METM11 presentation     Thread: Promising practices

Twitter for language professionals

Oliver Shaw -“ Madrid, Spain

Background: Social networking has created a global forum for real-time information exchange where users can share news, exchange opinions, and broadcast nearly anything they please. While many people use social networking sites for personal communication, many individuals and organizations use these virtual tools for professional purposes. One of the social networking platforms that is particularly well-suited for language professionals is Twitter, since it allows translators and editors to promote themselves in the field and learn from their colleagues around the globe.

Purpose: The session will aim to dispel some of the preconceived notions which prevent many people from using the site and present some of the functionalities that may be of interest to translators and editors. In addition, participants will receive guidance on how to get started with the site and what to expect as they develop their online presence.

Solutions and recommendations: The presentation will provide examples of how other translators and editors use Twitter as a medium for learning and self-promotion. The topics covered will include real-time discussion, increasing blog traffic, synching with LinkedIn, and third-party services such as TweetDeck. Participants will be directed toward appropriate materials for more in-depth inquiry.


Oliver Shaw works as a language consultant for the Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria-Fundación Jiménez Díaz, the research arm of a teaching hospital located in Madrid. His duties include bidirectional Spanish-English translation and interpretation, author's editing, teaching English for health-care contexts, and voiceovers. Oliver is currently completing his coursework leading up to a master's degree in applied linguistics and will soon begin work on his master's thesis.