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American Translators Association 53rd Annual Conference
 

5 Reasons to Use the New Mobile App at the ATA Annual Conference!


ATA 53rd Annual Conference
Hilton San Diego Bayfront
San Diego, California
October 24-27, 2012
  1. Leave your résumés at home.
    Post your résumé—along with your phone, email, website, and bio—in the attendees section of the app to get found electronically.

  2. Take advantage of the attendee network.
    Connect instantly to fellow attendees by email, Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn—before, during, and after the Conference.

  3. Make the most of the program.
    Browse sessions, create a personal schedule, view handouts, and contact speakers from your smartphone, tablet, or laptop.

  4. Plan your time in the Exhibit Hall.
    View vendor profiles, make a list of who you want to see, and use the interactive floor plan to map out your trip through the Exhibit Hall. follow up by phone or email.

  5. Stay informed, have fun.
    Receive schedule updates, set up meetings, and find things to do and people to meet.

There's still time to register!
More than 200 seminars, sessions, and events—this international conference offers translators, interpreters, and company owners the best in continuing education and professional networking. It's a once-a-year opportunity. Review the Conference Program and Register Now.

Exhibit Hall SOLD OUT
The latest software, the best books, and everything in between will be there. Make a list and come prepared for a real hands-on experience. Check out the Conference Exhibitors and Sponsors before you get to San Diego.


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Industry News
NAO Report Criticizes UK Court Interpreting Contract
EU Targets Jargon With Clear Writing Campaign
Latin's Popularity Rising in German Universities
Europe Seeks Language Balance for Multilingual Universities
Digital Translations of Marvel and Archie Comics Go Global
PBS NewsHour Translates Its Videos Into 52 Languages
Publishers Find Filipinos Eager for Translated Books
Washington, D.C. Launches Language Access Campaign
Chinese Publishing Companies Targeting Digital Audience
Online Translation Sites Hugely Popular in Israel
Literary Journal Launches New Chinese Language Edition

ATA News
"Getting It Right" in Russian and Spanish
Putting Face-to-Face Networking to Work for Your Business
Financial Planning for Translators, Interpreters, and Company Owners
Careers in Translation and Interpreting—And What to Do to Have One
Dept of State Youth Exchange Scholarships for U.S. High School Students
Coming Up in the October Issue of The ATA Chronicle

Association for Machine Translation in the Americas
 

Industry News


NAO Report Criticizes UK Court Interpreting Contract

A new National Audit Office (NAO) report is highly critical of the U.K.'s privatization of court interpreting services. In 2011 the country's Ministry of Justice cited an expected savings of £15m a year under a privatized system and awarded Applied Language Solutions (ALS) an exclusive contract to provide court interpreting services throughout Britain and Wales. The recent NAO study found that in the rush to privatization "The Ministry overlooked its own due diligence process, which showed ALS was simply too small to shoulder a contract of this value." NAO's review discovered that the company's failure to make qualified interpreters available triggered a dramatic increase in the number of abandoned trials and forced court staff to interrupt their duties to find interpreters on short notice. The result was "courtroom chaos," according to the report. NAO also criticized the Ministry for underestimating the risks involved and making the system fully operational before it was ready—more than 5,000 complaints about the service were made in its first six months. The Ministry did not warn courts, judges, magistrates, and other affected parties about the potential shortage of interpreters nor tell them to expect any other major problems. The NAO report stated that ALS failed to meet several of its contractual obligations. In particular, the company could not guarantee that its interpreters had undergone mandatory criminal records checks. Responding to the NAO report, a Ministry spokesperson said, "The National Audit Office is clear that the Ministry of Justice had strong reasons for changing the old interpreter booking system, which was inadequate in several respects. Figures in the NAO report show that 95% of bookings are now being filled, while complaints have fallen dramatically, and we are continuing to push for further improvement. We accept that there were problems at the start of the new contract in January but we have now seen a very significant improvement in performance and are confident that this trend is continuing."

