What’s up with the ATA57 Conference App?
Get to know the ATA57 app, and you'll understand why everyone is talking about it!
It's more than a digital conference program.
Create a schedule of sessions to attend; browse abstracts and speaker bios; view handouts, slides, and Proceedings papers; receive schedule change alerts, and submit evaluations instantly.
It's key to making the most of the Exhibit Hall.
Create a list of booths to visit; use an interactive floor plans to locate booths; view company profiles and contact information; and click to call, email, or visit a company website.
It's the best networking tool.
Create a profile with photo to connect with attendees; upload a resume to share; see the list of attendees before you arrive; use "matchmaking" to search for attendees by language; click to call or email colleagues and friends; and check in with LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter.
Take notes to download and export to your computer; link your profile to your website or ATA Directory listing; create public and private contact lists; find places to eat and visit, including pricing and directions; set up meetings and add them to your calendar; use keywords to search the entire app; and learn about the city using an interactive map.
You need to know!
The ATA57 app is free, available to registered conference attendees, and works on smart phones, tablets, and laptops.
Download the app now. You really don't want to leave home without it!
Can't attend the conference?
Watch the ATA website for daily photos. Follow the conference on Twitter with hashtag #ata57. Check ATA’s Facebook page for frequent updates. Then look for the post conference wrap-up video on ATA’s YouTube Channel!
National Museum of Languages to Boost British Multilingualism
The Herald (Scotland) (09/25/16)
As part of the University of Cambridge's Multilingualism-Empowering Individuals, Transforming Societies (MEITS) project, Britain's first National Museum of Languages will soon be coming to streets across Britain as part of an effort to promote multilingualism. The new pop-up museum will have a physical presence in regional centers and feature online learning resources. The regional centers will be located in shopping districts in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Cambridge, and Nottingham. Wendy Ayres-Bennett, a professor of French philology and linguistics at the University of Cambridge and the principal investigator of MEITS, says the museum will serve an important role in engaging the wider public in languages. "When we started, we found it very surprising that there are museums for dog collars and lawnmowers, but no National Museum of Languages in the U.K., and we thought that was a real gap," she explains. "We wanted to plug that gap with a pop-up museum and give people a chance to reflect about questions around multilingualism, identity, and diversity, and about their own language skills." Ayres-Bennett also says the MEITS project, which is funded by the U.K. Arts and Humanities Research Council, intends to instill a greater understanding of the social benefits of learning a language. She feels that languages can have a role in building peace and cohesion. Ayres-Bennett notes that more than half of the world's population is multilingual, while almost one in five U.K. primary school students has a first language other than English. "Our project aims to demonstrate the value of languages both to individuals and to society, and the importance of speaking more than one language, or being multilingual."
First New English-Yiddish Dictionary in 50 Years Published
New York Times (NY) (10/04/16) Berger, Joseph
The first new English-to-Yiddish dictionary in 50 years has been published by Indiana University Press, featuring nearly 50,000 entries and 33,000 subentries. The 826-page "Comprehensive English-Yiddish Dictionary" was compiled by Gitl Schaechter-Viswanath, a Yiddish editor and poet, and Paul Glasser, a former dean at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. The dictionary has entries for modern terms such as "email," which is rendered as "blitspost"—a combination of the Yiddish words for "lightning" and "mail." The dictionary was adapted from the lexical research of Mordkhe Schaechter, Viswanath's father, a leading Yiddish linguist and senior lecturer at Columbia University. Throughout his life, Schaechter collected Yiddish words and recorded them on index cards, which Viswanath and Glasser painstakingly researched. They added these terms to the nearly 20,000 terms already published in a 1968 dictionary compiled by Schaechter's colleague, Uriel Weinreich. They also invented Yiddish equivalents for the hundreds of new English words fostered by technological, scientific, and cultural advances since 1968. For example, for "butt dialing"--an accidental call made by a cellphone stuck in a back pocket--Viswanath and Glasser came up with "alpi tokhes," which literally means "by way of the backside." For the words they invented, Viswanath and Glasser consulted dictionaries of languages such as German, French, or Polish to see how these publications handled contemporary English terms. Whether the new words created by the editors will be widely embraced remains an open question. Many Yiddish speakers may already be too comfortable with the word "laptop" to jump ship for its Yiddish equivalent, "shoys-komputer" (a "computer for the lap"). "For any word that you’ve got to scratch your head to come up with, many speakers will just use the English word," says Yosef Rapaport, a Hasidic journalist and translator who is the media consultant for Agudath Israel of America, the umbrella group for ultra-Orthodox Jewish organizations. Glasser, who learned Yiddish when his family sent him to a Workmen's Circle Yiddish school in the Bronx and "caught the bug," says he and Viswanath tried to avoid too much borrowing of English words. "In the long run, if you keep borrowing English, you end up speaking English."
