Financial Translation Summer School Spiez
Thread poster: Laura Francesca

Laura Francesca  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 16:20
French to English
+ ...
Apr 26, 2013

Dear fellow translators,

I just thought I'd start a discussion on the Financial Translation Summer School being held in Switzerland in July. Are any of you thinking of going? And for that matter, have any members been before? I'd love to hear what you made of it and if it was a worthwhile experience.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

Laura


 

Marie-Helene Dubois  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:20
Member (2011)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I'm wondering too Apr 26, 2013

It looks really interesting and right up my street but it also looks shockingly expensive. It would be good to get feeback from others if anyone has attended. I had kind of drawn the conclusion that it's the kind of event companies pay their translator employees to attend, rather than something freelance translators would invest in, because of the dizzy height of the fee.

 

Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:20
German to English
+ ...
Doubly so for us on the other side of the pond Apr 26, 2013

Marie-Helene Dubois wrote:

It looks really interesting and right up my street but it also looks shockingly expensive. It would be good to get feeback from others if anyone has attended. I had kind of drawn the conclusion that it's the kind of event companies pay their translator employees to attend, rather than something freelance translators would invest in, because of the dizzy height of the fee.


I wish this could be attended as a webinar!


 

Laura Francesca  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 16:20
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Exactly my thoughts Apr 26, 2013

That's a factor I'm umming and aahing about as well. The seminars and talks look fantastic, but then again there are only two or three you can attend depending on which language combinations you have. So is it really worth all that money?
On a separate note, I've visited the area a couple of times before and it is simply gorgeous. So that can be considered a bonus!


 

RobinB  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:20
German to English
A view from the other side Apr 27, 2013

This is by way of reply to both Laura and Marie-Helene. I think Daina probably already knows what I'll say.

I've been attending these summer schools since they started six years ago, in all cases as a presenter (German->English). They are excellent events, and their four-language dimension means that they have evolved into what is essentially *the* European financial translation conference. Although the French-speaking world has its own financial translation summer schools (SFT UETF) in alternate years, there is nothing comparable in Germany, for example.

The lectures and workshops are generally of a very high quality, and the networking is outstanding. And, as Laura says, the location is stunning. Everybody I've spoken to has said they didn't regret attending, and that they would try very hard to turn up in two years' time (and many of them do).

Marie-Helene: The majority of attendees are freelances. It also happens that some in-house translators pay their own way to attend because their employers won't pay for external CPD (!).

As far as being "shockingly expensive" is concerned, well, everything in Switzerland is pretty expensive unless you live and work there. A couple of summer schools ago, a representative of the world's largest (CH-based) financial translation company noted that they were increasingly sending work to low-wage economies - such as Germany. We go on holiday to (Western) Switzerland each year, and are always aware that we could stay twice as long somewhere else for the same budget.

But, if you allow for the "Switzerland factor", the summer school costs basically the same as the SFT's financial translation summer schools, and those offer excellent value for money. Let's put things into perspective: I'm currently looking at one or two financial CPD courses to attend later this year. These cost on average around EUR 900 - per day! (plus travel and accommodation). These are standard prices for CPD in the real world. And the accounting conference fliers that I receive regularly quote prices of between EUR 1,200 and EUR 2,500 for a two-day conference.

That's why I'm convinced that events such as the ASTTI summer school offer outstanding value for money - and it's relative value that counts, not absolute cost. Which is probably also why there are always a fair number of attendees from the United States in Spiez. Many of them combine the summer school with visits to clients in Europe, for example.

As far as webinars are concerned, this really isn't the sort of event that lends itself well to the webinar format. I don't think that ASTTI has the resources to create an "e-conference" in the same way as the ATA does for its own conferences, though if it did, it would probably charge about the same as for physical attendance. Personally, I'm not convinced that the sort of in-depth workshops that I myself teach, for example, can be easily translated to a webinar format, as they depend so much on interaction with the participants. But that's another discussion...

At any rate, I would certainly enjoy meeting you in Spiez this July!

Robin


 

Claudio LR
Local time: 16:20
Member (2007)
English to Italian
+ ...
Some remarks... Apr 27, 2013

Being one of the organizers I am probably not the best person to give my opinion... However, I would like to point out a few things.
As to fees, please note that regular members of translation associations ( http://fit-ift.org.dedi303.nur4.host-h.net/index.php?frontend_action=display_compound_text_content&item_id=3466 for Western Europe) are entitled to the reduced fee.
As for being expensive, I think, as Robin correctly pointed out, that this event should be compared to similar events and I don’t see many a part from the SFT event and some ATA events and prices are similar... I don’t think this event can be compared to some proz.com conferences for instance... Remember that here you not only have translators, but several potential direct clients and people from the financial industry, like senior portfolio managers, senior economists, etc. you can interact with.
As for the “Swiss factor” I don’t think it’s so much this that makes the price a bit higher that for similar events, but rather the EUR/CHF exchange rate. A few years ago it was around 1.60, now after the euro crisis it’s slightly above 1.20... (make your own calculations...)


As for the event of this year, I think I can say that we have made the best Summer school so far. The speakers are really outstanding and we have 2 innovations:

First, the round table with buyers of financial translation (financial translation agency, private bank language service, public financial institution language service etc.). And trust us, we’ll ask some “hard” questions and we’ll give the public the opportunity to interact as well.

Second, the dinner-cruise on the lake will be a great opportunity to network and interact with the speakers, as virtually all of them have already confirmed their presence on the boat... And as you said, the landscape in Spiez is a real bonus...

As for workshops in the afternoon, well, I know, you would probably have liked to go to workshops for combinations other than yours as well (me too to be honest...), but not having them in parallel would have made the congress much more expensive as we would have needed at least the whole week...


 

Marie-Helene Dubois  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:20
Member (2011)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Thanks Claudio and Robin Apr 29, 2013

It's always interesting to get some inside information and I very much appreciate your answering my points with (very valid) points of your own.

 

John Di Rico  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 16:20
Member (2006)
French to English
Contact with COC May 2, 2013

Dear Claudio,

I have sent two messages to the organizers about registration and haven't heard anything in return. Is there another email address or way of contacting the conference organizing committee?

Thanks!

John Di Rico
Financial Translator FR>EN
www.apextra.net


 

Laura Francesca  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 16:20
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks May 2, 2013

Many thanks to Robin and Claudio for your comprehensive take on things. I suppose when you think about it in comparison to other events, it's not all too dissimilarly priced. I suppose it's just a question of getting over the initial shock! Perhaps I'll see you both there in July!

 

Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:20
German to English
+ ...
Of course, it sounds like a great seminar May 2, 2013

as do many others I see. But for US-based translators, it means tacking on $1,000 or so for the flight plus transportation to the seminar location (maybe slightly less, depending on the dates). That is why I am always on the look-out for high-quality webinars!

 


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