ATA Chapters and Affiliates
When ATA was established in 1959, there was no master plan to build a network of regional groups in support of the Association. But by late 1961, translators in the Philadelphia area had organized the Delaware Valley Translators Association (DVTA) and requested recognition as an ATA Chapter. A New York City Chapter (NYCT) soon followed.
Today's ATA Chapters and Affiliates exist for much the same reasons as those early groups: continuing education and the opportunity to share ideas. Most importantly, just like the good old days, every ATA Chapter and Affiliate provides a community that goes above and beyond any online forum.
Look for the ATA Chapter or Affiliate closest to you and discover what getting involved locally has to offer.
Welcome to ATA's newest Affiliate!
The Association of Translators and Interpreters in the San Diego Area (ATISDA) has been approved for Affiliate status by ATA's Board of Directors. The group has been organizing professional development events in Southern California since February 2008. ATISDA is ATA's 10th Affiliate.
U.K. Court Cases Postponed Due to Interpreting Failures
The Guardian (United Kingdom) (05/04/16) Bowcott, Owen
According to figures released by the U.K. Ministry of Justice, more than 2,600 court cases have been postponed over the past five years due to failures to provide interpreting services. In the magistrates courts, 2,524 trials were postponed, and in the crown court, where costs are far greater, 137 trials were postponed due to the lack of an interpreter. "It goes without saying that every time an interpreter fails to turn up, either injustice is done, because the case goes on without one, or the case has to be postponed, leading to delays and a waste of everyone's time and money," says Lord Marks, justice spokesman for the Liberal Democrats. Concern over a lack of qualified interpreters in the court system has been an ongoing concern. "The number of court cases postponed owing to the lack of interpreters has remained stubbornly high," Lord Marks says. "The government must ensure effective and efficient attendance of high-quality interpreters in the court to enable justice to be delivered." The Ministry of Justice states that it is "absolutely committed" to improving performance and ensuring the highest standard of language services for those who need them. However, this statement has done little to assure critics. "The available pool of interpreters is already limited, and the word is that many now have enough experience to move on to better-paid work," says Geoffrey Buckingham, an executive member of the European Legal Interpreters and Translators Association. "If this continues, then quality will continue to fall."
Hispanic Millennials Rejecting Spanglish
New America Media (CA) (05/10/16) Nevaer, Louis
The reason many Hispanic millennials are rejecting Spanglish--a blend of Spanish and English--in favor of proper American English could be linked to the growing number of U.S.-born Hispanics. As a result of the slowdown in immigration from Latin America over the past decade, the U.S. Hispanic population is now mostly U.S.-born, not immigrants. According to a report released by the Pew Hispanic Center: "In 2013, U.S.-born Hispanics outnumbered foreign-born Hispanics by nearly two-to-one--35 million to 19 million--and made up a growing share (65%) of the nation's Hispanic population." As Hispanics have now become English-dominant, the need for Spanglish may be disappearing. The Pew Hispanic Center report states that around 71% of U.S. Hispanics believe that speaking Spanish is not necessary to their "Latino" identity. According to the report, "fully 89% of U.S.-born Latinos spoke English proficiently in 2013, up from 72% in 1980." This gain is due in part to the growing number of U.S.-born Latinos who live in households where only English is spoken. "The typical trend is that the first [generation] prefers to speak Spanish, the second generation is bilingual, and the third generation is generally monolingual," says Jody Agius Vallejo, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Southern California who studies immigrant integration. Marketers are taking note of this trend and are now careful to use proper English and Spanish in media advertising. When Target Style wanted to reach Latina millennials during the Billboard Latin Music Awards with their "Influencer" campaign, they did not use Spanglish. Their campaign, "Show off your way," was translated into proper Spanish: "Lúcete a tu manera." Madison Avenue is also taking note of Hispanic millennials' language preference. Advertisers use either proper English or proper Spanish, but not Spanglish. The rise of English-dominant Hispanic millennials is now reverberating throughout the United States. For example, three of the leading Hispanic millennials writing today--Kristiana Rae Colón, Christopher Soto, and David Tomás Martínez--write exclusively in English, with almost no reference to Spanglish. Could Hispanic millennials, who seem to be defining their identity in English, represent the end of Spanglish?
