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In May 2011, the BDÜ issued a Call for Papers, inviting proposals for presentations, workshops and seminars at the international Interpreting the Future conference in 2012. By mid-January, over 170 proposals had been received from speakers across the globe.

In December 2011 and January 2012, over 1100 people people interested in the conference selected their “favourites” from the 170 proposals received, providing the programme commission with important insights into the relevance of the individual topics.

With that support, the programme commission – consisting of Wolfram Baur (BDÜ Weiterbildungsgesellschaft), Brigitte Eichner (MDÜ Editorial Board), Prof. Dr. Sylvia Kalina (Cologne University of Applied Sciences) and Prof. Dr. Felix Mayer (SDI Munich) – was able to put together an interesting and well-rounded conference programme with over 100 presentations and panel discussions and around 50 workshops and seminars.

The Call for Papers is documented here for your information, explaining the central theme of the conference as follows:

Call for Papers


Translators and Interpreters:
Experts for International Communication in Specialised Fields

International Conference hosted by the Bundesverband der Dolmetscher und Übersetzer e.V. (BDÜ) 
Berlin, 28 —30 September 2012

Encouraged by the success of the first “Interpreting the Future” conference which took place in Berlin in September 2009 with around 1,600 people from over 40 countries attending, Germany's Federal Association of Interpreters and Translators (BDÜ) is planning a further three-day international conference for September 2012 on the subject of

Translators and Interpreters: Experts for International Communication in Specialised Fields

Presentations, workshops, seminars, a trade exhibition, networking sessions and a job exchange will be organised with the aim of bringing clients, authorities, university teachers, suppliers of software tools, students and professional translators and interpreters closer together.

Interpreting and translating are expert activities, now more than ever before. The increasing differentiation of disciplines and sectors of industry, and their corresponding terminologies, is also requiring translators and interpreters to delve deeper and deeper into the subject of the texts they are to translate or the matters they are to interpret. Pressure on prices and delivery schedules, and rising quality standards, are also driving forces behind specialisation: Translators who are experts in the field or industry they address, and are familiar with its terminology, jargon and practices, can deliver high-quality translations at reasonable speed and are more likely to be regarded as equal partners by their clients.

From 28 to 30 September 2012, the BDÜ will be hosting an international conference at the Henry Ford Building of the Freie Universität Berlin to turn the spotlight on translating and interpreting as expert professions and examine the challenges to be overcome in different specialisations.

Presentations and discussions will be simultaneously interpreted into German, English and French. At seminars and workshops, language professionals will be able to study various specialisations, bring their knowledge up to date or find out more about a specialisation they may be considering.

At the accompanying trade exhibition, the participants will be able to acquaint themselves with the latest reference works, information management tools, translation memory systems and services for translators and interpreters. In networking sessions and at the job exchange, interested language professionals will be able to introduce themselves to prestigious companies and institutions and make direct contact with potential clients and colleagues specialised in the same or complementary fields.

Experts from the translating and interpreting professions and from the disciplines and industries listed below are invited to submit proposals for presentations, seminars or workshops on the following topics by 31 October 2011:

  • Interpreters and translators as experts - interdisciplinary cross-cutting topics
    e.g. advantages and disadvantages of positioning as a specialist/generalist, terminology work, intercultural competencies, knowledge management, new tools and technologies, standardisation and quality standards, project management, self-marketing as an expert
  • Translating technical documentation

  • Translating in the IT sector, software localisation

  • Translating and interpreting in the medical and pharmaceutical field

  • Translating and interpreting in the legal field

  • Translating and interpreting in the fields of business and finance

  • Translating and interpreting in science and research

  • Translating and interpreting in politics

  • Translating and interpreting in the cultural and media sector

  • Translating and interpreting in the fields of advertising, marketing and PR

  • Public service interpreting

  • Translating patents

  • Literary translation / Translation of non-fictional and reference works

Prospective contributors are requested to submit an asbstract of up to 2,000 characters at the website by 31 October 2011. The languages for presentations are German, English and French. The following event formats are planned:

  • Presentations (max. 30 minutes, audience numbers as a rule unlimited); the individual presentation blocks are followed by discussions between the speaker and audience
  • Panel discussions (90 minutes , audience numbers as a rule unlimited)
  • Seminars (90 or 180 minutes, up to 250 participants)
  • Workshops (90 or 180 minutes, up to 25 participants)

When submitting your abstract, please also indicate the knowledge level of the participants you primarily wish to address: basics/beginners, advanced, or all participants. The accepted presentations will be published in the conference proceedings which will be available at the time of the conference.

We will notify you as to whether your proposal has been accepted by 31 January 2012. The detailed programme of the conference will be announced on 15 February 2012. The complete presentations must be submitted by 1 July 2012 for inclusion in the published proceedings. Further information can be found on the internet at You can also email us at

Bundesverband der Dolmetscher und Übersetzer e.V. (BDÜ),

Berlin, 15 May 2011


Click here to download the Call for Papers