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#2018TEF in Brussels


The 5th edition of the Translating Europe Forum  on 'translation in the age of data' brought together around 500 professionals from the language industry, academia and the public sector in Brussels on 8-9 November 2018. Many more followed the event online via live web-stream.
The keynote speech by Nozha Boujemaa on day one addressed the impact of artificial intelligence on society and the language industry. The keynote speech by Karim Benammar on day two highlighted the importance of personal perspective and the possibility of 'reframing translation'.
The panel discussions looked into what kind of data is relevant, what 'clean data' means and how translators can benefit from the data they produce. Sharing translation data, legal aspects and latest developments in neural machine translation were discussed as well.
A panel on the EU perspective gave an overview on what the EU is doing: the Connecting Europe Facility, the multilingual ‘digital single market’, education, growth and jobs, and the European Parliament report 'Language equality in the digital age'.

In his speech, Commissioner Günther Oettinger underlined the importance of translation for the European project and looked ahead to the European elections in 2019.
EMT students presented posters and demonstrated various machine translation systems during the breaks in the'Networking Village', which also featured information stands by EU Commission facilities.

For the discussions on social media during the conference see: #2018TEF.


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  • 8 November: 08.00 - 19.00 (Europe/Brussels)

    8 November 2018

  • 8 November: 08.00 - 09.10

    Registration and welcome coffee

  • 8 November: 09.10 - 09.15

    Welcome by Rytis MARTIKONIS, Director-General of DG Translation

  • 8 November: 09.15 - 09.45

    Keynote Speech video recording

    AI & the language industry — challenges and impact

    • Nozha BOUJEMAA (Research Director at Inria, the French National Institute for computer science and applied mathematics, Elected Member of the Board of Directors of the Big Data Value Association, member of Commission's High-level group on AI.)

      The role of humans in a data-driven society — what is Artificial Intelligence (AI) and how will it affect the language industry and individual translators? Clarity in terminology: 'big data' vs 'big data in translation'. Understanding data across languages…

  • 8 November: 09.45 - 10.45

    Plenary session video recording

    How is artificial intelligence transforming society and the translation industry?

    Roundtable discussion

    AI can help shape business and generally make our lives easier? What innovative technologies, strategies and competencies are needed to make society benefit from AI? What about the pitfalls? What about ethics? How does AI affect translation and the future of the language industry? Is the translation industry different from other industries? The aim of this session is to paint the broader context for the rest of the Forum.

    Chair: Ana GUERBEROF


    • Lucia SPECIA, Professor of language engineering at the University of Sheffield (natural language processing, machine learning and computational linguistics)
    • Rose LUCKIN, Professor of Artificial Intelligence  at University College London
    • Alison B. LOWNDES, responsible for Artificial Intelligence Developer Relations (Deep learning, AI, image recognition) at NVIDIA (AI  computing)

  • 8 November: 10.45 - 11.15

    Coffee break

  • 8 November: 11.15 - 12.30

    Plenary session video recording

    Neural Machine Translation (NMT) reality check: the state of the art, and a taste of the future

    Roundtable discussion

    This session will look at the latest developments in neural machine translation (NMT) and AI. How does NMT work and what kind of data is needed to create a fluent engine? How can these be obtained? 

    What are the features of the current cutting-edge tools? What about integration of NMT in current CAT tools? What are the next steps? What new opportunities does this represent for people working in the language industry? 

    Chair: Dieter RUMMEL, DG Translation


    • John TINSLEY, Co-founder and CEO at Iconic Translation Machines, Ltd.    
    • Bruno POULIQUEN, senior engineer at WIPO, responsible for NMT
    • Matt POST, research scientist, Johns Hopkins University

  • 8 November: 12.30 - 14.00

    Networking lunch

  • 8 November: 14.00 - 15.30

    Plenary session video recording

    Working with data – the translator's perspective

    Roundtable discussion

    How do practitioners deal with translation data and how can they benefit from them?  How can translators best manage their data? What data are available to translators? Corpora, translation memories…. 
    Can freelance translators build or train their own MT engine?
    What training and skills are needed to work with data in translation and how does this change the traditional work of a translator? What skills for 'data curators' in the translation field?

    Chair: Ana GUERBEROF


    • Lucas NUNES VIEIRA, Lecturer in Translation Studies with Technology at Bristol University
    • Gruffydd JONES, Translator at the National Welsh Assembly, responsible for the introduction of MT
    • Miha ZLICAR, translator DG Translation

    • Erik HANSSON, FL translator

    • Tanguy FAUCHIER, internal linguist, Sanofi S.A.

