Challenges for University Programmes and Language Services Providers

Universidade do Porto

March 25, 2015 – March 27, 2015



Please go to our new page at for the latest information on the programme and other topics.



Few professions have been so radically changed by globalization in the last twenty years than that of language services providers (LSPs) and, although the pace of change is different from one country and/or language to another, it is not slowing down.

The last 20 years have seen LSPs embrace the Internet for information and publicity, welcome translation memories and terminology databases to accelerate their work, and react ambivalently to machine translation and other language technologies. The universities have struggled to innovate their curricula in order to meet demands that their graduates should be qualified for a job.

However, the market continues to change, driven by technology, the recession and the laws of supply and demand. As with other industries, large international organizations and companies subcontract smaller ones or freelancers, and all are becoming the beneficiaries (victims?) of the videoconference, the virtual office and the ‘cloud’. Besides, LSPs often feel their work is being threatened by amateurs, volunteer collaborative networks, crowd sourcing, and fan-subbing.

How can LSPs react to all this imaginatively and turn it to their advantage?

How can universities prepare their present students for the future, and what kind of specialist or life-long learning programmes can be provided?

The topics to be addressed in the papers we have received are:

  • Language Service Providers or Intercultural Communicators?
  • Multilingualism & Language Rights – political, legal, and economic issues
  • Volunteer networks, crowd-sourcing and fan-subbing – threats or opportunities?
  • Language services for the media, the Internet, social networks, special needs, and special domains
  • Diversification – learning new skills and working with multidisciplinary teams
  • The relativity of the quality of LSPs and their products and the market
  • English as a ‘bridge’ language – solution or problem?
  • Working with or for translation and interpreting technology?
  • New technology-supported forms of interpreting and the changing role of conference interpreters
  • Public Service translation and interpreting – by and for whom?
  • Sworn translators and interpreters – a legal necessity?
  • Professionalization of terminologists – a solution for confusion?


There will be round tables on the following topics:

1. Linguistic Rights, Multilingualism and Fundamental Rights: Current Practice and Implications

2. The role of Quality: the perspectives of the profession, the market and the universities


In answer to requests from those interested, we intend to publish the proceedings with an international publisher.


Plenary speakers

Dorothy Kenny (Dublin City University)

Nike Pokorn (University of Ljublana)

Yves Gambier (University of Turku)


Organizing Committee (University of Porto)

Anette Kind

Belinda Maia

Elena Galvão

Joana Guimarães

Jorge Teixeira

Susana Peixoto

Thomas Husgen


For more information, contact:





Please go to our new page at for the latest information on the programme and other topics  
Posted: 2015-03-16



The provisional programme is now on-line and available here.
Posted: 2015-02-06




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Posted: 2015-01-09
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