The first Aptrad conference in Porto 2016

Translation conferences are addictive: do not go to one, it will not be your last!
Reports on conferences and other events were written to inform in the past. In the digital era we can all look up the programme, the data, the attendees on the corresponding website. You can even look at pictures.
Nevertheless, two people who attend the same conference will have a totally different experience...
This was my first conference with an office colleague, but again, it will not be the last. It was fun to see the conference through her eyes as well as mine, and we will be able to talk about other sessions at the office later. We were spoilt for choice.

As a sedentary professional I was dreading the 9 to 5 walking I had scheduled for Friday, but we also sat and stopped for coffee and a long lunch! The visit to the Casa da Música was very interesting, everything has its (acoustic) purpose. The various rooms have been given their own atmosphere and function. I particularly enjoyed the orange room where we sat on an orange slope and listened to the guide move around to make sounds using the motion sensor and when we left all we had to do was lift our legs to slide down to the tiles... We were told that if we did not play in this room, we had to leave. Two of us stayed a little longer rolling the cork stool (Corks Stool Kruk by Moooi, designed by Jasper Morrison) up the slope...

Dinner was served by very friendly young men who realized this crowd was different, or at least some of use... They followed our lead making it a very relaxed and fun evening indeed.
After a long day with old friends, new friends and lots of interesting conversation I landed in my bed at nearly 2 am. I woke up at half past four wondering what I had been thinking months earlier when I suggested the Cultural Greetings session, which I referred to as the hugging session. There was nothing I could do now.... The organizers gave their opening speech thanking everyone and as Marta's opening video had to be rescheduled due to technical issues, the conference started out with the more and less experienced translators and interpreters laughing and hugging with me...

Susana talked about the fact that we should always keep in mind that we are just one cog in the (project cycle) wheel.
I talked about the advantages of both seasoned and unseasoned professionals and why matching one with the other produces a better end product.

Sarah talked about communities of practice, taking the ITI as the main example but not focussing on the specifics.

I must admit that the short night caught up to me just after lunch and I sneaked out for a short nap...

Lloyd gave an interesting talk on ensuring social media visibility to contribute towards our professional image.

Francesca and many translators did some yoga exercises sitting down and one standing up to conclude with 'the lion'. The lion kept cropping up in conversations later...

At conferences, I make an effort to meet new people but sometimes things go differently. At the gala dinner I sat with many friends and only one unknown entity. I asked him "who are you and why?" as I sometimes do. He said that he had been at the conference all day and had not spoken to anyone. Things can change dramatically once you start a conversation, as his FB comment shows ("Thanks dear for welcoming me and making me feel a part and not apart!!!").

The gala dinner was held at a port cellar restaurant. The entrance had a (huge) leaking barrel which I could barely resist to lick and the ladies' room had two see-through tiles, one on the floor and one on the wall at the far side when entering, providing a view of a rivulet on its way to the Douro.

Another short night followed by coffee later meant I had not looked at the programme. When I asked when it all started, I was informed it had at 9:30 and therefore I missed the keynote speakers on the second day.
I attended Nádia's talk who mentioned the etymology of freelancer (mercenaries) but then went a step further and mentioned the etymology of the words 'free' and 'lancer'. I now assume she enjoys research, which is a very useful quality in our profession.

Many translators remarked on the fact that the conference hotel did not have a first floor, that the printed conference program consisted of Day 2 and Day 3, and other mathematical anomalies. It is nice to be among people who notice these peculiarities, it makes me feel at home.
I asked Tiago what he would be talking about. He was going to talk about what agencies expect, trying to breach the gap between the expectations of freelancers and that of agencies. I decided not to go because I have an agency myself and am often on the other side of the equation. I went to see Marco's presentation instead, which started and ended with tigers to represent threats.

Mafalda and Paula next presented percentages based on their survey of (part of) the Portuguese translation market. The mathematician in me does not only want percentages but also absolute values to provide information on the mean absolute percentage error. I know it is not easy to give a talk for the first time and I am looking forward to their next presentation, which will probably focus more on personal experience.

Percy presented on creative advertisements and knowing the market jargon. Her talks are always interesting and the Q&A at the end led to the singing of jingles.

Delphine asked me to take pictures of her while presenting (with her camera). She presented on various tools that help you convert lists and incompatible files into terminology databases and memories to work with. After delegating the photography, I went to the other room to see Inga present. It is hard when you want to attend two presentations scheduled at the same time. I had seen Inga present years ago on travel guide translations and I as I do not translate in this field, I wanted to hear if there was something new to tell. The previous one focussed on market trends, this talk was on how to deal with common problems that come up during this type of translation and making sure the text is adapted to the target audience. I would also have liked to hear Ana Iaria present, but trying to watch two simultaneous presentations is hard enough, I think three would mean I would not learn anything...
I am hoping to read about the sessions I did not attend soon.

The closing ceremony was short. The Second Aptrad conference is to take place in two years, in 2018.

The post-conference dinner was great. Good food, good wine and good company in ample quantities, but my bed was calling...

On Monday I was still in Porto, as the initial plan had been to do a long boat tour up the Douro, but it had been changed to a one-hour trip to view the bridges from the water in the late afternoon. I had a relaxed day with a few colleagues ambling, drinking coffee and having lunch. The weather was great and the boat tour was followed by ice cream before we parted ways and returned to our voluntary solitary confinement after the latest overdose of social activity.

See you in Portugal in 2018!