Symposium on Translation Technology

Tue 2 Nov 2021 2:00pm5:30pm


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Symposium Programme - Tuesday 2 November 2021

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The School of Languages and Cultures at The University of Queensland is hosting a half-day online symposium to explore the pervasive role of translation technology that has brought unpreceded changes in translation teaching and learning, professional practice and community engagement. The keynote speakers are Associated Professor Minako O’Hagan from the University of Auckland and Professor Anthony Pym from the University of Melbourne. In addition to their respective keynote presentations ‘Translation and Technology: Disruptive Entanglement of Human and Machine’ and ‘Translation Fast and Slow’, the symposium also offers two presentations by staff members of the University of Queensland as well as an informal session ‘In Conversation with Minako and Anthony’ with the discussant Associate Professor Joss Moorkens, Dublin City University.

14:00-14:30 Session 1
 “Assessing the quality of machine interpreting tools: Implications for interpreters”
• Presented by Dr Lily Wang
14:30-15:00 Session 2
 “Factors contributing to translation and interpreting technology adoption by instructors”
• Presented by Dr Seb Dianati
• Co-researchers: Dr Natsuko Akagawa and Dr Akiko Uchiyama
15:00-15:15 Break
15:15-15:55 Keynote 1
“Translation and Technology: Disruptive entanglement of human and machine”
Associate Professor Minako O’Hagan
15:55-16:35 Keynote 2
“Translation fast and slow”
Professor Anthony Pym
16:35-16:50 Break
16:50-17:30 In Conversation with Minako and Anthony
Discussant: Associate Professor Joss Moorkens

Full programme available here.

Note: all times are in AEST (Australian Eastern Standard Time). Daylight saving is not observed in Queensland.

Keynote Speakers:

Minako O'Hagan is Associate Professor at the School of Cultures Languages and Linguistics (CLL) at the University of Auckland, New Zealand.  Her research interest is centred on the impact of technologies on translation practice and theory. Her publications include the edited volume: the Routledge Handbook of Translation and Technology (O'Hagan 2020) and the co-authored monograph: Game Localization: Translating for the Global Digital Entertainment Industry (O'Hagan and Mangiron 2013). She is a Co-Editor of the Journal of Internationalization and Localization.

Title: Translation and Technology:  disruptive entanglement of human and machine

Abstract: This presentation revisits my 2020 edited volume the Routledge Handbook of Translation and Technology and reflects on some of the key themes.  In the midst of ongoing technological transformation, it is critical to understand the dynamic relationship being formed between translation and technology at a technical and a philosophical level. The inquiry into this deepening connection will widen the scope of Translation Studies and better recognise diverse translation practices in society. I invite you to explore with me the nature of entanglement between the translator and the machine. This is ultimately related to the question of what it is to be human and a translator in the age of AI.

Anthony Pym is Professor of Translation Studies at the University of Melbourne, Distinguished Professor of Translation and Intercultural Studies at the Rovira i Virgili in Tarragona, Spain, and Extra-ordinary Professor at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. He teaches hands-on courses in translation technologies and is currently a member of a Melbourne-based research team working on trust in healthcare communication among culturally and linguistically diverse communities.

Title: Translation fast and slow

Abstract: When official translations of COVID-19 information are reported to take 8 weeks to deliver, something is wrong. Not only will the information be out of date, but the translation workflows are more seriously outdated, reminiscent of the cottage industries of the 19th century. Even minimal technologies such as coordinated and shared glossaries and translation memories could enhance timeliness and ensure consistency, thus allowing post-editors extra time to localize cultural features. It is not rocket science, and yet resistance to technology persists in various professional cottages, as if accuracy were all.

At the same time, though, technologies are changing the ways translations can be received, allowing users access to multiple versions and to several ways of checking anything that might look like the one true accurate translation. When a belated COVID-19 translation is not trusted, since it comes late, the receiver can seek information via machine translation, comments on social media, and online dialogue. The resulting thick reception is also a fact of technology, slowing down communication flows and potentially returning cross-language communication to something like the multilayered, interpretative involvement that might typify indigenous translation.

These two effects of technology will be explored through examples from the Yarra River.

Joss Moorkens is an Associate Professor and Chair of postgraduate translation programmes at Dublin City University and a Funded Investigator at the ADAPT Centre. He has authored over 50 journal articles, book chapters, and conference papers on translation technology, machine translation post-editing, translation quality evaluation, translator precarity, and translation ethics. He is General Co-Editor of Translation Spaces, and coedited the book 'Translation Quality Assessment: From Principles to Practice' (Springer, 2018) and special issues of Machine Translation (2019) and Translation Spaces (2020). He leads the Technology working group (with Prof. Tomas Svoboda) as a board member of the European Masters in Translation network.