The Linguist

The Linguist 53,6

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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Vol/53 No/6 2014 DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015 The Linguist 31 INSTITUTE MATTERS DIVISIONS & SOCIETIES How to harness our new technology WHY THE INTERPRETING DIVISION AGM AND SEMINAR PROGRAMME WAS A GREAT SUCCESS Constantly evolving technology affects every profession, and interpreting is no exception. We are, by now, all aware of remote interpreting via telephone and video link, and there are new innovations emerging for both interpreter training and practice, such as tablet and digital pen technologies (for example Livescribe smartpen for note-taking). In our experience, interpreters are very keen to learn and keep up to date with the latest developments, and with this in mind the Interpreting Division decided, at its AGM on 7 June, to include presentations describing two very different means of harnessing some of these new technologies. Our first speaker, Danielle D'Hayer, an Associate Professor at London Metropolitan University, introduced us to the 'Community of Practice' (CoP) approach to sharing a body of knowledge, where virtual media, such as Google+, Facebook and Twitter, can play a significant role. This involves a group of people agreeing to interact, learn together and build relationships, and in that process develop a sense of belonging and mutual commitment. In the competitive interpreting sector, in which interpreters are often geographically separated due to the nature of the job, CoP can be a very useful tool. It can improve their ability to cooperate with each other using various forms of multimedia. For this to work cooperation, rather than competition, is needed, and a willingness on the part of the professionals to share their knowledge and experience. Danielle went on to cite examples from sectors such as teaching, nursing, university and, of course, interpreting and translating, as well as from the business sector, where CoPs can be very successful, including Shell, McKinsey & Company, and Hewlett Packard. Our second seminar was led by Roni Bandong from Eurosis, a company with many years' experience in the provision of services and equipment for simultaneous interpretation and conferences across the world. The company has always aimed to be a leader in technological advances and Roni came to talk about their new web-based simultaneous interpretation, currently being piloted. The audio feed from a client's conference is streamed to London, interpreted into the various languages and then streamed back to the delegates via their phones, laptops, mobile devices or Eurosis's receivers and headsets. Some audience members already had experience of similar systems and raised the critical issues of speed of connection/delay in transmission and reliability of connection. They were also concerned that such a system could lead to a reduction in rates, even though the medium can be very challenging for interpreters. (For further details, see Roni's write-up on the Eurosis website: It was clear from the two presentations that two kinds of change are required: cooperation to replace competition; and remote working (perhaps) to become the norm. Both sessions attracted many questions and much discussion, which continued over a buffet lunch, and into and after the formal AGM. For the names and roles of the newly elected Management Committee, as well as the Chair's Annual Report, see the Interpreting Division page of the CIOL website ( > Membership > Divisions > Interpreting Division). Trevor Adcock MCIL and Christine Pocock FCIL from notes by Andrea Ďuristová MCIL. © SHUTTERSTOCK

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