Bridging borders and sharing ideas: The Nordic Translation Forum

“Great oaks from little acorns grow”… a wonderfully evocative saying!  We can easily envisage the world of translation as a network of roots and shoots enabling the sharing of information and the growth of ideas across the world. And in the case of facilitating the transfer and translation of information and ideas from the developed world to developing countries, Translators without Borders (TWB) plays a key role.

It was shared ideas, initially scribbled on the back of an envelope as they chatted over dinner, which led Anne-Marie Colliander Lind, CEO of Consulting and Cecilia Enbäck of Translator Scandinavia to launch the Nordic Translation Industry Forum (NTIF). Their aim was to fill a perceived gap in the Nordic translation conference market, which had hitherto focused on freelancers rather than translation companies. That was in 2011, with the very first event held in Malmö, Sweden just six months after the idea was conceived. The forum attracted 110 business participants from 19 countries extending far beyond the Nordic borders. Its success led to the forum being rolled out as an annual affair.

Translators without Borders has also benefited from NTIF’s success and the generous support of its delegates. Anne-Marie is Director of Fundraising for TWB for which she has organized a series of localization, technology and fundraising events. The NTIF has brought TWB increased exposure to key players in the translation industry who can contribute to our mission. The NTIF’s Social Hour, where a series of games have been included to raise funds for TWB, has become a reoccurring success. Not only does it make an important contribution to TWB, it is also a highly appreciated networking activity. This year, the games are kindly sponsored by STP Nordic, Semantix, TextPartner, Nuadda, KantanMT, WordFinder and Diskusija.

“It is actually all about sharing”, observes Anne-Marie. “Information. Knowledge. Know-how. Wealth. By supporting Translators without Borders we contribute to a world where information provided in local languages will make a difference. For more people. Our wish is to bridge information and communication gaps through languages.”

The fourth annual Nordic Translation Forum took place in late November. It was held in Helsingør, Denmark, with delegates from some 30 countries. The keynote speaker was Hans Rosenfeldt, creator of the TV crime series The Bridge that has been sold to huge acclaim to all except three countries around the world. Given its global exposure and success, and Rosenfeldt’s welcome participation in the NTIF, the TV series title is more than inspired!

Sarah Powell