Quebec Wants Businesses to Add French to Outdoor Signs
Montreal Gazette (Canada) (05/03/16) Gyulai, Linda
Quebec's government will require businesses with English brand names to display some French on their outdoor signage. The regulations will apply to any type of business, such as hotels and restaurants, and not just to stores. Businesses with English names will have to add a French description of what they are selling, but will not have to change their trademarks. "The draft regulations on signage will ensure that every trademark visible from the highway, from an industrial park, or from another place indicates that we're indeed in Quebec and not in Maine or Massachusetts," says Quebec's Minister of Culture and Communications Hélène David, who is responsible for the province's French language charter. She described the move as a concrete measure to preserve the francophone identity of Quebec by having "trademarks with a French face." The French words will have to be positioned near the trademark to make them as noticeable as the non-French words. If the non-French trademark is lit up on a sign, then the French words will also have to be illuminated. The government estimates it would cost companies anywhere from $500 to $9,000 to make the necessary sign changes, depending on the size and number of signs. Businesses with existing signs would have three years to comply with the new regulations. Quebec, the only North American jurisdiction with a French-speaking majority, has laws to ensure that French is used in the workplace and remains predominant in the province's largest city, Montreal. David says that 21 businesses, including retailers, were consulted last fall on the changes, which would apply to an estimated 1,860 companies with trade names in English or another language. The initial reaction from groups representing businesses and employers has been positive. "The government decided not to attack trademarks, so it's a plus for us," says Françoise Paquet, director of governmental relations for the Conseil québécois du commerce de détail, which has 5,000 members, including pharmacies and hardware and clothing stores. Paquet added that she's pleased the government regulations will apply to all businesses. "We still have to study the details, but at first look we are pretty satisfied with this announcement."
Translated Fiction Outsells English Fiction in U.K.
The Guardian (United Kingdom) (05/09/16) Flood, Alison
According to a survey commissioned by the Man Booker International Prize, translated literary fiction is selling better in the U.K. than literary fiction originally written in English. The survey found that although fiction in translation comprises only 3.5% of literary fiction titles published, it accounted for 7% of sales in 2015. The research, conducted by book sales monitor Nielsen Book, examined physical book sales in the U.K. between January 2001 and April 2016. It found that translated fiction sales almost doubled over the past 15 years, from 1.3 million to 2.5 million copies, while the market for fiction as a whole fell from 51.6 million in 2001 to 49.7 million in 2015. "In 2001, every literary fiction title written in English sold an average 1,153 copies, while every translated literary fiction title sold only 482 copies, but this had completely changed by 2015," says Fiammetta Rocco, administrator of the Man Booker International Prize. Rocco explains that every literary fiction title written in English sold an average of only 263 copies, while every translated literary fiction title sold an average of 531 copies. "Not only are the numbers of translated books sold going up, but there is an incredibly devoted readership in Britain of translated fiction," Rocco says. "We've now reached a stage where not only are people happy to read fiction in translation, they are positively seeking it out," says Chris White, a fiction buyer for Waterstones. "Currently 25% of our top 20 fiction titles are translated, and if more were published I'm sure that percentage would be higher still," he says. Rocco credits increased travel, the import of foreign TV shows to Britain, and the emergence of small publishers as factors in the growing popularity of translated fiction. Rocco feels the survey is "confirmation of the health and growth potential of international fiction in the U.K.," and hopes that it will "encourage publishers and agents to take more risks and invest in translation."