From "Court Interpreting Criticised as 'Wholly Inadequate' in Damning NAO Report"
London Guardian (United Kingdom) (09/12/12) Bowcott, Owen
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EU Targets Jargon With Clear Writing Campaign

By addressing the challenge of jargon-heavy language with a new campaign, the EU hopes to make itself more transparent to outsiders. There are 23 official languages in the EU, but due to time and budgetary constraints, only official documents are translated into every language. For the most part, English has become the main day-to-day language of communication for the tens of thousands of civil servants working in Brussels. For Paul Strickland, head of editing at the European Commission's translation department, that poses a challenge. "More and more documents in the [European] Commission are being drafted in English by people for whom English is not their mother tongue," says Strickland. "And this is the number one source of the Commission's communication issues." Two years ago, Strickland's department rolled out an internal effort to encourage staff to produce shorter, less complicated documents that are lighter on jargon and offer greater reader accessibility. The campaign is particularly pertinent to staffers whose first language is not English. "If we work with the documents that are very technical, very quickly I think we can also start using this language without actually realizing that we are using these technical words," says EC employee Anita Ryczan, who is from Poland. It's all very well to help staff communicate better with one another, but how far does this filter down to the 500 million citizens living in the EU? Chrissie Maher is a long-time campaigner for the use of plain English. She says more needs to be done to reach ordinary EU citizens. "It's about time they realized there's a problem with the likes of me at the grass roots. They just don't take any notice. It's always token efforts," she says. Tony Venables, director of the European Citizen Action Service, a nonprofit organization that helps individuals and non-governmental organizations make their voices heard within the EU, also says that more improvements are necessary. He feels that while the EU has improved internal communication, it still does a poor job of communicating with the outside world. He explains, "There is a kind of infrastructure there with quite a lot of resources and people, but one can't really say that it's a very live infrastructure or necessarily a very coherent one in terms of the messages which are coming out." Strickland says changing an institutional culture won't happen overnight, but he is confident that the clear writing campaign is making gradual progress.

From "EU Targets Jargon With Clear Writing Campaign"
Deutsche Welle (Germany) (09/18/12) Impey, Joanna
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Latin's Popularity Rising in German Universities

Over the past seven years, German universities have expanded Latin studies and re-established degree programs to meet the needs of incoming students. The upward trend is in response to the increasing popularity of Latin classes in primary and secondary schools. Claudia Schindler, who directs the Institute for Greek and Latin Philology at the University of Hamburg, says, "Increases at the primary and secondary school levels are trickling up into universities. The schools, especially those that seriously reduced classic Latin and eliminated the corresponding teaching positions, are suddenly finding themselves confronted by masses of students who've chosen Latin as the focus of their studies." In the early grades, and even into high school, parents are often responsible for a student's enrollment in Latin classes. They see the subject as giving their children a career advantage, says Anna Schünemann, a teacher of Latin and German at the Johanneum school in Hamburg. Other supporters of Latin education say the logic inherent in the language trains students to think clearly. Schindler also makes a case for Latin lessons offering significant educational benefits to children of immigrant families. "When you allow, for example, a Turkish student to learn Latin, it gives that student analytical access into that language," says Schindler. "And analytical access into that language will help that student to learn yet another language." That viewpoint of Latin's value and utility, however, is far from universal. With the exception of Austria, Latin has disappeared from most European classrooms, and even within Germany's university system, the consensus seems to be that the language is rarely, if ever, needed.

From "Latin Returns From the Dead in German Schools"
Deutsche Welle (Germany) (09/18/12) Albrecht, Janine
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Europe Seeks Language Balance for Multilingual Universities

According to panelists at the recent European Association for International Education Conference, European universities need to develop strong language policies in response to international student demands for courses and programs in English. Conference attendees said that the policies are needed to establish the appropriate balance of global languages, national languages, and English in a school's curriculum. "The ideal is a mix between the lingua franca [specifically, in this case, the lingua academia], the languages of the country, and multilingualism in general," said Pinuccia Contino, director of the European Commission's Multilingualism and Translation Unit. "Whenever this mix is not balanced, there are problems and there can be serious consequences and losses." Contino warned that these losses will affect culture as well as economics. The usual pattern for European universities has been to introduce English-language courses as complementary to offerings in the national languages, but the increased demand is outpacing that system. The Academic Cooperation Association estimates that the number of English-taught programs in Europe grew from 700 in 2002 to 2,400 in 2007. Just this spring, the Politecnico di Milano, a leading Italian public university, made headlines when it announced it would move to all-English instruction at the graduate level in 2014. Some conference attendees lamented that foreign students are not interested in learning national languages. In addition, some of the educators teaching English-language courses have little English fluency themselves. English Instructor Robert O'Dowd from Spain's Universidad de Leon stressed the need for a long-term policy for ascertaining what a minimum level of English proficiency is for teachers. "At the moment we're depending on people's goodwill, and providing them all the support we can," he said.


