I was recently granted Associate Membership of the Irish Translators’ and Interpreters’ Association (ITIA). For those of you not familiar with the ITIA, it is a not-for-profit organisation operating out of the Irish Writers’ Centre in Dublin, which is managed by a dedicated committee of volunteers with a background in business and academia. Founded in 1986, it is the only professional body in Ireland that represents the interests of translators and interpreters.
It goes without saying that I was excited about attending my first ITIA event but I must admit I had some reservations as a new member and relative novice on the Irish translation scene. Yet, I looked forward to seeing some familiar faces including lecturers on the MA in Translation Studies at Dublin City University, Mary Phelan and Annette Schiller, but mostly I welcomed the opportunity to meet some new ones. If nothing else, it would provide this translator with some much-needed respite from her busy schedule, i.e. staring at a computer screen. Having translated an article on the perils of blue light a couple of days beforehand, I knew it could only be a good thing!
The events of 14th October 2017 opened with a legal translation workshop, “Decision-making and quality in legal translation: a holistic approach” by Fernando Prieto Ramos of the Centre for Legal and Institutional Translation Studies (TRANSIUS) at the University of Geneva. Fernando Prieto Ramos was an engaging speaker and it is safe to say we were all in agreement that his fascinating research on legal translation quality in the major global institutions (EU, UN and WTO) has practical relevance not only for legal translation, but the credibility of the profession as a whole. For more information see https://transius.unige.ch/en/.
Sadly, I missed out on the next event of the day – a prize giving ceremony for this year’s entrants to the secondary school translation competition. I did manage, however, to spot a few anxious students and their proud-as-punch parents milling about prior to and following the event. ITIA Chair, Mary Phelan, filled us in on the competition details later in the day. The translation competition is in its second year running and this year proved even more successful than 2016. It appears that the event is here to stay. The standard was very high it seems and it looks like we may have some miniature competition on our hands!
The day didn’t disappoint, with plenty of opportunities to meet other translators and committee members throughout. In true Irish fashion, we dined on sandwiches and USA biscuits during the networking lunch in the adjacent room, and drank copious amounts of tea and coffee. Business cards were swapped. Contacts were made. Budding and new translators met with experienced colleagues.
The 31st ITIA AGM, the last official event of the day, took place shortly after lunch. It provided us with great insight into the work of the ITIA and an update on the organisation’s latest developments. One of the highlights of the AGM included a brief presentation by Susanne Dirks which outlined plans for a new ITIA website, which concluded with Richard Huddleson accidentally volunteering to translate it into Irish! Going forward, most of the committee members shall remain for the 2017-2018 year, with the exception of those who have chosen to step down such as Annette Schiller, Administrative Assistant, to be replaced by Rosemary Kratschmar. I won’t go into any more detail here, but suffice to say a lively discussion ensued, with many interesting suggestions and opinions ranging from translator rates to the use of the Irish language.
So, there you have it folks! A brief summary of the ITIA and one of its key annual events. Despite my initial nerves, I really enjoyed myself and hope to be more involved with the ITIA in future. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the team for their hard work and dedication. For further information on the ITIA see www.translatorsassociation.ie.