Jan 26, 2011

A time for travel

A local friend of mine spends an awful lot of time not being local. That's understandable if you know the clammy cold and icy roads of German winters in Berlin/Brandenburg. I love snow, mind you. It makes it easy to see the boars at midnight even without a full moon, and my dog is very fond of doing snow angels or frosting his beard. But I do get tired of walking like I'm twice my age because I've forgotten the slip-over grippers for my shoes to keep from breaking my legs on the ice and, although I'm not terribly fond of my native region of Southern California, my skin occasionally craves a bit of sun. Probably a Vitamin D thing. In any case, now that I'm getting settled in the Schloss, I've been giving some thought to all the other great places I might be in the coming months. There are some tempting options.

For me, of course, one of the most attractive is a return to Budapest in April. Kilgray is hosting the third memoQfest from April 13 to 15. Rumor has it this year's speakers will include competitors. I hope to see a number of Kilgray competitors at the event; while they are spying out the lead they should follow, I hope they also engage in useful discussions that will lead to better interoperability and results for everyone. How about some open server interfaces to connect with 3rd party clients, huh? Do an SDL server project with a memoQ client, and a memoQ server project with an installation of SDL Trados Studio 20xx. &c. Aside from the mememoQfest simply being a good time, a chance to mingle with interesting colleagues and enjoy wonderful food, Budapest is one of my favorite European cities, and I'll probably pad my trip with a few days on either side of the conference to explore the city and relax.

Despite my skepticism regarding ProZ and its ever-dumber pandering to the clueless masses, the company's conferences and site user organized pow-wows usually afford a good opportunity to meet colleagues and some agency clients, and see interesting cities. I might never have seen Edinburgh otherwise, and I wouldn't mind seeing it again. In May there's a conference planned in Rome, but in what appears to be a spectacular feat of dysfunctional planning, the day after the Rome conference ends, there is another ProZ conference in Cairo. What's with that? It's obvious that someone either thinks there will be little or no overlap in the groups of persons interested, or someone just wasn't thinking. And the big P seems to be somewhat challenged when it comes to the numbering of its events. There seems to be an obsession with everything somehow being the "first". With more than some multiple of ten conferences having been held around the world so far that just seems silly. I'll probably make it to Rome, if only to ditch the conference and go check out the restored ceiling in the Sistine Chapel, which I've been intending to do for so long now that it's probably time for another restoration. But Cairo is just so tempting, especially because I could skip the conference and take some sort of transportation to Luxor and other places that have been on my mind for a good three decades.

The British Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI) also has an interesting conference program - er... programme - at the beginning of May in Birmingham. Although somehow the phrase "dark, satanic mills" comes to mind when I hear that city's name, the ITI is quite a respectable organization, better organized (or organised at least) than my own BDÜ and populated by interesting, competent professionals. If I attend that conference, I probably would be tempted to stay and participate and wait until afterward for trout fishing and pub crawls.

And I suppose there are other events in the translating world that may be of interest, which I may stumble upon in due course. One of the wonderful things about this business these days is that one tends to collect clients around the country and abroad, so there are many good reasons and excuses for a road or rail trip.


  1. Ah, travel... one of our favorite things in the world. Perhaps you'd be interested in the ITI Scotland event on June 4th in Stirling? Judy will be giving five hours of workshops, and it would be a great time to finally meet in person. Pub crawl afterward the event for sure. Trout fishing: not so much. Either way: happy travels. Rome sound like a fantastic option, too. And if you fancy Vienna in the summer, there's an UNIVERSITAS workshop on June 18 where Judy will speak, too. Hope we can meet up this summer.

  2. Ah! That's great news. I was hoping you'd be on tour again soon; I was sorry to miss the lectures last summer. June 4th is the same day as the "AGM" (the nickname for the large powwow that Steffen Walter organizes here in Berlin, always a great opportunity to meet people and learn something useful), so I probably wouldn't make it to Scotland, though it's very tempting. Vienna sounds more realistic, and given that I haven't been there for 30 years a trip back is long overdue. If you have other presentation dates people might be able to attend, please let me know or post them here.


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