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  • Writer's pictureSijin Xian

2023 in Review: A Year of Expansion

In my review for last year, I discussed the key mindset shifts that helped me break out of my comfort zone, try new things, and make positive changes in my life and career. This year, for me, has been a continuation of staying open, being brave, and saying yes.

One of my highlights of 2022—presenting at the 63rd Annual Conference of the American Translators Association—turned out to be a gift that keeps on giving. I started the new year with an encore performance of my presentation for my Chinese Language Division colleagues. In March, I was featured by the Audiovisual Division in an educational video on subtitling. In July, building upon my talk, I published and presented a paper titled Human Decision-Making and Machine Assistance in Subtitle Translation Through the Lens of Viewer Experience at the International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction. And in September, I had the pleasure of giving a webinar to colleagues at the Chicago Area Translators and Interpreters Association.

I have also become more active in my professional community. I joined the leadership council of the Chinese Language Division as the social media coordinator before becoming the new Editor-in-Chief for the CLD blog Yifeng in August. I also began serving on the leadership council of the Audiovisual Division to manage social media content creation. (Interesting, but perhaps not surprisingly, I've been less committed to my own social media presence as a result.) Furthermore, I had the honor of joining the ATA Honors and Awards Committee in May, and during the award ceremony during the ATA64 conference in Miami, Florida, I presented the Outstanding Mentoring Award to our very deserving winner, Rosario "Charo" Welle.

I was also thrilled to have realized a long-time dream of starting a translation slam event at the Chinese Language Division and gladly became one of the contestants for the pilot installation. My colleague Ming Qian, who is also an active researcher in the AI space, pitted my translation against GPT4 in a paper, where my version scored the victory. And thanks to CLD's very capable event organizing team, I'm happy to report that 2024 will see more editions of the slam event!

2023 has also been a year of continuous skill practice. Apart from keeping up my usual routine of honing the foundational skills by constantly reading, listening, writing, and reading in both my working languages, I have benefited greatly from group practices with my colleagues. I'm so grateful for being surrounded by so many dedicated and brilliant professionals who never cease to inspire me.

In keeping with the theme of expansion, I have found confidence in more subject areas, including legal translation and interpretation. I even made the major career move of applying to the conference interpretation program at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey late this year. I very much look forward to the new adventures and experiences that await in the year 2024.


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