How to successfully network at a translation conference

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Courtesy of Unsplash, by Matthew Henry

Those who know me well are quite aware of the fact that I am a conference rat. I love conferences and, most of the time, they are an “excuse” for traveling somewhere and visiting some place new. So much so that whenever I travel my mom asks if I am going to attend any conferences. Well, sometimes I do travel to visit friends, you know?

After attending so many conferences, you end up naturally mastering this networking thing. However, I know how difficult it can be the first or second time we attend one. We feel lost, most of the times we do not know absolutely anybody, we are shy, and we want to dig a hole on the ground to hide and simply disappear from this frightening place. See? It is normal, it happens with anybody. I never feel comfortable whenever I go to a new place either, like a new gym, for example. But I will not stop exercising just because of that, am I? Well, I know this may be more than an excuse for some people though…

Keeping this conference newbie tiny issue in mind and the fact that the Abrates Conference is just around the corner, I decided to share with you some tips for successfully networking at conferences without simply throwing yourself at the people either.

  • First of all, having and carrying your business cards with you at all times is a must. And this is valid for any occasions. Have a bunch of business cards in your wallet, purse, gym bag, car. Whenever someone asks for your email or phone number, just handle them your card and make a good impression with your professionalism. 😉
  • However, do NOT just randomly start giving your cards away to simply anybody with no reason whatsoever. Wait for the right time. Timing is everything when you want to make a good impression.
  • In order to find the right time, first, you need to be open. When we feel shy, we tend to bury our heads in our notepads, mobiles, or even in the coffee break food. (Who never?) Look up, not down, and keep a smile on your face at all times. Do not be afraid of saying hi to people even when you do not know them, especially those who are sitting right next to you during the numerous talks. This openness is key to finding the right time to “strike,” besides making it easier for people to approach you.
  • Approaching other attendees is not necessarily the worse thing ever. Small talk is there to rescue us! Comment about the icing cold air conditioning, the horrible Wi-Fi connection, the nice venue, the amazing lunch you just had, that coffee you terribly need, you name it, with the person who is sitting next to you. After breaking the ice, show interest and ask the person their name, what they do, where they are from, etc. And take the chance to ask for the person’s business card, so you can keep in touch. Naturally, they will also ask for yours. There you go. It does not hurt, does it? And you cause a way better impression when you show you are interested in knowing about the person than if you make it about yourself from the beginning. This approach can also be used during coffee breaks: comment about the amazing food, the interesting talk you just attended, how sleepy and in need of coffee you are… And repeat the same next steps: show interest to know who the person is and ask for their card.
  • Another way of approaching other attendees is when you “know” them somehow: you always see them commenting/posting on Facebook groups, you like their blog/what they do, you are Facebook “friends,” you name it. These are great ice-breakers.
  • Do not leave a conference without talking to presenters you like or whose presentations you enjoyed! There is no better ice-breaker than approaching the person to say you watched their presentation and loved it. Ask for their card so you can follow them on social media, and there you go. Or, if given the chance, you can even approach them before their talk (even if you are not really planning on attending it), saying you saw they are presenting, you are interested at the topic but unfortunately will not be able to attend it, so maybe they could give you their card so you can keep in touch? 😉

In a nutshell, the key is to be friendly and open at all times, and take every chance to start a small talk and take it to the next level by showing interest at the person. Only make it about you if the person opens the floor for you to do so.

If you engage with as little as one person per period (morning and afternoon), you end up with four contacts to follow up at a two-day conference. If you adequately follow up with them after the conference, these four people may introduce you to other people throughout the year and at the next conference as well. It is a vicious circle that only gets bigger with time, and one that works for itself, with no need to make such a great efforts anymore.

Now, last but not least, it is also important to know how to properly follow up.

  • Write an individual and personalized email to people you really liked meeting showing your appreciation.
  • Do NOT simply add people on social media without sending them a private message reminding them exactly where and how you met, or where you know them from. Actually, this should be always applied, like a best networking practice. It is hard to remember every single person we meet at conferences, and anywhere for that matter.
  • Now, I know this is hard to ask nowadays, but I actually prefer to follow their blog, like their Facebook page, follow them on Twitter, etc., instead of adding them as friends on Facebook or LinkedIn, especially those I did not really have a chance to connect that much.

Those who are at the the ITI and NAJIT conferences can already start applying these tips. If you do, let us know if it worked. And for those who are attending the Abrates Conference next week, like myself, you can start practicing in the shower. 😉

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7th Abrates Conference: Official coverage – Part 3 (final)

Should you have not done so yet, read Part 1 and Part 2 before proceeding.

