CPD for translators: upcoming translation conferences

July 17, 2014 by

Translation Conferences 2014-2015I just love being a freelance translator. I love the flexibility, creativity and intellectual challenge of translation. But sometimes I miss spending time with my colleagues. Like you, dear reader – I miss spending time with you. Wouldn’t it be great to have a few days together to learn from each other, share our enthusiasm and exchange ideas? It certainly would! Here’s a list of upcoming translation conferences where we can all do exactly that.

List of translation conferences 2014-15

The FIT World Congress in Berlin and the IAPTI International Conference in Athens will be excellent opportunities for translators to meet colleagues from around the world. For me, the AUSIT conference in Brisbane will be a bit closer – and the NZSTI conference next year will be in my home city of Wellington! We’re already planning the programme – fancy coming over to check it out?

Here’s what’s coming up over the next year or so:

4-6 August 2014 FIT XXth World Congress: Man vs. Machine? The Future of Translators, Interpreters and Terminologists. International Federation of Translators. Berlin, Germany
10-15 August 2014 One World, Many Languages. 17th World Congress of the International Association of Applied Linguistics (AILA). Brisbane, Australia
20-21 September 2014 IAPTI 2nd International Conference, International Association of Professional Translators and Interpreters. Athens, Greece
20-21 September 2014 5th ABRATES International Congress on Translation and interpretation. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
3-5 October 2014 MedTranslate Conference 2014, international conference for medical translators organised by The Alexandria Project and the GxP Language Services translation company. Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany
30 October-1 November 2014 10th Mediterranean Editors and Translators Meeting 2014. Innovation and tradition: mining the human resource. Madrid, Spain
1-2 November 2014 AUSIT Biennial National Conference 2014 – Transition Into the Future. Australian Institute of Interpreters and Translators. Brisbane, Australia
1-2 November 2014 Xl8camp: First German Barcamp for Translators, independently organised event for translators. Sayda, Germany
5-8 November 2014 ATA 55th Annual Conference, American Translators Association. Chicago, IL, United States
8 November 2014 14th Annual Portsmouth Translation Conference, From Classroom to Workplace, University of Portsmouth. Portsmouth, UK
27-28 November 2014 NTIF 2014, The Nordic Translation Industry Forum. Helsingør, Denmark
27-28 March 2015 Translation & Localization Conference. Warsaw, Poland
23-25 April 2015 ITI conference 2015 ‘Renew, Rejuvenate, Regenerate – Translating and interpreting in an evolving world’. Institute of Translation and Interpreting. Newcastle Gateshead, United Kingdom
1-2 May 2015 BP15, independently organised international conference for freelance translators. Zagreb, Croatia
27-29 May, 2015 IV International Conference on Corpus Use and Learning to Translate, University of Alicante. Alicante, Spain
27-28 June 2015 NZSTI conference 2015, New Zealand Society of Translators and Interpreters. Wellington, New Zealand
24-27 August 2015 15th International Conference on Translation, PPA15, Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
4-7 November 2015 ATA 56th Annual Conference, American Translators Association. Miami, FL, United States
And a Brisbane bonus in 2017 XXIst FIT Triennial World Congress. Brisbane, Australia


IAPTI International Conference in London, 2013

IAPTI International Conference in London, 2013 © IAPTI

But is attending a translation conference a good investment?

There’s certainly no shortage of conferences, and the packed programmes offer a huge range of presentations and training for translators. But are they worth the investment?

While the training itself can be invaluable, many translators also meet new customers at translation conferences, as well as meeting colleagues who can pass on referrals in future. A conference may also be an unforgettable experience, as testified by Herman Boel in his review of the IAPTI conference in 2013.

As for the cost, it’s often cheaper to attend a conference if you are a member of the translation association running it (or an affiliated organisation) – giving you a good reason to join the association before registering. Some translation associations also offer funding for their own members to attend translation conferences abroad, so it’s worth checking with your national association to see if they offer this kind of assistance.

As with most things, the better you prepare for the conference, the more you will get out of it, as explained by Tess Whitty in her post on getting the most out of a conference.

Let me know

Do you agree that attending a translation conference is a worthwhile investment? Are you planning to attend one of the conferences listed here, or one that I’ve missed off the list? I’d love to hear your thoughts – let me know in the comments below.

By Jayne Fox BSc MITI, German-English translator. 
For German-English medical translation – and translation of corporate communications.

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About the author: Jayne Fox is a German-English translator specialising in corporate communications for sci-tech and health care. She works with German and Swiss organisations to help them communicate effectively with international audiences.

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  1. Tanya Quintieri

    Hello dear,
    Thank you for listing the xl8Camp. I'm really looking forward to it, because basically, the event is like a 2-day coffee break. As a professional translator with many years of experience, most conferences I attend serve the purpose of confirming my own approach to work, get new ideas, inspiration and drive, and sometimes I learn something completely new. But what I enjoy most is the networking part. Usually you'll end up talking to someone like-minded, with the same understanding of business, same level of professionalism. Those talks are the 'juicy' ones to me. And that's why I decided to organize the BarCamp. I know the concept from my fields of specialization and I hope that this first BarCamp for translators will have the same impact on the attendees as other BarCamps have had on me.
    Your list is pretty complete, but you missed the event in Rotterdam. That should be pretty huge, too.
    Have a great day!

