eCPD Webinars and the Alexandria Project announce strategic partnership

Worthing (UK)/Emmendingen (Germany) – July, 22nd, 2013. eCPD Webinars and the Alexandria Project, specialised in CPD services for linguists, professional interpreters and translators, announce their new partnership.

Based in the UK and run by language professionals for language professionals, eCPD Webinars enables busy and committed professionals in language-related industries to learn from the top experts in their field and to improve their careers, all from the comfort of their home or office, by offering a programme of relevant events directly to individual linguists and by organising and promoting events on behalf of organisations and companies. eCPD Webinars is dedicated to language professionals and to anyone working in the language industry, including translators, interpreters, terminologists, project managers and those working in areas such as localisation, subtitling, and technical writing.

Based in Germany as a sub-company of GxP Language Services, the Alexandria virtual library was created by translators, is open to both translation buyers and providers and offers an array of resources for translators, such as CPD (continuous professional development), together with services such as live webinars and online courses. It will soon be extended to offer various types of resources such as glossaries, videos, termbases and e-books. The Alexandria platform also has a complete area dedicated to resources and training for language services buyers.

“The translation profession is currently undergoing dramatic changes”, says Siegfried Armbruster, owner of GxP Language Services and founder of the Alexandria Project. “For this reason, we think that translators should (re)take control of their own industry. This indeed is one of the reasons why we started the Alexandria Project, as translators ourselves: training and professional development is an essential area. Such a project can only work through international collaboration and this is a time to work together and not to be divided. We’re thrilled by this partnership with eCPD Webinars, an established leader in continuous professional development for professional linguists – Unity leads to strength!”

 “I am delighted to be working with the Alexandria Project”, adds Lucy Brooks, Managing Director of eCPD Webinars. “I started eCPD Webinars three years ago to provide quality training for translators who, for one reason or another, find it difficult to attend face-to-face events. Continuing Education – professional development – is so important for practitioners of our profession, and it should be available to all. By providing easy-access to on-line events, we and our partners are helping translators to achieve maximum professionalism in their work – and at a very reasonable cost in terms of time and money. I look forward to developing our partnership with the Alexandria Project.”

About eCPDWebinars
About the Alexandria Project

First TriKonf 2013 speakers now announced

We’re very happy to announce the first confirmed TriKonf 2013 speakers to date:

Jerzy Czopik, translator, trainer and auditor
– Yana Onikiychuk, Medical Doctor, medical translator and interpreter
– Nelia Fahloun, owner of Babeliane Traductions
– Stefan Gentz, senior consultant and trainer at tracom.de
– Yves Champollion, founder and creator of Wordfast
– Ana Iaria, lawyer, translator, FCIL, Chartered Linguist, Lecturer at Imperial College in London & London Metropolitan University
– Alessandra Martelli, translator, copywriter & professional trainer, owner of MTM Translations
– Anne-Marie Robert, owner of Tilt Communications
– Emmanuel Planas, enseignant d’Informatique pour la Traduction à Université Catholique de l’Ouest (Angers), chercheur associé au Laboratoire d’Informatique de Nantes Atlantique
– Marek Pawelec, translator and trainer
– Rebecca PetrasTranslators without Borders Program Director

Keynote speakers:
– Saturday – Ralf Lemster

- Sunday – Prof. Philipp Koehn (see Wikipedia page)

More names and information will be added to the Speakers Page as speakers confirm and send us their presentation details.

Cracow Translation Days 2013

800px-Krakow_rynek_01The Cracow Translation Days will be held from 6–8 September 2013.

The Cracow Translation Days are an international conference for professional translators that offers more than just plain vanilla. With a focus on professional education, networking and intercultural exchange, this is not just another conference in an impersonal convention centre, where the goal seems to be to attend as many talks as possible in as little time as possible. The Cracow Translation Days give priority to quality, not to quantity.

The organisers have chosen a special location for a special conference, the Benedictine abbey of Tyniec, 13 km southwest of Cracow, and put together an extensive social programme in and around Cracow.

Registration for this non-profit conference is now open. Abstracts for talks, workshops or roundtables are being accepted until 31 May 2013.

For more information, please visit the conference website.

(GxP Language Services is not affiliated with the organizers nor is organizing or helping to organize this event. We will just be attending it.)

Interview with… André Lindemann

A.LindemannI had the pleasure of interviewing BDÜ’s President, André Lindemann. With 7000 members, the BDÜ (German Federal Association of Interpreters and Translators – Bundesverband der Dolmetscher und Űbersetzer e.V.) is Germany’s largest professional association in the industry. It represents 75% of all professional translators and interpreters in Germany and has been representing their interests since 1955. We covered many topics in this interview, and it has been a true pleasure – thank you again, André!

