In an interconnected world, the ability to verbally communicate in "my preferred language" (whatever that may be) has become a crucial component of our world. In less than a decade we have gone from simultaneous or consecutive interpreting, to over-the-phone and remote video-interpreting (simultaneous or consecutive), to web-based instant message delivery. Technology is transforming our profession at the speed of light, literally. The term "video interpreter" is so new that many in the profession don't even know of its existence, yet its technology is already commercially available and used in healthcare and court settings, and is sure to change the language services industry. Professional associations are scrambling to get to speed with the changes to better serve their members; certification and credentialing is becoming more urgent than ever; education and training are flourishing; and technology surprises us with so many and fast innovations, that it is hard to keep up with it.
I will be talking about the urgent need for translators and linguists to think about possible steps to a career change towards the field of interpreting, and the need of currently working interpreters to take a look at the digital revolution that will substantially impact the industry. For all of us in the language service industry, it is extremely important to be aware of the world in which we live and the fascinating changes taking place around us at the speed of light. I stress the fact that instead of resisting technology, we must embrace it and learn to use it to further our professional advancement and intercultural communication. If we do not become part of the digital revolution, we will soon be left out of the loop of progress... similar to what happened a few decades ago to office workers and freelancers (including translators) who refused to learn how to use a computer ... they quickly became professionally obsolete because they were no longer able to interact in the modern interconnected world.
This session attempts to be a "wake-up" call to current and future interpreters about the most important ""small change"" we need to pursue: learning to embrace change.