Category: Berlin

Sprachen und Media – Les langues dans l’audiovisuel

8th International Conference and Exhibition on Language Transfer in Audiovisual Media at the Hotel Intercontinental 6-8 October 2010, in Berlin, Germany


Next Conference: October 2012, Hotel Intercontinental, Berlin, Germany

When I attended the Languages and the Media Conference at the Hotel Intercontinental in Berlin, Germany, the Federation of International Translators hosted all participants with a Reception and Welcome Hosts to visit Alexanderplatz, the surrounding educational institutions, the International Exhibition on Language Transfer and Audiovisual Media. I was able to visit Berlin and drive through the Brandenburg Gate on the way to the Hotel Intercontinental in 1996. It was a memorable experience to participate in the Languages and The Media Conference in Berlin, Germany.

Language Transfer in Audiovisual Media:
New Media – New Contexts
New Translator Profiles?
Digitisation and the explosion in digital content, social media, cloud computing and new platforms offer growing opportunities for audiovisual production, distribution and localisation. These developments are flanked by diversifying concepts and modes of audiovisual translation (multidimensional translation, all forms of accessibility), consequently blurring distinctions and supposed dichotomies (professional versus amateur, productivity versus quality, subtitling versus dubbing, etc.).

Open resources, open markets and open societies are creating new distribution contexts but are also imposing new (working) constraints, which force us to question current training programmes and anticipate future ones.

The 8th International Languages and the Media Conference and Exhibition with its focus on language transfer in audiovisual media addresses these challenges with the following twelve themes:

1.Global Content – Local Audiences / Global Audiences – Local Content: globalisation vs. glocalisation, global and local markets, multilingual access, internationalisation (English as lingua franca), consumer choice, supply and demand, power and ideology.

2.Broadcasting and Language Policy: programming, multilingual and multicultural settings, internet broadcasting, legislation, special interest channels, ethnic minorities, lesser-used languages.

3.Social Media: YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Wikis and Co., Web 2.0 and Web 3.0, participatory culture.
4.Crowdsourcing: fansubbing, fandubbing, amateur translation and interpreting, activist networks, “natural” translators and interpreters, community translation, collective intelligence.
5.Technical Documentation and AV Localisation: corporate videos, corporate terminology, TMs, AVT and cloud computing, subtitling, voiceover, dubbing, interpreting, narration, reversioning.
6.Access and Live Entertainment: accessibility and social cohesion, audio description for the blind and the partially sighted, subtitling for the deaf and the hard-of-hearing, surtitles, audio subtitling, sign language interpreting, revoicing, museums, opera, theatre, religious settings, sports and other live events.
7.Games Localisation: interactive software, serious games, online and mobile gaming, dealing with linguistic assets.

8.Tools and Technologies: new software developments, 3D, translation memory systems and computer-assisted tools applied to AVT, machine translation, voice recognition, speech-to-text, text-to-speech, virtual environments, digitisation, on-the-go technology, eye-tracking.

9.Productivity and Re-Usability: quantity vs. quality, revision, redubbing, resubtitling, costs, pivot languages, archiving, metadata, multiple platforms, distribution and exhibition, translators’ rights.

10.Translator Training: academic curricula, translators’ agency, skills and abilities, didactics, undergraduate and postgraduate, work placements/work experience.

11.Audiovisual Literacy: research dissemination, professional ethics, audiovisual genres and translation, audience profiling, reception approaches, multimodality.

12.Language Acquisition: foreign language learning and AVT, mother tongue literacy, lesser taught languages, reading skills.
October 6-8, 2010, Berlin, Germany

On my last day in East Berlin, Germany, Edith, a friendly German colleague, gave me a quick tour of Alexanderplatz and Nikolai-vierte. I stood and gazed at the World Clock monument overlooking Alexanderplatz which shows simultaneous times in cities around the globe and the word “Weltanschauung” came to mind. I had ventured across the Atlantic and flown beyond time zones to get an overview of the multilingual world at the Languages & the Media Conference and the International Conference and Exhibition on Languages, EXPO, held in Berlin, Germany, November 20-23, 1996.

The theme of this conference evolved around the use of language(s) in the context of social challenges, modes of communication, and technology present for tomorrow, given that language(s) can serve dual functions as assets or obstacles to communication in the media. To what extent will new kinds of telecommunications impact language(s) and other forms of linguistic interactions? The concept of multipoint language diffusion, telematics, and distance-learning have become more prevalent in the global community.

In a multilingual environment, multipoint cooperation is promoted over bilateral collaboration only because the latter can become too limiting. Since the multipoint use of language has changed systematically in time, the existing tradition and knowledge is not satisfactory; consequently, there is a need to research and update knowledge on worldwide telecommunications and media to maximize linguistic diffusion within cultural contexts. “The medium is the message,” words of Marshall McLuhan, the media guru, echoed in the background. Or, can the message be perceived as the medium, “language as a medium”? These rhetorical questions and proposed new queries se the tone throughout the symposium for the panel discussions and the topics for the international team of speakers who attended the sessions.

The closing remarks at the end of this conference, called for media professionals and linguists to consider the consequences of multimedia and study the challenge of “language(s) without the media” or “the media without language(s)” in order to provide
viable solutions for a multilingual world.

Language and the Media Conference
Held in Berlin, Germany

Written by Gardenia Hung-Wittler for THE CHICATA News, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.

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