ATA Certification Exam Prep Workshop
Many candidates who fail the ATA Certification Exam are surprised and wonder how—after so many years of experience—they did not pass. With only a 20% pass rate, the exam is definitely difficult. This is the workshop that can help you better prepare for the challenge!
The ATA Certification Exam Prep Workshop is a well-known and highly popular ATA Annual Conference session. Now we're taking it on the road! Join us in Boston, Massachusetts on January 20, 2018 for this special event.
Session I (9:00am – 12:00pm)
Preparing for the ATA English>Spanish Certification Exam
This session will cover how exams are graded and the errors frequently made by test-takers. Actual practice tests will be used to demonstrate common pitfalls, and the presenters will offer tips on how to avoid them. The session also includes a practice test that attendees will complete prior to the workshop.
Session II (2:00pm – 5:00pm)
Preparing for the ATA Into-English Certification Exam
This session will cover how to prepare for the exam and ways to maximize your potential on exam day. In addition to providing an overview of the exam's newly updated "Into-English Grading Standards," the presenters will explain how the exam is graded and some of the common errors made by test-takers. Translators working in any language into English should benefit from this session.
Limited seating. Guarantee your place by registering now!
NYC Interpreters Told to Stay 100 Feet from Polling Places
New York Post (NY) (11/06/17) Calder, Rich; Celona, Larry; Golding, Bruce
According to the New York City Board of Elections (BOE), teams of interpreters, who had been hired by Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration to help Russian- and Haitian Creole-speaking voters, had to stay more than 100 feet from polling places on Election Day. BOE Executive Director Michael Ryan says the enforcement decision was made "to avoid any appearance of impropriety" as de Blasio sought re-election.
State Republican Chairman Ed Cox says GOP lawyers contacted the BOE to complain about de Blasio's plan, under which the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs sent 40 interpreters to 20 polling places in southern Brooklyn. The effort was funded by the City Council at a cost of about $8,000.
BOE President Frederick Umane had said De Blasio's plan "causes a problem for us because it's a program sponsored by the mayor and city council, so it might look like it was put in place to affect that election. It sort of raises an issue, especially considering that this is the year they wanted to do it."
Republican mayoral challenger Nicole Mallotakis criticized the use of taxpayer money and promised her campaign workers would be "watching to make sure nothing funny is going on."
Law enforcement sources explained that police were told that while the interpreters would need to be stationed more than 100 feet from polling places, they were to be allowed closer—and even inside—if voters requested.
Immigrant Affairs spokeswoman Rosemary Boeglin stated that she was "proud to have played a role in creating greater voter access in compliance with state law."
Some States Refusing to Offer Tests in Other Languages
Education Week (MD) (10/24/17) Mitchell, Corey
The federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) says states must "make every effort" to develop statewide evaluations in students' first languages if they comprise a significant portion of the student population. However, at least six states are taking the position that they do not have to follow ESSA's suggestion to give exams in language arts, math, or science in students' native languages because their constitutions declare English the official language.
Dozens of states have laws or constitutional amendments on the books that establish English as their official language. But only a handful, including Virginia, address how schools should educate students who don't speak English as their first language. Virginia prohibits instruction in languages other than English "except on a very limited basis and in foreign language classes." According to the Florida Department of Education, approximately 12% of all K-12 students in the state are classified as English-learners. Despite this, Florida's ESSA plan maintains that giving assessments to students in their native languages would impede their ability to demonstrate their knowledge.
Among states with larger English-learner populations than Florida, California and Texas have put up no resistance to offering native-language assessments. Some states with smaller English-learner populations, including Minnesota, plan to develop exams in three or more languages to accommodate students.
"When we look at the state plans, some of them do address the questions about native language assessments very thoroughly," says Delia Pompa, a senior fellow for education policy at the Migration Policy Institute's National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy. "Other states were more cavalier about it, which indicates a lack of commitment, a lack of being serious about the needs of students and looking forward."
Some experts say test translations are not always as helpful as they might appear. "If the student is not literate in their native language, then offering a native-language assessment is not going to help," says Joan Herman, director emerita of the National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards & Student Testing at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Herman says translated tests can be beneficial for certain groups of students, particularly those at the middle or high school level who already had a strong foundation in their home language before coming to the U.S. "For some states, developing tests in languages other than English could prove too costly."
Seeking a Voice, via a Bilingual MFA, in Writing and in Life
New York Times (NY) (11/02/17) Gleibermann, Erik
The University of Texas at El Paso offers the only bilingual Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) creative writing program in the U.S. Established in 2006, the program attracts mostly local residents from both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border.
Twelve of the program's 20 students are native Spanish speakers, and all speak at least some English and Spanish. They are driven by the desire to write and read in another language, and to study with professors versed in other cultures.
