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The ATA Podcast

Behind the Scenes of The ATA Chronicle Revamp


Last year's revamp of The ATA Chronicle is a story of hundreds of hours of volunteer time and tireless dedication to the future of the magazine. ATA members played a role, too—nearly 1,200 Chronicle readers responded to a survey asking for feedback and ideas.

Find out more about this backstory! Listen to the latest ATA Podcast to hear ATA President David Rumsey and President-Elect Corinne McKay talk about the ATA Chronicle Task Force and the steps taken to create the magazine's new look and feel—both in print and online.

The ATA Podcast is on iTunes! Subscribe now to get future podcast episodes as soon as they're released. It's free!

Don't know much about podcasts on iTunes? First, you do not need an iPad or iPod to subscribe to a podcast on iTunes. Second, you will need to download the iTunes Store software if you don't already have it. For the rest, check out these Frequently Asked Questions on the iTunes website.
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Industry News


EgyptAir Cites Translation Error for Confusion on Flight Wreckage
Free Press Journal (India) (05/20/16)

A source at EgyptAir, who spoke on condition of anonymity, says a translation error in the airline's press release about locating the wreckage of missing flight MS804 has led to a misunderstanding. According to the source, the Arabic version of the press statement concerning the "possibility of finding parts of the missing airplane" contained a translation error in the English version that was posted on EgyptAir's official Facebook page. The source also says EgyptAir "has never confirmed the finding of any wreckage." The Arabic version mentioned only "the possibility that the objects found might belong to the airplane," the source notes. An earlier report from EgyptAir stated that the Egyptian Foreign Ministry had verified to the Egyptian Civil Aviation Ministry that debris from the missing aircraft was found near the Greek Island of Karpathos. Greek officials quickly refuted that statement, saying the objects they found during the ongoing search operations do not belong to the Egyptian aircraft. EgyptAir Airbus A320 disappeared from radar screens en route from Paris to Cairo on May 19 with 66 people aboard.
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Brooklyn Ambulance Service Uses Chinese-Speaking Paramedics
New York Times (NY) (05/23/16) Nir, Sarah Maslin

Midwood Ambulance, a private company based in Brooklyn, now provides vehicles staffed by Chinese-speaking health care workers to respond to New York City's growing Chinese population. Midwood, which operates 107 ambulances, launched the Chinese-speaking service in April, and health care workers have already responded to calls beyond Brooklyn, including Chinatown in Manhattan and Flushing in Queens. "If you can't communicate with your paramedic, you could leave out something, or the paramedic could misunderstand something," says Alonzo Rapisarda, Midwood's owner. Bensonhurst, one of Midwood's main service areas, is now home to one of the city's largest concentration of Chinese residents. According to statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau, from 2000 to 2013, the number of foreign-born Chinese in the borough increased by nearly 50%--to 128,000 from 86,000. Although both city-run and private services have access to phone-based interpreting services, people facing medical issues often find it easier and more comfortable speaking to emergency responders in their native language. Rapisarda says that his regular crews found that they were frequently unable to speak with their patients, which is why he decided to reach out to Chinese residents. Midwood currently supports three ambulances with Chinese-speaking crews, and Rapisarda says the positive response has encouraged him to acquire three additional ambulances and hire more Chinese-speaking staff.
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Netflix's Massive Operation to Ensure that Chelsea Handler's Humor Has Global Appeal
Quartz (NY) (05/18/16) Rodriguez, Ashley

To ensure that U.S. comedian Chelsea Handler's recently launched global late-night talk show is a success, Netflix works with a team of 200 translators devoted to helping Handler's profanity-laced humor land audiences worldwide. Each episode of "Chelsea" is taped 34 hours before it's released simultaneously to an audience in 190 countries worldwide. Because of the tight turnaround, translators only have 12 hours to translate the show into the 20 languages in which it will air. To speed things up, Netflix creates a live English transcript of the taping by having a person repeat lines from the show into voice recognition software, which is then edited and shared with translators. Netflix also live-streams the tapings to other language experts, who flag phrases that might confuse global viewers. To find translators who are up to the job, Netflix's streaming service vetted a pool of 5,000 linguists. It had them translate clips from Handler's "Uganda Be Kidding Me" stand-up special and other series, including "Orange is the New Black" and "House of Cards," to see how well they translated vulgarities, slang, U.S-centric political terms, and idioms into their respective languages. Netflix states: "We believe these innovations in our localization work will help 'Chelsea' find new audiences across the globe, and we can't wait for the linguistic challenges she will throw our way."
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Hawaii Top State for Providing Court Interpreters
The Garden Island (HI) (05/12/16) Iracheta, Michelle

According to a report from the National Center for Access to Justice, Hawaii received the highest ranking of any state for providing court interpreters to people with limited English proficiency (LEP). According to the Justice Index 2016, Hawaii provides 87% access for people with LEP, the most in the United States. "Hawaii is a uniquely multicultural community, where many languages are spoken," David Lam, chief court administrator for the Fifth Circuit Court, says. "Our interpreters play a vital role in helping the judiciary ensure that everyone, regardless of the language they speak, is able to learn about their rights and effectively voice those rights in court." The report states that on the island of Kauai, 20 court interpreters help people understand about 25 languages in the courtroom, while in the entire state more than 380 interpreters help people understand more than 45 languages. Suzanne Zeng, a court interpreter and an instructor at the Center for Interpretation and Translation Studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, says the State Judiciary's Office on Equality and Access to the Courts (OEAC) has been working hard to improve and increase the services available to Hawaii's growing LEP population. "I think they are finally getting the recognition they deserve," Zeng says. She explains that the OEAC requires a two-day basic orientation workshop for a person to be registered as a court interpreter, and that a multi-tiered program offers incentives to interpreters to advance.
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"The Vegetarian" Wins Man Booker International Prize For Fiction
National Public Radio (DC) (05/17/16) Mccallister, Doreen