The German version of this interview is available here.


Hi André. Thank you for agreeing to this interview. What can you tell us about your background and your career? Who are you and how did you come to this profession?

I grew up near the German-Polish border in the state of Brandenburg, which is once more my place of residence and where meanwhile, I’m in the second half of life, happily married and have an adult son.

I originally wanted to study for a degree in criminology after secondary school then, in the early Eighties, I was persuaded by my future employer – the Ministry of the Interior of the erstwhile GDR – to study for a degree in translation and interpreting, which I was awarded in 1986 at Leipzig University for the languages Polish and Russian. I subsequently interpreted and translated for all areas of the Ministry of the Interior (police, justice, fire, etc.) until the end of 1990. After German reunification and a three-year period of constant change in employment and vocational orientation, I finally landed back with the police in 1994 as a staff interpreter and translator.

You are an interpreter and translator for the Brandenburg State Police, but also self-employed. What does a typical day look like for you?

If there are no interpreting assignments pending outside normal office working hours – or at the office – I cross the border to Poland and go to my office at the Joint Centre of German-Polish Police and Customs Cooperation in Świecko, where I provide translation support to my colleagues in international police legal assistance, or in the coordination of German-Polish police cooperation. Several times a week there are conversations, work consultations, conferences and training sessions which require interpretation for representatives of the Polish and German security authorities (police, border guards, customs, prosecutors, etc.). What I particularly love about my professional work is the constant change between translating and interpreting.

My part-time self-employment is currently limited to appointments at the courts for interpreting and translation for a few regular and new customers.

The majority of my spare time is dedicated to my work for the BDÜ (Federal Association of Interpreters and Translators). Just like the profession, the association is also in a phase of change and here, I can actively contribute with my involvement. Together with the positive results of the task, cooperation in association committees has an almost family atmosphere, which provides me with an extremely high level of satisfaction.

Your working languages are Russian and Polish; why not English as well? How does one manage in this profession in 2013 without English?

These days, I’m actually working as an interpreter with just one working language: Polish. Although I continue to translate from the Russian language, I’m no longer working as an interpreter, because for decades, I have no longer had enough activity to provide the practical experience required.

In professional practice, I get along quite well without English, dealing as I do almost exclusively with German and Polish police officers. The situation is different in my volunteer work for the BDÜ, where my English is not always good enough for international meetings and conferences in particular and unfortunately very few participants speak Polish. I am therefore currently trying to refresh my knowledge of the English language a little but in important conversations, I always rely upon the support of a competent interpreter.

You are president of the BDÜ. What can you tell us about the goals, structure and tasks of the BDÜ?

With over 7,000 members, the Federal Association of Interpreters and Translators (BDÜ) is the largest association for our profession in Germany. It represents about 80 percent of all organised translators and interpreters in Germany, is the contact point for government, industry, trade, and it is responsible for all matters related to both the education and training of and for language service providers. Experienced members of the association become involved, for example, as reviewers of translations, as auditors of state examination boards or as consultants in the development of new vocational qualifications.

The BDÜ has been representing the interests of professional interpreters and translators for over 50 years and the BDÜ umbrella organisation, based in Berlin, represents 13 affiliated member associations. The member associations work at provincial state level or are grouped by profession, such as the “Verband der Konferenzdolmetscher e.V. (VKD) im BDÜ” (Association of Conference interpreters) ”. Internationally, the BDÜ is networked with European organisations like EULITA or FIT Europe, as well as the global umbrella association, the International Federation of Translators (FIT) and the CIUTI.

How did you come to this position as President of the BDÜ?

I had been taking part in the association’s work for a long time, so the simple answer to this question is that the General Assembly of the Association elected me to the function. As a BDÜ member since 1993, I “took office” two years thereafter with their Berlin-Brandenburg state association, where I performed various functions up to January 2009, most recently as Chairman there. A few months later, I was elected to the National Executive Board of the association, where I took on particular responsibility for the areas of interpreting and translation in the legal field, as well as the activities of staff interpreters and translators. I was then elected President of the BDÜ at Speyer during April 2011.

BDÜ_ Logo (Internet)Can you tell us something about the petition to increase the fees and remuneration of interpreters and translators working for the judiciary and your commitment to it?

The BDÜ and the other German professional associations have been fighting for decades to generate reasonable compensation for interpreters and translators – both those who work for the judiciary – as well as those who work in other areas. In terms of preparation of the amendment to the JVEG (German Judicial Remuneration and Allowances Act) – a law which inter alia covers the remuneration of interpreters and translators who are appointed by the judiciary and law enforcement authorities –we have, in recent years, been very active. We have been conceiving and agreeing our substantive position, carried out countless discussions with ministries and members of parliament and have repeatedly presented our reasoning to reinforce support of our individual agenda items.

