Museum translations are not just a fascinating sub-genre in the translation market; they are also very public translations that are on view in high-profile locations. Some of them are very good, but others come with prominent quality issues. These may well be the result of budget problems (perhaps prompting museums to use low-cost agencies or DIY solutions) or simply of translators taking a far too mechanical approach to their work. In other words, poor translation may be the result of a poor translator, of a translator not being sufficiently aware of the needs of the target audience, of what might be termed ‘translator’s privilege’, or simply of overly mechanical (that is, unthinking) translation.
But what does the target audience – museum visitors themselves – think about the quality of the translations with which they are presented? A mini-research project that involved observing and talking to visitors at two Dutch museums generated a number of fascinating findings that will be presented during this talk. A subsequent discussion with a museum educator produced a conclusion that serves as a neat pointer for translators wondering how they can win the battle with translation machines.
Tony Parr is a professional business translator (from Dutch and also French to English), language editor and translator trainer. After graduating in Dutch and French at Cambridge University, he gained extensive experience as both a freelance and a staff translator and as a teacher of translation, principally at the Dutch National College of Translation in Maastricht. Tony is the co-author of Handboek voor de Vertaler Nederlands–Engels, first published in 1995 and now available from Intertaal. Operating under the name of Teamwork, he and Marcel Lemmens have organized workshops and conferences for language professionals in the Netherlands since 1993.
This interactive introductory workshop aims to support language professionals working with biomedical researchers to use and recommend reporting guidelines for manuscript preparation.
Reporting guidelines aid research article preparation by providing the minimum information needed for a particular study type. Many journals, particularly in biomedical research, require reporting guideline use and the submission of a completed checklist alongside a manuscript. However,researchers are often unsure how to find and apply the right reporting guideline. Writers, editors, and translators can help to ensure the research articles they work on are compliant.
The workshop will combine short presentations, discussion, and practical exercises, and will be accompanied by a handout. We will focus on reporting guidelines for research involving humans or animals, such as health research, psychology, and veterinary medicine.
After training in laboratory research and working in academic editing, Jennifer de Beyer joined the EQUATOR Network’s UK Centre at the Centre for Statistics in Medicine (CSM), University of Oxford. Here she develops online and in-person training in academic writing and using reporting guidelines for clear, transparent research reporting. She also provides editing and writing support for CSM’s team of medical statisticians and methodologists.
The EQUATOR Network is an international initiative dedicated to improving the quality and transparency of health research. It focuses on research reporting, so that future research is based on a sound body of evidence. Through its four centres in the United Kingdom, Canada, France and Australia, EQUATOR raises awareness of reporting guidelines, provides online resources, develops education and training, and conducts research into research quality and transparency.
Young researchers often lack writing skills. Their supervisors or professors tell them ‘you learn by doing’ and this results in their struggling alone. They would profit from a course on scientific writing.
Attendees will come away with a basic lesson plan and guidance on how to approach teaching researchers/PhD students to write a clear and well-structured article or thesis. We will discuss how to write a catchy title, a well-structured and clear abstract and a convincing conclusion. I have chosen these elements because I hear that most scientists first read these sections of the article before deciding whether to read the rest. If required, we could also talk about the introduction and discussion sections.
This will be an interactive workshop. Attendees will be able to ask questions and I shall share with them my years of experience, my mistakes, the scientists' problems I have tried to solve. Their professors are very often too busy or away travelling so they come to me. Some researchers, from non-European cultures, do not dare ask their professors for advice for fear of losing face; they come to me for advice instead. I do not solve all their problems but at least they have a listening ear.
For more than 30 years Ann Bless has been running courses on scientific writing and giving workshops at various universities in Europe. She has written a book, Reader friendly scientific articles. Be clear, be readable and has co-authored with Lee Ann Weeks The elements of English editing. A guideline to clear writing.
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!
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’.
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.
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.
* MET, NEaT, SfEP, APTRAD, EASE
** If you are unable to attend an event, you may arrange for someone to take your place.
The SENSE 2020 Online Conference features an engaging schedule of presentations and short talks aimed at English-language professionals.
The conference will open on Zoom just after lunch on Wednesday 3 June with a welcome. Then, a series of sessions presented by SENSE members and other language professionals from around the globe will fill the afternoon, interspersed with a networking break. The rest of the conference, taking place on the afternoons of Thursday 4 and Friday 5 June, will proceed in a similar way.
Naturally, the nuts and bolts of translation, editing and language will be a common strand running through the programme, but more diverse topics addressing current and developing trends, such as ‘near-peer’ learning, digital nomadism and networking, are also on the cards. There's also a session on Plain English and language interference, plus – for the first time – a panel bringing together experienced SENSE members and young language professionals from Maastricht University to discuss client acquisition.
Let’s not forget the more practical sides of our business either, with a panel presentation on maintaining productivity as a parent of young children on Friday afternoon.
What is more, Brian Mossop, author of the classic Editing and Revising for Translators, now in its fourth edition, will be joining us as a special guest speaker on Wednesday, marking the celebration of SENSE’s 30th anniversary as a society serving language practitioners in the Netherlands.
