Talk for Multi-Languages Webinar Series

Happy to share a talk I gave last week for the Multi-Languages Webinar Series: Thriving In Times of Crisis. I gave an overview of audiovisual translation and an introduction to subtitling.

My talk was followed by an overview of audio description by Joel Snyder, one of the founders of this type of AVT for accessibility.

And here are several other webinars from the same series.

Thanks to Multi-Languages for this great opportunity to learn and network!


Workshop given at the Ontario Cabinet Office

On November 22, I had the pleasure of giving a 2-hour workshop on subtitling to around 20 translators and interpreters of various offices in the Ontario Provincial Government, at Queen’s Park, Toronto. It was my first time in a government building and among so many highly qualified translators, who seemed to have a good time subtitling a short comedy for a change.


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.

18th National Metropolis Conference

metropolis-brandingOn March 5, 2016, I participated in a workshop at the 18th National Metropolis Conference – Getting Results: Migration, Opportunities and Good Governance, in Toronto.

Cultural Intersections: Inclusion, Social Innovation and Creativity

This workshop contextualizes migration at the intersections of labour, art and social change. It is well recognized that immigrants are confronted with fewer opportunities for engagement with and access to the arts. Yet, the role of art and language in immigrant narratives and corresponding emergent art forms/aesthetics should be viewed as a key to social inclusion.

Click here for more information and to download some of the presentations (scroll down to Workshop F8).

The Translator’s Tool Box

Translator's Tool BoxI’ve contributed a brand new chapter to Jost Zetzsche’s The Translator’s Tool Box: A Computer Primer for Translators, version 12, published in November 2015. The chapter covers tools for multimedia and audiovisual translation, including media players, audio and video conversion tools, subtitling tools and sound editing, among others.

Jost‘s Tool Box is a reference book in PDF, with more than 400 pages of tips and reviews of all kinds of computer tools that can be useful to translators, with simple and clear explanations and plenty of screenshots. See the full table of contents. Jost also publishes a monthly Tool Box Journal with news and tips. You can subscribe by e-mail clicking the Jeromobot icon to the left.

Documentaries for Change

BB_AraAs one of the 25 fellows of the Docs for Change initiative, in 2014-2015 I had several sessions and workshops with professional film makers about documentaries and then it was our turn to give back to our community.

As well as giving a workshop on film subtitling for the other fellows, in May I organized a screening of the Min Sook Lee’s “El Contrato” followed by a panel on the social role or interpreters and cultural mediators. In October, I organized a screening of Amar Wala’s “Secret Trial 5”, followed by a panel on the human impact of the War on Terror in Canada, with the director and two other experts in the topic.

The end of program was marked with a full-day Conference – a day of panels and sessions creating opportunities for meaningful conversations about languages, social justice and community engagement with documentaries. I participated in one of the breakout sessions with filmmaker Lalita Krishna, showing how filmmakers and translators can work as a team to reach diverse communities successfully.