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UTICamp-2019: July 22–28, 2019. Dnipropetrovsk region, Ukraine
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What makes UTICamp-2019 unique?

It’s already been over a month since the 2019 rendition of the Ukrainian Translation Industry Camp (UTICamp) was held in a picturesque campground along the banks of the Samara river in the Dnipropetrovsk region.

Judging by the number of warm comments received from campsite participants and online attendees, UTICamp-2019 was a hit. Organized by the team from the Dnipro-based InText translation company, this year’s conference welcomed 257 participants from 19 countries and featured 66 presentations in 3 streams (business, technology, and the art of translation) as well as 6 roundtable discussions on some of the hottest topics in the industry.

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But bare facts can’t convey this conference’s unique atmosphere. We’ll use a question and answer format to give you a better sense for what this conference is like.

What makes UTICamp unique?

The very concept behind UTICamp is unique. It’s a contemporary, technology-savvy, dynamic international conference held in a forest reserve in complete harmony with nature. Participants can breathe the fresh air, awaken to the sound of birds, swim in the pristine Samara river, watch wild turtles, and listen to presentations as chickens stroll about the outdoor theater. In short, you can do things you wouldn’t expect at a serious international industry event. Throw in the opportunity to come with your whole family (even small children), live in a tent (in a real campsite) and completely switch off from your daily worries (without having to think about lunch or dinner), and you have a recipe for perfect recreation and networking.

Paul Filkin
Client Services Director for SDL
If you can only attend one event a year I’d highly recommend you choose this one! I don’t believe there is another event like this where you can combine spending time with your peers, knowledgeable professionals from around the world and your family for the best part of a week in a pine forest by the side of a river! Сonferences like this should really be the future, although I somewhat doubt there will be many locations able to provide anything like this!
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Delicious food, gazebos with power outlets, hammocks, comfortable bean bags, new tents and summer chalets, kayaks, and stand up paddle boards round out the list. You’ll find everything you need for a good holiday. But this is just one element of UTICamp. This outdoor recreation is combined with interesting talks, informative presentations, and lots of opportunities for discussion with influential members of the international translation industry. There’s also high-speed wireless internet access, simultaneous interpretation into Russian, Ukrainian, and English, and other delights of modern technology you would expect at a modern-day industry conference.

Why hold the conference at a campground?

The Ukrainian Translation Industry Conference didn’t always look like this. The first two conferences (in 2013 and 2014) were held in Kyiv and were successful. But things change, and so did the conference. In 2016, the InText team decided to try out a new concept and moved UTIC to the Meteorit campground, a former pioneer camp in the village of Orlovschina. The unconventional approach worked. UTIC therefore turned into UTICamp, a conference now known in various corners of the world as the most unusual, eco-friendly, and warm event organized by translators for translators.

Anna Kolomiytseva
Freelance interpreter and translator
Dear UTICamp-2019, thank you organising the event so perfectly and for the opportunity to say what I wanted to say, to share opinions and to learn a lot of new things. But that’s not all: you brought together a whole community. And community is what nourishes us, gives us strength and meaning.
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What does the UTICamp program include?

UTICamp covers everything that that’s on the minds of translators, editors, software developers, and representatives of the translation industry. At this year’s event, Kimmo Rossi, Head of Research and Innovation sector at the European Commission, spoke about making technology human again. Paul Filkin, the Client Service Director at SDL, told us about how to go through change without disruption.

Kimmo Rossi
Head of Research & Innovation sector (European Commission)
I think UTICamp is a good concept: it is informal, but professional and well-functioning at the same time. The presence of nature makes people relaxed and receptive and maybe also stimulates discussion in a positive and constructive way.
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Svetlana Svetova, Director of T-Service, and Pavel Dunaev, Head of Written Translations at Sportmaster, spoke about post-editing of machine translation. Alessandra Martelli, a translator and copywriter from Italy, discussed the creative component of the profession.

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Iryna Lebedyeva, a freelance translator from Lviv explained how any action performed by a translator more than once can be automated. Nigel Saych, the founder of Interlex Language Services in the Netherlands, spoke about the ethics of the translation business. 

Nigel Saych
Founder, owner and CEO at Interlex Language Services
One of the things that was so special for us this year was the wonderful welcome we received this is after all, a Ukrainian event with an international flavour, but we felt honoured to be guests in your country – and of course to take part in an active way. Although it was a very relaxed and laid-back week, I could tell that the organisation was meticulous, professional and efficient.
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Roman Bulkiewicz, a translator and editor from Kyiv, discussed the ins and outs of translator–editor relationships. Sameh Ragab from Egypt conducted an intensive and productive master class in translation technology.