U.S. Senate Moves to Provide Study Abroad Grants
Language Magazine (CA) (09/23/16)
U.S. Senators Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi) and Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) have re-introduced the Senator Paul Simon Study Abroad Program Act, which would establish a competitive grant program for colleges and universities to expand study abroad opportunities for U.S. college students and encourage more minority, low-income, and non-traditional students to spend part of their undergraduate experience overseas. The goal is to boost the number of undergrads studying abroad annually to one million within 10 years. According to the NAFSA: Association of International Educators, less than 2% of all enrolled post-secondary students in the U.S. currently study abroad. "The next generation of American leaders will have to navigate a globally competitive economy and work with people from vastly different cultural backgrounds to tackle the world's problems," Durbin says. "By investing in international exchange, we can better prepare our youth and our country for the world of tomorrow." The program has wide support from a variety of educational organizations, including the American Council on Education, American Association of Community Colleges, and Association of American Universities. "To become more globally competitive and to build partnerships around the world, we urgently need Americans with a much deeper understanding of and ability to communicate with the world beyond our shores," says Marlene M. Johnson, chief executive officer of NAFSA. "Cross-cultural competency and global experience are widely recognized as essential skills in today's job market and the keys to innovation in the global economy," she says. "We need to invest wisely in our colleges and universities, and therefore our students, to meet these national needs."
Germans Try to Lose Accent from Swabia's Regional Dialect
Wall Street Journal (NY) (10/09/16) Turner, Zeke
Natives of the Swabia region in southwestern Germany, home to some of Germany's largest and most prosperous businesses, are often ridiculed because of their regional accent. The stigma attached to the sound of this rustic dialect has prompted thousands of Swabian managers, executives, and businesspeople to try and eliminate their accent. To accomplish this, they are turning to classes taught by language instructors such as Ariane Willikonsky. Her classes entail intense practice drills that last for seven hours and focus on removing the telltale Swabian sound, which has a distinctive nasal quality. Swabians make Er- and Or-sounds at the back of the mouth instead of the front, which sounds "like Donald Duck talk," Willikonsky explains. Swabians also confuse S-sounds, turning words such as "last" into "lashed." According to linguists, the Swabian dialect emerged during the New High German Diphthongization in the Middle Ages, when southwesterners spun off their own way of pronouncing vowels. To help her students rid themselves of their accent, Willikonsky instructs them to practice speaking with puckered lips by holding a ring of fingers around their mouths. For Er-sounds, she gives them tongue twisters such as one that translates as "the father and the mother play sports, the kids are sports reporters." Despite the taunting a Swabian accent can induce from non-locals, there are organizations dedicated to preserving it, such as the Supporters of the Swabian Dialect. The group raises funding to support an ethnological unit at the University of Tübingen that specializes in Swabian dialects. "If someone wants to speak a language that doesn’t belong to him, it shows that he wants to be better than he is," says Hubert Klausmann, director of the research unit.
