The other side of the mirror
What is it like to move from translating content you have little say in to actually helping to create it—or even being the creative director and project lead for an entire brand identity campaign that fundamentally changes the source-language “voice” of your company? In a word, what’s it like to move over to the other side of the mirror? An in-house team at a Swiss bank did just that.
This short talk tells the story of how, over a period of a decade, Banque Cantonale Vaudoise’s translators gradually transitioned from being a low- to no-visibility unit within the bank, on management’s radar only when something went wrong and at risk of getting outsourced or downsized, to a position right at the center of the bank’s communications.
The lessons their story provides—about communicating to clients, business processes, hiring, training, specializing and collaborating, but most importantly of all, about ambition—are of use to any translator looking to secure a durably compelling career in an age of increasingly good machine translation.
David Jemielity is Senior English Translator and Head of Translations at Banque Cantonale Vaudoise (BCV) in Lausanne, Switzerland. BCV is a mid-sized bank with 2300 employees including 5-8 translators covering English, French, and German. Since 2012 he has also been a member of the bank’s comité editorial, a 6-person group that sets BCV’s communications policy across languages. He is currently creative director and project lead for the bank’s brand identity campaign, which won both the Prix du Jury and the Prix du Public at the 2014 Swiss Web Program Festival.
Dave is also a tenured faculty member of the University of Geneva’s Faculty of Translation and Interpretation, where he teaches in the graduate French>English track. His research centers on target-text effectiveness in financial translation and high-end translation process design and has been presented widely at conferences in Europe and North America and in print. He was a Distinguished Speaker at the 2010 American Translators Association Annual Conference. Dave is currently working on a chapter devoted to translation in business contexts for the upcoming Routledge Handbook of Translation and Culture, due out in 2017.
Dave studied English and philosophy at Amherst (USA) and Oxford (UK) and has been translating since the early 1990s.
This 20-minute talk is scheduled for Friday, 5 May, 2017, followed by a short moderated Q&A session. You can attend this session by purchasing a 1-day or a 2-day pass to BP17.