From "Toward Multilingual Universities"
Inside Higher Ed (DC) (09/13/12) Redden, Elizabeth
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Digital Translations of Marvel and Archie Comics Go Global

Digital comics distributor iVerse is partnering with publishers Marvel and Archie to distribute translated comics globally. The company reports that between 50 percent and 65 percent of its monthly sales come from international readers. The multi-year deal with Marvel gives iVerse exclusive foreign language trade and periodical rights worldwide. iVerse already has Spanish translations of digitized Archie comics available through its Comics+ app. CEO Michael Murphey explains that the company's success in that market paved the way for its expansion into other languages. Although iVerse is the distributor, it is also responsible for the translation of the comics. The company uses a three-part process: proper name translation, machine translation, and editing by native speakers to ensure the text is readable and idiomatic. Murphey says that the project has been underway for two years, and the international distribution will begin in China, Japan, and India, with a gradual rollout elsewhere. He adds, "Hopefully you're going to have more than one place to get these comics, whether through apps, Amazon, or the iBooks platform. We're motivated to put this anywhere we can, and there are lots of opportunities."

From "IVerse Debuts Exclusive Digital Foreign Rights Deal with Marvel and Archie"
Publishers Weekly (NY) (09/19/12) MacDonald, Heidi
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PBS NewsHour Translates Its Videos Into 52 Languages

PBS NewsHour is working to push some of its newsier content to global audiences. Partnering with the translation platform Amara, the show is crowdsourcing its effort to add subtitles to politically themed videos, including moments from the U.S. presidential campaigns and short man-on-the-street interviews with American voters. Since January, PBS NewsHour has built up a community of hundreds of dedicated volunteer translators around the world, who have translated videos into 52 languages so far. "The most frequent languages besides English are Spanish, French, Indonesian, Chinese, and Korean," says Joshua Barajas, a production assistant at PBS NewsHour. Arabic and Turkish are not too far behind. Barajas, who handles communications with the volunteer translators, says that a very high standard has been set in terms of quality control, especially given volunteers' deep devotion to the project. "If they see something that is not right—more often a technological bug or minor translation error than inappropriate conduct—they are quick to notify the team at PBS," Barajas says. Running parallel to these videos is a translation effort for Listen to Me, a series of short interviews PBS NewsHour has collected from around the country. The interviews are based on three questions: What is the most important issue to you during this election? Are you hopeful about the future? Do you think the political system is broken? (For now, PBS affiliates have been shooting and submitting footage, but NewsHour plans to let people submit their own videos, too.) There have been a few kinks to work out on the production side, including a syncing issue with subtitles that has since been resolved. PBS NewsHour wants to build a more reliable language mix; they hope to partner with language classes at universities to achieve this. The core idea behind the translation project is that "everyone should have access to the political conversation regardless of the language they speak or their ability to hear," Barajas says. But how do you let people know that these translations are available to them? "As of right now, we’re limited in gauging the translations' reach," Barajas explains. "We look at YouTube views and the growth of the Amara community for some insight, but these are limiting benchmarks of course." Still, NewsHour deserves credit for taking on a translation project of this scope. Ultimately, it appears that what PBS NewsHour is really doing is community building. "People are just excited because they feel like they want to be a part of something, and they feel like they’re contributing," Barajas says. "They’re able to catch the nuances that otherwise would have been, well, lost in translation."

