Thursday, October 27, 2011

ATA Conference - German-English Translation in the Renewables Sector

I arrived in Boston yesterday for a pre-conference seminar about German-English translation in the renewables sector. The conference in question is the 52nd annual conference of the American Translators Association. The seminar was a workshop led by Craig Morris, who, in addition to translating materials about this subject also gives presentations to energy industry executives and others. Before the seminar, he had e-mailed attendees a homework of sorts: a few texts to be translated in advance of the session.

We started by trying to translate a fourth text, a short interview about some of the policies in Germany that are designed to encourage development in the renewable energy industry. As a matter of fact, the texts we had been given in advance were also geared more toward the policy side, rather than the technical end of "alternative energy". In the course of discussing these translations, Mr. Morris provided some technical background, visualized in helpful diagrams.

Next was a short presentation on where and how to research terminology related to renewable energy. Mr. Morris particularly emphasized Wikipedia as a helpful tool. I also use parallel Wikipedia entries in German and English to research other technical terms. While Wikipedia can be unreliable on some topics, most of the basic technology and science articles seem to be quite well written by people who have a thorough understanding of the topic at hand.

After a brief break, the seminar concluded by going over the translations we had been asked to prepare in advance. All in all, I learned a number of useful facts about the technology involved, as well as German and U.S. policy regarding renewable energy. This being a translation conference, the focus on policy documents was probably warranted, but being the geek I am now I want to attend a session on renewable energy technology. Maybe I can find something back in New York...

1 comment:

  1. German is one of the most important languages for those people who are living there and for those people who wants to interact with them. I think translator is the biggest thing for those people.

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