ATISDA Blog (Association of Translators and Interpreters in the San Diego Area)

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The International Book Fair of Guadalajara

IMG_4715There’s still time to make it to Guadalajara’s International Book Fair (FIL), the second-largest in the world. But you better hurry because it ends Sunday, Dec. 7.

I was fortunate to have attended the first three days of the 10-day event. If you’ve never been, check out this VIDEO BLOG to get an idea of what it’s like. There’s way more to it than just books.


OMT Conference

 The Evolution of Translation

I’m just back from Guadalajara, Mexico, where I attended the Mexican Translators Association (OMT) conference and the first three days of the International Book Fair (FIL). So while many of you were visiting with family, finishing off leftover turkey and getting caught up in the holiday shopping frenzy, I was meeting with new and old friends and colleagues, gobbling up tasty Mexican food and getting swept up in book-buying mania.


Photographers capture the inauguration of the OMT’s 18th International Translation and Interpretation Conference on Nov. 29, 2014, in Guadalajara, Mexico.

OMT President Jennifer Nielsen kicked off the inauguration of the organization’s 18th annual conference on Nov. 29 with opening remarks. She was followed by longtime OMT member Mercedes Guhl, whose close collaboration with the FIL has permitted the OMT conference to take place at the book fair for the past several years, setting it apart from other translation conferences. This year’s gathering drew over 200 attendees and dozens of presenters from several countries, including Mexico, Spain, Argentina, France and the United States.

Manuel Gómez Garza (L) and Andrés Ehrenhaus (R) talk about translators’ rights

The presentations covered everything from the translation of literature, children’s books and comics, to the role of technology in interpreting. In a discussion on translators’ rights, Manuel Gómez Garcia of Mexico and Andrés Ehrenhaus of Argentina urged translators to read every line of a contract before they sign it, and to negotiate parts they don’t agree with. Additionally, several pre- and post- conference workshops tackled the topics of specialized legal translation, translation for dubbing and voiceovers, and pharmaceutical translation.


Xosé Castro of Spain gives a speech on the importance of adapting to the ever changing translation industry.

Xosé Castro, a translator, writer, and photographer from Spain addressed the conference’s theme, translation in evolution, in the closing speech.
 He stressed the importance of adapting to the rapidly changing industry, especially in the area of technology, saying translators should have a good command of translation memory software and “God” level knowledge of Word if they don’t want to be left behind.
 He also had some tips for freelancers: to shower and get dressed every day, limit your time with social media, and use the same name for your business across all social media channels.


OMT Conference attendees fuel up (and loosen up) at La Bocha restaurant during the first day of the OMT Conference

Having attended four OMT conferences, I highly recommend it for Spanish-speaking translators and interpreters, especially since the ATA no longer offers a Spanish-language conference. For folks in the U.S., the conference’s timing may be inconvenient as it usually falls on the weekend following Thanksgiving and three weeks after the ATA’s annual conference. But, trust me, it won’t disappoint as it is rolled into the world’s second-largest book fair and takes place in one of Mexico’s most dynamic cities.

If the long Thanksgiving weekend is a bad time for you to go, or you don’t speak Spanish, then consider heading to Guadalajara the following week to attend just the book fair, which runs a full 10 days and is truly an international event. If you’re still not convinced the FIL is worth the trip, then wait for my next blog.