Mobile menu

Pages in topic:   [1 2 3 4] >
London conference 2008 - Proz conference expectations
Thread poster: Ellen Singer

Ellen Singer  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:07
English to Spanish
+ ...
Nov 26, 2008

I would like to comment that after the Budapest conference I became enthusiastic about meeting my colleagues at a conference. I did not think that the fact that there were three organizing parties would influence the conference in such a manner as to make it a completely different event. I now know to pay more attention.

Main differences:
Proz.com conference in Budapest had long breaks to allow people to meet and talk. Dinners were the usual Budapest prices and not in expensive places. Various talks were in small groups to allow you to skip that which does not interest you. The breaks also ensured the stands had a lot to do..... AND the bias level was lower, much lower. Of course, proz.com was promoted a bit, but not to any great extent as we were all members of some type or another.

Michael presented a table reflecting only the first impression of CAT tools (interface) as if this was all, as if multiple levels were too hard to grasp..... And Nick actually said that good translators could only be found in the ITI database, as if any other organization were totally irrelevant....... And still no-one commented.... How about this as a strategic partnership.

I was disappointed and that is putting it mildly.

Another difference I am noticing is that last time the forum was all ablaze about the pictures taken by the participants, the contacts they made and more positive buzz..... and now we have mainly silence.... I wonder why!

Count me in when we have a real conference..... and not a display of egos!



[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2010-06-15 19:11 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Russell Jones  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:07
Member (2004)
Italian to English
Too hard Nov 26, 2008

Hi Ellen

I agree with you (on balance) about the format of the Conference, when compared with Budapest - and said so on the feedback form.
However, I think you are being a little uncharitable - (perhaps not the best word in view of the cost entailed, but this is London after all).
In my view Michael did a splendid job, not only in basic organisation but in single-handedly trying to bring the different "factions" together.
There were certainly one or two egos on display and I hope the result of the feedback analysis will be to put them back in their boxes but in my view there were still plenty of meaty issues to get one's teeth into and plenty of opportunities to be grasped.
My hope is that the different groups will try to build on this and learn from the reactions to this conference. A fragmented industry is a weak one.
I was disappointed that Henry didn't make an appearance but more so that no explanation was given. Lucia seemed to be kept very busy.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Ellen Singer  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:07
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I am not British at heart Nov 26, 2008

Hello Russell,

At the bar on the last day I heard several people comment that Nick stating that ITI was the only place where you would find competent translators was just too much..... Some were aghast that no-one said a thing.... I was surprised that with the repetition of the speakers on the stage no-one actually left the conference room..... I am not one to mince words....

There had not been enough lunch on Saturday, on Sunday Michael states there is enough and no queue is required..... and many had just rice or not even that..... At the last "discussion" there were a few additions to the stage, which were not introduced.... Everyone knows who everyone is, right?

ITI was over-represented........

I also believe the evening events were too expensive for many translators.... You can eat much better food for much less in London!

I agree it was nice to have a conference and some information was useful. It would have been nice to have each speaker only once.... and more time to interact.... but they had to fill the programme..... more is sometimes less.....

I was surprised that so many were not happy but would not say this out loud......

There were positive things, the room was nice (sound quality was not too good at the back) and the staff there was excellent! But the value for money was not as it should be!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:07
English to Italian
yes... Nov 26, 2008

I thought the conference was too biased towards the agencies/providers, telling "us" how to be "strategic" for their own advantage/gain... freelancers did not have the chance to put forward their point of view, also because the "discussions" were filled with pointless questions and by that time I had lost interest. I belong to ITI, so Nick's comment did not "outrage" me, although I never worked for him... I was instead outraged at the comment made by the lady from Marks and Spencer (or whatever it was...), that she would always choose the cheapest translator given the same quality. So, now interpersonal and business skills, professionality, punctuality, trustworthiness do not count anymore...

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Ellen Singer  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:07
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Translator selection Nov 26, 2008

But would you only trust an ITI member? Would you not use a person who comes highly recommended just because they are not a member? I am against any institution who only believes in itself and its members..... Wearing blinders is always bad

Not all cheap translators are bad, not all qualified translators are good. It is up to us to decide how we select a translator.... Personally I spend some time on questions asked and answered on Proz..... If they ask stupid questions (in my opinion) I am not going to ask them to work for me..... If they provide insightful comments or a good answer I am willing to find out more about them. We all have preferences...... I have found inexperienced translators with ideas and methods that have led to great results! And sometimes a letter strikes me and it leads to great results! And sometimes a great CV leads to disappointment!

Nick lost his audience by being petty, he reacted to a request to speak clearly by quickly making a point and cutting the interesting (?) parts..... How professional and strategic is this? He had some interesting points to make but his personality got in the way.....