It is only in the judiciary sector in Germany that remuneration for our freelance colleagues is regulated at law, so the representation of the interests of our members here is particularly important and this can trigger a signal for the entire profession.

After our demands were not adequately accounted for in the draft legislation published, we searched for further ways to influence policy-makers and in doing also submitted an e-petition to the German Parliament for the first time. With a lack of detailed experience here and the difficulty in Germany of mobilising  a relatively small sector, I am not quite dissatisfied with the result: we were, after all, supported by 4,915 signatures.
In addition, and as far as I know for the first time in history, many individual interpreters and in particular translators who were affected referred the matter by means of personal letters to members of parliament and ministries, thus further increasing the pressure on the government.

During recent years, we can certainly note heightened perception of representatives of the profession in political circles. Meanwhile, politicians proactively ask about the expertise of our association wherever it is a case of our professional activity. It was for the first time that a representative of the profession was invited to a public hearing in the Federal Parliament in the person of the BDÜ President.

Further discussions by the Federal Parliament on May 16 about the legislative package will show the extent to which the interests of our members have been successfully represented. Having been made party to the latest information, I’m confident that the results of this work in connection with the law targeted for the early summer will at least bring a noticeable improvement in compensation for many colleagues, even if it understandably lags somewhat behind some goals that are quite ambitious and does not satisfy all.

How do you respond as an association to increasing globalisation and the resulting pressure on prices?

By definition, economic globalisation also offers our industry many advantages, since all those who want to export or import something must communicate with their international partners. In addition to that, there are contracts, operating manuals, and much more that needs to be transferred from one language to another. For this, qualified resources are required and all forecasts predict that in the area of language services provision, a continued annual growth of 10% is expected. That is one side of the coin. But of course globalisation also means increased competition, so that rates are in fact under pressure. This has, however, only had limited influence upon the German market, according to our own research. The BDÜ rates surveys in recent years rather indicate stable rates or indeed slightly higher rates.

As we see it, informing the public – especially potential clients – about the significance of quality in language services, the possibilities for finding a qualified linguist, the benefits of in-house language services and the dangers of machine translation are among the most important tasks for us as a professional association. We also attach great importance to the continuous professional development of our association members, especially in the entrepreneurial area. Overall, the BDÜ annually runs more than 250 different training events. As an association, we have established that colleagues who are most successful are those who can name a clear specialisation for themselves, can position this in the market and who have an entrepreneurial mindset. We are therefore working to constantly improve the business skills of our members and to assist them on their way towards specialisation.

As a German association, or in cooperation with other associations, what do you do to assist translators in positioning themselves better within the international marketplace?

The BDÜ provides its members with diverse possibilities for general or sector-specific marketing via the on-line search on the association website or using various lists of specialised professional interpreters and translators that are available. On the other hand, the association is expanding its continuous professional development offerings, particularly in the field of basic entrepreneurial skills base of its members. As an example last year, they were offered two series of free webinars covering various topics such as estimating, bidding, price negotiations and similar.

How do you see the German translation market?

Even although Germany is no longer the export champion of the world, exports still play a key role in the German economy. This inevitably leads to a high requirement for translation, whereby the time factor is increasingly becoming a decisive element, because translations of manuals, operating instructions or websites in several languages must be done timely and concurrently.

Despite these requirements, and by contrast to the translation markets of many other countries, the German translation market is still highly-fragmented, with many single-person or small enterprises and not quite so many large operators. This also becomes evident from statistics, according to which a micro-census showed that of approximately 38,000 interpreters and translators in Germany, more than half of all translators are self-employed and working alone. Reverting specifically to being able to react appropriately to the requirements that the marketplace sets, it will become ever more necessary to build networks and it is particularly here that the networking facilities offered by our association constitute a competitive advantage.

What is your opinion of the future for translators and interpreters?

Of course, I have no crystal ball for the future, but the question of where the journey is heading has already been touched upon. We assume that the market for language services will continue to grow dynamically with the progress of continuing globalisation, which means that the aforementioned tendency for pressure in the areas of deadlines and remuneration will together provide increasing competition.

For present and future translators and interpreters, it will be dependent upon their ability to perform correctly with well-founded language and translation skills as qualified translators and / or interpreters. In addition to that, we can add specialisation, which also encompasses the principle of “lifelong learning”. Thirdly, ‘willingness’ should be mentioned. The willingness to work together either on a project-related basis or permanently in multilingual or cross-functional networks, while adapting our entrepreneurial profiles to the market in such a way that they offer higher added value to the client and can ensure an adequate personal return. There is one thing that I am 100% sure about: Despite the fact that virtually everyone is somehow able to communicate in English, and despite ever-improving machine translation tools, people will ALWAYS need those who can reliable and competently communicate between two languages and consequently between two cultures.

