UTIC-2013: Summing Up the Largest Translation Conference in Ukraine
On 18–19 May, 2013, the first Ukrainian Translation Industry Conference, UTIC, kicked off in Kyiv. With some 369 representatives of local and international translation businesses, the UTIC is undoubtedly the largest industry event in Ukraine. The UTIC welcomed a total of 108 translation companies and bureaus, representatives of 13 higher education institutions and the 3 largest international translation associations: ELIA (European Language Industry Association), ATA (American Translators Association), and GALA (The Globalization and Localization Association). The UTIC was also attended by the Translation Forum Russia Organization Committee and representatives of Gorod Perevodchikov, and ProZ.com.
The first Ukrainian Translation Industry Conference was an eye-opener for me. Gathering translators, educators, and translation companies all in the same space showed just how much energy and drive to innovate in the language services enterprise there is in Ukraine.
The level of the conference has been demonstrated by the broad geography of its participants. The UTIC-2013 welcomed representatives of over 60 places and 19 countries, including Russia, USA, UK, Finland, Italy, Israel, Latvia, Czech Republic, Poland, and others.
The list of international guests included representatives of World’s TOP-100 Translation Companies, ranked by the independent consulting company Common Sense Advisory: euroscript, Lionbridge, Moravia Worldwide, Skrivanek, Wordbank, and others.
The conference opening began with the speech by Stanislav Kalenyuk, CEO of InText, the UTIC organizer. He emphasized how complicated were the tasks that organizers set to accomplish: to unite and consolidate the Ukrainian translation market, to create a single platform for communication, learning and exchanging experience.
I would emphasize two principles of market participants’ interaction in the marketplace: competition and integration. These two principles could be demonstrated convincingly as exemplified by children. If we compare the current Ukraine’s translation industry to a sand-pit, then the kids who can’t share their toys represent the model of competitiveness. In this case they can’t play together. The play will take place when the kids will grow up a little and learn to settle in the name of commonwealth. The integration phase is an attribute of a more mature system.
At the conference opening Hans Fenstermacher, CEO of GALA Association (USA), provided an overview of the current translation market and noted that the industry is more active today than ever. Pavel Palazhchenko, principal interpreter for Mikhail Gorbachev and Eduard Shevardnadze, diplomat and writer, shared his views of the past, present and future of the translator’s professional occupation.
Even though the conference lasted for two days only, it was rich in content and events. The UTIC-2013 included exhibition area, contacts exchange session and workshops. The social events within the conference included welcome reception, tours of vernal Kyiv and the gala evening with a cruise along Dnipro on-board a ship.
The contacts exchange session enabled a lot of attendees to establish contacts and make a networking list prior to the conference beginning. Each participant received a card with an individual route, and cruised about the tables at an interval of several minutes, presenting themselves and exchanging business cards.
Along with the session tracks, the UTIC exhibition area was open for participants, giving them s valuable opportunity to learn about the innovations that exhibiting companies had in store and talk to the representatives of international translation associations. The exhibitors held exciting contests and prize drawings of their software products, as well workshop sessions. AIT held Mister & Miss Translation Contest, and the Synchroservice Company organized a workshop on working with the simultaneous interpreting equipment.
The sessions were run in three parallel tracks: “The Art of Translation”, “The Business of Translation”, and “Translation Technologies”. Within the “The Art of Translation” section, experts of the industry discussed and spoke about translation development as a professional occupation and the means and ways to increase qualifications of freelancers. The results of the survey held among those who attended this section revealed the three strongest sessions of the sections: “Practical translation or General approach to real work” by Pavel Dunaev, “Industry-Specific Translation” by Alexander Poddubnyy, and “Interpreting in a Digital World” by Barry Olsen.
The section “The Business of Translation” was dedicated to the issues of project management, marketing, industry trends, legal and economic aspects of market participants interaction, defining the ways to increase efficiency of communications. The strongest presentations in this section are: “ISO 11669-Compliant Translation Specifications” by Demid Tishin, “Managing a Translation Company by KPI” by Kirill Fedotov, and “Going Global: what the international marketing clients need from their LSP» by Gordon Husbands.