I heard a lot of grumbling but most translators are scared of complaining as they are scared this may have an effect on their work (quantity).... Some translators actually asked others to verify that they had heard some of the statements correctly! I am lucky and have long-term customers to work for...... and acquisition goes through word of mouth... And as those who have had the pleasure (?) to meet me know..... I do not mince words, or as we say in Dutch, I do not hide my opinion under chairs and sofas..... What you see is what you get!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Russell Jones  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:07
Member (2004)
Italian to English
Building bridges Nov 26, 2008

Well Ellen, I know there are cultural differences between the Brits and Dutch about "calling a spade a spade" but those of us who are British at heart are trying to build bridges.
I was delighted to see so many non-Brits there but it is not very helpful to inflame traditional rivalries. I didn't hear the quotes you mention in quite the same way as you did but even if I missed deliberate barbs, I would regard them as minority and unrepresentative views, best ignored. Every organisation has its dinosaurs.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:07
English to Italian
I didn't say that... Nov 26, 2008

Ellen Singer wrote:

But would you only trust an ITI member?



Obviously not... I have seen very poor translations from ITI's members...


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:07
French to English
To be fair Nov 26, 2008

Not that he deserves it after that infantile display of petulance when asked to speak up, but....
Ellen Singer wrote:

And Nick actually said that good translators could only be found in the ITI database, as if any other organization were totally irrelevant....... And still no-one commented.... How about this as a strategic partnership.

...to be fair he was actually asked about how he personally goes about selecting translators, and he said something along the lines of (I paraphrase) that he only used ITI members, as though that were his first filter. He didn't actually say outright that you could only find good translators there. I guess you could infer it, if you were of a mind to.

That said, I am a little surprised that overall, the ITI seemed to get more mentions than the CIoL. Did they pay more? If I were joint sponsor of an event, and didn't get mentioned in the same breath as the other similar sponsors (when reasonable to do so), I would be slightly annoyed. I wouldn't stretch so far as a childish display of petulance, however, since I have seen the master in action, and so I am announcing my retirement from petulance


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:07
French to English
On feedback Nov 26, 2008

Russell Jones wrote:
.... I hope the result of the feedback analysis

Hmm, interesting point.
Personally, I left before the last "round table" session on Sunday because I could not bear to listen to another bunch of people raising points that had diddly squat to do with the subject of the conference, which was the case on Saturday.
I had filled in the feedback form, but had nowhere to put it.
I am aware of one or two other people who left before me, who I also know felt that the conference had some negative aspects. My guess is that their opinions, like mine, will be forever lost to the final analysis of the feedback.
Indeed, almost by definition, those who stayed to the bitter end and were thus in a position to return their forms are liable to be positive.
Those who left early, who clearly felt there was room for improvement, had no opportunity to provide their feedback.
This is a serious flaw.


I was disappointed that Henry didn't make an appearance but more so that no explanation was given.

There was a brief explanation given as we queued for lunch. There was some vital hoo-hah with the proz translation competition and Henry decided to pitch in to fix it. Something along those lines.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Claire Cox
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:07
French to English
+ ...
Feedback? Nov 26, 2008

I hadn't finished the feedback form as we staggered out of the door on Sunday evening, and my handwriting is barely legible at the best of times, so I submitted feedback on the individual elements of the program under the UK conference page on ProZ. I assume this will still be considered in tandem with the handwritten forms? However, there was nowhere to write more general comments, so I also sent an e-mail to Michael - who's probably overloaded already - sorry, Michael!

I agree with Russell that I thought the conference was well worthwhile overall, with some notable exceptions. There was certainly a great deal of arrogance on display in some quarters and I do wish there had been the opportunity to have parallel sessions, as happened with the ProZ conference in Aix last November. At least then if you were bored to distraction, frustrated beyond belief or just fancied a break, you had some different options to choose from. Many of the presentations would have lent themselves to linked workshop sessions, as they merely glanced on a number of fascinating topics, leaving you wanting to find out more - inevitable in a conference of this size, I suppose. In a way, the very fact that so many people attended made it difficult to network as much as I would have liked - and the fact that the name badges kept swinging round and disappeared beneath table level when people sat down didn't help at all!

I think Michael did an excellent job in keeping it all together and uniting three different organisations. I've only recently joined the ITI after 24 years in the profession and have been amazed how "stuck-up" many ITI members are in their attitude towards ProZ. Events of this kind can surely only help to unify the profession and get rid of these antiquated notions.

[Edited at 2008-11-26 15:26 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Angela Dickson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:07
French to English
+ ...
hmm Nov 26, 2008

Charlie Bavington wrote:
Hmm, interesting point.
Personally, I left before the last "round table" session on Sunday because I could not bear to listen to another bunch of people raising points that had diddly squat to do with the subject of the conference, which was the case on Saturday.
I had filled in the feedback form, but had nowhere to put it.