Sunday

The first presentation I watched on the second day of talks was Patricia Moura Souza’s on the Translation Office 3000, a management software for translators. Patricia acknowledged that, although the TO3000 is not user-friendly, it turns out to be a great management tool for translators after you learn how to use it. It took the speaker three months to fully understand the program and totally depend on it for managing her translation work. So we can consider she is now a strong advocate of the tool – its ambassador, if we may say. According to her, some of its benefits is that the user can create and control budgets, invoices and payments by creating groups for services provided (such as translation, interpreting, editing, etc.). Patricia even reveals its greatest secret, that is not clearly understood from the interface: the vertical menu, on the left, refers to all the clients (general data) and the horizontal menu (in the top) refers to the selected client (data by client). And its three greatest functions are: relationship with the client (contact details, pricing list, payment methods, etc.), workflow control (list of projects, specific information, delivery calendar) and financial control (invoices, payments, balance sheets, reports). Now something I particularly loved was that it has a specific tab for marketing! And you can also add other tabs. Other basic operations: you can use your CAT tool wordcount, you can customize fields, and there are all sorts and colors of filters! You can find Patricia’s PowerPoint presentation here. For more information about her experience with the software, read Como o Translation Office 3000 mudou a minha vida – parte 1 e Como o Translation Office mudou a minha vida – parte 2. You can download a 30-day free trial here. Should you love it and decide to buy the software, use this link.

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Patricia Moura Souza

Next, I watched the beginning of Leonardo Milani’s talk on professional attitude, but unfortunately I had to leave early because my own presentation was next. However, I was able to grasp one important point: your productivity in terms of words per hour/day is not the same as quality. It does not indicate if you deliver a quality translation or not. And, for him, it is irritating to ask for productivity.

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Leonardo Milani

As I said, up next was my presentation. I talked about how to use Facebook professionally as to positively, and not negatively, influence your professional image. However, I will write a more detailed post specifically about it in the upcoming days. Stay tuned.

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Yours truly

After my presentation, I ran to João Roque Dias’, on technical drawings. I must confess I just wanted to take a peek at it, so I did not even sit down. I stood in the back of the room taking pictures and tweeting a bit about his presentation, after all, the subject was not something that interested me, since I am not a technical translator of that area. However, to my great surprise, I had to take a seat, because João is certainly a captivating speaker and managed to catch my attention. The Portuguese speaker used attendees to compare both methods of ortographic projections, European and American, with “people” projections. According to João Roque, the translator should always be attentive, because symbols, displays and controls are not always translated. And picture captions should never be translated if the picture itself is not available for reference. If they are, they must be consulted. For example, a “disk” can mean different things in technical drawings, and the picture will tell which one it refers to specifically. João gave some tips about the translation of different types of documents with images. For example, in patents, bid documents and specifications, the text to be translated is almost 100% related to one or a few images, so we should start by studying the images and check if there are inconsistencies with/from the text. In manuals, instructions and leaflets, on the other hand, the text to be translated is clarified by numerous images, so we should study them as we go along, checking for inconsistencies with/from the text. At the end of his presentation, the charismatic speaker had some exercises about his talk and those who got the answer right earned cool customized freebies. It was certainly a pleasure to meet João Roque Dias in person at the conference.

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João Roque Dias with Reginaldo Francisco

Closing ceremony

To sum up the best Abrates Conference so far, we had the surprise visit of Vera Holtz, a Brazilian actress, dear friend of Liane Lazoski, current President of Abrates. Her presence was also a surprise to Liane herself, and was organized by recently-elected President, William Cassemiro, and Vice-President, Renato Beninatto. They sang a song together; it was a quite touchy moment, summing up yet another fantastic conference in great style. You can watch her surprise entry and them singing here.

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Vera Holtz and Liane Lazoski

New Abrates Board

Since only one slate signed up for the elections, the “Criando Pontes” (Building Bridges) slate was officially elected on Sunday, after the closing ceremony. So here is the next Abrates Board, to take office in July 5:

William Ferreira Cassemiro – President
Renato Beninatto – Vice-President
Dayse Boechat – 1st Treasurer
Ricardo Souza – 2nd Treasurer
Paula Ianelli – General Secretary
Iara – Second Secretary

Supervisory Board:
Filipe Alverca
Adriana Caraccio-Morgan
Manuela Sampaio

Deputies:
Liane Lazoski
Peterso Rissatti
Ana Valéria Ivonica Silva

Platform:
Besides continuing all innovative actions of the last Boards and expanding the acknowledgement of the association, some of its proposed actions are to: expand the Mentoring Program, hold smaller events in other states of the country, offer courses at affordable prices to members, partner with universities, create departments (such as for Literary Translation and Interpreting), optimize the call service, improve the use of social media, etc. Suggestions from members will be always welcome.

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Elected Board

Next conference

Although there is no defined date for the next conference yet, the venue is already set: São Paulo. According to the elected President, they will try to make it happen during the same period, early June. See you next year at #abrates17?

