Client Education Through Public Relations
All ATA public relations efforts are, to some extent, client education. But beyond the general message, using targeted information written specifically for end users—individuals who are responsible for contracting translation and interpreting services—is the strategy to pursue.
The ATA Public Relations Committee is doing just that.
Working with an outside PR firm and ATA volunteers, the Committee has developed a series of "penned pieces" for business publications and trade association magazines. These articles offer straightforward, practical advice about when, why, and how to use professional translation and interpreting services.
Additional client education in The ATA Compass.
To extend the reach of this brand of client education, the PR articles have also been published in The ATA Compass, the Association's online blog for consumers and clients.
The bottom line for all ATA client outreach is to promote you and your professional services. Share these articles with potential clients. Reference them in your company's marketing material. Link to them from your website and blog. Use them wherever and whenever you can—let ATA's PR program work for you!
In Germany, Asylum Seekers' Medical Needs Are Being Contained
NPR Online (DC) (06/13/16) Nelson, Soraya Sarhaddi
Two German entrepreneurs are working to bridge the language gap for asylum seekers by providing video access to interpreters in the mobile clinic they created from a refurbished shipping container. The mobile clinic is the brainchild of Harald Neidhardt, the chief executive officer of MLOVE, a Hamburg-based media and event company, and his friend, Mirko Bass, a business development manager at Cisco Systems. The executives met in 2014, while introducing cutting-edge technology to Hamburg as part of its Smart City initiative. Like many Germans, they were moved by the plight of hundreds of thousands of desperate asylum seekers who arrived last year and overwhelmed local governments. Few speak English, let alone German. Bass and Neidhardt worked as volunteers distributing clothes to asylum seekers, but wanted to do more. For the Smart City initiative, Neidhardt had already helped design a mini-village from shipping containers to house start-up businesses and event spaces. So, he proposed creating portable doctors' offices in refurbished, Wi-Fi-equipped shipping containers. The portable offices are inexpensive and easy to set up at refugee intake centers. Bass enhanced the idea by adding a network of partners, including the German Red Cross, the University Medical Center of Hamburg-Eppendorf, and SAVD, a Vienna-based video interpreting firm. "This is a little bit like Uber, you know," Bass says. "You press the button and the magic happens." (In this case, an interpreter shows up.) Cisco funded the prototype, which took six weeks to complete. By early November, the first Refugee First Response Center clinic was installed, complete with online video interpreting. So far, it has logged more than 4,500 patient visits, Niedhardt says. The Hamburg-based Dorit and Alexander Otto Foundation has donated $1 million to Hamburg officials to build 10 more mobile clinics. The city has also agreed to cover the operating costs, and patients will be provided with free care. Neidhardt and Bass say they are determined to find more donors so they can build even more clinics, and not just in Hamburg or Germany. They also hope to expand the treatment options beyond primary care. "We see that the model works," Niehardt says. "Not only providing interpreting services, but also just having a clean, amazing, and functional doctor's office."
Ireland Prepares to Elevate Irish to Full Working EU Language
Irish Times (Ireland) (06/04/16) Lynch, Suzanne
Irish is set to become a fully-fledged official working language of the European Union (EU) by 2022, and the drive is on to recruit translators. In the coming months Ireland plans to increase the number of Irish speakers working at the EU. Irish became an official language of the EU in 2007, but a transition period was granted to allow time to hire a sufficient number of translators. Following a decision last December, that transition period will be phased out. Irish-language supporters have long called for the transition period to be lifted, arguing that Irish has been a second-class language for the past nine years. However, the elevation of Irish to a full working language brings enormous challenges, especially given the thousands of legislative documents that pass through the EU system each week. Ireland is under enormous pressure to prove it has the people with the language skills to meet the new staffing requirements. So far, the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, together with the European Personnel Selection Office, have advertised for 62 Irish-language translators and 14 language assistants. Assistants need to know Irish and either English, French, or German. Translators must be fluent in Irish and have both a second language (typically English) and a third EU language. Translators must also have a university degree and sit for the notoriously difficult EU exams. A number of third-level institutions now offer specialized Irish courses, often with a strong legal component, which aim to equip students with the knowledge and skills required for jobs as EU translators or other linguistic-based roles. "With the establishment of Irish as an official language of the EU it became clear that Ireland needed to train people to take advantage of the new opportunities," says Dáithí Mac Cárthaigh, a barrister who is involved in running courses at the Honorable Society of King's Inns in Dublin, Ireland's oldest law school. For many Irish speakers, this could be an opportunity to get a foot on the career ladder in the EU. "Irish people have a proud tradition of working in the EU institutions and [have] a great reputation," says Kristalina Georgieva, vice-president of the European Commission. "We're offering a rewarding and stimulating career, so I encourage people to apply."
