by Gabriela Ortiz
October is a perfect month to travel to Europe: the weather is mild, days are still not too short… AND two quite interesting conferences on AVT are held every two years. This year, I was lucky enough to attend both.
1) 12th International Conference on Language Transfer in Audiovisual Media – Languages and The Media.¹ Held at the heart of Berlin, just a few blocks away from Alexanderplatz, this 3-day conference (one for pre-conference workshops and two for parallel sessions) brings together all sectors of the AVT industry, from freelancers to translation companies, big players, broadcasters, researchers, and academics. In my opinion, this represents a unique opportunity to listen to each other and create synergy opportunities. As director of a Buenos Aires-based accessibility company, I was especially interested in the pre-conference workshops and sessions on audiodescription and accessibility, which were the ones I attended.
– On day one, Pablo Romero-Fresco (Universidade de Vigo, Spain) presented a workshop entitled Accessible Filmmaking in Practice: Translation and Accessibility in Collaboration with Filmmakers. This workshop introduced the principles of Accessible Filmmaking (AFM), which Romero-Fresco and others have laid down in collaboration with the British Film Institute (BFI) and applied to many productions. In a nutshell, according to the postulates of AFM, most movie revenues come from international and accessible versions, and it makes perfect sense to move back the creation of subtitles (or voiceover) and accessible formats from distribution to production.
This would also improve our working conditions – and rates – they claim. Romero-Fresco gave quite interesting examples of the not-always-pleasant consequences of current practices, outlined the process that should be followed in AFM, presented the GALMA Project, and shared a link to a guide that will be published soon by the BFI.² We then moved to a hands-on training on creative subtitles, which was both enlightening and fun. In case you are wondering, I am a big fan of Pablo’s.
– The second pre-conference workshop I attended was on Subtitling in Immersive Formats, presented by Pilar Orero, Francesc Mas, Sonali Rai, Chris Hughes, and Enric Torres I Feixas. After discussing the challenges and technical requirements of 360° immersive content subtitling, presenters referred to user expectations and demonstrated the subtitle editor developed for the H2020 Project ImAc.³
– Day two opened with the keynote presentation by David Padmore (TVT, UK) on How to Survive the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the much-awaited plenary talk Content Localization at Netflix, by Allison Smith. After that, it was all audiodescription and inclusive design the rest of the day for me, with chances to listen to and delight at the varied and enriching presentations by Joel Snyder, Bernd Benecke, Anna Matamala, Shak Yousaf, and once again, Pablo Romero-Fresco. With most of them living and working in Europe, LM offers a unique chance to gather them all at one conference.
– On day three, I bounced between sessions on Immersive Environments and quality on media accessibility, two issues that must be looked at in this Fourth Industrial Revolution, in my opinion. As a take-home message, I would highlight Belén Agulló’s remark in her presentation, “Stop bullying subtitles! Subtitles will never be disruptive for those who need them.” I was so excited to hear this that I even shared a picture of that slide. At the end of the conference, the Ian Ivarsson Award was presented by Jorge Díaz-Cintas and ESIST to Aline Remael, for her life-long contributions to AVT. Well deserved. AND FADE TO BLACK.
2) The Conferencia Internacional de Traducción Audiovisual, CITA 5,⁴ organized by ATRAE, was held at the Universidad Pontificia Comillas in Madrid. CITA also extends for two days, but its structure is quite innovative (at least, as far as I know): all sessions are round tables facilitated by a moderator who poses questions to the members of the panel. After the discussion, the floor is opened to participants. This makes CITA very participative and open to enriching idea exchanges. This year’s round tables were on The Present and Future of Subtitling, Linguistic QC in AVT, Indie vs. AAA Video Games, The Market for Newcomers to the AVT industry, AVT and Accessibility to the Performing Arts, and AVT In the Eyes of the Filmmaking Industry. The following expert workshops were offered to participants on both days: Respeaking, Computer Tricks for AV Translators, Creative Translation in Advertising: A Close Relative to AVT, and The Ins and Outs of the Translation of Reality Shows: All that Shines is Not Voice-Over. To conclude the conference on day two, Patrick Zabalbeascoa delivered his Xénia Martínez Award Conference The Apocryphal Gospels of Translation and the Revelation of AVT before being presented with said award. Of special note is the much-acclaimed closing ATRAE award ceremony, in which audiovisual translators are recognized by their colleagues for their outstanding work on different AVT categories.⁵ Red carpet and all.
No translation conference would be complete without networking opportunities, drinks, meals, coffee breaks for good talks and laughs with colleagues and potential clients. I can assure you that none of these were missing at these conferences. As I reach my word limit, I hope I have persuaded you to start saving for 2020! Or we may get a chance to meet some in Palm Springs 2019 (for ATA60). *wink-wink*
¹For more information, visit https://www.languages-media.com
²To request a free copy, register at
⁴For more information, visit https://cita.atrae.org/ (in Spanish).
⁵To access the full list of this year’s Award recipients, click on https://premios.atrae.org/ganadores-vi-edicion/ (in Spanish).
Gabriela Ortiz is an ATA Certified Translator (English into Spanish) with +20 years of experience in medical, legal, and marketing translation. Following her Postgraduate Diploma on Audiovisual Translation and Accessibility, she has branched out to these services, among others, with her company PERCEPCIONES TEXTUALES, which strives to introduce accessibility best practices in Spanish-speaking Latin America. Gabriela also translates from German and Latin into Spanish. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published in Deep Focus, Issue 1, December, 2018