If you always do what you always did,  you will always get what you always got.

— Albert Einstein,
cited from
 Judith Gabler’s Concluding Speech,
CIOL Conference 2020
7 March, BMA House, London, UK

Report from Day 2 Of the Conference and Conclusions to Take Away

“If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got”, said Chair of the CIOL Council Judith Gabler in her closing speech, quoting Albert Einstein. In a way, this brings forward the main point of the Conference — a change. Whatever we learnt from those two days, whatever debates we took part in, whatever we agree or disagree with — all this will introduce a change into the way we think about our profession, approach it and act on a daily basis.

We may feel that CAT tools are an inevitable future for us to embrace and collaborate and work in alliance with, as suggested by Airu Li; or re-evaluate our approach to translation to bring forward the human contribution and added value to the business, as Hayley Harris advocates. In any case, this will bring a change and add value to us as practitioners.

However, first comes first — and Day 2 of the Conference commenced with the AGM.

Annual General Meeting 2020, CIOL, Saturday 7 March 2020, BMA House Tavistock Square, Bloomsbury, London

The CIOL introduced important changes to Rule 12 and deleted Rule 14. Both concern the process of membership renewal and can be accessed on the website of the Chartered Institute of Linguists.

Another significant change is brought to the subscription payment by CIOL members in each grades of membership in respect of the twelve months commencing on 1 September 2020.

Following the Annual General Meeting, Ann Carlisle, the Chief Executive of the CIOL and IoLET, emphasised recognition, standing and quality in the professional world as key principles promoted by the Institute.

The CIOL is the only professional body that is authorised to award chartership to professional linguists.

7 March 2020, Ann Carlisle, Chief Executive of CIOL and IoLET, CIOL Conference 2020, BMA House, London

The first KEYNOTE speaker Doug Lawrence took us through some very useful marketing strategies,  suggesting translators to incorporate the concept of “Decide — Describe — Deliver”into their freelance practice. During the talk he reminded the audience of the Pareto Principle and urged us to focus on the needs of our clients.

7 March, Doug Lawrence, “Winning the work you want, the way you want it!”, CIOL Conference 2020

The rest of the morning comprised five sessions including a double session by Vasiliki Prestidge “From freelancer to entrepreneur: skills to wow your customers and grow your business”.

Sue Leschen’s talk “Specialising for success as a legal translator — what it takes and can anyone do it?” was a treat. I previously had the pleasure of attending her workshop on legal translation, which was also organised by the CIOL and took place in May 2019.

This time she invited the audience to start thinking like a lawyer, i.e. to adopt a relevant mind set before considering legal translation as a field of specialisation. Like last time, her presentation was packed with useful information for us to take away and enhance our professional development.

7 May 2020, Sue Leschen “Specialising for success as a legal translator — what it takes and can anyone do it?”, CIOL Conference 2020, BMA House, London

Thank you, Sue, for another inspirational presentation.

Airy (Amy) Li delivered a talk on polarisation of linguistic industry driven by technology, where machine translation was presented as the inevitable future and in order to survive alongside AI translators would have to become well-qualified post-editors of MT.

7 March, Airu (Amy) Li, “Polarisation of linguistic industry driven by technology”, CIOL Conference 2020

She challenged the perception that artificial intelligence would not be capable of replacing human creativity with strong and alarming evidence.

7 March, Airu (Amy) Li, “Polarisation of linguistic industry driven by technology”, CIOL Conference 2020

In the afternoon, Dr Reza Navaei brought in the concept of “portfolio linguist” as a career focus. He referred to the Survey conducted by the World Economic Forum in 2018 where certain professions and skills were deemed “redundant” by the year 2020 and to be replaced by “new” skills and professions. This proved to be intriguing and fascinating.

7 March, Dr Reza Navaei, “Career focus: LAunching a portfolio career as a linguist”, CIOL Conference 2020

Judith Gabler, Chair of CIOL Council, in her speech “The Year Ahead” took us through the focus of the CIOL Council based on vision, purpose and strategic planning.

She pointed out the pressurised environment that professionals are facing within our sector due to fast-developing AI, outsourcing of services, decline in language learning and under-valuing of linguists.

Her view was that if we do not challenge ourselves, we lose relevance, which was brilliantly summed up by a quote from Albert Einstein “If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got”.

The Conference was closed by a panel discussion related to the future of professional linguistics.

One of my colleagues said during our networking “It will take me several weeks to process all the information!” — and I thoroughly agree with her.


Best wishes from Liudmila Tomanek
@Russian Translation World Ltd

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Copyright 2020 Liudmila Tomanek @Russian Translation World Ltd





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