Read more…
João Vicente de Paulo Júnior: Mas quem foi que disse que tradutor tem que ganhar pouco? – VII Congresso da Abrates, by Juliana Tradutora
Ricardo Souza: Tradumática – VII Congresso da Abrates, by Juliana Tradutora
Sessão Sintra apresenta: mesa-redonda sobre tradução literária e direitos autorais – Ernesta Ganzo, Daniele Petruccioli, Renata Pettengill, Lenita Esteves e Petê Rissati – VII Congresso da Abrates, by Juliana Tradutora
Expressão regular: uma poderosa arma para o tradutor, by Bianca Freitas on the Pronoia Tradutória blog
Takeaways of the Abrates Conference, by Translated in Argentina
Winning clients as a freelancer: An LSP perspective, Eugenia Echave’s PowerPoint presentation
MT Options for the Individual Translator, by Kirti Vashee

And there are plenty of other links in Parts 1 and 2 as well. Enjoy!

7th Abrates Conference: Official coverage – Part 2

This is the second part of my post about the Abrates Conference. Read the first part here.

After having such a good start, the second talk I watched on Saturday was Isabel Gorg’s, also on automated translation. The speaker conducted a survey and found out that 22% of the interviewees used some sort of MT strategy. Her presentation was mostly based on pointing out common mistakes in MT, such as spacing, capitalization, grammar, sentence structure, local standards and terminology. Being aware of their frequency makes it simple to spot and correct them. And, needless to say, source quality can also highly influence the quality of MT translations. The takeovers from her talk were: MT will not disappear, but rather get better; MT can increase productivity; we should concentrate on what MT does right, not wrong; and we should align our expectations.

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Isabel Georg

The third talk I attended on Saturday was by Felipe Cichini Simões, on personal and professional budgeting for freelancers. According to Felipe, we must never spend every cent we earn, but have some savings for vacation, professional investment, variable income, etc. The speaker suggested the YNAB (You Need A Budget) method and briefly showed us how the app works. According to Felipe, in order to start a budget plan, we must forget the past and start planning from now on. Felipe also said that giving each cent a function helps us understand what we can do with our money. Acknowledging our actual expenditures (besides our fixed ones) is also important for planning our future budget. However, he also points out that budgets are not always perfect, and sometimes they may not work as planned, especially for us, freelancers, who do not have a fixed income. It can happen, and we may not lose heart. The speaker also suggested the Wave Accounting app for financial control. I will surely try any of those apps, because I myself am very bad at budgeting and planning for the future. I know, shame on me!

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Felipe Cechini Simões

Next on the presentations I attended on Saturday was Adriana de Araújo Sobota’s, on how to start working with translation agencies. The large room was totally full and people loved her presentation. Adriana mentioned methods for receiving payment from overseas (PayPal, Moneybrookers, direct bank transfer, wire transfer through Payoneer and TransferWise) and how to check a potential client’s reputation (Payment Practices, Blueboard, Hall of Fame and Shame, Untrustworthy Translation Agencies). It is also important to check if they have a physical address, on-line domain, professional e-mail address, etc. When looking for translation agencies on Google, we should be careful with the search results, because they can return one-person companies/entrepreneurs, not only agencies. Adriana also mentioned the importance of professional behavior, having a good CV, knowing how to behave on-line, communication, etc. The translation market is fast, so we should make sure we do not lose a chance for nothing. All the information needed on how to find potential clients is out there: research and search for it. The speaker concluded her presentation stressing out some don’ts: do not depend on only one agency; do not pressure the potential client for the result of the test; do not ask if you can send a CV, simply send it; do not send bulk e-mails; do not complain about an agency in public (social media).

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Adriana de Araújo Sobota

After lunch, I attended GALA’s presentation, “Economic Crisis at Home? The World is Yours – How to Overcome Obstacles When Selling Abroad.” You can read more details about this one here, on a post I wrote for their blog.

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GALA (Globalization and Localization Association): Fabiano Cid, Lilian Alves Mouton, Eugenia Echave and Gabriela Morales

After that, I ran to a presentation I was actually part of, about the Abrates Mentoring Program. Steering Committee members William Cassemiro, Adriana Sobota, Mônica Reis and yours truly explained how the program works and what the rules are to those who wish to take part both as mentor and mentee. Our current mentors and mentees, both represented, respectively, by Filipe Alverca and Sabrina Fuzaro and present among the attendees, had a voice and spoke about the enriching experience they are having with the program. You can find more information about the program on its web page and on this blog post I wrote a while ago (both in Portuguese). Juliana Tradutora has also written a blog post about our presentation, also in Portuguese, here. Should you not understand Portuguese, here are some important points:

  • The program is totally free, from all parts: both Committee members and mentors are volunteers, and mentees do not have to pay to take part.
  • To be a mentor, the person needs to be an Abrates member and have at least five years of experience in the area.
  • To be a mentee, the person also needs to be an Abrates member and have a maximum of two years of experience in the area. Or be in the last year of a Translation/Interpreting course.
  • The program lasts two years with a minimum of two hours of mentoring per month (in person or via Skype or other method agreed upon both parts).
  • The program’s coordinators closely follow their assigned pairs through follow-up reports both the mentor and the mentee have to fill out separately after every meeting.
  • The coordinators must be aware of every decision made by their assigned pairs in order to avoid any potential issue, including change of date of the meeting.