Google Feeds Novels to AI to Improve Its Conversation
The Guardian (NY) (09/28/16) Lea, Richard
A paper by researchers at Google Brain detailing how they processed thousands of novels through a neural network as part of a study to improve the software's conversational fluency has caused quite a stir among authors, who say their work was used without permission. According to Google, after 11,038 novels were "fed" into a neural network, the system was able to generate fluent, natural-sounding sentences. Google says that products such as its Google app will be "much more useful if they can capture the nuance of language better." Google notes that "in this case, it was particularly useful to have language that frequently repeated the same ideas, so the model could learn many ways to say the same thing--the language, phrasing, and grammar in fiction books tends to be much more varied and rich than in most nonfiction books." Researchers say the novels used were available online, describing them as "free books written by [as] yet unpublished authors." Google says the entire collection is available for download from the University of Toronto and has been used by other artificial intelligence researchers. However, many writers whose work was used are adamant that Google should have contacted them for permission, especially if their work is being used by the company to gain a commercial advantage. "If there's one thing that's niggling at me it's that I would have liked to have known," says Rebecca Forster, whose thriller "Hostile Witness" was used by Google. "With all the technology at their fingertips, it wouldn’t have been too hard to let everyone know." According to Mary Rasenberger, executive director of the Authors Guild, the project represents "blatant commercial use of expressive authorship" and is a "plain and brazen" violation of copyright law. "Why shouldn't authors be asked permission, or even informed--not to mention compensated--before their work is used in this manner?" Google has not said if the company plans to reward the authors, or if the people whose expertise was harvested to train their network were ever considered as individuals. Google says the researchers clearly identified where they got the data. "The machine learning community has long published open research with these kinds of datasets, including many academic researchers with this set of free e-books," Google says. "It doesn't harm the authors and is done for a very different purpose from the authors', so it's fair use under U.S. law."
Client Education Through Public Relations
"Legal Risks in Translations: Hanging on Every (Foreign) Word" is the fifth client-education article released by the ATA PR Committee. From the opening tale of a patent translation gone wrong to the closing advice about specialty translation, patent translator Martin Cross makes the case for the value of a professional translator.
ATA PR articles have now been reprinted in more than 35 print and digital magazines across the U.S.!
Find out what the business community is learning about the translation and interpreting industry. Read the first five ATA PR articles now!
ATA Webinar: From Classroom to a Career in Translation
It's never too early for students to start asking questions and planning their first steps after graduation. Do you need a website? How do you find clients? What is the value of your degree? Can you really make it as a freelancer? What services should you offer? Presenter Jamie Hartz will lead webinar attendees through her first two years as a freelance translator with answers to these questions and more. Register now!
Buddies needed for conference
Get ready to help an overwhelmed first-time attendee navigate the conference. Even if you've attended only one ATA Annual Conference, you've got what it takes. Sign up in advance or show up onsite.
Take an active role in your association
Attending the ATA Annual Conference is not just education and networking. It's also an opportunity to learn more about the association.
- Get to know ATA leadership at Breakfast with the Board. (Thursday, Friday, Saturday 7:30AM - 8:30AM)
- Attend the Annual Meeting of Voting Members, even if you can't vote, to get to know the candidates. (Thursday 9:30AM – 11:00AM)
- Attend the Annual Meeting of All Members to learn about ATA's activities and future plans. (Friday 8:30AM - 9:30AM)
Not attending this year’s conference?
- Check out the ATA Board of Directors Meeting to find out how the issues are tackled. (Saturday 1:00PM - 4:30PM)
Watch for the Board of Directors election results on the ATA website, look for the Board meeting summary announcement in the post conference issue of Newsbriefs, and start thinking now about ATA’s 58th Annual Conference in Washington, DC (October 25-28, 2017)!
Looking for last year's Book Splash?
If you have written or translated a book and would like to showcase it at ATA57, contact Freek Lankhof at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the September/October Issue of The ATA Chronicle
ATA 2016 Elections: Candidate Statements
Calling all Voting members! Participating in ATA’s annual elections is your opportunity to help shape the future of the Association. Learn what this year’s candidates for ATA’s Board of Directors have to say, and remember to vote in November!
A Tale of Two Collaborative Classrooms: Early Success and Follow-on Failure
How did two translation classes using basically the same teaching method result in drastically different outcomes? Find out what the instructor learned during the process. (Steven Gendell)
National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health Care
The National CLAS Standards provide the framework for all health care organizations to best serve the nation’s increasingly diverse communities. (José T. Carneiro)
The Results-Only Work Environment (ROWE): Keeping a Project Manager Sane
The Results-Only Work Environment concept is a fantastic opportunity for high performers to create an individualized work/life balance. (Heidi Lind)
Translation in Transition
An exploration of change in the translation industry presented from three different angles: the technological side of change, the human side of change, and the business side of change. (Christelle Maignan)
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.
ATA 57th Annual Conference Sponsor
ATA wishes to recognize the following company for its contribution to the ATA Annual Conference and its invaluable support of the translation and interpreting fields.
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