The Nigerian Institute of Translators and Interpreters (NITI) held its 19th Annual Conference on 26th and 27th October 2023 at the conference hall of Presken Hotels, Wuse Zone 7, Abuja.
As it is customary, this year's event was as successful as it was memorable, with the theme, “Leveraging Translation to Improve National Economy”; andsub-themes: Nexus between Revenue Generation and Translation in Nigeria; Translation and Business Growth in Nigeria; Translation as a Tool for Increased Revenue in Nollywood; Accelerating Nigerian Economic Growth through Research in Translation; and Enhancing Collaboration between NITI and Professional Associations in Nigeria.
Given that the theme of this year’s conference intersects between translation and the economy, NITI was pleased to secure the participation of no less an epistemic giant than Prof. AbdulRazaq AbdulMajeed Alaro, mni, of the Department of Islamic Law, Faculty of Law, University of Ilorin; an academic who doubles as member, Financial Regulation Advisory Committee of Experts (FRACE) of the Central Bank of Nigeria and Head, Research, Studies and Translation Committee, Union of African Muslim Scholars; and who was the Keynote Resource Person of the conference. Other paper presentations were made from home and abroad by erudite members of our great professional body.
OBSERVATIONS AND RESOLUTIONS
At the end of the 2-day conference, NITI made the following salient observations:
Nigeria is surrounded by Francophone, Lusophone and Anglophone countries in the West African sub-region. This raises much hope about the economic potentials for translation generally.
Going by the definition of creative economy by international bodies like World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), translation is visibly captured as a subset of global creative industry. It is, however, surprising that the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) only considered media and entertainment, beauty and lifestyle, visual Arts, tourism and hospitality as sub-sectors of Nigeria’s creative industry.
There seems to be low interest in making translation an enterprise, as there are scanty studies on the nexus between translation, economy and enterprise.
Glocalization is the process of making global products fit into local markets. Hence, it involves thinking globally and acting locally. Translation breaks the barrier between globalization and localization. Therefore, it was observed that translators need to take advantage of the glocalization concept in translation and interpreting services within their immediate communities/countries.
We should endeavour to translate our culture and literature into the official languages of neighbouring West African countries in order to inform and educate them about our literacy, culture, values, etc.
The quality of translation is important especially in the translation of legal documents, as poor translation may cause great detriment to the professionalism and international acceptability of language and conference services. Thus, learning the basics and intricacies of translation is a sure path to becoming very proficient in the practice of translation.
And took the following Resolutions:
With the aim of buttressing the importance of passing this Institute’s Draft Bill into Law, NITI should project to the legislative houses, Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of Governments the economic potentials, as well as other war-deterring and life-saving powers of translation and interpreting.
For effective training purposes, collaboration between the Institute of Translation Arts, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, and NITI is suggested.
As it used to be and to sharpen the translation acumen of members, there should be translation training or workshop as part of the lined-up activities of the Annual NITI Conference.
For a better and more efficient civil service, stakeholders should work towards having the presence of language experts in government agencies, especially the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Presidency, where there used to be an official Presidential Translator Team.
With the continuous rise in NITI membership, and because a professional translator must at all times be a jack of two or more languages and an ingenious master of all, there is an imperative need for translation training and retraining of new and existing members.
Because the corporate cloak endows translation service with national and international respect and acceptability, the Nigerian Translation Enterprise should have a corporate outlook as a business or company registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission, Abuja.
Since tax returns to government remain one major way through which commercial translation can contribute to the national purse and thus improve the national economy, translation enterprises are enjoined to obtain the Tax Identification Number (TIN) and comply with the Tax Regulation.
The Secretariat appreciates the efforts of members in the preparation of this conference report and urges members to work jointly and severally towards actualizing the recommendations contained herein.
THE 19th NITI CONFERENCE IN PICTURES
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Resource Papers of the 19th NITI Conference shall be published in the next NITI Journal, which can be purchased online when it is ready.