Thank you very much for your time André!

(Translated from German by Textklick)

TriKonf 2013 – “Professionalization & Interoperability in the Translation Industry”

GxP Language Services announced the first Tri-National Translation Conference (“TriKonf 2013″) to be held on October 19th and 20th, 2013 in Freiburg im Breisgau (Germany), under the motto “Professionalization & Interoperability in the Translation Industry”.

“In recent times the media have constantly featured reports about so-called universal translators or what wonderful things machine translation can now do for us”, explains Siegfried Armbruster, owner of GxP Language Services. “This hype is spread by groups who want to convince potential sponsors to attract even more investment in their projects. What is overlooked again and again is the fact that qualified human translators and interpreters are still the only guarantee that linguistic content is adapted correctly and understandably into another language. With this conference, we aim to provide translators and interpreters with a platform that not just makes them familiar with the latest developments, but which also facilitates joint discussion in order to prevent too many customers being impressed by these surrealistic fantasies. When used correctly, technology can accelerate the translation process and improve its quality. Exaggerated and irresponsible use of translation technology however leads to unusable results. As long as the alleged cost reductions in the translation process have to be paid for by quality reductions in the final result, every customer should ask themselves whether they can really afford cheap(er) translations.”

For more information, visit the conference website (available in English, German and French): http://trikonf.com
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TriKonf2013, the Tri-national Translation Conference

The GxP Language Sevices team is very proud to announce the first Tri-national Translation conference!

It will be held on October 19th and 20th, 2013 in the beautiful and historical German city of Freiburg im Breisgau, capital of the Black Forest. Right at the heart of the “Dreiländereck” where Germany, France and Switzerland meet.  The conference will be held in German and in French for German, Swiss and French translators, but also in English to make sure all international participants feel welcome! For this reason, the event will be completely trilingual and will feature one room for each language.

The conference itself will be held on Saturday, October 19th and Sunday, October 20th, 2013. A workshop day will be held the day before, on Friday 18th.

©FWTM/Scherer

We chose one of Freiburg’s most famous historical monuments as the venue for this exceptional event…  the Historical Merchants Hall (Historisches Kaufhaus), right in front of the cathedral, at the heart of the historic city centre. Built around 1520-1521, the historical Merchants Hall, with its magnificent red facade, is a true architectural and historical gem and therefore one of the most extraordinary conference venues in the region.

Full programme and registration are not available yet as we are still working on the planning, but the conference already has its Facebook Page where all the news will be posted.

For more information, visit the conference website (available in English, German and French): http://trikonf.com

We look forward to welcoming you in Freiburg in October!

SDL to Supply Multiple European Union Institutions with CAT Solutions

Maidenhead, U.K. – 29 January 2013

SDL (LSE: SDL), today announced that Trados GmbH, legal subsidiary and entity of SDL, has signed a framework agreement with the European Commission. SDL Trados Studio 2011®, SDL’s flagship translation memory system, has been chosen as the computer-aided translation (CAT) tool of choice by the European Commission on behalf of a group of 8 European Institutions. The EC has awarded SDL the contract to revitalize its existing translation memory infrastructure.

The European Commission, the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union, the Court of Justice of the European Union, the European Court of Auditors, the European Economic and Social Committee, the Committee of the Regions of the European Union, as well as the Translation Centre for the Bodies of the European Union will equip approximately 4300 internal translators with the SDL Trados Studio system.
SDL Trados Studio provides a suite of tools necessary to create, edit and review high quality translations in the quickest possible time and is the de facto market leading translation software to increase translator productivity. SDL Trados Studio was chosen as the winning solution on the basis of over 100 requirements, given its open architecture, extensive API, and software maturity. The award of this contract was reviewed by a large group of evaluators and follows a 2 year evaluation process beginning in October 2010.
“We are pleased that the European Commission has chosen SDL to support the European Union translation supply chain with training, certification and special licensing,” says Keith Laska, CEO of the SDL Language Technologies Division. “This is an exciting opportunity for us to extend and enhance a long term and successful partnership between our organization and the European Union. We look forward to supporting these 8 European organizations on a long-term basis.”
To learn more about the solution selected by the European Commission,http://www.translationzone.com/EU-announcement.
About SDL

SDL enables global businesses to enrich their customers’ experience through the entire customer journey.   SDL’s technology and services help brands to predict what their customers want and engage with them across multiple languages, cultures, channels and devices.
SDL has over 1,500 enterprise customers, 400 partners and a global infrastructure of 70 offices in 38 countries. 42 out of the top 50 brands work with SDL.  For more information, visit www.sdl.com.