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ATA 55th Annual Conference
 

The Best of Everything


ATA 55th Annual Conference
Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers
Chicago, Illinois
November 5-8, 2014


The ATA Annual Conference remains the most comprehensive and respected educational program in the profession. Register now to receive a 20% discount on your registration!

The best networking. Connect with colleagues, get to know people—make professional relationships that last a lifetime.

The best content. Learn what you need to know, find answers to your questions—more than 175 educational sessions cover the industry in every way possible.

The best speakers. Hear from experts in the field, listen to leaders in the profession—more than 200 presenters tackle challenges and opportunities.

The best solutions. See the latest technology, find the software that will save you time and money—stay competitive with products and services in the Exhibit Hall.

The best community. Attend the Welcome Reception, dance the night away with friends—the personal relationships you take away will last long after the conference has ended.

Be sure to check out the digital version of the Conference Program!

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Headlines


Industry News
Interpreter's Arrest Highlights Louisiana Courts' Shortcomings
Connecticut Provides Tax Filing Video in Spanish
Translators Collaborating to Close Wikipedia's Medical Language Gap
New York County Criticized for Lack of Language Services
A Growing U.S. Divide Over Official-English Laws
Indiana Bureau Offers Driving Test in 11 Languages
The Guardian Experiments With Crowdsourcing Translations
Twitter Study Reveals the Existence of Global Superdialects
Welsh National Theater Company Launches Translation App

ATA News
Translating for the Pharmaceutical, Chemical, and Cosmetics Industries
International Translation Day
ATA 2014 Election: Candidate Statements
First-Time ATA Conference Attendee?
Book a Booth, Reserve an Ad
Coming Up in the September Issue of The ATA Chronicle

Industry News


Interpreter's Arrest Highlights Louisiana Courts' Shortcomings

Court interpreting services in Louisiana's Terrebonne and Lafourche Parishes have come under attack following the recent arrest of an interpreter charged with extorting clients. Judicial system experts and advocates for immigrants both say that the current procedure for providing interpreters falls below the state's already minimal standards. Among the shortcomings cited are the use of family and friends as interpreters and incidences of interpreters offering legal advice. Local interpreter Josephina Fondaw is always concerned about a misunderstanding of her role as an interpreter. She says that many immigrants lack a basic knowledge of how the U.S. judicial system works, and an interpreter may need to explain legal terms. Fondaw says, "Definitely the number one thing we have to let them know is that we are not attorneys." Carmen Gustafson, who does volunteer outreach work through her church, feels just as strongly about untrained interpreters. She agrees with critics who believe that these interpreters are susceptible to taking on more responsibility than the law allows because they identify with immigrants. Another complaint leveled at the parish courts is that they do not require interpreters to meet the minimum standards for the state's voluntary interpreter registration program. The Louisiana Supreme Court developed the registry last year in an effort to "help courts and other related entities utilize qualified interpreters on a freelance basis." The registry has sparked a debate over what constitutes adequate language skills. Most weighing in on the subject agree that an individual who is bilingual, but with no interpreter training, is not acceptable. There is a worry among jurists and court administrators that setting the standards too high would do more harm than good. ACLU of Louisiana Executive Director Marjorie Esman says she is pleased to see the attention being paid to standards and professionalization. She comments, "Of course, it's a good thing." But at the same time, she warns, there is a danger in making requirements so difficult that no one can meet them. "This could deprive people of a service that they need," Esman says.

From "Lost in Translation: Court Interpreter's Arrest Highlights System Shortcomings"
Tri-Parish Times (LA) (08/05/14) DeSantis, John
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Connecticut Provides Tax Filing Video in Spanish

