The Seventh International Conference of the Israel Translators Association, Day 3 (February 25, 2009).
I missed the first session of this day due to a prior commitment - my weekly BNI meeting (I am currently chair of my group, the Haifa Chapter). So I arrived in time for the second morning session.
The first lecture was by Igor Vesler, entitled Translation Economics - Process Pricing. Since translators are actually paid for their time (whatever pricing system they use, ultimately there is a limit to how much good work can be done in an hour), it is worth taking into account the additional time that has to be devoted to research. Translators spend extra time searching for the appropriate terminology, the correct spelling of proper names, finding similar documents to compare the style, adapting the translation to the target audience and so on. The best way to price these extra time-consuming tasks is to check the source material before giving a quotation and estimate the additional time required. This way, the price can be set accordingly, and the translator can also give the customer a more realistic timetable for the job.
Then Marsha Brown spoke about Grantwriting in the Global Village. This is not strictly a translator-related subject, but some translators are involved in writing grant applications for non-profits, and Marsha Brown explained the specific skills required to create a well-written application.
After lunch, Ami Argaman lectured on Speaking Proficiency Testing in the US Government. Again, not really translator-related, but still interesting to language professionals. The US Government has established tests of various foreign languages for job applicants, and this lecture focused on the SPT, explaining how it is performed and graded.
Then Sharon Neeman gave a talk she had prepared in collaboration with Maurice Tszorf, entitled A Village of Translators: Rosetta-L and other lists. Sharon and Maurice are members of several international translation-related email lists, and the talk described how translators discuss various aspects of translating, life and even politics (allowed on Lantra-L, not on Rosetta-L). Friendships are formed, and sometimes people meet in person.
After this lecture, I felt too tired to stay for the final plenary session and closing remarks, so I left. These three days of intensive study and networking have contributed a lot to my professional self-image and my relations with colleagues. I intend to continue attending the ITA annual conferences and some of the monthly lectures. I encourage readers to join a relevant professional organization in order to acquire further professional training and enjoy the support of colleagues. The business world can be collaborative, not only competitive, and it's up to every individual to decide how to view the world and what to do to enhance that world view.