Making a decision about this year’s edition of TranslateCluj was hard! It all started with an email we received from RWS, in the first days of January, going something like, ”Hey guys, we were wondering if you have any plans for an event this year”. So we met at Laura’s place a week later and decided that we should organize something. It wasn’t very clear at this point what that something should be: an in-person conference or a more low-key powwow-retreat sort of thing, but to be honest, we were more inclined to do the latter. It was the easier, ‘more sensible’ option. Yet, we decided to check with DoubleTree by Hilton Cluj, our venue for the 2020 edition, for availability in May — there was. And to ask Chris Duban, the keynote speaker we had in mind for the 2022 edition whether she would be interested in coming to Cluj — she would! So, there you go, conference it is! Doing it in less than three months surely was a challenge, but who doesn’t like a challenge, right? Except that, the day after we announced the conference on social media, war broke in Ukraine… And we were back to square one. What to do?
A few days later, we (Laura and Thomas) went into a cafe pretty much determined not to organize anything. Instead we decided we should do something for the volunteer interpreters working at the Ukrainian borders and maybe, maybe, we could do an event focusing on mental health and psychological support to interpreters and translators. We called our interpreter friend, Camelia Oană, who is the latest addition to the organizing team (thank you, Camelia!), and she agreed that an event focusing on mental health was doable. She volunteered to be in charge of the interpreting bit for our event.
Two or three weeks of brainstorming and conversations later, we thought ”to hell with it, we’re doing it as first planned! And we’re not even going to postpone it.” With two and a half months to go, only one speaker confirmed, a potential sponsor, no registered attendees and no branding, we knew that we needed a great team and a top-notch planning to pull this off! This was going to test our determination, endurance and maturity as a team (the results are in, btw, and they’re all PASS! ;)). To top it all off, we had some very busy months ahead, with translation projects pouring in like crazy. But everything becomes much easier when you have friends. And it turns out we have a lot of friends:
- We have speaker friends living abroad, who were so kind to confirm their participation, either in person or remote, in a heartbeat (we’re thinking of you, Chris Durban, Alina Secară, Dragoș Ciobanu, Sophie Llewellyn Smith, Iulia Daniela Negru)
- We have speaker friends based in Romania who also confirmed their presence without hesitation. Prof. Ioana Neagoe, Lucia Rațiu, Alina Andreica, Nora Neamț, Dana Szabados, Ana Maria Dușa all decided to invest time and energy into delivering meaningful, high-quality talks
- We have sponsor friends, who not only supported this edition financially, but also provided training and technology-related presentations. We owe a lot to Paul Filkin, Ana-Loredana Gabur & the RWS developers’ team in Cluj! They’ve been with us for two years now and we hope to further develop our partnership
- We have partner friends from the department of Applied Modern Languages who’ve been with us from the very beginning. Special thanks go out to Renata Georgescu, Alina Pelea and Rodica Baconsky. The team from DoubleTree by Hilton did a brilliant job catering to our needs throughout the conference. If you plan on visiting Cluj, we highly recommend giving this hotel a try! You won’t be disappointed. Bistro 1568, the venue for the networking dinner, put out some really yummy food that all our guests enjoyed immensely!
- Last, but certainly not least, we have attendee friends, some of which have come three times in a row to our event. Others signed up for the first time but we’re already happy and honoured to call them our friends.
At the end of this article, allow us to brag a little bit about what a great team we are! We complete each other like you wouldn’t believe, we understand each other’s needs and we are always determined to go the extra mile because, there’s no other way to say this, we fell in love with this little project. So here we are: