The Astana Declaration (7) Multilingualism and Access to knowledge (2)

30 October, 2018

Dear colleagues, I completely agree with Najeeb Al-Shorbaji. I think that multilingualism, sharing knowledge and technology are three concepts that are constantly used in declarations and reports, but "empty" of real meaning. Food for thought:

Multilingualism implies to have the text in various languages - and who produces these texts? who translates the texts? Anyone who knows the language? being bilingual means to be a translator does the companies, institutions relay on professional translators & interpreters who have been trained the same way as as a doctor, a nurse or a lawyer has been trained? and what happens in there are not trained people to translate this texts into dialects, or lesser used languages? does quality matters? who checks that ??

Access to knowledge- for whom? how? in a language that they do not know? in a level of expression that is non-understandable? which infrastructure is used? How much money is available for translation, summarizing texts, or changing the written text to a more accessible type of text (multimodality)? do they use experts in - multilingual communication?

Technology- is automatic translation a solution? do you know how many fatal errors this may still produce? is technology available in these languages of lesser diffusion? who can use it? who is developing it? with which purposes? English is not the lingua franca all over the world!.

Some ideas to go a step further:

1. Financing the translation, adaptation, transcreation etc. of the Declaration by professional translators in different languages

2. Summarizing or making it accessible to specific public relying on professional communicators.

3. Improving awareness of the importance of quality in translation or interpretation by incorporating into their budgets the training of ad hoc translators, or volunteer especially in these languages of lesser diffusion.

4. Working collaboratively with other professionals


Carmen Valero Garcés,

Full professor of Translation and Interpreting

Director fo EU MA in PSIT

Universidad de Alcalá, Madrid

Dept Filología Moderna

C/ Trinidad, 3


Telf +34 918855309