From "PBS NewsHour's Viewers Are Translating Its Videos Into 52 Languages (and Counting)"
Nieman Journalism Lab (08/29/12) LaFrance, Adrienne
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Publishers Find Filipinos Eager for Translated Books

Because of its success in translating Harlequin Romance novels into Tagalog, paperback publisher Precious Pages Corporation (PPC) has begun to acquire translation rights to American bestsellers. The company will pay a royalty for each book sold. Although Filipinos generally read and speak English, they enjoy reading books in their native language. The first book translated into Tagalog was Stephenie Meyer's vampire romance Twilight, which debuted in June and already is in its third printing with 10,000 copies in print. The company plans to translate the book's sequel, New Moon, along with Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games trilogy, E.L. James' Fifty Shades of Grey books, and other novels by Danielle Steele, Sidney Sheldon, Joss Stirling, Nora Roberts, Sandra Brown, and Nicholas Sparks. PPC has 100 writers skilled in English and Filipino to translate the books. "I tell my translators to make it colloquial so it's fluid and easy to read without changing the style and voice of the original writer," says PPC's co-founder Segundo Matias, Jr. "I don’t want to give the reader a hard time because I want them to like reading." Matias says that the response to Twilight has been tremendous, particularly in Precious Pages' retail outlets. He notes that a reader said in Filipino: "It’s a good thing there's a Tagalog version of Twilight. I read the English version and it gave me a nosebleed. Now, I can understand the novel better." Such comments make Matias smile.

From "‘Twilight’ Now in Filipino Translation"
Philippine Daily Inquirer (Philippines) (09/17/12) De Vera, Ruel S.
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Washington, D.C. Launches Language Access Campaign

As part of a new Washington, D.C. Office of Human Rights Language Access Program, the city's government agencies must provide interpreting and translation services to residents who speak Amharic, Chinese, French, Korean, Spanish, and Vietnamese. The program offers residents speaking these eight languages informational videos and wallet-sized "I Speak" cards, which are used to request interpreting services. "Our Language Access Program's on-the-ground work with community advocates reveals the complications in accessing critical government services for those who speak limited or no English," says Office of Human Rights Director Gustavo Velasque. The 'I Speak' cards aim to make the connection between constituent and District services easier, as well as encourage those not fluent in English to contact the D.C. Office of Human Rights when interpreting services or translated materials are not made available." In 2004, the city passed a law requiring D.C. government agencies to offer documents and services in multiple languages because of the diversity of its population. The new Language Access Program was developed following a recent study showing that seven years after the law was enacted, 58 percent of non-English-speaking D.C. residents still reported encountering language-related difficulties with D.C. agencies. Seventy-four percent of this group said they did not receive interpreting services, and 50 percent said they were not provided documents or signs in their language.

From "Lost Without Translation: D.C. Office Launches Language Access Campaign"
DCist (DC) (08/30/12) Austermuhle, Martin
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Chinese Publishing Companies Targeting Digital Audience

Rather than developing their own websites to promote digital books, Chinese publishing companies are reaching out to a global audience through Amazon and Apple applications. Last year, Amazon listed and sold 130,000 Chinese titles. Liu Binjie, director of China's General Administration of Press and Publication, says that translated works are still key, but digitalization presents an even greater opportunity for Chinese books and journals to become known internationally. Liu says that although big challenges remain, "publishing books digitally for a global audience is efficient and cost effective. Without it, it would take years for publications by Chinese academics and scientists to become available globally." Through digital technology, nearly 250 Chinese journals are now available with English indexes. He says the move to digital also has the potential to attract foreign publishers, a number of whom recently attended the Beijing International Book Fair. Liu adds that China is working to create a national, authoritative e-platform with strong copyright protection and anti-piracy measures, both of which have been concerns for U.S. and European markets.

From "Chinese Books 'Going Global' in Cyberspace"
China Daily (China) (08/30/12)
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Online Translation Sites Hugely Popular in Israel

Smartphones and web-based translation sites have made online translation services popular among non-native Hebrew speakers in Israel. As an example, Melingo's Morfix is a free online Hebrew-English dictionary with an extensive database of words, acronyms, slang, and military terms. Melingo Founder Yoni Neeman says the Morfix app has been downloaded 650,000 times and has one million users per month, 90 percent of whom reside in Israel. The company has to update and add to the dictionary daily to keep up with email from users of the dictionary service. One of the unique features of Morfix is stemming, or reducing inflected words to their roots so users can enter any form of a noun or verb to retrieve a definition. The computerized dictionary also offers spelling corrections and a thesaurus, while proper nouns call up Wikipedia links in both English and Hebrew. Neeman says the company plans to add text-to-speech functions later this year to aid pronunciation. Morfix also provides translation of longer texts with Google Translate, but here the service fails to satisfy: users report frequent problems with the accuracy of the translations.