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During a roundtable discussion, interpreters spoke about the problem of harassment. Another discussion with representatives of SDL focused on new functionality that developers might implement to support the creative translation and localization workflow. And that wasn’t even half of the UTICamp-2019 program!

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Six days — why so long?

The conference runs for six days so we can fit in every presentation of interest to the audience. The goal is to give everyone a chance to speak, communicate, process new information, ask questions, and make new friends and business connections. And finally, we want to give everyone the opportunity to have some rest. For translators and others in the industry, it’s often hard to take this much time off. But in the end, the majority of participants conclude it’s worth it. Smart scheduling was important to achieving success with this format. The conference is divided into two parts with a break in between. This break gives participants time to go on tours or just have some rest, spend time with nature, and gather their thoughts. After that, the intensive second part of the conference, which we call Three Tracks, is easy to take in. 

Some people prefer to attend only the first or second half of the conference, and this is also an option. Freedom of choice is one of the key elements of UTICamp. Finally, after all the presentations, heated discussions, and intensive informal communication, there are evenings around the camp fire with guitars and lively music.

Orlando Chiarello
Product Support Manager at Secondo Mona
I have really appreciated the highest level of competence and professionalism of all the presenters, participants, interpreters, and the fantastic and invaluable organizational work! But, above all, this event gave me a tremendous personal opportunity to meet such wonderful people who made me feeling at home! I have very much enjoyed the fantastic and friendly environment of the entire event!
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And instead of the traditional gala dinner, this year we had an unforgettable drum circle, with a single rhythm uniting dozens of very different people from across the translation industry. In this atmosphere, the six days just flew by. It was sad when the time came to say goodbye because it seemed as if we had only just met.

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What about those who don’t enjoy tents and the romance of camping?

Those who don’t prefer tenting can book a room in one of the nearby hotels with all the modern conveniences and commute to the conference site by boat or on foot, filling their lungs with morning freshness and returning to the comfort of their room at night after signing around the campfire.
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Yuliya Tsimashenka
Freelance translator, organizer of Belarusian Translation Forum
The atmosphere: friendly and engaging. Fresh air, creativity and freedom. The organisers managed to create several areas outdoors for different conference and leisure formats: a conference area with long benches on bales of straw, decorated with straw balls, web-shaped crocheted napkins and floral compositions; a terrace decorated with rugs and woven ears of wheat under the ceiling was chosen for the interpretation stream. Our special compliments to the campsite decorator! There were live chickens wandering all over the venue. What other conference invites you to bring your family and put up a tent right at the venue?
UTICamp is family-friendly, but what does the family do while the translators set the world to rights?
Family members can rest, have fun, and discover new talents. The InText team arranges an exciting program for younger participants, keeping children busy till it’s time for bed.  Archery, boat trips, and other entertainment options were a huge success at this year’s event, as expected. 
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But the adults also had no chance of getting bored, with painting and beadwork classes just for them. The souvenirs from these classes, led by Annette Willems and Nadiya Yehurnova, will serve as reminders of UTICamp all year long.
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Katya Filatove
Freelance translator specializing in creative translation
What struck me the most was... probably the unique combination of inclusiveness and freedom of choice, care and respect for individual needs. To make everyone feel at home regardless of their passport, clothing or mood. To ensure that everyone has the opportunity to join in events or withdraw whenever necessary, to participate in an intense debate or listen to an informative presentation quietly, to live in a tent or in a hotel with comfort. One would think this environment would encourage people to disperse, yet in fact it was a great setting for uniting, getting together, overcoming barriers and building relationships that simplify life and make the translation industry and the world in general a much better place. This is really priceless.

We are grateful to all UTICamp-2019 sponsors and partners for their constant support and for making the event possible!

We thank our Platinum Sponsor, Language Solutions Pro, two Gold Sponsors Logrus IT and Logrus Global, two Bronze Sponsors Linguistic Centre and Nimdzi Insights, Gala-evening Sponsor, T-Service company, UTICamp-2019 Exhibitor, Alisa TMS, and also our reliable simultaneous translation partner  SynchroService, and all media partners: the Globalization and Localization Association GALA, the translation language industry magazine Multilingual, Proz.com platform, Belarusian Translation Forum and the conferences Meet Central Europe and T-Update.  

Where can I find this year’s conference materials?
Take a look at the lively pictures in our conference album, subscribe to the UTICamp channel on YouTube and Telegram, and follow our updates on the conference page on Facebook and Instagram to be the first to receive links to video versions of presentations and roundtable discussions.
UTICamp-2019 is over. What next?
UTICamp-2020! InText has already announced the dates for the next conference: July 20–26, 2020. Registration is open, the cost has been announced, and bonuses have been promised for the most active participants. See you at the next UTICamp!
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Katya Filatova

Katya Filatova

Freelance translator specializing in creative translation