, January 2019!), I longlisted almost fifty locations that, in my experience with other conferences, would be suitable. These included several locations suggested by other SENSE members. I shortlisted this to twelve. Of those twelve, five did not have availability, offered a ridiculously high rate or simply failed to respond. Finally it came down to a straight contest: Rotterdam or Maastricht. My personal recommendation was for Maastricht, partly because they had come in second place in 2018, and were very, very keen to have us this time.

During the summer, several of the conference committee members visited the location, viewed the facilities and spoke to the staff. In the end, Maastricht won, but as a consolation prize Rotterdam got the Eurovision Song Contest!

Price is not the only issue, though of course this is a major consideration. Flexibility is most important. I had to explain to all the potential locations that if I was organizing a conference for a major national/international/multinational company, I could tell them immediately how much accommodation we would need, safe in the knowledge that the organizers would pick up the tab. It’s quite unusual for conference locations to understand that we are all freelancers, we pay our own expenses, and because the event is not during ‘office time’ (in other words, in our own time), SENSE cannot guarantee attendance numbers a year in advance.

Another important consideration was that the location should not charge more for two half days than they would for one full day. That’s a bit of a cheek, as it’s unlikely that they would be able to sell the conference facilities on the Saturday morning or Sunday afternoon, so in true Dutch tradition, it’s a case of ‘twee halen, één betalen’!* My shortlist was limited to locations that were prepared to meet us on this point, and most of them were.

I hope I have found the right location for the 2020 conference. If I have, you may congratulate me in June; if not, it’s the committee’s fault! The planning of the speakers, the programme, the workshops and the other activities is going ahead at full steam. My job is complete, but I’m already looking discretely at locations for 2022 – just in case the committee asks me again!

Maastricht Marketing/Jonathan Vos

This is where we well be holding the pre-conference workshops and the conference itself: at the four star Amrâth Grand Hotel de l'Empereur in Maastricht. Conference delegates will be able to book a room at the special conference rate once registration for the conference itself opens. 

For more information about the conference hotel, see the hotel's website.

Check this page for full details of the conference, location and programme!

© Image by Maastricht Marketing/Jonathan Vos. All rights reserved.

* for non-Dutch speakers, this is the equivalent of ‘Buy one, get one free’.


Contact us

If you have any queries that are not answered here, please do not hesitate to contact the conference team at: conference@sense-online.nl

An iPad workout for language professionals*

Alexander Drechsel, Brussels, Belgium

Have you ever wondered whether your tablet could be used for professional purposes, rather than just for reading, online shopping, or watching movies? Join an experienced conference interpreter and technology trainer and find out how your iPad can help you get things done faster and better – from reading, writing and reviewing documents to managing projects or knocking tasks off your to-do list while on the go.

We’ll start by discussing how language professionals can set up their devices for multilingual use and how it works seamlessly with your existing hardware. Next, we’ll discuss research and writing – from outlining and mind-mapping to finding the information or turn-of-phrase you’re looking for to writing whenever you want, wherever you are.

After that, participants will tackle collaborative writing and editing on a tablet. You’ll learn how to draft and review text with faraway colleagues, wrangle “track changes” in Microsoft Word or Apple Pages, and up your proofreading game by using audio or a stylus.

Finally, we’ll explore tips and apps that will help you to run your business from your tablet, including to-do lists, reminders, invoicing, and more. We’ll also check out some helpful accessories that are the perfect companion for your tablet.

At the end of this workshop, you’ll feel much more confident using your tablet and be inspired to make the most of it for your work.

* This workshop focuses on iPads, but can be adapted to accommodate both iPad and Android tablet users.


About the presenter

Claire Bacon

Alexander Drechsel is a senior European Union staff interpreter, working from English, French and Romanian into his native German. He has also translated several non-fiction books, he blogs on interpreting and technology, and produces two podcasts (The Troublesome Terps and LangFM). Alexander is an experienced technology trainer with many online and offline workshops under his belt, and has given several talks and presentations on technology topics at industry conferences (including ITI, CIOL, BDÜ, ATA, AIIC, and eCPD Webinars). His workshops are insightful, fun and friendly; and they focus on the participants, their skills and expectations.

