Psycopaths and sour grapes

Fame coacta vulpes alta in vinea
uvam adpetebat, summis saliens viribus.
Quam tangere ut non potuit, discedens ait:
“Nondum matura est; nolo acerbam sumere.”
Qui, facere quae non possunt, verbis elevant,
adscribere hoc debebunt exemplum sibi.

Sour grapesPsychopathy, also known as sociopathy, is a personality disorder characterized by antisocial behavior, diminished empathy, and bold behavior.

Therefore, a psychopath is a person who is mentally ill, who does not care about other people, and who is usually dangerous or violent.

Recently, I’ve had the opportunity of participate in two different translation industry events, which I have really much appreciated.

I’m usually wary about translation industry events because they are often rambling and unconvincing. I like mingling with the people I know in the industry, some of whom I am so lucky to consider friends, but I’m not as good in networking. To quote one of my favorite Paul Simon’s line, “I’m not the kind of man who tends to socialize, I seem to lean on old familiar ways.” Unfortunately, though, networking plays a crucial role in any professional business, even in time of social media. In fact, social media have possibly made personal contacts even more important than ever. There’s still nothing as a smile to reconcile even gross differences.

Two years ago, at LocWorld Dublin, I finally met Uwe Muegge in person, who I’ve in contact with even before Twitter or LinkedIn. When I saw Uwe’s post on the TAUS Executive Forum in Tokyo, I was happy to find that we share the same opinion on the TAUS workshop of Dublin 2014, and looked forward to finding whether the TAUS Roundtable in Barcelona to take place in a few weeks time would be as useful.

Like Uwe, what I appreciate most in industry events is the chance to exchange ideas with the people I meet, although it is not that easy. Especially for me.

Does this make me or Uwe or most of the good people I’ve known and met for years in the industry sociopaths? Definitely not.

Before flying to Barcelona to join the people in the TAUS Roundtable, I cheerfully accepted an invitation from a long-time contact of mine in the industry, whom I hope to eventually meet in person.

Jeff Allen is one of those people who knows me as a man who is not afraid to speak out his mind and asked me to join him, Gert Van Assche and Malek Boualem in the TechTalk session of April 25 of the SAPfr GlossTalk Series on “pull vs push approaches of content authors & end-users.”

I have been told that, once again, my strong opinions could hurt some sensitive souls. Actually, Jeff is not afraid of strong opinions and, in fact, also invited people who are known for being often even unpleasant, if not rude, in voicing theirs.

As anyone can hear with his/her own ears, as Jeff recorded the whole session, I did nothing else than restating my views on terminology:

  1. End users are moving more and more to mobile devices for content consumption. These smaller devices affect and impact how users look up content and look up info on terms. Device dependency is becoming more common issue to consider for these types of projects.
  2. There seems to be a disconnect between needs expressed by end-users (format, device availability) and the production possibilities by which the content authors create and deliver the content in such formats and on such devices.
  3. The ideas and comments from the users do not show that they are creating content and are thinking about how the content creators deal with and struggle with making content (including info about terminology) and delivering it out to such small devices.
  4. Previous and current sets of discussions about standards on content creation, terminology standardization, etc. often lack in addressing these types of concerns because they focusing on the push out to users.
  5. The large number of small, isolated, terminology/dictionary databases are not interconnected. Aggregated term bases/dictionaries are not usually available. Most of such term databases are not accessible on the internet, so there is no access to the info about the terms.

I always apreciate any opportunity to talk with Jeff Allen, or Renato Beninatto, or Inger Larsen, or Jaap van der Meer, or Uwe Muegge, or Marco Trombetti, or Kirti Vashee, or Jost Zetsche, or Jack Welde, who, by the way, I look forward to meeting in person any time soon.

At the TAUS Roundtable in Barcelona, I made a presentation on measuring translation to help reduce information asymmetry and uncertainty thus helping predict translation quality. All speakers provided useful insights, and the floor actively contributed to make the event really enjoyable. Like Uwe Muegge in Tokyo, I really like an event where everybody can talk to everybody else, and enjoyed very much the long breaks that gave me the time to exchange and deepen views and ideas with Pilar Sánchez-Gijón.

Once again, I wonder what makes some people be so nasty, flooding social media with insults against people and organizations they do not know. Would they be able to repeat those very same insults in public, looking their victims in the eyes? They cannot be simply liquidated as troglodytes, while the fear for the future, which they must be experiencing, cannot be any excuse. These people launch their attacks with cowardice, feeling protected by their own “splendid isolation”, if not by anonymity.

I know many people who actually made and still “rock” the industry, and they are no psychopath. Actually, I don’t know any psychopath, and I guess it takes one to know one. But I’m ready to meet any of those people face to face to tell them how pathetic they are. Provided they find the guts to show up.