Conférence internationale permanente d'instituts universitaires de traducteurs et interprètes Excellence in T&I training and research

Interdisciplinarity in T&I: The Way Forward

The Fourth Conference on Interdisciplinarity in Translation and Interpreting was hosted online by Interdisciplinary Research Center (IRC) at Graduate Institute of Interpretation and Translation (GIIT), Shanghai International Studies University (SISU), from 29th to 30th October, 2020, under the auspices of CIUTI Asia-Pacific Office.

With the theme “Recal­i­brat­ing Train­ing and Research in T&I: New Inter­dis­ci­pli­nary Incen­tives”, the con­fer­ence gath­ered promi­nent pro­fes­sion­als and experts from both acad­e­mia and indus­try to share their lat­est insights in T&I. The orga­niz­er finds it per­ti­nent to use inter­cul­tur­al and inter­dis­ci­pli­nary per­spec­tives to forge new path­ways and col­lab­o­ra­tions between dif­fer­ent dis­ci­plines in find­ing solu­tions and strate­gies to tack­le both old and new challenges.

Irene Zhang, Dean of GIIT, SISU, opened the 4th inter­dis­ci­pli­nary con­fer­ence by wel­com­ing all online par­tic­i­pants. She intro­duced the 4 sub-themes of the con­fer­ence, includ­ing “Role of Lan­guage Ser­vices in Glob­al Gov­er­nance”, “Mul­ti­lin­gual­ism in Mul­ti­lat­er­al Sys­tems: Inter­dis­ci­pli­nary & Inter­cul­tur­al Issues”, “How T&I Sup­ports Sci­ence in Cop­ing with PHEIC?” and “New and Fresh Approach­es in T&I”.

At the open­ing cer­e­mo­ny, Mau­r­izio Viezzi, CIUTI Pres­i­dent and Pro­fes­sor of Simul­ta­ne­ous and Con­sec­u­tive Inter­pret­ing at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Tri­este, point­ed out that despite the grow­ing momen­tum of AI trans­la­tion, a huge gap still exists between the sup­ply of and demand for qual­i­fied trans­la­tors and inter­preters in pub­lic ser­vice, and high-lev­el inter­preters and trans­la­tors are indis­pens­able in that they facil­i­tate cul­tur­al com­mu­ni­ca­tion and assist in edu­ca­tion, med­ical care, and legal ser­vice, etc. 

Youyi Huang, Com­mis­sion­er for Chi­na Nation­al Com­mit­tee for Trans­la­tion and Inter­pret­ing Edu­ca­tion, made clear with spe­cif­ic exam­ples that COVID-19 pan­dem­ic has exposed the defi­cien­cy of machine trans­la­tion and under­scored the impor­tant role of trans­la­tors in the glob­al fight against the pan­dem­ic. Trans­la­tors around the world have assist­ed in med­ical sup­plies dis­tri­b­u­tion, air­port secu­ri­ty screen­ing, offi­cial announce­ment dis­sem­i­na­tion and med­ical treat­ment expe­ri­ence exchanges. The call for trans­la­tor ini­tia­tive in com­bat­ing pan­dem­ic has shown that the inter­dis­ci­pli­nary devel­op­ment of trans­la­tion stud­ies is of great sig­nif­i­cance in T&I edu­ca­tion. He also demon­strat­ed the neces­si­ty of cul­ti­vat­ing cross-cul­tur­al and mul­ti-dis­ci­pli­nary tal­ent and advanc­ing the cross-dis­ci­pli­nary devel­op­ment as the way forward.

Pres­i­dent Yan­song Li, speak­ing on behalf of the SISU lead­er­ship, wel­comed all par­tic­i­pants, shared infor­ma­tion on what the uni­ver­si­ty has been doing includ­ing fight­ing the pan­dem­ic, and pledged sup­port for inter­na­tion­al collaboration.

Dur­ing the four ses­sions of the con­fer­ence, pro­fes­sion­als and experts with var­i­ous knowl­edge back­ground and rich hands-on expe­ri­ence shared their insights on inter­dis­ci­pli­nary research in T&I. The dis­cus­sions cov­ered a broad range of top­ics, includ­ing glob­al gov­er­nance, eco­nom­ics, soci­ol­o­gy of law, med­i­cine, tech­nol­o­gy and their inter­ac­tions with T&I research and practice. 

At the clos­ing cer­e­mo­ny, Han­nelore Lee-Jahnke, Chair of IRC, spoke high­ly of the efforts made by all speak­ers across the globe in mak­ing this con­fer­ence a big suc­cess. She also announced the launch of Jour­nal of Trans­la­tion Stud­ies, as a joint effort by GIIT in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Pert­er Lang, a renowned Swiss aca­d­e­m­ic pub­lish­ing insti­tu­tion. She hopes the jour­nal will pro­vide a new plat­form for indus­try and acad­e­mia to exchange insights and dis­cov­er­ies in T&I research and training. 

The con­fer­ence gath­ered all five CIUTI mem­bers in Chi­na – Bei­jing For­eign Stud­ies Uni­ver­si­ty, Bei­jing Lan­guage and Cul­ture Uni­ver­si­ty, Bei­jing Inter­na­tion­al Stud­ies Uni­ver­si­ty, Guang­dong Uni­ver­si­ty of For­eign Stud­ies and Shang­hai Inter­na­tion­al Stud­ies Uni­ver­si­ty, with rep­re­sen­ta­tive speak­ers from each of these institutions.

Speak­ers from over 20 coun­tries in dif­fer­ent time zones across the globe made pre­sen­ta­tions at the con­fer­ence. GIIT fac­ul­ty mem­bers who’re active inter­preters them­selves pro­vid­ed remote simul­ta­ne­ous inter­pre­ta­tion (RSI) in three lan­guage pairs (EN-ZH, ES-ZH, FR-ZH). Bili­bili, a Chi­nese web-stream­ing plat­form was also used to broad­cast the con­fer­ence real time. More than 5,000 views tuned in to watch the open­ing of the conference.