I have attended a lot of conferences. Most of the conferences I have attended were on English Language Teaching, and took place done in Indonesia or neighboring countries like Singapore, Thailand, and the Philippines. The IATIS conference in Belfast was the second conference on translation and the first conference in Europe that I attended. Among the many conferences I have attended, IATIS Conference in Belfast was the best as it was the most well-organized conference and it gave me the most benefits professionally, socially, and culturally. The following sections will describe how the conference gave me professional, social, and cultural benefits.
PROFESSIONAL, SOCIAL, AND CULTURAL BENEFITS
The IATIS conference was attended by the experts in translation and intercultural studies whose books I read and used as references during my doctorate study in Translation . In addition, it was attended by scholars in translation and intercultural studies from all over the world. Listening to the presentations from experts from around the globe has given me a broader view of the discipline. Most of the presentations showed high-level expertise which stimulated me to learn more in the field. The presentations showed me that there is a lot more to study and investigate in the field than I thought before. Among the interesting new ideas I was exposed to were netnography and eye tracking, to name just two.
Although translation studies is a relatively new field to me (my background was English Language Teaching, and I only recently graduated with my doctorate in Translation), the conference has stimulated me to do more research in the field. This is a good start for me to develop professionally in the field, and I believe that I will make good progress. Writing an article and planning to submit it for publication in New Voices will be a good first start. I also plan to undertake collaborative research on the English-Indonesian translation of Harry Potter with an Australian professor I met at the conference. The planned publication and research work will hopefully trigger me to do more academic work which eventually will help me develop my expertise and gain my professorship.
Apart from my own professional development , I also hope to benefit in terms of institutional development. I really hope that the contacts that I made from meeting colleagues and scholars in the field as well as the IATIS council members will assist me further with my future goal to establish a Masters Program in Translation Studies in my university. As the Head of the English Department in the university I believe I can propose such a program to the university. As we have Javanese, Indonesian, French, Japanese, and Chinese studies in our university, it is likely that we can collaborate among the different departments and have a Translation Studies program that covers those languages, besides English. I do hope that IATIS and the universities with established Translation Studies programs in countries other than Indonesia will assist us in getting started with the Translation Studies program in my university. In this way, we will help promote the Translation (and Intercultural) Studies, which still needs to be developed in my country.
Besides the professional benefits mentioned above, I also got social and cultural benefits from the conference. Meeting new friends from different countries, having the opportunity to meet the Lord Mayor of Belfast city and have dinner with colleagues from different countries, and communicating with people in public in Belfast meant that I had a richer social experience. The encounters with people from different countries in Belfast, the opportunity to attend the Irish Theme Night, and the feeling of being warmly welcomed by the Conference Organizing Committee as well as the friendly encounters with members of the public (taxi drivers, tourist guides on the bus, hotel staff, people on the street, etc.) have given me wonderful memorable cultural experience.
In short, my attendance at the the IATIS conference in Belfast was a wonderful experience that has enriched me professionally, socially, and culturally. I am very much grateful to IATIS for awarding me the bursary, without which I would have not been able to attend the conference. As people say, “there is always a start of everything”, I do hope that my Belfast Conference experience was only a start for my global move. I hope I can promote Translation Studies in my country by collaborating with overseas universities in establishing a Translation Studies program in my university and collaborating on research projects in the field.
English Department, Faculty of Languages and Arts,
Semarang State University (UNNES)