Japanese Interpreters Resist Move to Unlicensed Tour Guides
Asahi News Service (Japan) (06/04/16) Nakada, Ayako
A proposal to ease restrictions and allow unlicensed guide interpreters to work as paid interpreters for tourists in Japan has drawn concern from the country's travel industry. Currently, only licensed guide interpreters ("tsuyaku annaishi") are permitted to offer paid services to non-Japanese tourists under the Guide Interpreter Business Law. A licensed guide interpreter must first pass the Licensed Guide Interpreter Examination administered by the Commissioner of the Japan Tourism Agency and apply to the governors of the relevant prefectures for official registration. Introduced in 1949, the license system is available for 10 languages, including English, Chinese, and French. The proposal seeks to amend these requirements as a way to keep up with the growing number of tourists as Japan plans for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. "The existing system that allows only licensed guide interpreters to engage in the business cannot handle the present situation in terms of both quantity and quality as Japan works to become a popular tourist destination," the proposal report states. However, many in the industry worry that approving unlicensed guide interpreters will inundate Japan with low-quality guides. Currently, around 20,000 licensed guide interpreters work in Japan, and their jobs involve more than just overcoming language barriers. Guides are expected to accurately explain Japanese culture, history, geographical features, social issues, and other topics to non-Japanese travelers. Minako Sakano, a licensed English-language guide interpreter, says she constantly checks newspapers, TV news, and tourist spot pamphlets and takes notes to enhance her skills. "For sightseers, I am a representative of the Japanese," Sakano says. "I recognize my occupation as a job that could affect people's impressions of Japan." If the government approves the proposal, it will start preparations for amending the Guide Interpreter Business Law this year. Hisao Yoshimura, executive director of JTB Global Marketing and Travel Inc., says using unlicensed guide interpreters is not the answer. "If unlicensed guides are allowed for foreign tourists and no efforts are made to improve the average quality of tourism interpreters, the number of quality interpreters with whom we can work will not increase."
Translating the U.S. Census Questionnaire Into Arabic
Pew Research Center Fack Tank (DC) (06/03/16) Brown, Anna
The U.S. Census Bureau is researching the feasibility of offering the census questionnaire in Arabic for the first time in 2020. However, before a final decision is made, the Bureau faces many challenges, not only in terms of translating the language, but also in adjusting the appearance of the questionnaire for those accustomed to reading and writing Arabic script. The Bureau has already conducted research in which focus groups consisting of Arabic speakers not proficient in English were asked to identify the translation and visual display issues that are unique to Arabic. The Bureau will use this research to help determine whether a translation of the census form can accurately "translate" symbolic and layout meanings from English into Arabic. Translating survey questionnaires is a tricky endeavor because it can be difficult to express the same meaning across two languages and cultures. But Arabic presents unique challenges because it is read from right to left on the page (the opposite of English and many other languages), and the letters are connected like cursive writing in English. Because Arabic uses a different alphabet, certain words (including names) cannot always be transliterated directly into English. Even if the questions are translated accurately, the visual elements of the questionnaire may not necessarily transmit the same meaning as in English. For example, the English instructions indicate that respondents should use an "X" to mark a checkbox, but in Arabic, a check mark is more culturally appropriate. Since Arabic is written right-to-left, the Bureau's research recommends that most of the questions on the census form should be aligned on the right side of the page. Also, while the English questionnaire uses capitalization or italicization to emphasize or de-emphasize text elements, there are no distinct capital letters or italicization in Arabic, so the Bureau recommends that other methods be used to achieve a similar effect, such as bolded or underlined words. The Bureau will continue to research these formatting and language issues to ensure that the finished questionnaire encourages respondents to give accurate and legible responses.
