The Linguist

The Linguist 59,2 - April/May 2020

The Linguist is a languages magazine for professional linguists, translators, interpreters, language professionals, language teachers, trainers, students and academics with articles on translation, interpreting, business, government, technology

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While researching this issue, I came across the news that streaming services, such as Netflix and Amazon, are looking at new ways of providing audiovisual translation (AVT) as they compete to get their content out simultaneously in all the regions and languages they cover. While Amazon AI researches an automatic dubbing system, the so-called 'streaming wars' have been good business for subtitlers like Martin Hernegren (p.31). But the increasing demands on the AVT industry are not without their problems. In Italy, unrealistic deadlines may have contributed to poor working conditions and standards at some studios, as Jessica Oppedisano reports (p.10). Though it may be early days for automated translation in the audiovisual field, the use of machine translation (MT) in the wider industry has become commonplace. For the translation of audio recordings, there is an additional step of converting speech to text, and a new study investigates whether a combination of speech recognition technology and MT could help professionals to work more efficiently (p.22). In her talk on MT at the CIOL conference in March, Amy Li noted that subtle connotations and cultural elements may remain outside the capabilities of machines. As computer-assisted interpretation grows (p.25), it would be interesting to find out how automated systems deal with rudeness. Certainly, it is something that human interpreters struggle with, according to a fascinating study of political speeches aimed at causing offence (p.7). Miranda Moore 4 The Linguist Vol/59 No/2 2020 NEWS & EDITORIAL CHIEF EXECUTIVE'S NOTES We recently held our first CIOL conference which, with unintended prescience, had been booked at the British Medical Association. Despite a looming Covid-19 crisis, we were immensely grateful to be able to proceed. As we moved away from our traditional one-day format for Members' Day, the levels of excitement, anticipation and engagement exceeded our expectations, with more than 400 registrations across the two days and many delegates attending both days. Hand-shaking was largely avoided, but that didn't hinder lively networking, idea sharing and contact building. The programme was varied in content and format. Seminars were interspersed with keynotes and a final panel session, and content covered the vast range of sectors with touch points to interpretation, translation, education and business languages, including the police, sport (Olympics), health (the role of languages in the Ebola crisis) and, of course, Brexit. There was even equine and canine management! Related business skills also had their place, with sessions addressing working with agencies, digital marketing and new technologies, as well as the softer skills of effective writing, how to win work and using well-being techniques to increase resilience. Dr Binghan Zheng from Durham University gave the annual Threlford Lecture, with a fascinating insight into how the brain works when translating. He showed how this can be understood through the analysis of eye-tracking and by identifying which parts of the brain are most active at different stages of the process. Judith Gabler, Chair of Council, looked to the future and, in particular, to the importance of Chartership in this our 15th anniversary year. Our Charter is unique and recognises the lead CIOL has in upholding the profession. Its distinctiveness – an award only CIOL can confer – is a measure of quality and professionalism and, together with our Code of Conduct, acts as a reassurance and guarantee for those who choose to work with our members. Finally, one of the most rousing sessions was presented by Ian Fraser from Leicestershire Police Service. The police have created and launched a new language services tender intended to challenge and redraw the public procurement of language services, putting the interpreter, professional rates of pay and attractive terms and conditions at its heart, with a view to once again encouraging interpreters to see the public services as a positive career choice. It is impossible to do justice here to the many other excellent sessions. If you were unable to join us for this year's conference, don't miss out next time. Look out for information about Conference 2021 at Ann Carlisle EDITOR'S LETTER Share your views:

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