TroisRivieresI have participated in the Second International Conference on Economic, Business, Financial and Institutional Translation (ICEBFIT), held in Trois-Rivières, Québec, on August 17 and 18, with the following work:

Corporate and Technical Audiovisual Translation: Breaking the Negative Feedback Loop

Multimedia or audiovisual materials are quickly becoming a common way to convey ideas and messages in all different fields, far exceeding entertainment—films and shows for cinema and TV. In any area, audio and video files are being used as a quick and engaging way to communicate, train, sell, motivate and much more. They are often integrated into presentations or websites, as multimedia tools and online resources make it easier and cheaper to produce and share these kinds of files.

Corporate and technical segments are making extensive use of audiovisual resources to effectively engage and communicate across languages and cultures, and creating more demand for specialized translators who can combine the skills required by the various forms of audiovisual translation (AVT) and those of business and technical translation. However, a few clear trends can be observed: (1) there are misconceptions and negative views about AVT, usually based on poor knowledge of this field of expertise and on the experience of the entertainment sector, which is significantly different; (2) when the end-clients require AVT services, they don’t always know what their options are and what important information or instructions to provide; (3) clients tend to hire a translator or an agency to translate those materials just like they would do with any other text, but these translators often lack audiovisual translation expertise; (4) this can lead to poor results in terms the translation’s integration with the multimedia files, which often the end-client is unable to assess; (5) this tends to reinforce the negative views related to this field, which keeps rates low and fails to attract more capable technical translators and to generate demand for specialized training.

We need to break this negative feedback loop by providing information and training on AVT for the corporate and technical sector to all stakeholders—clients, translators and instructors. Everyone will benefit from this convergence and the rise in quality in this sector.

Feel free to contact me for a copy of my presentation or to exchange ideas about this topic.