2018 IAMLADP Annual Meeting

The Translation Centre attended the 2018 International Annual Meeting on Language Arrangements, Documentation and Publication (IAMLADP). It was hosted by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a UN Agency, in Montreal from 26 to 28 June 2018. The event brought together over 110 participants from around 50 different international organisations.

The International Annual Meeting on Language Arrangements, Documentation and Publications (IAMLADP) is the biggest network of managers of international organisations (IOs) employing conference and language service providers – mainly translators and interpreters. As such, IAMLADP represents a community of about 10,000 language professionals. The United Nations Department for General Assembly and Conference Management in New York is the permanent Chair of IAMLADP.

The Head of Administration of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) welcomed the participants. He reaffirmed the importance of multilingualism and outlined the various challenges related to the need to deliver more results with fewer resources, to provide lifelong training to its staff and to integrate new technologies such as machine translation and artificial intelligence.

A peer session devoted to the crucial issue of the integration of machine translation (MT) was especially important for all IOs. The use of neural technologies appears to have fundamentally changed the game in machine translation, and it is assumed that the quality and thus the usability of MT output will improve over time. Clearly, MT is here to stay and is changing the way translators work. It should also be borne in mind that it is part of a resource mix offered to translators (together with translation memories, corpus query tools, term bases, etc). It is therefore not a silver bullet that can be used like a magic wand to fix everything. 

The participants also discussed the concept of “reprise”, a word which is used in some organisations to refer to the reuse of previous translations through translation memories. The discussions focused on the various ways of assessing the benefits (in terms of productivity, but also the financial discounts) resulting from the identification of various types of matches (full matches, fuzzy matches, context/perfect matches, repetitions, etc.).

The participants discussed the major results achieved by the IAMLADP community, in particular the Joint Training Ventures which allow the participating organisations to benefit from a wonderful instrument to provide practical training at a reasonable cost by capitalizing on internal expertise available within international organisations. 

At the end of the meeting, the participants adopted a number of Strategic Conclusions arising from the IAMLADP 2018 Annual Meeting. IAMLADP members are encouraged to share information on multilingualism policies and practices, to innovate with respect to technological tools, but also in the selection, training and management of their staff. International organisations should therefore keep abreast of new technologies in the field of translation and interpreting and they should continue to jointly develop outreach materials in order to promote careers for linguists in international and intergovernmental organizations.

The IAMLADP members also stressed the need for Member states to provide dedicated resources to their language and conference services in order to allow them to fully uphold their mandates, a sine qua non to ensure the accessibility and inclusiveness of the services they provide.

The IAMLADP 2019 Annual Meeting will be hosted by the European institutions in Brussels in June 2019.