The ITI (Institute of Translation and Interpreting) conference offered an opportunity to network, meet colleagues and friends and take stock of my professional life. In addition the central London location of this conference meant I would also be able to schedule a visit to my favourite bookshop, Grant and Cutler. The title of this conference, “Sustainability in Translation”, was quite broad in scope but as a geographer I felt sure it would be of particular interest for me. As one might expect the conference started with talks on forestry and environmental matters. At this time we are all increasingly conscious of the precarious state of our planet and our responsibility towards it. Many of us have already noticed that environmental issues are regularly cropping up in our translation assignments and this is likely to increase. Other talks introduced us to new technologies such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Google docs. etc., which could reduce our need to travel and make collaboration easier. Adopting an environmental policy in the translation office made me think about the “paperless office”. Checking a translation thoroughly before submission is of course essential and arguably the best way to proof read the translation is by reading a printed version. My proof reader likes to have a copy of the source and target text. Sometimes this can mean printing 100 pages, which is not only wasteful in terms of paper consumption but also costly in terms of ink. I try to use the paper twice by printing on the back but once the paper has been used there is the problem of disposal. Ideally it should be recycled but translations are confidential and therefore paper copies cannot be placed in the recycle bin and have to be shredded instead. Unfortunately however, household recycling cannot handle the small pieces of shredded paper. Reading on-screen would eliminate this problem but would it have an adverse effect on the quality of the translation?
Other issues raised at the conference such the work life balance were also relevant to me and I acknowledge that I need to work at eating more of the right food and less of the wrong kind, exercising more, taking more leisure time etc.
I came away feeling positive and with a long list of things to follow up.