International Workshop on Interpreting Technologies

12-13 May 2022

International Workshop on Interpreting Technologies

Invited Talks

Prof. Bart Defrancq

Short bio: Bart Defrancq is an Associate Professor at Ghent University. Initially trained as a linguist, he brought his expertise in corpus linguistics to the field of translation and interpreting studies. He has published on various aspects of simultaneous and dialogue interpreting, focusing on cognitive load, interactional patterns and the use of technologies. With regard to interpreting technologies he was one of the first to experimentally test students’ interactions with a CAI tool, their performances and cognitive load in technology-supported simultaneous interpreting. Besides his institutional affiliation he is also the current president of CIUTI and member of the Speech Repository Steering Committee, and a member in various national exam juries for translators and interpreters.

Title: Teaching interpreters technology: ideals and experiences

Abstract: With the arrival of interpreter-friendly technology, universities cannot but prepare students to the use of tools in all relevant contexts. However, it is important to avoid the errors of the past made in translator training, where training in technology was first covered in specific courses, separate from the rest of the programme, and focusing on a “which-button-to-press” approach. Technology, instead, ought to be part and parcel of interpreting classes, while the technology course can focus on the acquisition of knowledge on the basic principles of the technology, on a critical appraisal of existing technology in terms of usability and user experience, and on the many ethical questions raised by the advent of interpreting technology. I will outline an ideal interpreting programme including a technological component and speak from my own imperfect attempts at teaching technology.

Dr. Encarnación Postigo Pinazo

Short bio: Encarnación Postigo Pinazo holds a PhD in English Philology and is a senior lecturer with tenure in the Department of Translation and Interpreting at the University of Malaga, where she teaches translation and interpreting. She has researched interpreter training and healthcare interpreting, as well as issues related to interpreter stress and the use of new technologies, especially with vulnerable users. Her work has been published in international volumes and journals, she has led innovation and European projects and has collaborated in several research and transfer projects.

Title: How technologies can improve interpreting for vulnerable people.

Abstract: Community interpreting in health care poses unexpected and unmanageable challenges that require professional and reliable performance on the part of interpreters. Existing technologies and those that can be developed with the help of the interpreters themselves in this field provide invaluable assistance that can avoid vital risks in communication between the health care provider and the user. This is especially important for communication with vulnerable people.

Dr. Eva-Maria Leitner

Short bio: Dr. phil. Eva-Maria Leitner holds a degree in Interpreting from the Center for Translation Sciences, University of Vienna and she has founded mss language solutions in 1994. The language services company focuses on the sectors of technology, natural and medical sciences, medical technology and legal texts. From the very beginning the main focus in her work was put on project and quality management in language services which culminated in her doctoral thesis “Comprehensive Quality Management in Translation”. In 2014 she finished her doctorate. From 2006 until 2010 she was lecturer at the Center for Translation Sciences teaching “Translation Management, Project and Quality Management in translation”. As early as in 1999 she became member of the Committees K 239 (Language Services) and later on of K 033 (Terminology), the Austrian Mirror Committees of ISO TC 37 SC5 and ISO TC 37. From 2004 to 2006 she was Head of Delegation of the Austrian delegation in CEN BT/TF 138 “Translation Services” (EN 15038) and since 2011 she has been Head of the Austrian Delegation in ISO TC 37 SC5.

Title: Interpreting 4.0 – Interpreting in new environments

Abstract: The pandemic has notably changed the profession, making technical knowledge a sine qua non in the working life of interpreters. They have to move between different RSI platforms, interpreting hubs (either software based or on one location), two-channel interpreting and many other ways to do their job. The presentation will cover the different ways of remote interpreting, provide tips for interpreters and it will also cover existing and new ISO standards relating to the world of interpreting.