Connecticut has launched a video to help Spanish-speaking residents navigate state tax forms. The Spanish-language video, which runs about 13 minutes, explains how to use state tax forms and file electronically. Connecticut Department of Revenue Services Commissioner Kevin Sullivan, who is featured in the video's introduction, says owners of small businesses "cannot comply with state tax laws if they don't understand what is expected of them." According to state officials, Spanish-speaking residents represent about 15 percent of Connecticut's population, and nearly 14,000 Hispanic-owned businesses are in the state. The agency must serve taxpayers, "not just collect their taxes," explains Sullivan. According to Governor Dannel P. Malloy, the idea for the video emerged from a task force established to evaluate the state's communications policies. The electronic filing video is the first of what Sullivan says he hopes will become numerous Spanish-language video tutorials. Since Sullivan became commissioner in 2011, the tax agency has added Google Translate to the agency's website and has begun to identify letters to translate into Spanish. "This additional step is to make the website more welcoming. It's a no-brainer," he says. Mark Zampino, spokesman for the Connecticut Society of Certified Public Accountants, said the video is a good move. "We're always looking for CPAs who speak Spanish, Polish, and Russian," he says. "Spanish-speakers are an important part of our state's growing economy, and I am delighted that the Revenue Services Department is leading the way in the translation of critical information that will help business owners," says Sullivan. Tax agency officials will also reach out to Spanish-language media to promote the video.

From "Connecticut Launches Tax Video in Spanish"
Associated Press (NY) (08/17/14) Singer, Stephen
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Translators Collaborating to Close Wikipedia's Medical Language Gap

The Medicine Translation Project-Community Organizing Project has been awarded a $10,000 Individual Engagement Grant by the Wikimedia Foundation. The grant is to be used to improve the communication and coordination between the two projects. The Medicine Translation Project began in 2011 when Dr. James Heilman, a Canadian emergency room physician, and several translators from Translators Without Borders joined forces to translate medical articles in Wikipedia. The translators recognized that the quest for reliable medical information is especially acute in less commonly used languages and in countries where access to healthcare is limited. Translation of already published articles would do much to alleviate the problem. Heilman's team effort exploded into a larger forum with hundreds of translators translating into almost 100 different languages. The Community Organizing Project grew out of the need to coordinate the flow of translated articles from the Medicine Translation Project to Wikipedia editors. According to the leaders of the Organizing Project, many of the translators are medical professionals with in-depth knowledge in their native languages but seldom any experience in Wikipedia formatting. Over time it became obvious that Wiki editors who know the target languages should prepare the translations to go online. These "local language integrators" steer the finished translation to the appropriate language reader group for feedback on quality and suggestions for improvement; transfer the finalized text into templates; create article links; and proof the end result for readability. The Swedish medical student who began the Organizing Community acknowledges that it would be much easier to just add the translated articles without going through them thoroughly, but experience has shown that this does not work in the long run.

From "Doctors and Translators Are Working Together to Bridge Wikipedia's Medical Language Gap"
Global Voices (Netherlands) (07/27/14) Panigrahi, Subhashish
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New York County Criticized for Lack of Language Services

A coalition of advocacy groups has criticized Nassau County, New York, for failing to implement the language access services guaranteed by Executive Orders last year. The directives, issued by County Executive Edward Mangano, require interpreting services be provided in all languages and essential government documents be translated into Spanish, Chinese, Italian, Persian, Korean, and French Creole. The effective date for compliance with the orders was July 30, 2014. In response to the coalition's complaints, Brian Nevin, a spokesperson for the County Executive's office, says that the Executive Orders are being "rolled-out" through different departments. "Both the departments of police and social services provide interpreting services and vital documents in six different languages," Nevin says. "Other agencies currently provide telephone interpreting for the public and continue to progress with implementation." He states that a number of translated documents are already available and more will go online soon. Advocates remain unconvinced. Cheryl Keshner, head of the Long Island Language Access Coalition, says members of the group recently tested language access in the Departments of Social Services, Health, and Human Services as well as in the Police and Probation Departments. In each case, an individual seeking information in one of the six languages covered by the directive could not be helped. Keshner adds that the Coaliltion has unsuccessfully offered to assist county agencies in planning and implementing language access procedures. "We have not been consulted, we have not received responses to our concerns … and we have not seen any progress at all," Keshner says.

