The 2017 LBDA Seminar, "Big Data Inspires Global Language Development”, was held in Guangzhou on April 7. The meeting was presided over by Chaowei ZHU, Vice-president of Sichuan International Studies University and participants included Youyi HUANG, Co-chairman of LBDA, former Director of China Foreign Languages Publishing Administration and Director of China National Committee for MTI Education, Hannelore Lee-Jahnke, Co-Chair of LBDA, Honorary President of Conférence Internationale Permanente d’Instituts Universitaires de Traducteurs et Interprètes (CIUTI) and Dean of the Translation School of University of Geneva, Junzhe WANG, Annual Rotating Chairman of LBDA and President of Xi’an International Studies University, Eric YU, Secretary-General of LBDA and CEO of Global Tone Communication Technology Co., Ltd. (GTCOM), Martin Forstner, Director of Cross-cultural Research Institute of University of Mainz, Gerhard Budin, Deputy Head of the Centre of Translation Studies of University of Vienna, as well as 30 representatives from the member organizations of LBDA and CIUTI respectively.

Mr. Youyi HUANG spoke on the impact of LBDA on education, pointing out LBDA could help provide the country’s MTI programs with badly needed teachers and internship opportunities.

Ms. Lee-Jahnke, in her speech on “LBDA: How it Changes Our life”, introduced the world’s latest developments in artificial intelligence, and noted that it is the call of our times to embrace new technologies. The strategic cooperation between LBDA and CIUTI this January is part of the efforts to respond to the call.

Professor Gerhard Budin spoke on “Machine Translation, Multilingual & Multimodal Corpora”, in which he elaborated on the research projects of the University of Vienna in terms of big data, semantic analysis, machine translation and cognitive science. He pointed out that it is possible to help boost language industry by contributing to the global & local LBD Ecosystem(s) by dynamizing the triangle between research, teaching/learning, and professional practice. That is also how the active involvement of University of Vienna works.

In his speech on “Big Data and Artificial Intelligence and their Repercussions on the Development of Translation Industry”, Professor Martin Forstner introduced the impelling role of Industry 4.0 in full integration of digitalization and datafication, networking and new ways of collaborating of various industries, not only in the manufacturing industry but also in services, and among them, translators and language service providers. He also noted that we need to cultivate the “big-data consciousness” and “big-data-mindset” of the translation practitioners.

Professor Yuanxing DONG, Dean of School of Foreign Languages, China University of Geosciences (Wuhan) briefed participants on the university’s innovations in language services. CUG has built a vertical corpus and memory system as well as CAT labs in the field of geoscience, which considerably improved the translation quality. That represents a successful case of technological application within the framework of LBDA.

In his speech titled “Big Data Exploration: Value and Application”, Dr. François Massion, CEO of D.O.G. Dokumentation ohne Grenzen GmbH compared data to crude oil as both are valuable, but hardly usable if not properly refined. The process of data acquisition requires interdisciplinary and multi-sector researches, which is also a goal pursued by LBDA.

Professor Xiaogang WANG from York University in Canada examined how big data can be applied in the medical field, noting that cross-language big data and machine translation can greatly facilitate the sharing of medical big data worldwide. Medical big data is one of LBDA’s prioritized sectors in 2017.

Yajun ZENG, Dean of School of Foreign Studies of Yangtze University, introduced a research project he had worked on. Focusing on the training of language service professionals and entrepreneurs, this research explores the roles of government, the industry, universities and research organizations in this process and underpins the importance of a collaborative training model. This would doubtlessly help inform LBDA’s future activities in this regard.

Before the close of the meeting, a strategic cooperation agreement was signed between GTCOM and the Centre of Translation Studies of University of Vienna, marking another achievement of LBDA’s international strategy.

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