SENSE Conferences and PDDs
The SENSE strategy is to organize conferences and professional development days in alternate years. The first SENSE conference was held in Utrecht in 2015 to mark 25 years of SENSE.
SENSE held its next conference in 2018 in ’s Hertogenbosch. The conference started on Saturday with lunch and closed on Sunday at lunch time. The programme also included pre-conference workshops and off-conference activities.
SENSE is getting ready to launch registration for the 2020 conference which will also mark SENSE's 30th anniversary.
The SENSE 2020 Jubilee Conference will be taking place from 6 to 7 June 2020 in Maastricht (or Mestreech to the locals). English-language professionals will come and gather in the city on the Meuse under the theme ‘20/20 (Re)Vision: Honing our skills to meet market challenges’. Expect intensive workshops on the Friday (5 June), off-conference activities on Saturday morning, a programme of talks with parallel sessions on Saturday afternoon, culminating in pre-dinner drinks, or a ‘borrel’ as they say in Dutch, and the gala dinner that evening. Then we will pick up again on Sunday morning (not too early, don’t worry), leaving the afternoon for some leisure time.
The internal Professional Development Day (PDD) is a one-day conference by SENSE members for members and non-members of SENSE. Click here for information about the 2019 PDD.
The next PDD will be held in September 2021.
When: Saturday 21 September 2019,
Registration opens at 9:00, the borrel will finish at 18:30
Come join us for our Professional Development Day, the biennial event in which SENSE members learn from (and with) other members. This year's programme will include two great plenary talks, our first-ever translation slam and presentations by some of the society's best translators, copywriters and editors. There will also be plenty of time to socialise and network during the yummy buffet lunch and the end-of-the-day borrel. Don't miss it!
Sign up (click the Register button on the event page) before the end of the day on 31 August to take advantage of a €25 early-bird discount!
SENSE members (through 31 August): €60
SENSE members (from 1 September): €85
Non-members (through 31 August): €120
Non-members (from 1 September): €145
Attendance at the SENSE PDD will entitle you to 6 PE points.
Click here to register. Members, remember to log in!
|Time||What we are doing|
Time for tea or coffee and networking
|9:30–9:40||Welcome and introduction|
|10:30–11:00||Coffee break & networking|
|11:00–11:50||An introduction to Cornwall and its languages
(Anita van Adelsbergen)
|Translating in architecture
Translating for fun and profit
|Copywriting: what is it and could you do it?
|12:45–13:45||Lunch break & networking|
|13:45–14:35||What not to forget in your quotation
(John Linnegar & Jenny Zonneveld)
|Introduction to Search Engine Optimisation
|The diverse skills and roles for language professionals in academia & science
(Jackie Senior & Kate McIntyre)
|15:30–16:00||Tea break & networking
|16:00–17:15||High-level writing, rhythm and flow
||Drinks, hapjes and (more) networking|
SENSE 2020 Conference
Many of you will be pleased to learn that the Jubilee Conference team – with the sterling support of a group of die-hard and innovative presenters and workshop facilitators – have converted the in-person conference into a meeting of true minds. The opportunity to learn, to network and to share online couldn’t be better timed during these times of general gloom and social distancing. And the good news is that the SENSE Online Jubilee Conference continues to feature something for everyone – and at seriously keen prices too!
The online conference will be presented on the afternoons of 3, 4 and 5 June 2020; the workshops are no longer parallel but in series so you can attend as many as you like. The series kicks off on 16 May and will run through to 26 June – with one workshop to attend nearly each week during this period: there’s no doubt that you’ll be spoilt for choice, given the wide range of topics on offer. Head over to the programme page for all the details.
We are pleased to announce that Paul Beverley’s Macros workshop on 16 May has been added to the conference workshop line-up. Consequently, its price has been reduced in line with the others in the series – check it out on the conference workshops page!
If you have previously registered and paid for the conference and/or a workshop, and wish to attend one or more of the online events, when you register, select ‘Bank transfer’ as the payment method. We will then deduct your online workshops and conference from what you previously and refund you as appropriate.
If you do not wish to attend any of the re-programmed online workshops and conference sessions and would like a full refund, less the € 50 non-refundable deposit, please contact Theresa Truax-Gischler at email@example.com.
In line with the reduced scale of the conference programme and because both the conference and the workshops are being presented online (thanks to Zoom), the pricing for both has been simplified and considerably reduced: to attend all three half-days of the conference will now cost only € 60 for members of SENSE and € 75 for non-members. The fee for attending an online workshop is now € 30 for members and € 60 for non-members. Unfortunately, it will not be possible to book separate tickets for just one or two conference days.
This being an online event, you will be able to register for either the whole conference (not the individual afternoons) and the workshops up to 16:00 on the day before the event.
In these virus-disrupted days, practitioners are more keenly aware than ever of the risks and opportunities inherent in freelancing, and some innovative solutions, so topics related to this theme will feature strongly in the online programme. For instance:
So, what’s standing in your way of attending SENSE Online Jubilee Conference 2020 from the comfort of your own home?
See you there, on 3, 4 and 5 June – or in the front row at a workshop!
The SENSE Online Jubilee Conference planning team
Ashley, Jenny, John, Ken, Liz, Lloyd, Marieke, Matthew and Theresa
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