A Conference Like No Other: Lenguas 2019



Register Now! Early Bird Ends November 30th

(10 ATA CEUs approved, CIMCE and CCHI CEUs pending)


Over the course of almost a decade, Barry and I have seen all kinds of conferences all around the world: Some conferences we've put on; some we've contributed to; others we've spoken at or simply attended. (Hint: those are usually the best!). We know a LOT about about conferences and conference planning.


So when we say, as in the title of this blog post, that Lenguas 2019 is a conference like no other, we are not indulging in hyperbole.


Lenguas is an international forum for translators and interpreters co-organized by InterpretAmerica and Mexico's Italia Morayta Foundation, a rather unique non-profit dedicated to supporting the professional development of interpreters and translators in Mexico. And let's be honest, "co-organized" is a relative description. In reality, the amazing team at the Foundation gets the credit for putting together what promises to be a rich and deep event.


Lenguas is designed to bring participants the best elements of a plenary-style summit combined with extensive educational offerings. The first day we bring everyone together in the stunning Antiguo Colegio San Ildefonso, one of Mexico City's most beautiful museums. In fact, our speakers have to step up their game just to keep your attention from the beautiful murals in the main hall!


Antiguo Colegio San Ildefonso

Maria Teresa Panchillo, Chilean poet and political activist of Mapuche origin

For Lenguas 2019, our plenary day will highlight international interpreting and translation in three key areas:


1. Celebrating the United Nations International Year of Indigenous Languages: Few countries rival Mexico in its diversity of modern indigenous cultures and historical legacy. Few regions rival Latin America for the same. To highlight the international contribution offered by indigenous linguists, Lenguas will kick off with a very special keynote speech by María Teresa Panchillo, an internationally recognized indigenous poet and activist from Chile, who will share her direct experience with the interplay of language, modernity, tradition and navigating the uncertain future that many indigenous peoples face.


2. The Future of Global Language Services: The heads of the most prominent international translation and interpreting organizations will be at Lenguas, in person, to give us their insight as to where our professions are headed during this tumultuous time. When was the last time you got to see top representatives of all these key organizations in one place? That's right, never!


3. Language Services in Times of Crisis: The first Lenguas conference launched in the immediate aftermath of the worst earthquake to hit Mexico since 1984. Every day we see the growing cost of humanitarian and natural disasters around the world. These events are inherently multilingual, yet our professions have been slow to find scalable solutions for how to respond to the need for professional interpreters and translators when crises hit. Lenguas 2019 dedicates time and expertise to explore this critical issue both during our plenary day and in several workshop sessions.


Days 2 and 3 of the conference are chock full of practical workshops, all more than two hours in length, covering a diversity of skills-based topics for interpreters and translators in what may be the most extensive offering outside of the annual American Translators Association conference.


The plenary day is offered in Spanish and English with simultaneous interpreting available for participants. The workshops are taught mostly in Spanish. The image below gives just a tiny taste of the topics and presenters lined up for Lenguas 2019. As you can see, our presenters come from Mexico, the US and beyond and are well-known experts in the field.


One of the many things that makes Lenguas special is the international exchange it promotes. Lenguas brings together practitioners from many corners of our profession. It is the only conference in our hemisphere where you can learn from seasoned conference and indigenous language trainers, while at the same time strengthening your translation and business skills.


We could go on with many more conference highlights. In fact, we are doing just that in our regular social media posts. But for now, for this blog, let us finish with a note of gratitude.


It is Thanksgiving week in the United States. As we continue to tend to the many details required to bring a conference to life, our overriding feeling is one of gratitude. Thankfulness for our hardworking and inspired Mexican colleagues who are doing the true heaving lifting. Thankfulness for this rich, important profession we are part of. And thankfulness for you, the individual interpreter, translator, agency owner, trainer or tech developer who dedicates your life, in one way or another, to helping the world communicate.


We hope to see you in sunny, warm and inexpensive Mexico City, January 24-26! And keep an eye out for our next blog on Monday that will profile how you can help support some of the most deserving yet unrecognized interpreters and translators in the world.


Some Nuts and Bolts:

Sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities are still available but filling fast. And please consider sponsoring an indigenous colleague to be able to attend the conference. For more details visit here.



Many many thanks!

The Lenguas Crew



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