    • Jayne Fox

      Thanks Tanya, I'll add that one!

  2. Valentina Ambrogio

    Totally agree with you, but I just think some are just too expensive... This is the main reason why I have never been able to attend - and this makes me really really sad!
    I hope some day I will be able to meet you at one of these events 🙂
    Great post btw,
    Valentina - Rockstar Translations

    • Tanya Quintieri

      Hi Valentina, perhaps you should look at the xl8Camp then. Tickets incl. 3 overnight stays and full board are 99 Euro. The entire event is stripped down to the absolute necessary equipment, boarding, etc.

  3. Craig Meulen

    Thanks for the list, and also for the link to the "Getting the most out of..." article.

    In Berlin this time I'll not only be attending the conference but also speaking at it - I am looking forward to the challenge! Especially because the topic I'm talking about is not exactly 'mainstream' - the historical achievements and future challenges associated with the translation of the Tibetan Buddhist canon.

    As a professional translator in the commercial world I've been surprised how little crossover I have found into and from the academic translation world (in this case, both the academics and the practitioner-translators) so I'm curious to see what my commercial colleagues make of the endeavours in this other field.

    • Tanya Quintieri

      Oh Craig, good luck! I'm sure you'll do great! Will I see you at our regulars' table on Wednesday of that week?

      • Craig Meulen

        Not sure about Wednesday but I'll be at the DVÜD lunch on Monday.

  4. Marie Jackson

    Great article, Jayne, thanks for compiling this for us! One conference you did miss is the Portsmouth Translation Conference (UK) in November: "From classroom to workplace". I went to last year's conference on crime in translation and really enjoyed it!

  5. Sheila Gomes

    Hello Jayne, here in Brazil (Rio de Janeiro) we are having our national association's annual congress on September 20-21, the 5th ABRATES International Congress on Translation and interpretation: http://www.congressoabrates.com.br/

    • Jayne Fox

      Thanks, Sheila, I'll add that to the list!

  6. John Kennedy Ekene

    Thanks Jayne.
    I have been a freelance translator/interpreter for 4 years in Senegal west Africa, the thing is that I do not know of any existing association if there is any, so I search online to meet fellow translators, and if there be conferences on translation, that's going to be a wonderful experience, one that rekindles the love in freelance and in translation as a talent ...
    I will love to be updated on the conferences, on registration as a member of an association and how to ameliorate my capability as a translator/interpreter .
    Thanks once again.
    John Kennedy Ekene .

    • Chichi Etteh

      Hello John,

      The IAPTI is definitely one to join. It would be great to increase African representation in IAPTI. It also gives you the opportunity to link up with its group members on Facebook. Are you on Facebook?

  7. Jayne Fox

    Thanks John! You might be interested in IAPTI: https://www.iapti.org/

  8. Oliver Lawrence

    Hi Jayne,
    So far, I've managed to shell out very little on translation conferences, since I spoke at the last two I attended (IAPTI 2013 and ProZ 2014), but I'm breaking step for the 2015 ITI conference, which is probably one of the very best around. See you in Newcastle :).
    PS that's a very good new photo you've got there.

    • Jayne Fox

      The 2015 ITI conference sounds very tempting, and ATA 2014 looks good too. I don't think I'll make either of them, unfortunately! But I'm looking forward to NZSTI 2015 and FIT 2017.
      Thanks for the feedback on the photo! 🙂

  9. Chichi

    Hi Jayne,

    Thanks for this post! I strongly agree that attending conferences are great but as with everything else in life, they also have their pros and cons. I had the opportunity of attending my very first conference-2nd IAPTI 2014, I am so glad I did. I made new contacts with colleagues (who I am still in touch with) and also put faces to e-contacts. Freelancing can be solitary sometimes, so I would definitely say attending conferences helps to brighten a freelancer's day :-). It is a good way to get out, get some fresh air, explore other business opportunities and learn a thing or two from other colleagues. One doesn't have to attend all conferences, just stick to the ones you feel you would get the most benefits from. I am an emerging translator and think networking via conference attendance is an eye opener (my personal view).
    Thank you for the list of conferences provided.

  10. Jayne Fox

    And thanks for your comment!

  11. Johanna Bethke

    Exactly what I was looking for! 🙂 Thank you, Jayne!

    • Jayne Fox

      You're welcome, Johanna! So many good conferences to choose from. 🙂

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German-to-English translator specialising in medical and technical translation and corporate communications
Welcome to my blog, Between Translations! I'm Jayne Fox, German-English translator specialising in sci-tech, health care & corporate communications.
I work with clients from around the world. From my location in New Zealand, I translate overnight for European customers.
See my websites for more information.
Sci-tech translation and corporate comms: www.foxdocs.biz
Medical translation: www.jfmedicaltranslation.com
Email: jayne(at)foxdocs.biz