We had a fantastic feedback from our current mentors/mentees, from potential mentors/mentees and from people who run mentoring programs in other associations all over the world, such as Canada, Argentina and Israel. They were mesmerized by our organization, quality and professionalism. The presentation was followed by our own coffee break filled with positive comments, feedback, nice conversations with people who were interested at the program and future contacts. Should you be interested in learning more about it, do not hesitate to leave a comment below or send an e-mail to mentoria@abrates.com.br.

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Steering Committee members, William Cassemiro, Adriana de Araújo Sobota, Caroline Alberoni e Mônica Reis, mentee Sabrina Fuzaro and mentor Filipe Alverca

To sum up a perfect first day, Renato Beninatto hosted a round-table about, once again, machine translation with Kirti Vashee, Ricardo Souza, Ronaldo Martins and Marcelo Fassina. Marcelo Fassina, from Lionbridge, started talking and said that usually material with low access by the general public or the end user goes through MTPE (machine translation post-editing). However, the agency must always inform the translator when they use MT. The translator’s feedback is extremely important to feed the MT and improve it, as Kirti also mentioned in this morning’s presentation. Ronaldo Martins took the floor and spoke beautifully and eloquently. I was in owe with his perfect choice of words. According to him, evolution is inevitable. Technology may close some doors, but it will certainly open other windows. Ronaldo explained the difference between accelerated, delegated and augmented technologies. The first ones are not revolutionary; they only assist, but do not replace; for example, bikes. The second ones are substitutive, but are not necessarily better than what they replace. The last ones, on the other hand, enable us to do things we were not able to do before. In spite of what people think, MT involves science. Ricardo Souza followed, representing translators. Last but not least, Kirti Vashee also gave his opinion on the subject. According to him, human translation is the driving force of technology.

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Ronaldo Martins, Kirti Vashee, Renato Beninatto, Ricardo Souza and Marcelo Fassina

This was it for Saturday. Sunday talks in Part 3 (final).

Read the impressions and reviews of other attendees:

Adriana de Araújo Sobota: Como começar a trabalhar com agências de tradução – VII Congresso da Abrates, by Juliana Tradutora
Traduzir livros para crianças é coisa de gente grande – VII Congresso da Abrates
, by Juliana Tradutora
Silvana Nicoloso: Identidade de gênero e o trabalho de interpretação simultânea em Libras – VII Congresso da Abrates, by Juliana Tradutora
Mesa-redonda sobre machine translation – Kirti Vashee – Ricardo Souza – Ronaldo Martins – Marcelo Fassino – VII Congresso da Abrates, by Juliana Tradutora
Comitê de Mentoria: Adriana Sobota, Caroline Alberoni, Mônica Reis e William Cassemiro – VII Congresso da Abrates, by Juliana Tradutora
Marina Piovesan Gonçalves: Inglês geral x inglês jurídico: diferenças e/ou semelhanças – VII Congresso da Abrates, by Juliana Tradutora
7º Congresso da Abrates – Resumão, by Laila Compan
5 insights que tive no 7º Congresso da Abrates, by Laila Compan
Ensaio sobre o fracasso, by Thiago Hilger on Pronoia Tradutória blog
Como começar a trabalhar com agências de tradução, Adriana de Araújo Sobota’s PowerPoint presentation
The Larger Context Translation Market, by Kirti Vashee

Other links can be found in Parts 1 and 3.

7th Abrates Conference: Official coverage – Part 1

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The 7th International Abrates Conference was held from June 3 to 5, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, our Wonderful City – that truly lives up to its nickname. It was an amazing event, way better than expected, in my opinion, even though there were less attendees than last year, probably due to our unfortunate financial crisis. However, those who attended the event were certainly not afraid of the threat and took the bull by the horns leaving their comfort zones, dusting off, polishing their knowledge, networking and prospecting.

The conference in numbers

  • 3 days
  • 8 pre-conference courses
  • 612 attendees from 6 different countries (Brazil, Portugal, Canada, US, UK and Argentina) and from all around Brazil
  • 85 speakers from 8 different countries (Brazil, India, UK, Spain, Portugal, Italy, France and US) and from all around Brazil
  • More than 90 talks (more than 60 hours of amazing content)
  • 5 CAT representatives
  • 15 sponsors from Italy, US, Argentina, Czech Republic, South Korea, France and Brazil
  • 5 social events

Pre-conference courses

This year, the Brazilian Association of Translators and Interpreters (Abrates) also offered pre-conference courses in association with Café com Tradução on Thursday and Friday. On Thursday, Val Ivonica gave a basic course on memoQ. On Friday, Roger Chadel gave a basic course on Wordfast Classic; Val Ivonica gave a workshop on Regex (advanced memoQ); Carolina Caires Coelho and Flávia Souto Maior, from Ponte de Letras, gave a workshop on translation of literary texts from English into Portuguese; Cláudia Mello Belhassof gave a course on Brazilian Portuguese grammar; Daniele Fonseca, on interpreting and how to make decisions in real time in the booth; Ana Iaria and Ricardo Souza, on shipping and similar documents and their translation solutions; and Rayani Immediato and Mabel Cezar, on translation for dubbing and relationship with clients. They could be purchased separately, but with a discount for conference attendants.

