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Tag ‘EMT collaboration’

An Enduring Shared Vision

Sunday, March 28th, 2021

Guest post by Dr Callum Walker, Lecturer in Translation Technology, and Dr Sara Ramos Pinto, Associate Professor in Translation Studies, at the Centre for Translation Studies, University of Leeds

The time has come when UK universities can no longer be part of the European Masters in Translation network. This comes as a great disappointment to a group of institutions, programmes and people that have worked (and laughed) together for so many years; however, this is a reality of Brexit which we now have to accept.

The University of Leeds – and no doubt, all former EMT members in the UK – is proud to have played a role in shaping the direction of the EMT network and the EMT competence framework over the course of its membership. We, like all members of the EMT network, can be extremely proud of the network’s achievements. Universities and programmes from across Europe have come together to contribute to and collaborate in the development of far-reaching standards, objectives and resources with a view to promoting a shared gold standard in postgraduate translator training.

While our EMT membership has sadly come to an end, our shared goals remain the same: to improve the quality of translator training, to enhance the quality of the translator labour market, and to support young professionals in making a success of their future careers. We remain steadfastly committed to collaboration with the EMT network, with the DGT and the EU more widely, as well as universities, institutions, and organisations across the EU.  We will continue to teach to the EMT competence framework on our MA programmes and to encourage our students to aim high and to be ambitious and open-minded in their outlook. We will encourage them to support the wider EU project, and to work, more generally, in professional and voluntary capacities across the continent, all for the greater European good.

We have already received many kind words of support from colleagues across the network, and we are very grateful to those who have already expressed a commitment to on-going collaboration in some capacity. We hope that we can still continue to develop collaborative projects with industry partners and universities within the EMT network and on the continent more generally. We are eager to welcome colleagues and students on study visits and work placements, and we are keen to maintain strong research, pedagogical, and industry links with our colleagues on the continent through invited lectures, seminars and workshops, and industry-focused events where speakers from EU institutions deliver talks to our students and staff. We are grateful to the DGT for allowing former UK members of the EMT network to continue to be invited to the EMT Working Groups as external experts, and we endeavour to share our resources and our ideas as widely as possible with institutions across the EU through this forum.

The EU has always been a front runner in developing new software and language resources, which have benefitted our students enormously over the years. We remain committed to working with the EU and EMT partners to further develop such resources in future, and we hope to be able to play an important role in supporting such initiatives despite our status.

In short, while this is a sad time for former EMT members in the UK, let it be known that our shared values and vision remain unchanged and undeterred. We will take the situation in our stride, make the most of the new status in the best way that we can, and ensure that our partners across the EU know that our doors will always be open.

Corona and EMT – crisis or kairos?

Tuesday, September 1st, 2020

By Konrad Fuhrmann, European Commission Directorate-General for Translation, EMT-Team

https://www.maxpixel.net/Coronavirus-Pandemic-Corona-Covid-19-Virus-Disease-4942823

All culture is the response to a crisis – that is in general terms, how the historian Arnold Toynbee described historical evolution. The immediate answer of the EMT Network to the challenges of the Covid-crisis was a sort of Corona-culture of teaching translation under the new special circumstances, which nobody could even think of.

In a first moment, all efforts made since October 2019 by the newly elected network – setting up the new Board, fixing priorities, planning the next network meetings – seemed to be thwarted or at least badly damaged by the insidious virus and the measures taken to fight it.  No physical meetings anymore, no direct networking, no spontaneous ideas of future collaboration during the coffee breaks … Corona hit the very heart of EMT!

However, after the first shock, after a short stay in the intensive care bed, figuratively speaking, EMT recovered instantly to full strength and used its networking resources to break the isolation of lockdown and other restrictions. Admittedly, the network meeting in March had to be cancelled without discussion, but then the ‘cancel culture’ finished immediately and gave place to a very creative debate: methods of distance-learning, use of digital tools and internet resources the network had already discussed as a secondary topic, overnight advanced to the centre of interest. A Corona – distance teaching & assessment group in Yammer started an intensive exchange of best practices, tricks and recommendations in order to tie up a parcel of emergency relief measures. Responding to the crisis, the network turned into a safety net designed to cope with the challenges of the crisis. The virus has increased a general trend to use more distance teaching, to apply new digital tools for teaching and assessment. As one of the participants of the Corona-group put it, the pandemic has simply precipitated the crisis in language teaching and assessment and produced answers, which once will become mainstream.

Six working groups, on EMT’s visibility & outreach, technological competence, L2-translation, audio-visual translation (AVT), CATO and PSIT, have been set up and are meeting regularly online. Contrary to all pessimistic expectations, on-line coordination has been working very well.

What comes next? In this period of utmost uncertainty, detailed plans B are, of course, indispensable. For the time being, it is clear that the next network meeting 29-30 October will be organised virtually with only the speakers coming to Brussels. The programme includes reporting on the results of the working groups and other EMT activities as well as breakout sessions: virtual meetings with DGT heads of language departments and debates on future topics. Technically, this will be a big challenge for the EMT team, which has to deal with different new tools in order to organise virtual plenary sessions with on-line interpreting and breakout sessions with another tool. This will be also a sort of dress rehearsal for plan B solutions in the future. We still hope that the Network meeting in March 2021 in Leipzig can be organised more or less normally, but that is all but sure. It is clear that even the best virtual solutions cannot replace the liveliness and spontaneity of physical meetings, the random talks in the coffee breaks. However, the current crisis is a good opportunity to carry out our plans B, to practise using new tools, in order to be better prepared for future epidemics, eruptions of volcanoes and other calamities, which may affect the work of EMT. Let us meet the challenge and fully develop the Corona-culture of EMT!