Cochrane was invited to participate in the V Translating Voices, Translating Regions Conference convened by Dr Christophe Declercq and Dr Federico M. Federici of UCL university and held at Europe House in London, 13 – 15 December.
The fifth international conference addressed issues around the complexity of multilingual communication in humanitarian crisis and emergency situations, the people involved, and the potential technologies that could facilitate intercultural communication during crises in the future.
Cochrane was invited to take part at the conference because of its involvement as one of several international partners in the EU-funded INTERACT project. INTERACT stands for “International Network on crises translation”, and was successful in the EU’s H2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research and Innovation Staff Exchange Network framework. INTERACT launched in April 2017 and is being led by Dr Sharon O’Brien, a lecturer in Translation Studies at the School of Applied Language and Intercultural Studies at Dublin City University. Dr O’Brien also attended the conference, and started the final session of the third day, an INTERACT panel, with an introduction to the project, followed by presentations from other partners from Arizona State University, and the University of Auckland.
Hayley Hassan, Translations Support Officer at Cochrane, gave the final presentation as part of the INTERACT panel, giving an introduction to Cochrane and its work, with a focus on the translation strategies used to translate its evidence-based health information. Though Cochrane’s translation activities, that have to date produced more than 20,000 translations of Cochrane Review summaries in 14 languages, don’t strictly fall into the realm of crisis translation, Cochrane evidence covers topics relevant to humanitarian crises and emergencies, and Cochrane uses or explores translation approaches that are also being researched in the INTERACT project as potentially effective strategies in crises situations, namely volunteer involvement, (post-editing of) machine translations, and text simplification and standardisation.
The conference was a great opportunity to present Cochrane and its work to a translation research audience, as well as having the chance to learn more about the challenges specific to crisis translation.
Watch this space, as there will be more updates arising from Cochrane’s involvement in INTERACT in the coming year.
Interested in keeping up-to-date with the INTERACT project? Follow the project’s progress on Twitter @CrisisTrans