Faculty members strive to respond effectively to students who write in English, Spanish, or both. Professors try to accommodate students in individual sessions by working in their preferred language. "I'll speak in English and they'll speak in Spanish," says faculty member Daniel Chacón. "Then I might reiterate and clarify in Spanish."
Whatever their proficiency, students must grapple with both languages, says José de Piérola, director of the program. "It can be a shock to be stressed in this way, but it makes you grow."
One student, Alessandra Narváez-Varela, says she struggled to write in her native Spanish when she enrolled in the program. She has a BS in biology and a BA in creative writing. She spent a year in medical school, but says "it didn't feel like it was supposed to feel." Poetry did, so she enrolled in the program at El Paso. Now 31, Narváez-Varela, is writing to reconcile her dual identity and to give voice to women's issues. "Spanish, and the way it's used to create music in poetry, differs radically in terms of syllables and rhyme," Narváez-Varela notes. "El Paso has proved to be a humbling workshop for me, but an enlightening one, too."
While El Paso's program is a unique educational experience, creative writing programs across the country are developing Spanish-based curriculums—a growth reflecting the nation's changing demographics. According to U.S. Census Bureau estimates, Spanish is the primary language of more than 40 million people in the U.S., up from 32 million in 2005. Among the emerging programs, California State University in Los Angeles will offer its own bilingual MFA next year. Hofstra University will start a Spanish-language creative writing degree in 2018, similar to one already in place at New York University. Students in the Spanish-language program and its English counterpart at the University of Iowa are now being encouraged to take each other's classes. The University of Houston also started offering a PhD with a Spanish-language concentration that emphasizes literary scholarship as much as writing (students must include a theoretical analysis with their creative writing dissertation).
"I see all these programs as a unit of sorts," says Cristina Rivera-Garza, a professor in Hispanic studies and director of the creative writing program at the University of Houston. "This is a group interested in developing the writers of the 21st century: bilingual, diverse, and representative of the communities thriving in the U.S."
PEN Translates Awards Go to Books from 15 Countries
The Bookseller (United Kingdom) (11/09/17) Cowdrey, Katherine
Books from 15 countries have received PEN Translates awards in the latest round of translation grants. Ros Schwartz, a notable literary translator and co-chair of the award panel, says that publishers are becoming "increasingly adventurous" in their choices.
The books receiving translation grants were selected on the basis of "outstanding literary quality, strength of the publishing project, and contribution to literary diversity in the United Kingdom." They include the first novel from Mauritania to be translated into English (The Desert and the Drum, by Mbarek Ould Beyrouk), and novels translated from minority and lesser-translated European languages, such as Occitan, Galician, and Albanian, with an equal number of male and female authors selected.
Grants will be allocated to their respective publishers to cover the translation costs. Individual awards vary depending on the length of the book, with the standard agreement that PEN funds 75% of translation costs.
"We're delighted to see that publishers are becoming increasingly adventurous in their choices, and that, interestingly, a number of projects are translator-led, underscoring the pro-active role translators can play in bringing books to publishers' attention," Schwartz says.
"It's really encouraging to see such a wide range of countries and languages represented in this round of PEN Translates," says Theodora Danek, manager of English PEN's Writers in Translation program. "We think that writers from across the globe deserve to be read by a U.K. audience, and seeing publishers seek out new voices is fantastic."
Foreign Parenting Books Growing Out of Niche Market
Wall Street Journal (NY) (11/01/17) Gamerman, Ellen
The publication of books on foreign parenting styles is expanding from a niche market, with volumes on Dutch, Danish, and Chinese parenting becoming increasingly popular.
Rights to The Danish Way of Parenting have been sold to 23 countries, and the book is currently in its ninth U.S. printing. Meanwhile, Russian, Polish, and U.K. publishers have purchased the rights to Achtung Baby, a book promoting the German style of raising children to be self-reliant, by American author Sara Zaske.
Why are publishers so eager to produce such titles? Marnie Cochran, executive director of Ballantine Books, offers one explanation. "There are lots of countries left in the world that we haven't explored and that we can perhaps learn from."
Interest in foreign parenting got a major boost in 2011 with the publication of Amy Chua's Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, a book about raising children with the discipline and high expectations of Chinese parents. It has been published in about 30 languages and even inspired a TV sitcom in China.
Some readers seek out strict child-rearing styles, like the one described in the recently released Little Soldiers. In the book, American Lenora Chu tells the story of enrolling her three-year-old son in a state-run school in China. Chu describes an education culture that can breed success, but also punishes children through isolation and rewards sitting still with shiny red stars on the forehead. "The book is about me trying to find the middle ground as a parent," she says.