SENSE 2020 Conference Terms and Conditions

  1. Conference fee includes conference sessions on Saturday afternoon, as well as lunch, dinner, drinks (beer, wine and non-alcoholic drinks) during the ‘network borrel’ and during the conference dinner on Saturday and the conference sessions on Sunday. The conference fee does not include accommodation.
  2. The conference fee must be paid in full on registration and also includes a non-refundable deposit of €50.
  3. The early-bird fee is applicable to bookings paid before midnight on Tuesday, 31 March 2020. The standard fee is applicable to all bookings and payments made after Tuesday, 31 March 2020. Your place at the conference will be confirmed on receipt of your conference fee payment.
  4. SENSE members should log in before registering to obtain the discounted member price. Discounts are also available for members of SENSE’s sister organizations*. The discount code, obtainable from your society, should be entered on the registration page before clicking the ‘Register and pay now’ button.
  5. On confirmation of registration for the conference, delegates will receive a discount code applicable to workshop registration (Friday's workshops).
  6. If you have to cancel your booking for any reason, please let us know. If you cancel before midnight on 30 April 2020, we will refund your fee minus the deposit. No refunds will be made for cancellations after 30 April 2020 but you may pass your reservation on to another person. Please send us the name and email address of your replacement.
  7. Conference attendance is at your own risk. SENSE cannot be held liable for any damages to or loss of property or injuries caused for whatever reason.
  8. Participation in off-conference activities will be confirmed on receipt of your payment, if applicable, and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.
  9. We will do everything within our capabilities to send you all the information you require for the conference. In the unlikely event that you don’t receive an email or the delegate information that you’re expecting, please send us an email.
  10. Please read all emails and delegate information carefully when it arrives and check that the details are correct. We’re human too and we do also (unfortunately) sometimes make mistakes.
  11. If you have any questions regarding a booking you have made or would like to make, please contact us at conference@sense-online.nl.
  12. SENSE reserves the right to cancel the conference with a refund less the non-refundable deposit of €50.
  13. Registration will close on Friday, 22 May 2020.


How to attract the clients you want by blogging

Claire Bacon, Germany

Blogging is a useful content marketing strategy that can help any language professional to promote their business by demonstrating their expertise to clients and peers. It’s an excellent way to attract the clients you want and to establish knowledge and competence in your field. Sharing useful content in blog articles can convince potential clients that you are the best person for the job and it can gain you credibility with your peers. But, despite these benefits, many small business owners don’t blog because they don’t know what they should write about.

In my talk, I hope to inspire you to try your hand at blogging by sharing how blogging helped me to build up my editing business and attract new clients that I really wanted to work with. To get you started, I will describe an easy approach to successful blogging that focuses on solving your client’s problems. To help you keep your blog running, I will give tips on planning your content. And to make sure people read your posts, I will talk about sharing and promoting your content. 

The goal of my talk is to convince you that you have something useful to say and to help you create a blog that works for you and your business.


About the presenter

Claire Bacon

Claire Bacon is a former research scientist with professional qualifications in copy editing and medical editing. She edits research papers for non-native English-speaking scientists and is the copy editor for the Canadian Journal of Anesthesia. She publishes a monthly blog to help her clients with their research writing and is a member of the SENSE content team.

How to get to Maastricht

Maastricht is so close to Belgium that some of its suburbs actually cross the border. Germany is just down the road, so really it’s very easy to get there! Here are a few suggestions.

On foot


On foot: The obvious way if you live in or near Maastricht, BUT… the conference location is directly opposite Maastricht railway station, which is also where the international bus services stop. 


By train


By train: this is the obvious choice for people arriving from within the Netherlands; no parking charges and so close to the conference location. There are two direct trains an hour from Amsterdam Centraal and two trains an hour from Schiphol Airport with a change at Utrecht (journey time under 2½ hours, single fares about €27 second class).