From "Nassau Faulted on Language Services"
Newsday (NY) (08/18/14) LaRocco, Paul
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A Growing U.S. Divide Over Official-English Laws

According to Stateline, a publication of the Pew Charitable Trusts, there is a growing linguistic divide across the U.S. as booming populations of Americans who speak English as a second language—or who do not speak any English—have elicited varying responses from cities and states. Stateline reports that some regions are supporting multilingual societies with statutes and procedures designed to increase the accessibility of services to non-English-speaking immigrants. Others are reinforcing or passing laws to make English the official language and prohibit the translation of government documents into any other language. In 2014, five states saw campaigns to enact official-English laws. English-only laws date back more than a century. In 1919, for example, Nebraska outlawed the teaching of any modern language other than English to any child who hadn't yet passed the eighth grade. Some supporters of the English-only laws say they preserve cultural cohesion and offer immigrants economic mobility. Others take a broader view. "It's about a general principle that the role of the government is to teach English, not to be [a] perpetual translator," says Karin Davenport of U.S. English, a group that advocates English instruction for immigrants. Two additional arguments for official English statutes are the claims that they will save tax dollars on translation and give immigrants greater earning power. Currently, 31 states—and many more municipalities—have adopted English as their official language. Enforcement is inconsistent, and regulations are often completely ignored in regions where the non-English-speaking population is increasing rapidly. California, for example, designates English as the state's official language and requires government officials "to take all steps necessary to ensure that the role of English as the common language of the state is preserved and enhanced." The statute does not prohibit the translation of documents into other languages, however, and many state documents are available in languages other than English. Speaking of California's statute, UCLA Professor Patricia Gándara says, "It's completely irrelevant." Gándara, whose book The Bilingual Advantage will be released in September, adds, "The reality is it's a highly linguistically diverse region. If you don't speak Spanish or one of the Asian languages, you're kind of left out of the mainstream."

From "A Growing Divide Over Official-English Laws"
Stateline (DC) (08/08/14) Grovum, Jake
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Indiana Bureau Offers Driving Test in 11 Languages

Local diversity group leaders are praising the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles for offering automated driving tests in 11 languages at the Columbus branch. The Operator Knowledge Tests on the automated testing stations have been translated into 11 languages, including Japanese, German, Simplified Chinese, and Spanish. The choice of translations is based on an Indiana Department of Education list of the primary languages, other than English, spoken in households statewide. Other languages available for the knowledge test include Arabic, Burmese, Simplified Chinese, Korean, Punjabi, Russian, and Vietnamese. "This shows the amazing commitment to engage and incorporate the diverse communities of Indiana," says Hanna Omar, of the Columbus Area Multi-Ethnic Organization, which is comprised of nine area ethnic associations that have joined to share cultures with each other and the Columbus community. Vinay Swargan, president of the Indian Association of Columbus, agrees that the upgrade is a good move. "Quite a few people or their spouses and parents that come here don’t understand English and have to learn to drive," says Swargan. "On the test, they have difficulty understanding the question, so even though they know the answer, they might not get it right." Columbus’ Bureau of Motor Vehicles is one of the first Indiana locations to offer the new driving test options. The change is in response to requests from businesses, universities, and advocacy groups, explains Don Snemis, commissioner of the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles. "Consistent with the vision of Governor Mike Pence and Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann to bring international jobs to Indiana, Indiana has become an attractive option for foreign business," says Snemis. The change to automated driving tests is being phased in statewide over the next few weeks, but the equipment in Columbus has already been modified, says Josh Gillespie, deputy commissioner of communications for the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles. "The diversity in that community is one of the reasons that Columbus is part of the early phase-ins," says Gillespie. "We currently have about 72 branches with the auto test terminals and touch screens, and we will eventually be implementing it into all of the branches with that equipment," he explains. Indiana is also working to upgrade the testing stations that do not have touch-screen capability, which will include adding the language option.

From "Driving Test in 11 Other Languages"
The Republic (IN) (08/03/14) Hansel, Mark
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The Guardian Experiments With Crowdsourcing Translations