Little Soldiers is sold in the U.K., Hungary, Russia, Australia, and New Zealand. It hit a snag in China, where a deal was contingent on excising a chapter about political thought control in the classroom, Chu says. "I said no, and they upped the offer 30%," she explains. "So far, no deal."
Chu says parents in China are conflicted. She describes a Chinese woman who moved to Canada for its carefree atmosphere, but now worries that all children do there is play outside. "The grass," Chu says in her book, "is always greener elsewhere."
Two New ATA Certification Language Pairs
The ATA Board of Directors has approved the establishment of Chinese-into-English and English-into-Arabic certification.
Testing in the new language combinations will begin in 2018, but practice tests are available now. To order, download and complete the order form, then fax it to ATA Headquarters.
What does it take to add a new language combination?
Hundreds of hours of dedicated volunteer time, extreme organizational skills, and a commitment to seeing the goal through. Learn more: Read "The Journey of Establishing Certification for a New Language Pair" (The ATA Chronicle, April 2011).
ATA58 Attendees: Tell Us What You Think and Win!
Did you complete the Overall Conference Survey? If not, then please take a few minutes now to give us your feedback.
Surveys submitted by December 1 will automatically be entered to win a free registration for next year's conference in New Orleans!
There are two ways to access and complete the Overall Survey.
Important: If you have created new login information, you must use this new info to login.
- Using your Laptop/Desktop Computer
- Click www.tripbuildermedia.com/apps/ata2017
- Login with the username & password you received by email November 13
- Click the "Overall Survey" icon
- Using your Mobile Device
- Open the ATA58 App
- Login with the username & password you received by email November 13
- Tap the "Overall Survey" icon
Remember, the deadline to submit for a chance to win a free conference registration is December 1.
QUESTIONS? Email firstname.lastname@example.org. TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES? Email email@example.com
Thank you for joining us in Washington, DC for ATA's 58th Annual Conference. We look forward to seeing you next year in New Orleans!
How ATA Works—Board Meetings and Committee Reports
Board of Directors
The ATA Board of Directors meets four times a year to establish policy, develop goals and objectives, and oversee Association finances. Following each meeting, a brief summary is posted on the ATA website.
Board Meeting Summaries are a great way to keep up with ATA news and activities—from the latest financial reports to plans for the Annual Conference to public relations campaigns.
Be sure to watch for announcements of Board Meeting Summaries in ATA Newsbriefs.
Read the Board Meeting Summary for October 28-29, 2017.
Committee volunteers make things happen! Take this opportunity to learn more about ATA Committee goals and accomplishments. You'll also find last year's Board Meeting Summaries in this handout for 2016-2017.
Read the annual ATA Committee Reports for 2016-2017.
Wanted: ATA Calendar Events
Is your group's conference, symposium, workshop, or training session on ATA's 2018 Calendar? To be listed, email your event's name, sponsoring group, website link, and point of contact to firstname.lastname@example.org. Listings are available to non-profit organizations only.
And don't forget to follow the ATA Calendar for translation and interpreting events worldwide. Continuing education points are included in each listing if the event has been approved by ATA.
ATA58 may have ended, but the experience is not over!
From the Welcome Celebration to the keynote speaker and Closing Seception, ATA's 58th Annual Conference lived up to expectations with rave-reviews and non-stop networking—not to mention a packed Job Fair, a fantastic Brainstorming Session, and another successful Advanced Skills & Training Day.
Relive conference moments, see what you missed!
It's not too soon to start making plans for ATA's 59th Annual Conference in New Orleans (October 24- 27, 2018). Mark your calendar, save the dates--we'll see you there!
In the November/December Issue of The ATA Chronicle
Reading Beyond the Lines: The Translator’s Quest for Extra-Textual Information
Looking for extra-textual information is an essential component of translation, albeit one often overlooked or taken for granted. (Nahla Baydoun, Ibrahima Diallo)
Scheduling Translation Projects
Translators, translation project managers, and any other project participants should be able to draw up schedules to ensure that they can complete their own tasks within the allocated time frame. (Nancy Matis)
You’re Not Fluent Yet! Speaking the Language of Sustainable Development
Sustainable development is a rapidly growing niche for translators. However, to get your foot in the door, you need to demonstrate to potential clients an understanding of the issues and terminology involved. (Natalie Pavey)
From Beginning to End: The Interpreted Medical Visit
During a recent medical interpreting assignment, I was reminded of how difficult this work really is and how flexible we have to be. (Elizabeth Essary)
“How Long Will It Take You to Type This in English?”
An award-winning literary translator takes us on a tour of how experienced translators organize to meet deadlines and seek to produce an accurate, readable version in their target languages. (Ros Schwartz)
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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