International “Interpreting the Future” Conference in Berlin, Germany

From 28 to 30 September 2012, the German Interpreters and Translators Association BDÜ will be hosting its 2nd international conference entitled “Interpreting the Future”. Around 150 practically relevant presentations, seminars and workshops, a job exchange and a trade exhibition await the participants. The opening speech will be delivered by Prof. Dr. Annette Schavan, Federal Minister of Education and Research. The patrons of the international conference are Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism, Sport, Media and Youth, and Wolfgang Steimels, President of Germany’s Federal Language Service (Bundessprachenamt). The event, which 1500 people from Germany and abroad are expected to attend, is to take place at the Henry Ford Building of Freie Universität Berlin. In Germany, it is regarded as a “must go” event for translators and interpreters in 2012.

The theme for this year’s conference is “Translators and Interpreters: Experts for International Communication in Specialised Fields”, putting the focus on the expertise of interpreters and translators and the trend towards specialisation. While translators and interpreters were formerly often generalists working in many different areas, they tend now to adopt closely defined specialisations. Market requirements have contributed greatly to this trend. Without those specialisations, freelance translators in particular find it difficult to establish themselves on the market. This is even more of an acute concern when one remembers that half of the 40,000 interpreters and translators in Germany are self-employed. The current requirements are reflected in the focal topics of the lectures, seminars and workshops. There are, for example, presentations on terminology work, interpreting in court and in the health service, new IT developments for translators and current trends in conference interpreting. Seminars and workshops will provide initial insights into specialist fields such as nanotechnology or financial derivatives for translators wishing to work in those areas. There will also be a series of events aimed specifically at freelancers, dealing with topics such as marketing, business development and positioning.

The international “Interpreting the Future” conference is an event organised by the Bundesverband der Dolmetscher und Übersetzer e. V. (BDÜ), with the aim of creating a platform for the exchange of information and experience between interpreters and translators from across the globe. Together with presentations, seminars and workshops, the conference includes a job exchange and a trade exhibition. Around 1,600 people from over 40 countries took part in the first conference in September 2009. BDÜ Weiterbildungs- und Fachverlagsgesellschaft mbH, a company owned and managed by the BDÜ, is the organiser of the event. Further information on the conference can be found at