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Frieda Steurs — The Translator in a New Era: Towards Collaborative Translation and New Tools

Translation Industry, Language Industry, these are relatively new concepts that refer to the growing economic importance of translation and multilingual communication. The business of translation, interpreting and localization (software translation, revising websites, apps etc. for use in a foreign language) generates revenues of approximately $40 billion a year, reckons Common Sense Advisory.

Translators face many challenges, and the profession is changing. Are you going to do pure translation work, work in a localization team, being an account manager supervising workflow for multilingual projects, or are you taking part in ‘transcreation’ processes? Technology, far from replacing humans, offers tools that help translators to keep up with the growing demand for high-quality translation. Translators have to combine several skills, and be ‘tech savvy’.

What was a fragmented industry, using technological tools in isolation, is now becoming more consolidated using different tools and combining them. Collaborative translation, combining software, terminology management, translation memories and content management in one singe knowledge database might be a breakthrough.

In this presentation, I will give an overview of new technological trends for translators, with special attention to terminology management and collaborative solutions.


Frieda Steurs is full professor at the KU Leuven, Faculty of Arts, campus Antwerpen. She works in the field of terminology, language technology, specialized translation and multilingual document management.

She is a member of the research group “Quantitative Lexicology and Variation Linguistics’ (QLVL). Her research includes projects with industrial partners and public institutions.

She is the founder and former president of NL-TERM, the Dutch terminology association for both the Netherlands and Flanders. She is also the head of the ISO TC/37 standardization committee for Flanders and the Netherlands. She is the president of TermNet, the International Network for Terminology (Vienna).

Recent research projects include “TermWise: creating resources for specialized language use” (IOF funding KU Leuven 2009-2013), “SCATE - Smart Computer-Aided Translation Environment” (IWT 2014-2018) and “e-Lex: e-lexicography” (ISCH COST Action IS1305 2013-2017)

Updated 20/07/2016