You cannot reserve seats on Dutch trains, and it makes no difference in price to buy in advance (except on some international trains). Timetables (in English) can be found on the Dutch Railways website. Tickets can also be purchased from ticket machines in the baggage reclaim area at Schiphol Airport. There is also a staffed ticket office in the main concourse inside the airport and at Amsterdam Centraal. There is usually a small surcharge for using a credit card. Tickets can be booked online, and the site accepts MasterCard, Visa and American Express credit cards.

Remember to keep your train ticket on you as you leave or enter a station! It has to be scanned at the turnstiles, and it may be checked on the train itself.


By car

By car: Maastricht is located on the A2 (E25) Amsterdam-Maastricht-Liège motorway and close to the A76 (E314) Antwerp-Aachen motorway. The conference hotel has its own private car park, and charges €19.50 per car per night. Please click here for more information about other places to park in Maastricht.


By air


By air: Maastricht has its own airport (which it shares with Aachen) but it’s basically only holiday flights that operate from there. There is however a greater choice of international airports, all of which are within a couple of hours from Maastricht:


Intercontinental airportsInternational airports
(mostly European flights operated by low cost carriers)
Regional airports
  • Antwerp 
    (including flights from London City Airport)
  • Liége
    (website in Dutch and French only, mostly holiday flights)


By high-speed train

By high-speed train: The Thalys  and Eurostar high-speed trains from Paris and London will take you as far as Brussels, and from there you can take a connecting train to Maastricht, changing at Liège. ICE trains from operate from Basel (CH), Frankfurt and Cologne, where you can take the train to Maastricht, changing at Aachen.

Fares for high-speed trains vary, reservation is required, and the earlier you book the cheaper it will usually be.


By ferry

By ferry from UK ports: The only overnight ferry which is reasonably convenient for Maastricht is the Hull to Zeebrugge service from P&O. Other services, such as Newcastle to IJmuiden (for Amsterdam) with DFDS, and Harwich to Hoek van Holland with Stena Line are fine if you plan to visit other parts of the Netherlands, but will involve a longer drive. Don’t consider cross-Channel routes to Calais and Dunkerque unless you are travelling by car, because there are no good public transport links to Maastricht. By car from Calais or Dunkerque, it is almost a 4 hour drive to the conference location (via Gent and Antwerp), depending on traffic.


By coach

By coach: There are services from many European cities operated by Eurolines, FlixBus, Terravision and Deutsche Bahn (German Railways) to Maastricht. They arrive at the new international coach terminal just opposite the conference location (due to open early 2020). Fares are cheap, but timetables are not always convenient and reports about the services vary. If you are flying with KLM into Amsterdam Airport, they offer a FREE coach service to and from Maastricht.


Transport information

 Transport information: Door-to-door English-language information on public transport to and around the Netherlands (not including flights and ferry routes) is available through www.9292.nl. It also contains information about any disruptions to travel. 9292 has apps for Apple or Android. The Dutch National Railways NS JourneyPlanner is also available in English with apps for Apple and Android.


Chip card

Public transport smart card: If you are staying longer in the Netherlands, it is worth buying a public transport smart card, called an OV-chipkaart, which you can top up and use on all public transport throughout the country. Locals and long-term visitors can purchase a personal OV-chipkaart, valid for public transport and bike rental. If you are just travelling to the conference and back, buying a ticket at the airport or station is the easiest option. You can buy single tickets on most buses but increasingly you cannot pay in cash, only with a debit or credit card – and it’s more expensive.

Fares and other information were correct at time of publication.

SENSE cannot be held responsible for any subsequent changes.

Conference Location:

Hotel de l’Empereur, Stationsstraat 2,
6221 BP Maastricht, Netherlands

Phone: +31 (0)43 321 3838
email: info@hotel-empereur.nl

GPS: 50° 50' 59.59" N 5° 42' 16.168" E

Page 1 of 10