Five Lost Languages Rediscovered in Massachusetts
Smithsonian Magazine (05/11/16) Landers, Jackson
New research indicates that the early Native Americans of central Massachusetts once spoke at least five languages. Previously, experts believed that Native Americans in this region spoke a single language, Loup (pronounced "Lou," literally meaning "wolf"). The lost languages were rediscovered while examining several manuscripts written by French missionaries who were also serving as linguists in the late 1700s. While working on her master's thesis at the University of Manitoba, Holly Gustafson compiled a list of verb forms found in one of the manuscripts, which is when Ives Goddard, curator emeritus and senior linguist in the Department of Anthropology at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC, noticed some contradictions in the compilation. "The fact that there were three different words recorded for 'beaver' was suspicious, and that made me start thinking that there was more than one language involved," he says. Goddard explains that in the wake of King Phillip's War in the 1670s, many groups of Native Americans were displaced. People who had lived in central Massachusetts fled to upstate New York, where they stayed in refugee camps and encountered French missionaries who also studied their languages. By then, the tribes had been badly reduced by war and disease. The survivors were too few to maintain unique cultural identities as they integrated with other tribes. As a result, their languages disappeared quickly. "This gives us a picture of the aboriginal situation in New England being fragmented into different groups," Goddard says. "This also tells us something about the social and political situation." But how could five distinct languages have been maintained in such a small region? Goddard believes that the situation may have been similar to that of the Sui people of the Guizhou Province of China. Women from a particular band of villages would always marry into a different band of villages in which a different language was spoken. The woman would continue to speak her original dialect, her husband would speak another, while their children would grow up understanding both but primarily speaking the father's dialect outside of the home. Family and cultural ties were maintained between the different groups of villages along with an independent sense of identity. "It's like some European families where you can have three different languages at the dinner table," Goddard says. "There was probably a lot of bilingualism." Goddard's research begs the question of how many other native American languages may have been missed. Could the cultural diversity of pre-colonial America have been underestimated? Goddard says that rediscovering those languages can help explain where the lines were drawn between different cultures.
An Open Letter to Congress
ATA has joined 13 of the world’s major translator and interpreter associations and advocacy organizations in calling for support of Afghan translators and interpreters. In an open letter to U.S. Congressional leaders, the coalition spoke specifically against the latest revisions in the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program. The changes to SIV, which are set to go into effect at the end of this month, will narrow eligibility criteria and require additional documentation in the visa applications of Afghan interpreters, essentially barring many from ever obtaining a visa. The coalition also urged Congress to address the backlog of more than 10,000 applications, which the current allotment of 4,000 visas per year cannot accommodate.
Upcoming ATA Webinars
Copyediting for Translators—Making Serious Writing Sing (Only a few seats left!)
Presenter: Carolyn Yohn
Date: May 18
Time: 11 a.m. U.S. Eastern Daylight
Duration: 60 minutes
CE Point(s): 1
What are the key elements to keep when preserving the author's voice in a second language? Presenter Carolyn Yohn will share the basics of style and grammar that develop an author's "oomph," including practical tips for making their work sing in your translation.
Terminology Management—Why Would I Do That?
Presenter: Barbara Inge Karsch
Date: June 8
Time: 12 Noon U.S. Eastern Daylight
Duration: 60 minutes
CE Point(s): 1
If you are paid by the word and not by the hour, why would you spend time doing anything BUT translating and producing words? Let terminologist Barbara Inge Karsch show you the view beyond the daily word chase for the best translation! You might just be shortchanging your future productivity at the expense of saving time today.
Can't attend? Register for either one—or both—of these webinars and a link to the on-demand version will be sent to you following the live event.
Board Meeting Summary: April 30-May 1
Learn more about ATA’s governance and goals—read the summary of the latest Board of Directors meeting in Alexandria, Virginia (April 30-May1). This meeting summary is your opportunity to stay informed and involved in the Association. It’s a quick and easy-to-read report, so take five minutes of your time now to find out what’s happening.
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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