Northwestern University Establishes $5,000 Prize for Translators
Northwestern University Newscenter (IL) (05/17/16) Deardorff, Julie
Northwestern University's Global Humanities Initiative and Northwestern University Press have created the $5,000 Global Humanities Translation Prize for translators. Northwestern University Press will publish the winning work, which will be selected annually by a rotating committee of distinguished international scholars, writers, and public intellectuals. The prize recognizes writing that strikes a nuanced balance of scholarly rigor, aesthetic grace, and general readability. Particularly relevant to the prize are translations that introduce a broader audience to underrepresented and experimental literary voices from marginalized communities, humanistic scholarship in rarely translated languages, and vital classical texts in non-Western traditions and languages. "Our goal is to bring much-needed attention not only to the rich humanistic traditions of the non-West, but also to the relevance of those traditions for global development and public policy," says Laura Brueck, who co-founded the Global Humanities Initiative in 2015 with Rajeev Kinra. "It places Northwestern University at the center of a vital international conversation about the continuing role of the humanities in building a more just, tolerant, and humane 21st century," says Kinra, an associate professor in the Department of History in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern. "The Press's partnership with the Global Humanities Initiative is part of our long tradition of bringing exceptional translations of important works to an English-speaking audience," says Jane Bunker, director of Northwestern University Press. "We expect that this award will bring a renewed measure of academic prestige to the craft of translation itself."
In Memoriam: Gregory Rabassa
Gregory Rabassa, legendary translator of Julio Cortazar, Vargas Llosa, and Jorge Amado, passed away on June 13, 2016. Literary critics often cite Rabassa's work, and particularly his English translation of Gabriel García Márquez' One Hundred Years of Solitude, as playing a pivotal role in the Latin American literary movement of the 1960s.
Rabassa, a longtime ATA member, was the recipient of ATA's Gode Medal (1980), the U.S. National Book Award for Translation (1967), the PEN Translation Prize (1977), and the National Medal of Arts (2006) among others.
CCHI Survey of Healthcare Interpreters Closes June 20
The Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters (CCHI) is conducting its second National Job Task Analysis Survey of Healthcare Interpreters.
The Job Task Analysis survey closes June 20, 2016.
The first Job Task Analysis in 2010 closed with nearly 2,500 healthcare interpreters, trainers, and managers completing the survey. In the intervening six years, both the healthcare industry and the interpreting profession have seen significant changes. The information collected in this second survey will document how those changes have redefined the job responsibilities of healthcare interpreters.
Don't miss this opportunity to weigh in on what you think every healthcare interpreter should know and do! Click to take the survey now.
ATA Attends the Society for Technical Communication Conference
The Society for Technical Communication's 63rd Annual Conference was another opportunity to reach out to individuals likely to need translation services. In addition to presenting one of the 80 conference sessions, ATA President David Rumsey networked among the 600 attendees and answered a lot of questions. What did the tech writers want to know? Read David's report in the Chronicle-Online to find out!
Win a Free Night's Stay at the ATA Annual Conference Hotel
Book your room at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco now for a chance to win a free night's stay!
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In the May/June issue of The ATA Chronicle
Summary of the ATA Translation and Interpreting Services Survey
The fifth edition of the ATA Translation and Interpreting Services Survey serves as a practical tool, revealing general tendencies in the translation and interpreting industry. (Shawn E. Six)
Revisiting the "Poverty Cult" 20 Years On
A fork in the road for the translation and interpreting profession in 1996 changed the dynamics in the translation world in a way that continues today. (Neil L. Inglis)
Roads Less Taken: Beyond the “UN6”
In my job, once you leave the UN6, a special set of complications comes into play. The less widely spoken the languages are, the more daunting these challenges can become. (Joseph P. Mazza)
The Mother-Tongue Principle: Hit or Myth?
It’s difficult to espouse the "mother-tongue principle" if it’s not at all clear what a "native speaker" or a “mother tongue” actually is. (Tony Parr)
Digital Study and Collaboration: Making the Most of Your Mobile Device
Whatever your goal as a professional, the mobile device in your pocket or briefcase can help you attain it. (Julie A. Sellers)
How to Spice Up Your Translation
Conveying the content of a source text is not enough. As translators, we should also be writers. (Percy Balemans)
Access to The ATA Chronicle's searchable archives is available online! And don't forget to check out the latest issue of the Chronicle-Online.
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