Thursday, June 7, 2012

STC Summit Chicago - Summary of Sessions I

So I'm finally getting around to writing about the actual content of the Society for Technical Communication (STC) Summit -- i.e., the sessions I attended. Eight Summit sessions were related to translation/international communication, although I only attended six of them. Here is a summary of the first three of these. I'll summarize the second three next week and provide an overview of sessions related to freelancing/consulting the following week.

David Sommer of Net-Translators spoke about Advanced Localization for Technical Communicators. He focused on localizing IT-related material, including user interfaces and help systems. The presentation provided me with an overview of how translation agencies handle the entire process, rather than only seeing the translation portion I normally work on.

Lisa Pietrangeli of ThirtySix Software explained Translation Technology: MT, TM and Translation Reuse. She emphasized the importance of consistency in writing the source text and explained how poorly written text impacts the use of translation tools. None of this is news to translators, of course, but the Q&A portion offered me an opportunity to introduce myself to a room full of potential translation buyers.

Bruce Poropat of Technical Communications explained how to “translate” convoluted documents into plain English in Plain Language for the Technical Writer. While the primary goal of plain English is not to make text easier to translate, that is frequently a secondary benefit of the conversion process. In this session I learned about how the process of making a given text more accessible to, for example, consumers, actually works.

Next week: Summary of remaining sessions related to translation


  1. I can't see machines taking over the jobs of human translators in the near future, as they have done with so many other professions (remember telephone operators?)
    These machine translators are ok when all u need is a quick understanding of a some rather simple text, but if you are running a business, or otherwise depend on accuracy of a translation, using professional translation services is the only way to go.

  2. That's very nice as you were able to introduced yourself in the midst of many translation buyer. I guess, that was a very good experience. Looking forward for the next posts.

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