Technology per se is seldom the problem in today’s professional translation environment. More often the problems lie in our perception of technologies and in the human relationships in which they find a place. To survive and thrive in today’s commercial translation markets, we may need to reconsider our attitudes and approaches to both tools and people.
While there is legitimate dispute as to what extent humans should have “dominion” over the animal kingdom, the notion that we must in any way be the servants of systems and tools is deeply wrong, a social illness and perhaps a mental one as well. We must focus our minds on human needs, and doing so we can find the insight, motivation and sometimes the courage to see most technologies in their proper place: serving us or on the scrap heap.
In this talk I will share examples of how listening, imagination and dreams can help us tame the technical fires which may threaten to consume us and instead use these to cook up a better future.
Kevin Lossner is a consultant and instructor for language service technologies and processes as well as a German-to-English translator mostly occupied with legal and scientific matters. Practical work methods, problem solving and “reality checks” are his passion.
His blog, Translation Tribulations, is a popular source of information on translation ethics, technology and methods, and for many years he has been a strong advocate of “interoperability”, the methods to enable qualified linguists and others to work together regardless of their choices in technology. His published work, which are available in English and several other languages, help independent translators, teams and other language service providers rise to the challenges of their daily routines in practical and sometimes unconventional ways.