Also on Friday, in the afternoon, there was also the Abrates accreditation test.

Social events

Social events started on Thursday with a happy hour organized by yours truly and Abrates Board members Dayse Boechat, First Treasurer, and William Cassemiro, Second Treasurer and recently elected President, at Inverso Bar. It was a nice opportunity to say “hi” and get to finally meet some colleagues in person, talk and relax a bit. Approximately 70 people managed to meet us there, so it was really pleasant and fun.

On Friday, after the opening the ceremony, there was a toast with a buffet offered by GALA (Globalization and Localization Association). Another good opportunity to see those who arrived only on Friday.

On Saturday, there was a dinner organized by Abrates with good food, drinks, music, dancing and lots of fun. I certainly had a great time and laughed a lot.

Last but not least, on Sunday, last day of conference, Fabiano Cid organized a GALA networking get-together at Pub Escondido. Once again, we had such a great time and could relax from the hectic conference days.

Opening ceremony

The conference’s official opening was on Friday evening. Before the actual opening interview, William asked if there was any sign interpreter who could volunteer to interpret the opening. Paloma Bueno Fernandes kindly volunteered and did a wonderful job interpreting the national anthem. Everybody turned their eyes to her and her amazing interpretation, beautifully followed by someone who was standing right in front of her. It was an unforgettable moment.

Renato Beninatto then interviewed Cora Rónai. Cora is a journalist and daughter of Paulo Rónai, who was one of Abrates’ founder and also hold the position of President of the association. Paulo was born in Hungary, but moved to Brazil during the war. Besides being a translator, he was also a philologist and critic. Although Cora is not a translator herself, it was beautiful listening to her telling stories about her father, his many important friends, such as Aurélio Buarque de Holanda, with whom he exchanged lessons of Portuguese and French. Her father, as she said, was saved by translation. He was released from prison for being the only person who could translate from Hungarian into Portuguese. Some curious facts about Paulo were that he loved footnotes to explain translations and was one of the first people to have an electric typewriter. I had already heard Liane Lazoski (Abrates’ President) talk about him that same day in such a beautiful way and with such passion and admiration that inspired me to want to re-read his books.

Saturday

The first day of presentations started brilliantly with Kirti Vashee’s presentation, who talked about Corporate Utility and the General MT Technology Landscape. Kirti is a US-based independent MT consultant/expert and presented some quite interesting insights and figures on MT, for example, he said Microsoft spends US$ 500 million a year on human translation, but that accounts for only 2% of what they translate. Other companies that use MT in their translations are: Facebook, eBay, Google, Intel and Adobe. Some translation volumes are too high and cannot be met by human translators, so that’s when MT comes into play. “Good MT” allows more to be translated faster and at a lower cost. However, if there is legal viability and real importance, human translation must be used in order to avoid risks. Kirti said that in languages like Portuguese, Spanish and French, MT is getting better with time and can be a threat in case of repetitive material (Hungarian, Turkish, Korean, Hindi, Zulu and Swahili are, on the other hand, among the worst). According to a Google study (2012), Portuguese is the best MT language due to its greater and larger content.

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Our current scenario demands faster turnaround times, resulting in more information, therefore, in the need for faster translations. An interesting fact Vashee pointed out was that today we have more active scientists alive than in the previous 200 years all together. It is a lot of information being produced!

What needs to be clear is that MT engines are not equal. Some are great, others are terrible. And the problem is most DIY initiatives are created by people who do not know what they are doing. We, translators, should take part and get more involved so we can change this scenario to our benefit. Human feedback can raise the raw output to previous unseen quality levels. It is worth knowing how to climb. Understanding MT output is key to determining opportunity value. Quality of the MT system can be even more important than rate per word. The best translators develop their own “effort scores” after seeing a meaningful sample of actual MT output.

Kirti Vashee suggests Lilt, an adaptive dynamically learning MT environment that personalizes its suggestions to the translators’ translation style. Although it does not support all languages yet, it does support Brazilian Portuguese.

In a nutshell, PEMT will become more common, so we have to learn to determine when it makes sense for us.

Read Part 2.