The UTIC conference demonstrated to me the huge enthusiasm for and competency in translation and localization that exists in Ukraine. For a first conference, it was extremely well-organized and run. If anyone, anywhere has doubts or about the sophistication and level of skill in Ukraine, then I suggest they book a place at next year’s conference immediately and prepare to be enthused, invigorated and entertained
Sessions of “Translation Technologies” section were devoted to specialized software tools applied in the translation industry and were presented by developers, distributors and experienced users, who shared hands-on information and best practices. The participants honored the presentations “SDL Trados Solutions Review” by Elena Kosmatova, “Next Generation Localization Testing” by Taras Tovstyak, and “Mobile Apps Localisation: ‘Name That Tune’” by Sergei Korniyenko.
In total, the conference enlisted presentations by over 40 translation industry experts and practitioners. The attendees highly appreciated the quality of presentations, and according to the results of the survey the average presentation rate amounted to 4,69 points per five-grade scale.
The UTIC-2013 paid significant attention to the issue of training, work skills and interaction with educational institutions. Alexander Bondarenko and Tetyana Struk shared their experience in working with educational institutions, organizing internships for students and developing of research methodology. All the participants of this discussion recognized the need for establishing closer contacts between translation businesses and educational organizations, implementing practical approach when preparing students, and developing specialized courses, which would enable teaching the modern translation technologies. To discuss the general strategy and convert the words into specific actions after the confernce, the Vox translatorum group has been created on Facebook, which unites the involved professionals who strive to influence the process of translators professional training in practice.
The conference event list also had in it a training by Renato Beninatto, a worldwide-famous expert in translation business, Chief Marketing Officer at Moravia Worldwide. This training was intended for company executives, and paid great attention to international business development.
The UTIC conference shows how vibrant, active and professional the language sector is in Ukraine and Russia. The participants showed a real thirst for learning to improve their field and engage with each other and the language enterprise worldwide. There is a substantial market of businesses and language professionals in Ukraine. GALA looks forward to engaging with them, exchanging knowledge and creating opportunities for growth for the industry as a whole.
Another event that was run within the conference is a one-day workshop and training “Keeping Up with Translation Technology” by Jost Zetzsche. This recognized expert in translation technologies spoke about working with a variety of tools, including CAT software, and introduced the participants to the trends in the development of translation memory and new web platforms for order placing and project management.
Jost Zetzsche highly estimated the prospects of Ukrainian market in Translation Journal’s article about the Ukrainian translation software developers and their recent software products.
I am glad that I had a chance to visit the Ukrainian translators conference. Considering the list of participants and presentations, there is a professional community evolving in Ukraine, which is oriented toward high quality of work and joint problem solving. I suppose, these are just the first steps, but they are made by the people who are devoted to our occupation, and this is a ticket to success. I would like to underline the discussion of translation personnel training issues, which brought up several practical ideas and proposals. It is pleasant that translators from Russia and other countries also were among the participants. We have a lot of common issues, and we would do well to learn from each other. I am pretty sure that the next conference will be even more interesting and practical.
The conference reviews were numerous. Here the ones made by Ekaterina Ryabtseva, Ekaterina Chashnikova, Ekaterina Filatova, Olesya Zaytseva, Anna Ivanchenko, Sergiy Leshchinskiy, Elena Chudnovskaya, and MegaText Company.
At the conference closing, organizers announced the dates of the UTIC-2014.
Next conference will take place on 17-18 May in Kyiv, the President Hotel.
The UTIC-2013 organization committee would like to cordially thank all the conference participants, sponsors, contributors, volunteers, and everyone who applied their efforts and talent to support the conference.
Language Services Department of Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee
UTIC has become a real international event, allowing participants to expand their professional contacts and exchange ideas. We are certain that the knowledge attained will help colleagues in their work, including our department, during linguistic support of XXII Olympic Winter Games and XI Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi.
The official conference photos can be viewed here.