LocWorld 2015 Berlin- Train of Thought!

To be honest, as earlier this month my train to Berlin made its way across the Czech –German border and I gazed out at the beautiful countryside either side of the river Labe/Elbe my expectations for the upcoming LocWorld were not high. I had attended LocWorld on a couple of previous occasions and found them let’s say “not really my cup of tea”.

Berlin_LocWorldThe train I was travelling on had set out from Budapest early that morning and after dropping me in Berlin would end its journey in Hamburg in the evening. Although early in the tourist season the passengers evidently came from many different countries and overland travel in this part of Central Europe is certainly a good reminder if one is needed of the rich linguistic and cultural mix in this relatively small part of the world.

So, onto Berlin and LocWorld, Skrivanek had a strategically located booth this year and I must say from my arrival on the Wednesday evening to departure on Friday lunchtime the event was a pleasure to be part of and my misgivings on the journey up were quickly dispelled.

The event was extremely well attended with a healthy mix of old faces and newbies, the exhibition area was not dominated by any particular participant so there was a constant ebb and flow of attendees from a wide range of LSPs, technology providers, freelance translators, members of professional bodies, academics and many others.

I said earlier that the Skrivanek booth was strategically located, to be more exact it was on the main route to the supplies of coffee and cake and this ensured a steady stream of visitors and just a few of the conversations I remember having were with colleagues from Egypt, Sweden, China and France. We also had the chance to greet many of our business partners in person. Thank you to everyone who called by to say hello.

There seemed a real eagerness among everyone I met to swap experiences, learn new things, make new contacts and generally make good use of every opportunity, both professional and social that LocWorld offered.

I’m sure many participants social highlight would be the Thursday evening grill party which took place on a perfect early summer’s evening by the shores of the Neuen Zee in Berlin’s famous Tiergarten.

All too quickly as it turned out, it was Friday lunchtime and time for me to make my way back , through the gathering crowds of Juventus and Barcelona fans ( in Berlin for the Champions’ League Final) to the railway station.

I believe it is customary at the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games for some VIP to say “these were the best games ever” well I’m not a VIP but I can honestly say that this was easily the best LocWorld I have attended. Why? Several factors I guess; Berlin is a great location – a truly laid back big city, Skrivanek exhibiting this year certainly made a difference, also a great mix of participants and speakers but I am convinced travelling by train rather than by air put me in a more “linguistically receptive” mood. I hope LocWorld is in Istanbul sometime soon, a trip on the Orient Express or its modern counterpart might be interesting!

Joe Atkinson

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