Read the impressions and reviews (most of them in Portuguese, but there are a couple in English at the end) of other attendees:

VII Congresso Internacional da Abrates: cada vez melhor, cada vez mais forte, by Ponte de Letras
Como chamar a atenção de agências, by Luciana Frias
O valor do corredor, by Carolina Walliter
Como foi o Congresso da Abrates 2016, by Thais Aux
Impressões do VII Congresso Abrates, by Sidney Barros
#abrates16 – Parte 1, by Thiago Hilger
#abrates16 – Parte 2, by Thiago Hilger
VII Congresso Internacional de Tradução e Interpretação da Abrates, by Juliana Tradutora
Ligia Sobral Fragano: A versão de filmes brasileiros – VII Congresso da Abrates, by Juliana Tradutora
Ponte de Letras: Vamos conversar sobre tradução editorial – VII Congresso da Abrates, by Juliana Tradutora
Marcelle Castro e Mylene Queiroz: Recursos online para treinamento de intérpretes – VII Congresso da Abrates, by Juliana Tradutora
Luiz Fernando Sant’Anna Alves: Diz a legenda… – VII Congresso da Abrates, by Juliana Tradutora
Como foi a palestra “Mastermind na Tradução”?, by Catia Santana on the Pronoia Tradutória blog
Impressões sobre o VII Congresso da Abrates, by Catia Santana on the El Heraldo de la Traducción blog
VII Congresso Abrates, by Kelli Semolini
Introdução às ferramentas CAT: por onde começar, PPT presentation by Jorge Rodrigues
VII Congresso Internacional da Abrates – Encerramento, video by Abrates shown during the closing ceremony
Vera Holtz e Liane Lazoski, video by Thays Mielli of the surprise made to Liane Lazoski at the closing ceremony
GALA joins forces with Brazilian Association at the 7th Abrates Conference, by yours truly on the GALA blog
The Abrates Conference in Rio: Translators focusing on MT, by Kirti Vashee
Abrates 7th International Conference, by Teresa Maria Freixinho

My impressions on the VI Abrates Conference – Part 2

In case you did not read the first part, here it is.

Still on the second day of the conference, after the panel with representatives of some associations, we had a coffee break and, after that, our second keynote speaker, Renato Beninatto, spoke about Brazil’s position in the translation world. Beninatto talked about how Brazilians sometimes complain a lot about the local situation. According to him, translation, as well as its problems, is the same everywhere, not only here. The translation market is globalized. Renato also says it is a shame that ATA has the same number of Brazilian associates as Sintra: we should give more credit to local associations. To conclude his presentation, he shows this video and says a person is able to create a new initiative by themselves and inspire others. The first follower of the initiative is the most important, because he is the one that validates the leader.

In his presentation, he referred to this article: Brazil: The Social Media Capital of the Universe.

The second day was over and, while some attendees headed to a pizza place, I headed to a sushi place, where ACME E-learning hosted a Mixer with a dozen people. It was quite a pleasant evening, and I had the chance to get to know incredible new people from different areas and met a couple I already knew from other events. João, ACME’s director, will soon publish pictures and probably some words about this successful networking event.

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With João Artur Souza, from ACME E-learning.

On Sunday, the third and, sadly, last day of conference started with Renata Cassemiro’s presentation about the importance of the translator’s occupational health. Renata is physiotherapist and Pilates instructor, so she gave us some extremely important tips and orientations. According to her, some diseases take years to start showing its symptoms, therefore, we shouldn’t wait to try to find a solution. Did you know that the incorrect use of the phone is one of the biggest causes of problems? Don’t hold the phone between your ear and your shoulder. Use a headset instead. Fact: the human being is capable and prepared to walk 30 km a day. That’s why a sedentary lifestyle brings so many health problems! Some of her tips: establish pauses throughout your workday; avoid fried food and have lighter meals; therapeutic massage is advised once a week.

The second presentation of the day was by Débora Policarpo, who talked about financial planning. Débora is a business administrator specialized in wealth management and asset allocation. According to her, financial planning is the process of achieving our life’s goals through the adequate management of our finance life. There is nothing that takes more our attention than financial problems, right? We should understand the family’s budget and dynamics, as well as in which stage of life we are in. Débora said we must set our short-, medium- and long-term goals and the income we want/need to have when we retire. There is no magical formula to calculate how much we should save to achieve our goals: we need to know the time we have and the desired income.

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During Débora Policarpo’s presentation.

We had a coffee break and, after that, my presentation.

After my presentation, I watched part of Carolina Walliter’s presentation on coworking. Unfortunately, I missed a great part of it, but it seemed very interesting indeed. People loved it! According to her, coworking is a network society that generates quality of life and social awareness. Sheila Gomes, who was also watching Carolina’s presentation, recommends that we at least try working in one of the coworking spaces available. I do plan on working some hours or a day in a coworking space we have in my town. As soon as I do, I’ll write a post about my experience. 😉

The last presentation of the conference was with Isabel Vidigal, who mainly talked about ProZ.com and the possibility of getting clients from it. According to her, you have nothing to lose creating a free profile on ProZ.com, but work carefully on it.

After that, we had a lunch break and, finally the last keynote speaker, Ulisses Wehby de Carvalho, from Tecla SAP, who gave a really relaxing and enjoyable speech about the life of an interpreter. We laughed a lot with his funny and incredibly embarrassing/amazing histories! According to him, mistakes happen in the booth because there is no backspace. The interpreter has to learn how to properly deal with them when they happen.

