FIT in Denmark

Supporting colleagues; Connecting academia & professionals

FIT has not been this visible in Denmark since the leadership of the late President Florence Herbulot. Much has changed in the World’s “Happiest Country”
Despite FIT’s support of local professional organisations back in late 2014, the Danish government repealed Translatørloven 1988 - the act governing State Authorised Translators in January this year.

Though disrupted, our Danish colleagues remain optimistic as demonstrated by the exceptional attendance ranging from the very experienced to the recently graduated, at a seminar on the future of the translation and interpreting profession kindly hosted in the headquarters of Kommunikation og Sprog in the heart of Copenhagen. The convivial and constructive afternoon event concluded with the customary nibbles and networking. Thanks to the vast local network of Jørgen Christian Wind Nielsen, who has been part of nearly every FIT Congress in the last 20 years, this event assembled for the first time all four Danish associations - Forbundet Kommunikation og Sprog, Danske Translatører, (both current FIT members) Translatørforeningen og Dansk Oversætterforbund i Dansk Forfatterforening (ex-FIT members) and Dansk Oversætterforbund a section in Dansk Forfatterforening - under one roof - proving once again that FIT brings people together.

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Group photo at Kommunikation og Sprog

Accompanied by FIT Executive Director and local celebrity Jeannette Ørsted, President Liu met with the Presidents of two of the local associations to gain a deeper understanding of the local conditions and the impact of the new unregulated environment. He also offered FIT’s support towards a transparent, sustainable, and accountable system relevant to the needs of the Danish government, businesses, Danish people and their relationship with the world.

Given the importance this Council has placed on promoting literary translation and elevating the status of literary translators, President Liu held talks with President Morten Visby of Dansk Oversætterforbund and Vice President of Conseil Europeen des Associations de Traducteurs Litteraires (CEATL) exploring opportunities for future collaboration.

Increasing the visibility of translators and interpreters in the corporate and government sectors is a priority for President Liu and he had the opportunity to meet with Christel Weber Kristensen Gouas and Penrnille Malling of Sprogambassadørerne (see selfie below) a network dedicated to this very purpose in Denmark.

During this visit, President Liu also met with senior members of the Danish Institute of Human Rights (Institut for Menneskerettigheder) which has compiled two sets of solid research in the areas of legal and medical interpreting and translation. FIT is encouraged by the Institute’s advocacy for the rights of non-Danish speakers in Denmark and supports their broad aim.

President Liu also met with immediate past president of GALA Robert Etches and his colleague Britta Aagaard, who run the very successful Danish LSP - TextMinded. Discussions looked at how to jointly support individual translators, LSPs and the wider profession in this disrupted market. Robert and Britta promised that they will be sharing their vision at our Congress in 2017.

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President Liu with Christel Weber Kristensen Gouas and Penrnille Malling Sprogambassadørerne

Before the series of fruitful meetings with our Danish colleagues, President Liu attended the European Society of Translation Studies Congress (EST) in historic Aarhus following the invitation of their President Anthony Pym. Both presidents co-chaired a session on communicating research to practitioners and President Liu in his presentation President Liu emphasised the importance of  collaborative cooperation between academia and professionals, with  our respective successes being intricately linked. Powerful results from rigorous research are key to supporting better working conditions for professionals; whilst a vibrant and visible profession attracts brilliant young minds towards this career and profession and brings in new ideas and talents to translatology.

FIT would like to congratulate the newly elected Board of EST which is now serving a much wider membership than its name implies. In particular, under the leadership of a famous Danish linguist Arnt Lykke Jakobsen, and with the young graduate and ITI member Jonathan Downie also on the Board, FIT is confident that the relationship with EST will continue to grow.

After this successful visit to Denmark, President Liu made a special trip across the Øresund strait to Malmö to meet with the Presidents of Sveriges Facköversättarförening (SFÖ) and Föreningen Auktoriserade Transkatorer, both previously active members of FIT. Discussions were very constructive and produced some good suggestions on increasing FIT’s visibility in Sweden.

En route to Scandinavia, President Liu made a quick visit to Singapore where he kicked off the Translating Singapore Festival 2016. FIT looks forward to welcoming members from Singapore and the wider ASEAN countries into the FIT Family.
FIT would like to thank, once again, the invaluable local support and hard work from Jørgen Christian Wind Nielsen, and our outgoing Executive Director Jeannette Ørsted, without whom this visit could not have been so successful.

Click here to view the PDF version of this press release.

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