Echoes from the TEDActive 2012 Translator Workshop
On Sunday 26 March 2012, a group of TED Translators from all over the world gathered in Palm Springs for the second TED Translator workshop.
There was Mahmoud, a Syrian engineer living in Kuwait, who had finally convinced the US authorities that he wasn't a terrorist nor an immigrant - and so was able to secure a visa. There was Gohar from Armenia, with her radiant smile. And Aliaksandr, an eager Russian translator living in Italy.
There was Matti from Sweden, who looked 20 but turned out to be 33. Per from Sweden was an Alain Delon look-a-like. Dick from Sweden was a TED veteran, proudly wearing his TED host badge and living up to it. And Martin from Norway invited us to come listen to his TEDYou talk. Yes indeed, Scandinavia was well represented.
But there was also Unnawut from Thailand, whose name some mischievous participant misread as 'unwanted' - couldn't have been more wrong! Meriç from Orange County translates into Turkish. Bulgarian Darina's artist name Joy fits her like a glove. Korean translator Jeong always asked engaging questions.
There was Magda from Princeton, also a long-time veteran to the project, and a Polish translator. Wataru from Japan owned a most amazing camera. Alberto from Italy somehow looked like Mahmoud - at least on the webstream.
And then there was Anwar, of course, my neighbour for the day, full of positive energy.
In the afternoon Linda arrived, sadly without luggage. Luckily, she carried her camera as hand luggage.
But on top of this group, a whole bunch of TED Global translators listened in through a webstream: Dimitra, Krystian, Laszlo, Lidia, Katja, Sebastian, Sergio, Kristine, Katarina, Elena... and I'm probably forgetting a number of others. Do forgive me, and feel free to add your names - after all, this is a wiki.
On the TED staff side, Kristin and Jenny were present, as were Alex and Roxane, and a bunch of their friends.
We listened to Alberto, who talked about ways to translate the part of the cultural iceberg that's under water. Mahmoud surprised us with lessons learned from translating TEDTalks. Can't wait to add his quotes to the OTPedia Main Portal. Darina delivered a call for action. Wataru spoke about reaching out to the young, which appears to be a challenge in a complex language like Japanese. But you know, complexity is complex, isn't it, Anwar? Anwar talked about turning negative energy into positive energy through the gift of sharing for free. And I talked about OTPedia - no surprises there.
Then Andrew Saxe from Smartling was up with a presentation on the localisation of the TED.com website. Translating a complex website like this into so many languages is a challenge, which is why the project has not yet been extended to all languages. A few issues are still in the process of being solved, but overall good progress is being made.
Last speaker was Dean Jansen, who presented Universal Subtitles, which will not only be a new subtitling tool but which will also provide language coordinators with extra tools.
After that, the group broke up into three subgroups, one about the localisation project, one about Universal Subtitles and a third one about OTP 2.0. The main thing to remember from the latter one is that with the upcoming addition of the TEDxTalks to the OTP, we need to bridge the gap between the OTP and the TEDx communities.
In an attempt to do that, I share a house with 4 Belgian TEDx Organizers at TEDActive. I must say that I'm not aware of any gap there, rather of very solid common ground.
Looking forward to an exciting week at TEDActive