Eleni Zisi

Short bio: Eleni Zisi has started her career as a translator, conference interpreter and business owner. She has worked as an interpreter for more than 10 years in Paris. She studied translation at the March Bloch university and the University of North London, at undergraduate and postgraduate level. She studied conference interpretation at ESIT school in Paris, from where she graduated in 2004, getting a French DESS and the European Masters in Conference Interpreting awarded by the European Commission. Her interpreting working languages are Greek (A), French (B), English (B). She is an invited lecturer at the Ionian University and the Athens Kapodistrian University where she teaches mainly Translation Project Management & Business Ethics. She has founded EL-Translations Academy where she focuses on eLearning courses for interpreters and translators. Today, she focuses on new technologies for translators and interpreters, in team management and business development. She participates in various academic projects as a business partner and loves mentoring new colleagues. She invests her time in learning and implementing tools and applications about language, efficiency and collaboration in translation and interpretation teams.

Title: Thoughts on interpreters’ challenges from the field

Abstract: What are the struggles, the challenges and the needs of professional conference interpreters when it comes to technology? What kind of technology they already use and what is the impact on their daily practice? Are they ready for more technology? And how can we ensure that interpreters will be able to benefit from any new technology? What kind of changes do we need to make to their training or lifelong training? Eleni Zisi will talk from the point of view of a professional conference interpreter who has worked for more than 20 years in conferences and meetings, and has experience and training in RSI.

Prof. Gloria Corpas Pastor

Short bio: Gloria Corpas Pastor is currently Professor in Translation and Interpreting at the University of Malaga, Professor of Translation Technology at the University of  Wolverhampton and Honorary Professor at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University. She is also Director of the Research Institute on Multilingual Language Technologies (IUITLM) and Head of the Research Group Translation and Lexycography (LEXYTRAD). Published and cited extensively, she is a key member of several international and national editorial and scientific committees, as well as learned societies. Prof. Corpas is a regular evaluator of University programmes and curriculum design for the Spanish Agency for Quality Assessment and Accreditation (ANECA) and various research funding bodies. She is also Spanish delegates for AEN/CTN 174, CEN/BTTF 138 and ISO TC37, where she has been recently elected convenor of ISO TC 37/SC 5/AHG 2 “Speech-to-Text”. Her research fields cover specialised translation, corpus-based and computational phraseology, corpus linguistics and language technology applied to translation and interpreting.

Title: Interpreting technologies in a nutshell: the Lexytrad experience

Abstract: Technology is beginning to play a highly important role in different interpreting modes and scenarios. While remote delivery is here to stay (especially after the COVID-19 pandemic), tools and resources needed by practitioners go beyond cloud-based videoconferencing systems. Automation within multilanguage-access services is not restricted to recent developments in machine interpretation or multilingual dialogue systems either. Automation, digitalisation, displacement, and virtualisation lie nowadays at the heart of human interpretation.  Interpreting technologies are continuing to grow at a rapid pace and evolving in new ways that we previously thought impossible. In this talk, I will present a sample of recent R&D projects on interpreting technologies carried out within the Lexytrad Research Group, with special reference to current developments and future challenges. 

Susana Rodríguez

Short bio: SmarTerp is a technological tool developed by interpreters for interpreters with interpreters, to provide them with optimal support to the challenging task of remote simultaneous interpreting (RSI) and empower them to be a relevant player in the global interpreting market. 

The person behind the project is Susana Rodríguez, conference interpreter based in Madrid and with a track record of successfully leading innovative projects related to interpreting technologies and training. Susana seized the opportunity offered by the Innovation Activities co-founded by the European Institute of Innovation & Technology to bring together specialists in spoken language and sign language interpreting, NLP, AI applied to language technology, human-computer interaction, and user experience and user interface design, with the aim to develop a truly interpreter-centred solution.

Title: SmartTerp: RSI powered by AI

Abstract: From its on-set, SmarTerp has been developed collaboratively with interpreting practitioners through focus group discussions, participation in conferences, dialogue with professional associations and user research. Before releasing SmarTerp, its design has been validated and refined in a comprehensive usability test conducted by the conference interpreter and researcher Francesca Maria Frittella, this was the first usability test ever conducted on a technological tool for interpreters. User research remains a key component of SmarTerp to ensure its continuous improvement in line with interpreters’ requirements. Meanwhile, the tool has been used in academic research projects at several universities, such as the Open University of Catalonia (UOC) and the Universities of Bologna (Unibo), Salamanca (USal), Alicante (UA) and La Laguna (ULL), which are informing its further development as well.