The Guardian newspaper in Britain has launched a new multimedia project on World War I in which it invites individuals and organizations to volunteer to translate the content into any language not yet covered (current languages include English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Hindi, and Arabic). "First World War: 100 Years On" is one of several crowdsourcing experiments The Guardian has undertaken, but the first to involve crowdsourced translations. "We’re a global paper and it’s a topic that is often told in a narrow scope, and that doesn’t suit our audience," says Francesca Panetta, The Guardian’s multimedia projects editor. The project, separated into seven chapters with audio, video, photos, and interactive elements, seeks to achieve a global perspective to illustrate how the war expanded, how it was experienced by soldiers and civilians from many different regions, and how the war changed the world map. The idea to expand beyond expressing alternate angles on the war in English to include a range of languages was born out of the process of working with historians and the creative team, Panetta says. "We paid professionals to translate into as many languages as we could afford. I would have loved to do it in every language in the whole world, but I can’t do that," she explains. Hence, the call for volunteers to translate content. So far, volunteers from Indonesia, Brazil, Scandinavia, and Russia have expressed interest in participating. But The Guardian has not planned what comes next after someone agrees to translate. It depends, Panetta says, on how many people offer up their services and their skill levels. She stresses that The Guardian will have professionals proofread and verify the material, even when translations are carried out by professionals. Susan Bernofsky, an associate professor and director of literary translation at Columbia University, says that the project will be interesting to follow, but cautions not to expect too much from non-professionals. "Translations by amateurs almost never hold up compared with professional work in terms of communicating the subtleties of the message in a given language," she says. Bernofsky also wonders if The Guardian’s team of proofreaders will have the capacity to deal with translations into some of the smaller languages that may be submitted. "I wanted to at least investigate the possibility" that the whole plan will work, Panetta says. "Maybe it will be very difficult, but from the response, it seems there may be a possibility."

From "The Guardian Experiments With Crowdsourcing Translations"
Columbia Journalism Review (NY) (07/28/14) Sillesen, Lene
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Twitter Study Reveals the Existence of Global Superdialects

Messages posted on Twitter have provided a new way to study dialects on a global scale. Over a two-year period, researchers Bruno Goncalves and David Sanchez sampled all tweets in Spanish that contained geolocation information. The result was a database of 50 million tweets. Goncalves and Sanchez next searched the tweets for word variations that are indicative of specific dialects. For example, the word for car in Spanish can be auto, automóvil, carro, coche, concho, or movi, with each being more common in different dialects. The two then plotted where different words were being used and developed a map of their distribution. When looking at the areas where the words were used, the team discovered that Spanish dialects fall into two groups or superdialects. The first superdialect is used almost exclusively in major Spanish and U.S. cities. The researchers consider this as an internationalization of Spanish that is similar across continents. They speculate that this superdialect may have formed as a result of global communication through platforms like Twitter. The second superdialect corresponds to terms used in rural areas of Spain, the Caribbean, and South America. Using a computerized linguistic algorithm, the two were able to determine subclusters and variations within this group. According to Goncalves and Sanchez, the distribution of the dialects reflects centuries-old settlement patterns of Spanish immigrants. The fact that strong cultural heritage can still be observed in language centuries later was an unexpected and fascinating find, the researchers say, and they hope it leads to further study.

From "Computational Linguistics of Twitter Reveals the Existence of Global Superdialects"
Technology Review (MA) (08/07/14)
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Welsh National Theater Company Launches Translation App

The Welsh national theater company is launching a smartphone app to help theater-goers follow its productions in English. Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru developed the app and named it Sibrwd, meaning "whisper." The app will allow audience members to hear key lines and explanations of scenes in English through headphones. In the past, Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru used surtitles where a translation of the script was projected onto a screen. According to Carys Ifan, the theater's executive producer, the process interfered with more than helped the audience's experience. "The app is much more creative and more involved as part of the production," says Ifan. "The idea is that people will take their own smartphone, download the app, and then they'll hear things that we think they need to know to guide them through the play." Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru hopes the app will help its performances appeal beyond Welsh speakers. This has become a serious concern following the 2011 Welsh census that documented a decline in the number of people who speak and understand the language. "We want as many people as possible to access our work," Ifan explains. "People will go and see an opera in French or Italian, but wouldn't think about going to see a piece in the Welsh language. So, it's trying to entice people to make that leap," she says. Hasan Bakhshi, director of creative economy for one of the group's involved in funding the project, explains that there was a great interest in exploring whether an app could overcome language barriers in the theater. And, he notes, the app is not necessarily tied to the Welsh language. That potential for international use was one of the attractions of the project, he says.

