There is always a buzz around the office when event season is approaching, especially for the current series where we presented the SDL commissioned research study, Translation Technology Insights (TTI) 2016, in the new SDL Seminar format. This format was devised after the 2015 SDL Roadshow Series feedback made it apparent you were looking for a more tailored approach, customized to your role in the translation industry.
Being relatively new to SDL, I was eager to take part in my first SDL Seminar, seeing for myself what the excitement was all about. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I was looking forward to meeting the people using our translation products and having the opportunity to listen to our customers’ thoughts. I often hear my colleagues discussing how enjoyable these events are so I was excited to take part, even after my manager told me about the early start (arriving at the Sofitel for 7:30).
There was a great amount of anticipation along with a small amount of trepidation about the information we were going to deliver; it is one thing to see the research on paper but another thing to show it to industry peers and see their reaction. We had 2,784 responses from over 115 countries from individuals involved in some way with translation or translation technology and many of these people were attending the seminars.
The research clearly resonated with the audience and the roundtables were a great opportunity to discuss and debate the key topics further. There was a general agreement that ‘Quality is king’, which matches with the research finding that quality is 6 x more important than cost and 2.5 x more important than speed but there was a feeling that although quality is key, ensuring a deadline is met is crucial for translators.
Another topic was the much debated subject of Machine Translation (MT); the research showed that 2 in 3 think it’s changed for the better in the last 5 years. There was also a feeling from the roundtables that MT is no longer a dirty word and has now grown up in industry, which is now more open to its adoption.
Another interesting finding was only a third think cloud-based tools are as productive as desktop-based tools. The concluding opinion from the roundtables was that while cloud solutions are a growing trend, there is still a desire for the combination of both solutions.
Feedback from the 2015 Roadshow series, showed 2 out of 3 attendees who completed our feedback survey wanted more product training and demonstrations from our events. New to the Seminar Series, the afternoon was a dedicated training session. It was great to watch everyone engage with Lydia’s SDL Trados Studio training and see translators excited to pick up new tips and tricks, I could see why this part is popular at SDL events.
Watching the seminar come together was an interesting part for me, from seeing the raw research data, to being involved in the creation of the presentations and finally taking part in the event! Observing the interaction between Freelancers, LSPs and Corporations, with everyone chatting and networking, I can really understand why translators come back again and again to SDL events.
Knowing 40% of research respondents are using MT, I was particularly intrigued to hear the divided opinions on MT for myself. Some translators discussed how helpful using SDL Language Cloud can be while translating, mentioning deploying MT as a tool in their translation process aided their productivity. Conversely, others still opposed the use of MT in their translation process.
It’s clear to me that there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to translating, every translator works differently and finds varying use of the features available in SDL Trados Studio.
Of course this was only one of eleven seminars but I got the sense from colleagues who attended other events they had also gained a lot. We are busy taking comments from seminar attendees and evaluating them to see where we can go next with the research. Now I have experienced my first SDL Seminar and seen how much fun and informative they can be, I can’t wait to attend my next one in the autumn, which will be an SDL Roadshow!