And that was it (or at least part of it, since I attended only 1/6 of the wide array of possibilities). You can find some links to posts people have already published about the conference below:

Talking in the real world, post-conference article by Robert Lange Greene on The Economist
A LBM no Congresso da Abrates, by Ligia Sobral Fragano, from Little Brown Mouse
VI Congresso da Abrates – Parte 1, by Laila Rezende Compan, from the blog Tradutor Iniciante
VI Congresso da Abrates – Parte 2, by Laila Rezende Campan, from the blog Tradutor Iniciante
VI Congresso da Abrates – Parte 3, by Laila Rezende Campan, from the blog Tradutor Iniciante
VI Congresso da Abrates – Parte 4, by Laila Rezende Campan, from the blog Tradutor Iniciante
VI Congresso da Abrates – Parte 5 (final), by Laila Rezende Campan, from the blog Tradutor Iniciante
Impressões sobre o VI Congresso Internacional da Abrates, by Sidney Barros Junior
VI Congresso Internacional da Abrates – Um sucesso muito além do esperado, by Ponte de Letras
Línguas e Tradução: Outro Encontro de Tradutores, by Anita Di Marco, from Anita Plural
VI Congresso da Abrates: uma viagem pelo mundo da localização, by Maíra Monteiro
VI Congresso Internacional da Abrates, by Marina Borges
E o VI Congresso da Abrates?, by Thiago Hilger, from the blog O Jogo da Tradução
CAT Tools na tradução literária: para quê?, by Rafa Lombardino, from eWorldNews, about Reginaldo Francisco’s presentation (in English: CAT tools in literary translation: what are they good for?)
A TradWiki e a visibilidade do tradutor, by Daniel Estill, from TradWiki
Como foi o VI Congresso da Abrates para os iniciantes, by Lorena Leandro, from the blog Ao Principiante
Pesquisa em tradução literária: seleção de fontes e entrevistas, by Rafa Lombardino, from eWorldNews, about Candice Soldatelli’s presentation (in English: Research in literary translation: selecting and interviewing sources of information)
Impresiones sobre el congreso – Abrates 2015, by Víctor Gonzales, from El Heraldo de la Traducción
Vamos fugir do tradutês?, by Rafa Lombardino, from eWorldNews, about Ponte de Letra‘s presentation (in English: Let’s avoid translationese, shall we?)
Pensando a tradução de variantes linguísticas, by Rafa Lombardino, from eWorldNews, about Solange Pinheiro Carvalho’s presentation (in English: On translating linguistic variants)
O tradutor sob os holofotes, by Rafa Lombardino, from eWorldNews, about the round table with Carolina Caires Coelho, Alyne Azuma, Alessandra Ruiz and Candice Soldatelli, moderated by Petê Rissati (in English: Translators under the spotlight)
O papel do tradutor na nova era da publicação digital, by yours truly on the blog eWorldNews, about Rafa Lombardino’s presentation (in English, translated by Rafa herself: The role of translators in the new digital publishing age)

And here are links to some presentations that presenters made available somehow and that I became aware of:

Roney Belhassof’s presentation: Usando a internet sem ter que virar nerd
Val Ivonica’s presentation: A tecnologia vai acabar com o tradutor?
Juliana Samel’s presentation: Falsos cognatos e decalques na tradução médica inglês > português
Layla Penha’s presentation: Interpretação consecutiva e além – como se já não bastassem os desafios da tarefa em si (recorded presentation, part 1 – you can also search for the other parts)
Jorge Rodrigues’ presentation: Rumos e perspectivas da carreira do tradutor profissional
J
orge Davidson’s presentation: O ABC das CATs: o que você nunca se atreveu a perguntar
P
aula Ianelli’s presentation: Quatro traduções e um original
M
itsue Siqueira and Bruno Fontes’ presentation: Gerente de projetos: de onde vem, para onde vai? You can also find a video of part of the presentation on YouTube here.
Carolina Walliter’s presentation: Coworking e os tradutores na vanguarda da nova era do trabalho
F
abiano Cid’s presentation: A situação do tradutor hoje no Brasil: problemas encontrados em três anos de LQA

On a last note, it was informed in the conference that there will be a series of talks on bureaucracy and translation, Tradutor vs. Burocracia. The first one will be held in Rio de Janeiro, on October 1st.

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Besides, a workshop is also on the make with the amazing Isa Mara Lando, organized by Luciane Camargo. It will be on a Saturday in July, from 10 a.m. through 6 p.m., in São Paulo. If you are interested at attending in, please send an email to lucianecamargo@hotmail.com informing your date preference (4th, 18th or 25th).

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And if you are not an Abrates member yet, it’s now or never! They are offering a 50% discount on the annual fee for those who attended the conference. But it’s only until June 30th!

If you want to check what else happened during the conference, follow the hashtag #abrates15 on Facebook and on Twitter.

And if you are interested in attending the next one, it will be held in Rio de Janeiro, date yet to be announced. I’ll certainly let you all know when we have news about it.

Last, but not least, the next post – that will most probably come this week – will be about my presentation.

