FTI and Geneva

The FTI’s 75th Anniversary

In honour of the FTI’s 75th anniversary, we opened our doors and invited the general public to explore the fascinating fields we work in. The programme included three days of conferences, activities and information stands in Uni Mail, from 29th September to 1st October 2016.

On Thursday, the second edition of our Virtual Doctoral School was launched with a seminar by Sharon O’Brien of Dublin City University, entitled Interdisciplinarity in translation research: can the sum be greater than the parts?” At this event, we officially inaugurated the Faculty’s new webinar room. Next, we rendered homage to Antoine Velleman, who founded the FTI (originally called the École d’interprètes de Genève, then École de traduction et d’interprétation), with “Beginnings – the past and future of conference interpreting”. This activity outlined the history of our cooperation with the international organisations, a relationship well-illustrated by the number of FTI graduates working for them. Speakers included Brigitte Bissière and Ian Newton (ILO), Juan Carlos Jiménez Marín (European Parliament), Zhengren Li (UNOG), Javier Hernández Saseta (European Commission), and Kilian G. Seeber (FTI). This also provided the perfect occasion to name the interpreter training room after our founder and present a new video on conference interpreter training at the FTI.

Later that day, we officially commemorated our 75th anniversary before the Rector of the University, as well as representatives of cantonal authorities and Geneva’s international community. Brian Fox, the European Commission’s former Director of Interpreting, gave a lecture on “The evolution of multilingualism and language professions: what are the stakes?” Our Dean also introduced the Faculty’s new MA in Translation programmes, a new MA in Multilingual Communication Technology, as well as an interactive map that shows the whereabouts of our alumni. We ended the evening in merry company with a reception and buffet in the hall of Uni Mail, accompanied by music provided by members of the FTI community. We were also treated to a dance performance called “Nous et moi” that was created especially for this event and set to music arranged by a student in our Faculty.

’s events began with lectures by two renowned researchers. Prof Martin Pickering of the University of Edinburgh spoke about “Structural priming within and between languages and its implications”. Prof Christiane Nord of the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein (South Africa), who is the recipient of an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Geneva, gave a talk entitled “Decision-making from a functional point of view: A top-down approach to the translation process”. In the Uni Mail hall, we set up stands featuring a number of professional translation and interpreting associations from Switzerland, Italy, France and Germany. For two hours, participants had the opportunity to exchange information and perspectives with representatives of these associations. On the other side of the hall, the public was invited to peruse over 20 posters created by members of the Faculty’s three departments, showcasing their diverse research activities.

We capped off the day with a roundtable discussion involving employers in the translation industry and graduates of our Faculty. Students and the general public had the opportunity to interact with Anne Aboh-Dauvergne (Deputy chief of the languages service, UNOG), Diane Chadarevian (Head of the Arabic Translation Section, Language Division, WIPO), Guy Constantin (Founder and Director, textocreativ), Hélène Deguil (Chief of the Language and Technology Support Section, WTO), Christine Kamer Diehl (Head of Quality Management, SwissGlobal Language Services) and Florian Simmen (Head of Language services, UEFA).

was open house day. We set up a wide variety of activities for the public, who had the opportunity to try their hand at interpreting, converse with a computer, thanks to speech-recognition software designed for language learning, and identify and correct translation errors in a video game. The Association des ÉtudiantEs en Traduction et Interprétation (AETI) organised a scavenger hunt, giving the public an opportunity to learn more about our Faculty, activities and facilities, as well as translation and interpreting in general.

We also gave the general public an intriguing look into the mind of a translator and invited them to peruse translations published by members of the FTI community and attend interactive presentations on corpus studies, language-learning technology, machine translation, dictionaries, pre- and post-editing and sign language. This final day of celebrations also featured plurilingual readings, the performance of a Greek tale translated into French and the presentation of a project that aims to help integrate young migrants in Switzerland.

For the complete programme and photos taken over the three days, go to the FTI website.