I left early for similar reasons, both because of impatience and because I was absolutely desperate to experience the wonder that is the West Coast Main Line on a Sunday. I asked one of the venue staff 'where should I put this feedback form?' and was told to give it to her, so I did, and I assume it made its way to where it was supposed to go.

I'm sure you could post the form to Michael, perhaps from a town in which you don't live, if you are keen to preserve your anonymity

Interesting that people feel the ITI was over-represented. I experienced it much more as an ITI event than a ProZ event, just because a lot of ITI colleagues were there whom I already knew, and I spent a lot of time with them - I did come away feeling that I had missed the opportunity to meet some of the people from ProZ whose names I recognised, but I feel that is my fault rather than anyone else's.

I am an IoL member too, and I didn't feel the IoL was really present in any real way, apart from the stand they had in the exhibition. I'm not sure whether that reflects IoL's relative lack of focus on the translation profession (ITI only contains translators and interpreters, and has many more of the former than the latter) or the conference organisers failing to include the IoL.

[Edited at 2008-11-26 15:53 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:07
French to English
Recycled Nov 26, 2008

Angela Dickson wrote:
I'm sure you could post the form to Michael, perhaps from a town in which you don't live, if you are keen to preserve your anonymity

Unfortunately, Tuesday is the day for the kerbside collection of waste paper hereabouts and my invaluable comments are presuambly even now being made into toilet paper - insert your own apposite comment here

My only potentially useful remark for future conferences would be to either have clip on name badges that won't flip over or print them on both sides so it doesn't matter if they do.
That and to think twice about uncontrolled open mike Q&A sessions. Don't be afraid to immediately say "irrelevant" and move on to someone who may conceivably have a question with some hint of a bearing on even just one of the subjects that might have been mentioned over the course of the previous 6 or 7 hours.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Karen Stokes  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:07
Member (2003)
French to English
Q&A Nov 26, 2008

... and someone controlling the Q&A who is not also trying to participate as a panel member.

I agree there were some niggles, but on the whole I found it useful - if only for the chance to step back and think for a while, meet some interesting people, etc.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Ellen Singer  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:07
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Usefulness Nov 26, 2008

I must say I thoroughly enjoyed meeting some people for the first time..... and a few repeats from Budapest. But there were too few social occasions, too few breaks which were often cut back due to repeated text by speakers.... The speeches could have used a reviewer to shorten them to provide us with more "networking" time....

It was organized by three parties..... or at least in name. It felt more like an ITI meeting where we were allowed to attend and were supposed to feel jealous of the ITI groupies.... I am more of an independent soul, I will attach to others when they provide fun, liveliness and/or information. Translation is a pretty independent job, if we meet, I would like to choose whom I talk to....

I must say I was surprised at the good manners of the audience. In The Netherlands smaller groups tend to chat amongst each other when not enthralled..... I must admit I actually read my book sometimes.... especially when a speaker tended to repeat every point a few times....

Regarding the feedback forms: I did fill it in. So did a few others who were not too happy. We did want our say. Some people did not, and do not post any comments as they prefer not to be recognized....

Russell, I am not really Dutch either.... I grew up in South America, where people are a little more open and opinionated! I am a mixture of cultures and languages and ideas which cannot be pinned down..... I also know my negative sides, I talk too much, I can be loud, but I do tend to be honest and straightforward..... I also know that when you receive a few complaints these also represent a large body of people who decide not to go to the trouble of commenting....

I received a few comments on Nick, mostly about his petty attitude when asked to speak clearly, and his extensive anecdote regarding und and unter. I quote: "But I'm still getting flashbacks re some of the amazingly arrogant, rude, inappropriate and downright odd things Nick Rosenthal said."

I just hope conferences in future have more "networking time" and a larger variety of speakers, i.e. a few representative freelancers.... and maybe smaller group talks as this means you can skip the lectures that do not interest you.

Organizing conferences is a lot of work. For that I do thank the organizing parties, but I must say that the lack of positive feedback and photographs on the Proz.com website should give the organization a hint on the actual appreciation of the event!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Ellen Singer  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:07
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
ITI/CIoL/Proz.com Nov 26, 2008

Any ideas on the number of members from each of these organizations? I do wonder......

Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2 3 4] >


There is no moderator assigned specifically to this forum.
To report site rules violations or get help, please contact site staff »


London conference 2008 - Proz conference expectations

Advanced search






Déjà Vu X3
Try it, Love it

Find out why Déjà Vu is today the most flexible, customizable and user-friendly tool on the market. See the brand new features in action: *Completely redesigned user interface *Live Preview *Inline spell checking *Inline

More info »
PerfectIt consistency checker
Faster Checking, Greater Accuracy

PerfectIt helps deliver error-free documents. It improves consistency, ensures quality and helps to enforce style guides. It’s a powerful tool for pro users, and comes with the assurance of a 30-day money back guarantee.

More info »



All of ProZ.com
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs