Thanks to an invitation to attend the successful inaugural Words-to-Deeds Legal Translation Conference held in the historic surroundings of the Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn, President Liu was able to visit a number of universities with dedicated translation and interpreting sections.
In addition to strengthening ties through meeting students, staff and heads of departments, these visits also give insight into the latest specialised research undertaken across universities, to better understand the needs of UK institutions and areas where FIT can collaborate and offer support. Face to face visits increase the visibility of FIT, and therefore the wider translation, interpreting and terminology professions, as well as highlighting the latest professional trends in the industry.
First stop was a visit to FIT associate member, Centre for Translation Studies, CenTraS at University College London (UCL). UCL has a strong and well established tradition of translator training and very high level translation studies research, recently adding a programme in interpreting to its repertoire. Apart from a dedicated lecture to UCL students and staff, Dr Federico Federici and Dr Jorges Diaz Cintras organised a public lecture at Gustave Flint, film location for the movie Inception. President Liu gave a holistic overview of the importance of translation, interpreting and terminology in Great Britain today, generating much discussion and interest especially as Great Britain embarks on a new chapter redefining its role in global affairs. President Liu also met with Karen Stokes Chair of Council of the Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIOL) an institution with current FIT Observer Status. Improving visibility of translators and interpreters in the UK and beyond is firmly on the agenda of both presidents, who held talks looking at positive, mutual collaboration in the future.
Following UCL, President Liu travelled to the University of East Anglia (UEA) in Norwich at the invitation of Dr Joanna Drugan, whose multidisciplinary research on the impact of translation and interpreting on the delivery of healthcare and the investigation of crime leads the world. The public lecture at UEA brought together not only students and staff but also members of ITI East Anglia and local LSPs.
Whilst in Norwich, President Liu also met with Professor Duncan Large, the head of the British Centre for Literary Translation (BCLT), a long term supporter and advocate of literary translation especially into English. During the meeting, President Liu and Director Large explored areas of collaboration including promoting the successful Fellowships and Internships that BCLT proudly runs. The two committed to renew the role literary translation and literary translators play in FIT especially in the participation of Translators’ Association - FIT Member Association, under the umbrella of the Society of Authors.
President Liu then travelled across the Isle to vibrant Bristol thanks to the invitation of Dr Carol O’Sullivan, a member of the European Society of Translation Studies (EST), a longstanding strategic FIT partner. The public lecture at University of Bristol not only drew an audience to fill the lecture theatre, it also brought together a very diverse crowd of professionals from the much wider region, including former ITI Chair Nick Rosenthal (Manchester), well known personality in social media circles Karen Andrews (@AnglicityKaren)(London), Paweł Janicki (Southampton) of the newly formed Association of Certified Interpreters (ACCI) and NZSTI expat in Cardiff Chloe Pellegrin.
FIT was particularly delighted to have present Jesper Sandberg, President of GALA, who travelled from Swansea for an impromptu GALA-FIT Summit. Apart from exploring areas of future collaboration, Jesper reiterated the commitment of his predecessor Véronique Özkaya, to mutually support industry development.
Historic Durham was the final destination of this whistle-stop UK tour, at the invitation of A/Prof Binghan Zheng, another member of the EST network. Not only does Durham have a strong translation and intercultural studies department, it is also well known for its classics department, a centre of excellence in oriental studies and has strong ties with UNESCO. During the visit, with the famous Durham Cathedral and Castle constantly in the background, meetings explored many areas of common interest, and ways in which FIT can assist in the activities of Durham University, especially with respect to its strengths in leading research in neuroimaging and translation, Museum Studies and UNESCO. The visit concluded with a formal dinner in what is now more commonly known as the Harry Potter Hall.
President Liu and FIT would like to specially thank Drs Joanna Drugan, Federico Federici, Carol O’Sullivan and A/Prof Binghan Zheng for making this visit such an unparalleled success. FIT would also like to thank everyone from the four universities who helped in organising and promoting this visit, and the generous support and hospitality from the four universities while travelling the British Isles.