  • 8 November: 15.30 - 16.00

    Coffee break

  • 8 November: 16.00 - 17.00

    Parallel sessions

    Legal aspects of data in translation 
    video recording

    This session will look at data from the legal point of view. The aim is to raise awareness of aspects such as: data and IPR (does the new GDPR play a role; how to make your translation business GDPR-compliant?), re-use of data, confidential data, MT in the cloud, data ethics (how is data generated, recorded, curated and shared). 

    Chair: Mikael JOHANSSON, Legal Officer DG TRANSLATION 

    • Eva ŠKORNIČKOVÁ, Data Protection and IT Security Compliance advisor
    • Annette SCHILLER, FL translator + President FIT Europe
    • Wojciech WOȽOSZYK, lawyer, specialising in copyright of translation memories

    Translating Europe workshops - Translation and data in local markets
    video recording

    Throughout the year, local Translating Europe workshops are organised which yield a lot of insights in local markets, practices and opportunities. This session will showcase three workshops  on data, technology and the skills to deal with them, and can serve as inspiration for further training of translators.

    Chair: Paul KAYE, field officer United Kingdom, DG TRANSLATION 

    • Katia CASTELLANI, field officer Italy

    • Krzysztof NALEPA, field officer Poland

    • Jan FABER, field officer Czech Republic

    Newcomers to the language industry (invitation only)

  • 8 November: 17.10 - 18.00

    Plenary session video recording

    Transcending language barriers in the digital age: the EU perspective 

    Roundtable discussion

    What is happening at EU level? What does the EU do to remove language barriers through technology? The role of the Connecting Europe Facility in bringing down language barriers; link with the Digital Single Market, Growth and Jobs and Education. The European Parliament's perspective: the report on Language Equality in the Digital Age.

    Chair: Rytis MARTIKONIS, Director-General, DG TRANSLATION

  • 8 November: 18.00 - 19.00

    Networking drink

  • 9 November: 09.00 - 15.00

    9 November 2018

  • 9 November: 09.00 - 10.00

    Keynote speech video recording

    Reframing translation

    • Karim BENAMMAR, philosopher specialising in transformative thinking

      Interactive session with the audience on Change Management, looking into how to deal with technology-driven change that may be disruptive. Reframing how translators see their profession and their future.

  • 9 November: 10.05 - 11.20

    Parallel sessions

    Data sharing - a data market place? video recording

    Can small language service providers (LSPs) and freelancers leverage the data they produce or is this only possible for the big players in the market? What about confidentiality and data security issues?

    Where do you find data and how do you decide if they are usable? How can/should small language service providers adapt their business model? Sharing of translation data – pros and cons, possible pitfalls?

    Chair: Ana GUERBEROF

    • Andrea LÖSCH, European Language Resource Coordination (ELRC)
    • Muriel MATIUSSI-KIRCHHOF, freelance translator

    Using data - making sense of industry trends video recording

    How can data collected from industry surveys benefit translators? What questions are often asked about the translation industry? What are the questions that have not yet been asked? What does data tell us and how can the industry use the data?

    Co-chair: Annette SCHILLER president FIT Europe

    Co-chair: Mirko SILVESTRINI vice-president European Union of Associations of Translation Companies

    • Michael FRITZ tekom Europe
    • Daniela STRAUB tekom Europe 
    • Rudy TIRRY (President, European Union of Associations of Translation Companies)

    Bringing new technologies to the classroom video recording

    Discussion on the results of EMT-LIND pilot projects using state-of-the-art terminology management tools and a look at the opportunities offered by cloud-based platforms. What new trends are there in the way we teach and work with new tools?.

    Chair: Jorge DIAS CINTAS, Centre for Translation Studies, UCL

    • Andrejs VASILJEVS Tilde
    • Leena SALMI, Turku University (EMT network)
    • Marianne KALTIOKUMPU-BLOMGRÉN, student at Turku University

  • 9 November: 11.15 - 11.30

    Coffee break

  • 8 November: 11.30 - 12.00

    Introduction of Commissioner Oettinger by Christos ELLINIDES, Deputy Director-General, DGT

    Speech by Commissioner Günther OETTINGER video recording

    Commissioner for Budget & Human Resources

  • 9 November: 12.05 - 13.00

    Plenary session video recording

    Data and translation — a pretty picture?

    Informal discussion on the insights gathered from the previous sessions, kicked off by cartoons produced during the conference.   

    Christos ELLINIDES, Deputy Director-General DG TRANSLATION

    Ana GUERBEROF, TEF moderator

    Annette SCHILLER, president, FIT Europe

    Karim BENAMMAR, philosopher, TEF keynote speaker

  • 9 November: 13.30 - 15.00

    Light lunch

Practical information

8 November 2018, 9.00 - 9 November 2018, 13.30 (CET)
Charlemagne building
Rue de la Loi, 170
1049 Brussels

Who should attend
translation professionals, translation industry, academia