South Korean author Han Kang and her translator, Deborah Smith, are the recipients of the Man Booker International Prize for Fiction for Han's novel "The Vegetarian." The prize, worth $72,000, will be split between Han and Smith. "The Vegetarian" was one of 155 books submitted, including works by Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk and international bestseller Elena Ferrante. The novel, Han's first to be translated into English, is about a woman who decides to stop eating meat and wants to become a tree. Her decision has devastating consequences and raises concerns among family members that she is mentally ill. "It's almost an outlandish story--a story that could topple over into crude horror or melodrama, or just over-emphatic allegories, but it has extraordinary poise, tact, and control," says Boyd Tonkin, a literary critic who served as chair of the judging panel. "And that's accomplished both by Han Kang and by this amazing translation from Deborah Smith." Smith, 28, decided to become an English-to-Korean translator when she completed her undergraduate degree. She had not learned any foreign languages before, but moved to Korea to achieve her dream. She has subsequently founded the Tilted Axis Press, a nonprofit publishing company. Han, an award-winning and successful author in South Korea, was one of the first authors Smith discovered in Korea. "When I began, I didn't know what the usual author-translator relationship was," Smith explains. "I just went ahead and translated the whole book, sent it in with a list of questions, and waited." Han says that she was very happy to have her novel translated into English. "Reading through Deborah's translation, and her notes and questions, it was fascinating to ponder on the subtleties and possibilities of language." Tonkin says that this is the first time the prize has been awarded to a single book, rather than a body of work. "The point about this prize is that it's totally equal between the author and the translator, and we feel this strange and brilliant book has absolutely found the right voice in English."
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ATA 57th Annual Conference

ATA News


ATA 2016 Elections | 57th Annual Conference | San Francisco, CA

ATA will hold its regularly scheduled election at the upcoming ATA 57th Annual Conference (November 2-5) in San Francisco to elect three directors. There will also be a special election for secretary for a one-year term to complete Rudy Heller’s term.
  • Secretary (one-year term)
    Jane Maier
  • Director (three positions, three-year terms)
    Maria Brau
    Evelyn Yang Garland
    Christina Green
    Cristina Helmerichs
    Karen M. Tkaczyk
    Tess Whitty
Further nominations, supported by acceptance statements in writing by each additional nominee and a written petition signed by no fewer than 60 voting members, must be received by the Nominating and Leadership Development Committee by June 20. Acceptance statements and petitions may be scanned and e-mailed to Walter@atanet.org or faxed to the chair of the Nominating and Leadership Development Committee, Dorothee Racette, c/o ATA Headquarters, at (703) 683-6122.

Candidate statements and photos of the candidates will appear in the September/October issue of The ATA Chronicle and on ATA’s website.
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National Job Task Analysis of Healthcare Interpreters

The Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters (CCHI) is conducting its second National Job Task Analysis of Healthcare Interpreters.

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.

The Job Task Analysis survey closes June 20, 2016.
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Upcoming ATA Webinar

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

Is there more to your job than the daily word chase for the best translation? Consider the long-term view instead: take time to systematically document those words today to improve the quality and speed of your translation in the future.

Attend this webinar to learn more about using a terminology management system to increase the efficiency and accuracy of your translations. Plus see how to build your own system to save, organize, and retrieve words, phrases, acronyms, synonyms, and abbreviations.

Find out more about presenter Barbara Inge Karsch and her career as a terminologist in the latest issue of The ATA Chronicle!

Can't attend? Register now and a link to the on-demand recording will be sent to you following the live event.
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ATA's Computerized Certification Exam Option

Computerized exam sittings in the second half of 2016 will offer candidates the opportunity to take the ATA certification exam on their own laptops.

How does this work? Candidates use WordPad or TextEdit to complete the exam passages and save them to an ATA-supplied USB drive. Grammar and spell check utilities must be disabled, but most resources on an individual's laptop, such as dictionaries and glossaries, can be used. Non-interactive Internet resources, such as online dictionaries and other reference materials, can also be used.

It's important to note that the option to handwrite the exam will continue to be available at all sittings. All candidates taking the exam—whether handwritten or computerized—may bring any print resources they wish to use.

A computerized exam sitting will be held at ATA's 57th Annual Conference in San Francisco. Watch for additional computerized exam announcements on the upcoming certification exam schedule
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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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Abstract News © Copyright 2016 INFORMATION, INC.
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May 31, 2016

In This Issue

Behind the Scenes
ATA 2016 Elections
Survey for Interpreters
Upcoming ATA Webinar
Computerized Exam Update
The ATA Chronicle


Calendar of Events

Board of Directors Meeting
July 30-31, 2016

ATA Certification Exam
Upcoming schedule

ATA 57th Annual Conference
November 2-5, 2016
San Francisco, California
Follow #ata57

more >>


ATA Webinars

Terminology Management
June 8, 2016
12:00 noon EDT
Registration open

more >>


Advertise in ATA Newsbriefs

Contact Lauren Mendell, ATA Membership and Marketing Manager, for details.



ATA 2015-2016 School Outreach Contest
Deadline: July 18
ATA Chronicle-Online
ATA Chronicle-Online May/June 2016
ATA Online Directories