From "Hugely Popular in Israel, Online Translation Sites are Pushing Paper Out"
Haaretz.com (Israel) (08/24/12) Esensten, Andrew
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Literary Journal Launches New Chinese Language Edition

When the first issue of its new Chinese-language edition appears in October, the London-based literary journal Granta, a publication that has existed in English since the Victorian era, will have a presence in four of the five most widely spoken languages. But plans for globalization do not stop there. "In five years I could see us with 15 or 17 foreign editions," says John Freeman, the editor of Granta. "I want to find the people who really want and really need the magazine, wherever they are, and that means looking at the world." The foreign-language editions not only feature translated versions of articles that originally appeared in the English-language Granta, but many of the editions also commission original work by local writers. Regardless of the language in which Granta is published, each issue is organized around a single theme, usually a place or a subject. The chosen subject is addressed through various fiction and nonfiction genres, supplied by writers both celebrated and unknown, who also make up a significant part of the magazine's readership. Freeman says that Granta's editors have come to think of the foreign-language editions "not as franchises, but as scouts" for literary talent all over the world. Roberto Feith, editorial director of Granta's Brazilian edition, says the most interesting aspect of the journal's globalization is that it is establishing a forum for the exchange of great writing that "is not limited to a flow of English-language writing from Granta U.K. to each of the other countries, but moves in all directions." Granta was founded in 1889 as a literary magazine at Cambridge University and named for the river that flows through the town. As a student publication, it provided an early outlet for British writers who would go on to prominence in the 20th century, including A. A. Milne, E. M. Forster, Ted Hughes, Michael Frayn, Cecil Beaton, and Stevie Smith.

From "Literature in Any Language: Journal Takes That Literally"
New York Times (NY) (09/04/12) Rohter, Larry
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ATA News


"Getting It Right" in Russian and Spanish

Since its launch in the UK in 2001, more than 175,000 copies of Translation, Getting it Right have been distributed in print format. This prize-winning mini-guide is for translation buyers interested in spending their budget wisely—it's the perfect client education tool.

Now available in Russian!

Adapted by longtime ATA member Igor Vesler with a team of expert editors and input from many volunteers. The free PDF of the Russian version can be linked to or downloaded from the following partner sites: American Translators Association (ATA); Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI); and Russian Union of Translators (UTR).

Now available in Spanish!

Adapted by a team of translators under the direction of the Spanish Association of Translators, Copy-editors and Interpreters (Asetrad). The free PDF of the Spanish version can be linked to or downloaded from following partner sites: American Translators Association (ATA); Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI); Société française des traducteurs (SFT); and Spanish Association of Translators, Copy-editors and Interpreters (Asetrad).

Translators, language services companies, and others are welcome to include a link to any of these sites in their print materials and websites.

Other Foreign Language Editions
Translation: Getting It Right is available in seven other languages—Catalan, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Italian, and Portuguese. Translation into Chinese, Japanese, and Greek is underway.

Putting Face-to-Face Networking to Work for Your Business

Presenter: Sara Freitas
Date: October 4
Time: 12 Noon U.S. Eastern Time
Duration: 60 minutes
CE Point(s): 1

Are you looking for ways to expand your translation business? A smart networking strategy can take you there! Attend this ATA webinar to learn how to turn your connections into word-of-mouth recommendations.

Register for this webinar to:

• Find out which networks are essential
• Get the most out of networking events
• Identify ways to organize networking activities
• Choose the best tools for keeping track of contacts

ATA Member $35 | Non-Member $50

Can't attend? Register now and a link to the on-demand version will be sent to you following the live event.

Financial Planning for Translators, Interpreters, and Company Owners

Presenter: Ted Wozniak
Date: November 15
Time: 12 Noon U.S. Eastern Time
Duration: 60 minutes
CE Point(s): 1

It's never too early or too late to start planning your financial future. Whether you are 25 or 55, setting goals for retirement is what you should be doing now.