From "Welsh Theater Company Launches Translation App"
BBC News (United Kingdom) (07/28/14) Youngs, Ian
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ATA News


Translating for the Pharmaceutical, Chemical, and Cosmetics Industries

Presenter: Karen M. Tkaczyk
Date: September 9
Time: 12 Noon U.S. Eastern Daylight
Duration: 60 minutes
CE Point(s): 1

Quality assurance systems and regulatory requirements often drive translation needs in the broad chemical industry. The result? Standard operating procedures, quality assurance checklists, validation and qualification procedures, and test forms for use in laboratories and manufacturing plants have become the backbone of a technical translation practice.

Attend this ATA webinar to learn more about these documents and the areas that frequently cause problems during translation.

International Translation Day

Around the world, in countless languages, linguists will celebrate their professions and the importance of their work on September 30. The event is marked with a series of dedicated seminars and symposia around the world.

The 2014 theme "Language Rights: Essential to All Human Rights" pays tribute to the work translators and interpreters do to explain and defend rights to dignity, freedom, justice, health, and peace.

Congratulations from the American Translators Association!

ATA 2014 Election: Candidate Statements

ATA will hold its regularly scheduled election at the Association's 55th Annual Conference in Chicago, Illinois (November 5-8, 2014).

Be an informed voter. Statements from this year's candidates are now available on the ATA website. This is your opportunity to learn more about the individuals on the slate—from background to experience to what they hope to accomplish as a member of the ATA Board. Take time to read these statements now and be sure to vote.

Directors (three positions, three-year terms)
Anne Connor
Chris Durban
Melinda Gonzalez-Hibner
Geoff Koby
Madalena Sánchez Zampaulo
Robert Sette
Marjon van den Bosch

Candidate statements and photos also appear in the September issue of The ATA Chronicle.

First-Time ATA Conference Attendee?

Buddies Welcome Newbies! This fun networking event lets "Newbies" pair up with "Buddies" in a partnership that aims to make the conference less overwhelming for first-timers. If this is your first ATA Annual Conference, take advantage of this invaluable opportunity to let an experienced attendee show you what they have learned through trial and error. Pre-register now!

Join atanewbies55! Are you attending the ATA Annual Conference for the first time? Then this ATA listserv is for you. Sign up now to get a head start on meeting people, finding a buddy, and discovering the secrets to having a great time. Learn what to do before you leave home, how to prepare for effective networking, and why you need to be at the Welcome Reception. Ask questions, get answers. Join the atanewbies55 listserv now!

Tips for Navigating Your First ATA Conference! All first-timers will want to watch this free 60-minute webinar with veteran conference-goer Jill Sommer. Learn all you need to know for ATA's fast-paced conference. Watch now!

Book a Booth, Reserve an Ad

There is no better way to target the buyers in your market than with an exhibit or sponsorship at this year's ATA 55th Annual Conference.

Exhibit space is selling quickly, with more than 75% of available booth space now sold! Reserve your booth soon—or your competition will beat you to it.

Exhibitor Details
Exhibit Floor Plan
Online Booth Reservation

And don’t forget that a conference program ad is a very affordable way to get your message in front of potential buyers. Program ads are seen repeatedly throughout the conference as attendees refer to the session schedule, speaker bios, and event listings. The closing date to reserve ad space is September 4.

Conference Program Advertising

Need additional information? Please email ATA Public Relations and Marketing Manager Caron Mason or call (703) 683-6100 ext. 3003.

Coming Up in the September Issue of The ATA Chronicle

ATA 2014 Election: Candidate Statements
ATA will hold its regularly scheduled election to select three directors for three-year terms.

Working Sustainably as a Translator: Time Management
Being organized about time management so that you can balance work with "down time" will help you enjoy what you do and keep you out of crisis mode. (Karen Tkaczyk and Laura Ball)

How to Set Up a Free Website (and Inexpensive E-mail) with Google
Your business or professional organization needs a website to establish an online presence. If cost is still holding you back, Google might offer the solution. (Dan DeCoursey)

The Man Who Brought Russian Classics to the Juvenile Detention Center: An Interview with Andy Kaufman
Using translations of Russian classics, “Books Behind Bars: Life, Literature, and Leadership” pairs university students with incarcerated youth and transforms both groups through the power of conversation about the things that matter most: how to find meaning and purpose in life. (Lydia Razran Stone)

Online access to The ATA Chronicle archives is included with your association membership. And don't forget to check out the latest issue of the magazine in flipbook and PDF formats!


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