The theme of the weekend was "Food for Thought", of which there was plenty (as well as plenty of amazing food!). Unfortunately, I was only able to attend on the Saturday, meaning I missed out on a cheese tasting trip and a tour of the city. Saturday kicked off with four presentations from members of the various groups present.
Reiner Heard, the head of ATICOM, gave us all food for thought with his talk on machine translation, which could potentially see translators moving away from their "bread and butter" work towards MT post-editing and premium language services. His presentation was based on an FIT position paper about the future of professional translators (http://www.fit-ift.org/position-statements/). He was followed by ITI member Gaby Cablitz, who gave a presentation on The Papalagi by Erich Scheuermann. The book had been heralded by alternative movements in Germany as a damning portrait of life in Western Europe (and still is by some unenlightened readers). It has, however, since been revealed that the "real life account" by a chief from the island of Samoa is a fake, created by Nazi supporter Scheuermann.
The next two presentations were a more literal take on the theme of the weekend. Regina Simmes from the BDÜ in Germany discussed soul food or "Seelenfutter". The concept originated in the southern states of the US but has since been "stolen" by corporations to promote their products. I gave the final presentation about a blog project undertaken by my sister. To celebrate her 30th birthday, she decided to eat her way around the world from A-Z and documented her efforts here.
In the afternoon, we competed in a tricky crossword contest, after having been given a few hints about the mysterious language of clues. Two translators from each language then took part in a translation slam. The English native speakers were tasked with translating an article about protesting vegans in Germany while their German counterparts had the tough job of recreating Jay Rayner's unique standpoint on chutneys. In the evening, we all met at the Boathouse by the River Dee for some good English pub food.
Although I am not too practised at public speaking, it turned out that giving a presentation was a good tactic having never attended anything like this before. My sister's project proved to be an excellent talking point, which was great for a networking novice like myself! It was a great introduction to the world of translation-based events - especially thanks to Cherry and Michaela's hard work. I am now looking forward to attending many more.