Call for papers

The South African Translators’ Institute takes pleasure in announcing its Second Triennial Conference

The Changing Face of Translation and Interpreting

Gauteng, 30 September–1 October 2015

Following on its successful inaugural triennial conference in 2012, the South African Translators’ Institute takes pleasure in announcing its Second Triennial Conference, to take place at the end of September 2015. The conference will once again coincide with the celebration of International Translation Day and will include the presentation of the prestigious SATI Prizes for Outstanding Translation and Dictionaries for 2015. These awards were introduced by SATI in 2000 as a means of promoting the publication of translated works in the South African official languages.


From fountain pens to typewriters to speech recognition ... From index cards to electronic dictionaries and the knowledge highway ... From the Nuremberg trials to telephone and video remote interpreting ...

As the world changes, so do many aspects of the work of translators and interpreters. Graduates today can barely believe what they hear about the working conditions of their predecessors only 30 years ago. Today a wealth of information is at our fingertips. We have a plethora of tools to enable us to translate faster and more consistently. We can consult colleagues all over the world without leaving our desks.

For clients, too, translation has changed. No longer do they battle to find a local translator to meet their needs – professional associations all over the world have directories of members waiting to assist. They can send out a text before leaving the office in the evening and have the translation waiting when they come in again next morning, thanks to communication over time zones. They can balance their costs and their target audiences over different projects by using translators in different parts of the world. They can consult their own clients on the other side of the world or a doctor in another country owing to the availability of expert telephone interpreters. They can run a text through a machine translation program and get an immediate idea of what it is about.

The changes present us with both new challenges and new opportunities. Speed, cost and volume are important considerations, but practitioners also need to work smarter and be open to change, adapt to changing roles, learn new skills and master new tools.

Using this year’s theme for International Translation Day, the SA Translators’ Institute, a key actor in the language profession in South Africa, invites researchers and practitioners to submit proposals for presentations, panel discussions, seminars or workshops on the conference theme. There will be several parallel sessions following the plenary presentations, with the themes dependent on the proposals submitted.

The content of the conference will appeal equally to practitioners and academics and we look forward to receiving proposals from both groupings. Proposals can deal with any aspect of the theme, ranging from an overview of changes that have taken place through case studies of developments that are changing the face of the profession to innovations still in the pipeline. Some ideas to keep in mind while considering the theme:

  • The role of translators and interpreters today is the same as it was a thousand years ago: to enable people to communicate.
  • Quality remains the touchstone in any assignment and this still depends on the skill and experience of the translator or interpreter and selecting the right person for the job.
  • Translators still have to craft each text to fit its purpose.
  • Clients still need to brief the translator or interpreter of their needs properly.
  • Translators still need to keep themselves fresh, up-to-date and on the ball through continuing professional development.

Key dates:

• Deadline for submission of abstracts: 31 March 2015 Extended to 15 April 2015
• Authors informed of acceptance: 15 May 2015
• Provisional programme published: 25 May 2015
• Early bird registrations open: 25 May 2015
• Regular registrations open: 1 July 2015
• Submission of full version of papers: 20 August 2015
• Final programme published: 1 September 2015
• Registrations close: 15 September 2015

Prospective contributors are requested to submit an abstract of 500 words to by 31 March 2015. The conference language is English.

The following formats are possible:
• Presentations (30 minutes, including time for questions)
• Panel discussions (90 minutes)
• Seminars (90 or 180 minutes)
• Workshops (90 or 180 minutes)

When submitting your abstract, please include contact details and a 150-word bio of the presenters as well as the knowledge level of the participants you primarily wish to address: basic/beginners, advanced, or all participants.

Questions and queries can be addressed to the SATI Office at or 011 803 2681.




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