TriKonf 2013 Translation Conference

David Smith Attended Translation Conference – TriKonf 2013

The “TriKonf” (named because the host town borders on the three nations of German, France and Switzerland) was held from the 18th to the 20th of October 2013 in Freiburg, Germany. David Smith, Director of Constructive Translations attended the conference.

The conference is aimed at Translators, Translation Agencies and other Language Service Providers. Talks ranged from quality standards for medical translation to discussions on the role of machine translation.


TriKonf 2013

“I arrived at the local airport which has three different exits (each into a different country). After being told, “you’re actually in France, that exit there takes you to Germany” I managed to get on the bus to Freiburg. The town was a lovely place, with lovely old buildings dotted around and a nice range of shops and restaurants. I would love to go back for a few more days as the extended weekend didn’t seem enough to take in the sights. One of the highlights of Freiburg was the Freiburg Minster which sits in the middle of a large square surrounded by a German-style (well it is in Germany I guess) market. Our conference was held at in a wonderful historical Merchants Building just opposite the Minster.

The event started punctually on the 18th first thing with two key-note speeches talking about “Specialisation as a key to better market positioning” (by Ralf Lemster) and “Translation technology the blessing that became a curse” (given by Jost Zetzsche) who writes the “Translators Toolbox” which is great reading if you want to keep up with the latest trends in translation technology.

After a full day of talks we had a gala dinner held at a lovely hotel overlooking the town. My clothes got terribly creased on the journey (I learned a lesson on how not to pack formal shirts) but I did my best to make myself presentable and enjoyed the dinner. There were some great networking opportunities. After staying up somewhat too late having some local beers, I returned to the hotel.

The next morning saw the beginning of another full day of talks. One particular highlight for me (which I recommend to any freelance translators out there) was a talk given by Marek Pawelec about some of the common problems faced by translators. For example when the client wants tracked changes in Word translated but not the rest of the document, or solutions for when translating long chemical names and the software mistakes the commas for new words.

All in all, it was a great way for me to network with some good freelancers, learn some skills which I can pass on to the team, think more about quality and translation from the perspective of different language professionals, and spend time in Freiburg. I came back to London with a pocket-full of new business cards and some new friends.

The conference will be held again in 2 more years, and I strongly recommend attending, just remember to pack your shirts properly!

David Smith,

Director of Constructive Translations

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