Join guest speaker Ted Wozniak to examine possibilities in this general overview of short- and long-term strategies, including investments, savings, insurance options, and tax implications.

Register for this webinar to learn:

• Why it's never too early or too late to start planning
• Why you will probably need more money than you think you will
• Why the tortoise almost always beats the hare
• Why you can't afford NOT to plan and save
• Why your financial plan must be tailored to your needs and no one else's

ATA Member $35 | Non-Member $50

Can't attend? Register now and a link to the on-demand version will be sent to you following the live event.

Careers in Translation and Interpreting—And What to Do to Have One

If you know someone who's interested in translation or interpreting as a profession, tell them to check out ATA's free webinar "Careers in Translation and Interpreting—And What to Do to Have One."

The first half of this 60-minute presentation identifies the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to become a linguist. The speakers cover training, job types, specialties, and certification in the second half.

This is a great overview of the opportunities and risks of working in the language industry. Be sure and recommend it to anyone thinking about a career in languages.

Dept of State Youth Exchange Scholarships for U.S. High School Students

The U.S. Department of State has announced the following scholarships for American high school students to study abroad:

The National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y)
Merit-based scholarships to U. S. high-school aged students for overseas study of seven critical foreign languages: Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), Hindi, Korean, Persian (Tajik), Russian and Turkish. The NSLI-Y program is designed to immerse students in the cultural life of the host country, giving them invaluable formal and informal language practice and sparking a lifetime interest in foreign languages and cultures. Applications for summer 2013 and academic year 2013-2014 programs are due November 1, 2012. Visit www.nsliforyouth.org for more information.

The Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Abroad Program
Scholarships to American high school students to spend the 2013-14 academic year in countries that may include Bosnia & Herzegovina, Egypt, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mali (semester), Morocco, Oman, South Africa, Thailand, Tunisia, and Turkey. This post 9/11 program focuses on increasing understanding between people in the U.S. and countries with significant Muslim populations. The application deadline is January 16, 2013. Visit the YES Program's website www.yesprograms.org/yesabroad for more information.

The Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Program
Established in 1983 to celebrate German-American friendship based on common values of democracy. Secondary school students live with host families, attend local schools, and participate in community life in Germany. Young professionals (undergraduates) and high school graduates of vocational studies ages 18-24 study and participate in practical training. Scholarships are now available for academic year 2013-14; application deadlines vary by U.S. region. For more information and application deadlines, visit the organization in charge of recruitment for your state at USAGermanyScholarship.org.

The American Youth Leadership Program
Opportunities for American high students and educators to travel abroad on a three- to four-week-long exchange program to gain first-hand knowledge of foreign cultures and to collaborate on solving global issues. Several different organizations implement this program, and each has organized an academic and experiential educational exchange focused on dialogue and debate, leadership development, and community service. For information, recruitment areas, and application deadlines, visit the American Youth Leadership Program website.

Coming Up in the October Issue of The ATA Chronicle

The Words We Use to Describe Ourselves
For us, the intricacies of how we refer to and define our own professions seem plain as day. For outsiders, things are not so simple. So who is right?(Nataly Kelly)

Lessons We Can Learn from the Olympics
The Olympics provided the ultimate example of achievement that we can use to inspire us in our own professional lives. (Jennifer De La Cruz)

Reviewing Found in Translation: How Language Shapes Our Lives and Transforms the World
Nataly Kelly and Jost Zetzsche’s new book explores how language is the engine of human interaction, from the mundane to the life-threatening. (Corinne McKay)

Let’s Talk About English
Here is a look at some of the myths and challenges of the English language from the perspective of a language practitioner. (Madeline Newman Rios)

Sitting Down with InterpretAmerica’s Barry Slaughter Olsen and Katharine Allen
The co-founders of InterpretAmerica share their thoughts on the profession, including training, industry fragmentation, and technology. (María Cristina de la Vega)


Online access to The ATA Chronicle is included with your association membership. View the latest issues in PDF for articles that can give you a heads up on ideas, tools, and new ways of doing business.

And don't forget The ATA Chronicle archives! ATA members have login access to every back issue from February 2000 to the present.


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