Browser-based RSI (Remote Simultaneous Interpreting), the technology we are developing, has come to stay and it will completely change the interpreting industry.
As always with disruptive progress, there are winners and losers. Winners are those market players who adapt to the new technology as well as society as a whole, losers are those who cannot or don't want to adapt. We believe that RSI will lead to MORE and better interpreting and that everyone within the industry today has the opportunity to become a winner.
This blog should be seen as an open platform to exchange ideas and discuss the potential as well as the advantages and disadvantages of RSI. As a reader, you are welcome to post your comments, suggestions and criticism. I look forward to reading and discussing your postings!
The Directorate General for Interpretation (DG Interpretation – also known as SCIC) is the European Commission’s interpreting service and conference organiser. Once a year, it organises a conference with participants from universities, national governments and European and international institutions.
The topic of this year's SCIC conference was "Interpretation: Building Capacities for a Changing World". I was contacted, as SCIC wanted somebody to speak about new technologies. As I received the invitation, I was warned that I would probably receive a "lot of critical questions". I was particularly honored to be invited, as it was the first time that an industry representative had been invited…
I was invited to speak at the SHIFT2017 conference February 2 - 3 at the Pablo Olavide University in Carmona, a very picturesque town in Southern Spain. I flew in the day before and the next morning I gave a presentation about remote simultaneous interpreting. The conference was attended by an exclusive audience of interpreters and academics from all over Europe. A
part of the presentation was for demo purposes given in Danish and interpreted into English by Jacob, who was connected remotely from Zurich. On Friday, I demonstrated the new interpreter platform to a selected group of professors and interpreting teachers from the UK and Austria.
One of the things I learnt at the conference was…
The 193 member states at the United Nations have populations speaking hundreds of different languages; six of them are official at the UN: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish meaning that all important meetings have to be interpreted into these languages. Interpreting is therefore very important at the UN and I reckoned that the UN and its employees would have an interest in learning more about how interpreting could develop in the future.
The UN staff has a monthly journal “UN Special” to which I submitted article, describing RSI and the opportunities this technology creates for the UN and its suborganisations. It was first well received by the Editorial Board. Shortly after,…
The Luddites were a group of English textile workers and weavers in the 19th century who destroyed weaving machinery as a form of protest. The group was protesting the use of machinery in a "fraudulent and deceitful manner" to get around standard labour practices. The protest was futile and the new technology quickly introduced. Similar cases can be found throughout history, as a example when railways were built in the beginning of the 19th century, many coachmen lost their jobs or had to learn how to ride a locomotive.
Technological progress happens constantly, usually to the benefit of society as a whole, but sometimes professions are completely changed or even abolished. Dostoevsky wrote…
Many interpreters fear SRI and see the technology as a threat to their profession. “Will interpreters be replaced by technology?” is a question often asked. The interpreting technology pioneer Bill Woods gave the answer in 2011 at a panel discussion. At the GALA Conference in Amsterdam onMarch 26 - 27 I discussed business opportunities with the President of DS-Interpretation, Naomi Bowman. I discovered that she is the daughter of Bill: Here is what he said:
The Globalization and Localization Association (GALA) is the world's leading trade association for the language industry. On March 26-27, Oddmund and I attended the annual conference, which this year took place in Amsterdam. It is definitely the most important conference for Interprefy so we decided to become a co-sponsor this year. I like the GALA conference because it is organised by its members for the members. I always enjoy the positive and friendly atmosphere, the interesting people I meet and the professional organization of the event.
One of the speakers was Hélène Pielmeier from Common Sense Advisory who presented “A Cure without a Disease? Sustainability in Interpreting Technology…
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