The following is a reprint from Translatio, the FIT Newsletter. FIT is an international organization for translators, interpreters and terminologists.
The FIT Council held its first meeting in late March after the Berlin Congress. The meeting took place in Baku, a city of over 2 million people and capital of Azerbaijan, at the invitation of the AGTA association. Two days of intense work were just barely enough to deal with current questions and define the new Council’s direction and priorities.
At the heart of the discussion: committees and task forces
The committees and task forces are key elements of FIT. Through them, FIT drives its actions, communicates and gets involved for the good of the translation and interpreting profession.
The Statutory Congress 2014 modified the rules for committees and set up some task forces to improve efficiency. For the most part, the former committees had very wide and sometimes nebulous objectives, often too ambitious for a small team of volunteers. The new task forces will have more limited and well-defined tasks to be completed within a fairly short time frame (from 6 months to a year, renewable where necessary). The teams will have a simplified structure so as to become operational quickly. Once the work is completed, the task force will be disbanded and its members free to take part in another assignment. In this way, participation in a task force is no longer unlimited, as was the case previously. This new formula enables each person to know exactly the length of their commitment and the precise task to be undertaken.
Some permanent committees will be retained when there is no imposed time limit. However, to renew the teams and maintain the work dynamics, there will be a call for applications and elections every 3 years, and the 2008 limit of three 3-year terms is retained. In the Committees and Task Forces article below, you will find details on the committees and task forces that the Council wants to create and in which you are invited to participate.
FIT Europe and FIT North America have held general meetings and elected new committee chairs. Natacha Dalügge- Momme is the new president of FIT Europe and Michel Parent, the president of FIT North America, the rules and regulations of which have also been approved.
Next Congress at Brisbane
Alison Rodriguez, Council member, confirms the dates of the Statutory Congress (1 and 2 August 2017) and Open Congress (from 3 to 5 August 2017). Preparations are well in hand and the main themes have been set. These include ethics in translation, literature and the postmodern world, transcreation, political language, indigenous languages, new and emerging languages, and sign languages.
Topics presented at the last Statutory Congress
Several proposals requiring modifications to the by-laws could not be voted on at the Statutory Congress because they were not communicated to members two months before Congress. One of the proposals concerned the staggered renewal of Council members (ITI proposal) to avoid the departure and accession of the whole Council at each Congress. Alan Melby and Sabine Colombe will prepare a plan for the staggered accession (annual) of recently elected councillors.
GALA: FIT’s president was the first to have been invited to the GALA conference in early March this year in Seville (Spain). Informal contacts will be followed up.
DFKI: The Institute for Artificial Intelligence
Research in Germany is also working on automatic translation. It has approached FIT, asking it to participate in this project by making its network of translators available to assess the quality of automatic translation and compare it with that of a human translator. A framework contract has just been signed. Ordinary members will be contacted in due course to suggest translators who are interested in participating (remunerated).
EC meeting: 6 October 2015 in Peru
Council meeting: March 2016 in Paris
EC meeting: Xi’an, APTIF Forum, May
2016; in Havana, December 2016