My impressions on the VI Abrates Conference – Part 1

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Last weekend, from June 5th through 7th I attended (and presented at) the VI Abrates International Conference in São Paulo (Centro de Convenções Rebouças). Abrates is the Brazilian association of professional translators and interpreters and, since 2013, they hold an annual conference in different Brazilian cities. The event is the largest and most important in the area in Brazil, and possibly now the largest in Latin America. This year, we almost reached 900 participants (last year, in Rio de Janeiro, there were 450 attendees; and in 2013, in Belo Horizonte, 390).

The conference officially started with great news: PayPal partnered with Abrates and will now offer special rates for receiving payments – for Abrates members only. For receiving payments from abroad, the rate will decrease from around 7.4% to 3.49% + R$ 0.60 per transaction. Everybody – including me, of course – was ecstatic with the fantastic news! Stay tuned on how to benefit with it if you are an Abrates member. The association will publish it on their site and share on their Facebook page when they do. Besides, you can also call PayPal’s SAC to know more. Following the official opening, the first keynote speaker, Robert Lane Greene, Berlin-based business correspondent for The Economist who writes the “Johnson” column on language for The Economist online, talked about languages around the world. He starts speaking in an impressive Portuguese and admits he is part of a small group of weird North-Americans who like to learn other languages. After his introduction, he starts his presentation in English and shows us some interesting numbers related to languages on the internet. On Wikipedia, for example, translations are mainly to and from English, indicating a lack of language connections. On Twitter, a great number of users tweet in two languages, and Portuguese/English is one of the most common pairs (behind Malay and Spanish). Greene also differentiates between business suit language and underwear language: the first is the one you simply wear/use for any reason, the second is close to our heart and intimate self.

The infographic on this page was one of the images he showed. Robert also mentioned this article. He also has a book, You Are What You Speak.

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With Robert Lane Greene.

After his interesting presentation, we had a cocktail party where we had to change to say hi to our fellow translators.

The actual presentations started for good the next day. The main characteristic of this conference is that we have plenty of choices to choose from: there were six different rooms with a diversity of topics being presented at the same time throughout the event. My first choice (always a difficult one, Paula Ianelli and Reginaldo Francisco, for example, were also presenting at the same time) was about technology and how we can use them to improve productivity, by Fernanda Rocha. Did you know, for example, that Windows and Mac’s calculators convert units and currencies? They also calculate periods of time. You can also add two other clocks (time zones) to your toolbar.

Time to change rooms! Off to room 5 where Rafa Lombardino talked about digital self-publication. Did you know that, in Brazil, a material becomes public domain after 70 years of the author’s death? She suggests creating a blog/site to document your book translation projects (it can also serve as a portfolio). You can find the newsletter about her presentation and the link to the Prezi presentation here.

Next one was in room 1, with João Vicente de Paulo Jr. and Giovana Boselli, who mentioned some important steps we have to follow when/before accepting a project not to have unexpected problems down the line. For example, read the allocation instructions carefully (delivery date/time, volume, subject), open the files and have a look at them, check if a big project requires partial deliveries, check if there is reference material to be followed (glossaries, style guides), payment method.

After the coffee break, I heard Monica Hruby, president of ATPI-Rio, mentioned some problems sworn translators face in Brazil and the regulation that surrounds it. An important point: translation agencies can’t be sworn translators! So be aware! I chose this presentation because I heard from a colleague last week that many sworn translators on Jucesp’s list are dead and their son/daughter are translating on behalf of the deceased translator! This is totally insane!

Back to room 1 to hear Raquel Lucas de Souza tell us about how she became an agency. Circumstances made her realize she could solve her clients’ problems not by translating, but by finding people who could do it, being a project manager. We need to fully understand ourselves in order to identify our qualities and find out our place in the market. A professional posture is essential for having good final results. At the same time, Capitain Israel Souza Junior, last year’s keynote speaker, was talking in room 4 about idiomatic expressions in war movies’ translation.

After lunch, I watched a panel with representatives of 10 associations: ATPIESP, ATP-MG, APIC, GALA, ATP-Rio, ASTRAJUR-RS, ATPP, Abrates, Sintra and ATA. The panel was very informative and useful, but I’d like to bring the attention here to the current situation of Sintra (Brazilian translators’ union). It once had only 173 paying affiliates and considered closing its doors. Nowadays, there are 233, but it is necessary 327 in order to have a financial balance. With its current budget, they can only run until October. Currently, 106 affiliates are in default, but they can only be removed from the union after 2 years not paying! The annual fee to become an affiliate is R$ 330.00. As pointed out during the panel, some people spend a fortune to attend ATA’s conference, but claim it’s too expensive to pay for the union’s fee. I’m an affiliate and I believe the union is essential for helping us defend our rights. See, for example, what they are doing, with ATP-Rio and Conati, to defend our rights regarding Simples Nacional here.

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Conference attendees featuring yours truly doing what I did best: tweet. 🙂

Please find the second part of this post here.