It is strange in a way how this whole situation – all the many restrictions and different national and regional lockdowns included – has taken so many opportunities away, and, at the same time, created new ones.
The perception of time has changed too, and the understanding of what you can fit into your day. Time zones help. The online character of certain things and events too. For instance, this was the first time in more than three years of wanting to attend it that I was able to tune in to at least some of the Translating Europe Forum sessions.
Zoom and screen fatigue meant that I decided not to watch the replay over the weekend, but I did enjoy some of the group discussions and session recaps.
One session I particularly enjoyed was dedicated to entertainment and culture, focusing on opportunities for translators in growing sectors, but also on the training opportunities out there, and I was fascinated to see how that industry has grown. It is one thing knowing it has grown, simply by watching almost everyone around you enroll in different courses and become CPD addicts, and a completely different thing seeing the actual figures. And it didn’t just grow. It exploded, as during the first round of lockdowns people seemed to turn to MOOCs as soon as they were done binging on Netflix, HBO, and Hulu.
And if at first people rushed to sign up for various IT courses, there has since been an increase in the demand for courses in Psychology, Rhetoric, and Languages, among others, and, rather predicably, all things Covid-related. But there has also been a spike in courses offered in other languages, which is where translation comes into it. And different aspects of dealing with translating culture.
Overall MOOCs are now being offered in as many as 27 languages, including the most popular MOOC of all times – a course aptly if somewhat ironically titled “Learning how to learn” – and the big platforms are becoming less global and more international, which seems to be becoming a bit of a trend.
Which, once again, is where translation – and translating culture – comes into it all.
Oh the times we live in…
More information about the event in question can be found here.
Featured photo by author.