ATA63, the largest event in the US for translators and interpreters, welcomed over 1,100 attendees from 36 countries earlier this month- it was a fantastic event and Trados were proud to attend as Gold Sponsors and exhibitors.
Over three days our booth welcomed hundreds of attendees and our Trados experts were on hand offering 1-2-1 advice and support, demos showcasing the integrated cloud capabilities of Trados Studio, RWS Campus opportunities, and the chance to explore careers within RWS at the ATA Job Fair. It was so nice to see everyone in person again and we thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience!
This was the first ATA conference I have personally attended and it’s safe to say, I was not disappointed. There were over 150 sessions available covering a variety of diverse topics– one session, for example, highlighted diversity issues in German and the complexities involved in translating from English to this language! Some of the Trados team (including myself) were delighted to have the chance to join a few of these sessions- here’s what we learnt:
Daniel Brockmann, Principal Product Manager for Trados, attended a couple of the technology focused sessions. The presentation ‘It’s a Match!’ by Britta Noack and Ana Gabriela Gonzalez Meade particularly stood out to him, which dived into some of the subtitling tools on the market and the pros and cons of each. Daniel was fascinated to learn about the plethora of solutions available, and more so about the complexity of the workflows involved in subtitling translation- insight that will definitely help us further develop our subtitling offering. On that note, Daniel was also very pleased to see Trados Studio positioned as one of the tools that supports subtitling well! You can learn more about our Studio subtitling app here.
Daniel and I also attended the session ‘We Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet: Perspectives on the Future of Language Services Based on a Decade of Immense Change’, by Jay Marciano. Jay assessed how the localization industry had changed over the last 10 years and made predictions about what the future holds. We were intrigued to hear Jay predict that AI models are going to develop exponentially over the next couple of years, providing even higher machine translation (MT) quality than available now. Jay also explained how the translation professional will need to reskill in order to stay relevant and shared some of the jobs that will become more prevalent as the localization industry evolves. Like Jay, we believe humans will always play a key role in the localization process, so we’ll be watching Jay’s predictions closely and will continue to support and help translators adapt and retrain as required.
Fiona Merwood, Marketing Manager for Trados, joined Antonio Francisco Jiménez’s session ‘Rethinking the Translation Classroom in the Era of Neural Machine Translation’. Antonio debated the role MT should play in the university classroom and whether it is right to allow some students to leverage it, when others clearly are not. Antonio also suggested ways professors could either integrate MT usage in translation courses or avoid it completely. Fiona found it interesting to hear how machine translation is now sparking ethical debates, not only in the localization industry, but also in the classroom. We’re now in discussions with universities in our RWS Campus academic program who are doing research into post-editing machine translation and AI, exploring how to incorporate machine translation into Masters-level and specialized further education courses.
I was surprised, not by the number of sessions that covered MT, but by the positivity with which they all approached the topic. They mostly shared a common theme, that Machine translation is no longer something to be afraid of, but to embrace- something we too have been iterating for years now. Everyone understands that MT can be a great productivity booster and we’re now seeking to educate each other how to best use it and how to effectively adapt with it. For those of you using Trados, remember you have 6 million characters of our MT, Language Weaver, to use for free (both in Trados Studio and the cloud) each year. Plus, you can connect to many other MT providers through our app store in Trados Studio.
So that’s a round of up of some of our key takeaways from ATA63! As you can tell, for us the conference was invaluable, not only because we got to network and speak to all of you, but also as we got to learn new things along the way! Oh, and on the subject of networking- have you had the chance to see our #TradosPremiere selfies? Here’s a few of the best ones…
Next year’s ATA conference will take place in Miami, 25-28 October 2023. We look forward to seeing you there!