10th Annual International Translation Conference Opening Session

10th Annual International Translation Conference Opening Session

Sparking the Discussion


Multilingualism in Europe: Universities, Professional Training, and the Civil

Mr. Rytis Martikonis

Rytis Martikonis holds degrees in law, political science and international relations. He studied in Lithuania, the United States, Denmark, and The Netherlands. He started his career in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania. Prior to his post as director of the European Integration Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1999-2001), Rytis Martikonis served as Counsellor at the Mission of Lithuania to the European Union (1995-1999). In 2002 and 2003 he was Member of the European Convention. From 2001 until 2004 he worked as the Secretary of State in the Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. During the same period, until 2003, he was the Deputy Head of Lithuania's delegation for the European Union accession negotiations. After Lithuania's accession to the EU he was Ambassador in the Political and Security Committee of the Permanent Representation of Lithuania to the European Union (2004-2005), before becoming the Permanent Representative of Lithuania to the EU (2005-2010).

He was appointed to his current post (Director-General for Translation in the European Commission) in 2011.


Translation and localization of multimedia interactive entertainment software”

Dr. Miguel Á. Bernal-Merino

Creativity is one of the most debated topics in translation not only because of how it relates to authorship but also because of the unavoidable cultural ramifications and the business implications for all the parties involved. Identifying the parameters within which creative translation operates in rich media products is a complex process that comprises many variables beyond the linguistic ones, and even more so when dealing with multimedia interactive entertainment software (MIES), also known as video games.

This seminar put forward new findings explaining the creativity in various entertainment products. The notion of neural networks is proposed as a way of explaining highly artistic translation within the constraints of each product type. We will explore many examples in order to isolate 'playability', the unique feature of creative game localisation.

A creative thinker, Miguel Á. Bernal-Merino, PhD in the localisation of multimedia interactive entertainment software at Imperial College / University College London, is the main international researcher in video game localisation. He is the author of the acclaimed monograph Translation and Localisation in Video Games: Making Entertainment Software Global (2015), and has published the leading articles on the subject in both professional and scholarly journals. He co-leads the AHRC-funded Media Across Borders Network and is a co-editor of Media Across Borders: The Localisation of Audiovisual Content (2016) for the reputable Routledge series lead by D. Thussu. He collaborates with universities and companies across Europe on projects related to media translation and video game localisation. He is the co-founder and elected chair of the ‘IGDA Localization SIG’. Dr. Bernal-Merino created the main international events in this field, the ‘Game Localization Round Table’ (at the heart of the language services industry), and the ‘Localization Summit’ (the main developers conference for the game industry), and has coordinated them from their conception.


Framing the Societal Value of Community Interpreting

Sofía García-Beyaert

Languages are often perceived as banners for group identity. Today “identity politics” shape much of the public discourse: political claims tend to be based on shared experiences of injustice by members of particular social groups (identity groups) rather than claims being organized around belief systems (with universal aspirations). How does this affect the development of community interpreting? This neglected branch of the wider interpreting profession requires government support; political intervention. Is the current focus on identity politics helpful?

In my presentation, I will explore the connection between identity politics, marginalization and the underdevelopment of community interpreting. I will also draw on a contrasting phenomenon described in other fields as “identity override”. Together, identity politics and identity override offer a useful conceptual toolkit from the social and political sciences that help effectively frame the societal value of community interpreting. The benefit of effectively framing the societal value of community interpreting is twofold: it enlightens the way interpreters can conceive their professional responsibilities and it clarifies for non-professionals the essential contribution of community interpreting as a precious service. That is, it helps define the role of the interpreter both for actors who are internal and actors who are external to the profession. In so doing, we are paving the way for a stronger development of a branch of the interpreting profession that plays a crucial role for marginalized populations.

Sofía García-Beyaert, PhD, is a consultant and interpreter trainer. One of the authors of the pioneering textbook The Community Interpreter, Dr. García-Beyaert teaches interpreting skills in Washington State. She is the founder of Arcos Institute, an organization that provides consulting in language access and intercultural communication and offers continuing education opportunities for professional interpreters. She has served on the board of the Northwest Translators and Interpreters Society (NOTIS) and on curriculum advisory committees for institutions of higher education. Her dedication to the field of interpreting and intercultural communication has taken different shapes. Her most recent commitments include a documentary film project that tells real life stories of failed intercultural communication and its ramifications.

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