Almost 52 inches of rain, 40,000 homes destroyed, 32,000 people in shelters, 8,000+ rescues by air and boat.
As the tragedy of Harvey continues to unfold in Houston and the Gulf Coast, many ATA members want to do something. There are the usual donations to the Red Cross and Salvation Army, but there are also ways to fund more specific, and perhaps more personal, needs.
No assistance is too little or too late. Organizations are currently seeking support for blood donations, children's hospitals, disabled and senior citizens, homeless shelters, pets, medical supplies, food, clothing, and blankets. There is even a diaper bank.
You'll find contact information for these and other groups at the links below.
A smile in the midst of adversity. Here's one teacher's effort to help distract kids from the storm. Check out the Hurricane Harvey Book Club on Facebook.
Use of Spanish Growing in U.S. Despite English-Only Drive
New York Times (NY) (08/23/17) Romero, Simon
Despite a political climate emphasizing English-only fluency, Spanish continues to thrive in the U.S. Drawing on a critical mass of native speakers, the U.S. Census estimates that there are now more than 50 million hispanohablantes—a greater number of Spanish speakers than Spain. At the same time, more than 20 states have enacted laws designating English as the official language. President Trump has also pushed for new limits on legal immigration that would require applicants to speak English to obtain legal residency green cards.
Throughout the rest of the world, however, the position of English as the pre-eminent language seems unchallenged. Globally, Spanish is second only to Mandarin Chinese in terms of speakers, while English comes in third. Immigration from Latin America has bolstered the use of Spanish in the U.S. in recent decades, but scholars say other factors are also at play. These include history, the global reach of the language, and the ways in which people move around throughout the Spanish-speaking world.
Linguists trace some of the vibrancy that Spanish now enjoys to decisions made well before Spain began colonizing the New World in 1492. As the Mexican writer Carlos Fuentes explains in The Buried Mirror, his book about the Hispanic world, the 13th-century Spanish king Alfonso X assembled a group of Jewish intellectuals, Arab translators, and Christian troubadours, who promoted Spanish as a language of knowledge at a time when Latin and Arabic still held prestige on the Iberian Peninsula. These scholars transformed Spanish into an exceptionally well-organized language with phonetic standards, making it relatively accessible for some students. They are thought to have adhered to a policy of castellano drecho—straight or right Spanish—instilling a sense of purpose within the language. Even today, Spanish remains mutually intelligible around the world.
Despite its popularity throughout the world, the continued growth of Spanish in the U.S. is not assured. Linguists have documented how new generations of Latinos around the country are steadily shifting to English, just as descendants of other immigrants have done. But if the past is a guide, Spanish will continue to evolve and endure.
Court Finds Texas Voting Law on Interpreters Is Illegal
Texas Tribune (TX) (08/17/17) Ura, Alexa
The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that Texas' policy of restricting language interpreter services for limited-English-proficient voters violates the Voting Rights Act (VRA). The Texas Election Code stipulates that interpreters helping someone cast a ballot must also be registered to vote in the same county in which they are providing assistance. However, a lesser-known VRA provision states that any voter requiring assistance due to visual impairments, disabilities, or literacy skills can be aided in ballot-casting by the person of their choice, provided they are not their employer or a union leader.
Texas had claimed its interpreter mandate was intended to be "supplemental" to the VRA, but the appeals court ruled the state's "limitation on voter choice" instead "impermissibly narrows" the voting rights ensured by federal law. "The problem remains that the Texas provisions expressly limit the right to the act of casting a ballot," the three-judge panel wrote. "It should go without saying that a state cannot restrict this federally guaranteed right by enacting a statute tracking its language, then defining terms more restrictively than as federally defined."
Thousands of Texas voters could be impacted by the court decision, as millions of households in the state speak non-English languages. Few counties in Texas are required to deliver assistance in languages other than Spanish, but U.S. Census estimates found nearly 26% of Texas households that speak languages originating in Asia or the Pacific Islands are considered limited-English-speaking households.
BBC to Launch 12 New Language Services through 2018
Nieman Journalism Lab (MA) (08/21/17) Wang, Shan
The BBC World Service plans to offer its news services in 12 new languages in 2018, starting with Nigerian Pidgin, a largely oral language spoken widely both in Nigeria and in countries across West and Central Africa.
"Pigdin is spoken by so many people, but nobody ever thought an international broadcaster based in the U.K. would be prepared to offer news content in it," says Miriam Quansah, the digital team leader for BBC Africa.
The BBC states that the expansion of its language services is part of a £289 million investment plan that will also include hiring 1,300 new staff members around the world. After the expansion, teams in Asia will make up roughly half the BBC World Service workforce. India alone is getting four new language services (Gujarati, Telugu, Marathi, and Punjabi). Its Korean language service will cater to South Korea as well as to some listeners in North Korea. In addition to Pidgin, the BBC is adding Afaan Oromo, Amharic, Tigrinya, Igbo, and Yoruba in Africa. Later next year, it will also offer Serbian. The ultimate goal is to double the BBC's current worldwide reach to 500 million people by 2022.
The BBC's expansion is unprecedented in scale, as well as in the resources it is committing to it. It is also hiring locally in places where experienced journalists are fewer and press freedom is severely limited.
"There are countries where the BBC needs to be providing impartial, independent, and international information and news and analysis," says Dmitry Shiskin, the digital development editor at BBC World Service, who oversees the editorial side of the digital expansion of the BBC's soon-to-be 40 language services. "We are bringing the world to a particular country where we operate, but we will also explain the events taking place in that country to the rest of the world."
Massachusetts School System Sued for Inadequate Translation Services
Masslive.com (MA) (08/21/17) Williams, Michelle
A lawsuit has been filed in federal court against Holyoke Public Schools in Massachusetts over human rights violations. The suit alleges that the district provides inadequate translation services for parents with limited English proficiency (LEP), including for educational documents regarding their children.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Padres Latinos de las Escuelas de Springfield y Holyoke, an association of Latino parents in western Massachusetts. A number of parties are named in the suit, including the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the state education board, and principals of district schools.
The plaintiffs claim that "Holyoke Public Schools have routinely and repeatedly failed to translate important educational documents and communications to LEP parents for at least 20 years." In addition, they charge Holyoke Public Schools with failing to supply trained interpreters for meetings between parents and school officials.
There were 5,344 students enrolled in Holyoke Public Schools during the 2016-2017 academic year. Of the entire student body, just under 80% are Latino—four times the state average. English is not the first language for 44% of students in Holyoke schools, and about one in every four students is an English-language learner.
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education declared Holyoke a "chronically underperforming" district in 2015 and placed the district in receivership. A turnaround plan announced during the 2015-2016 school year introduced many changes, including an extended school day, more individualized education plans, and bringing in outside partners. Six key steps were outlined in the turnaround plan, including better engaging families as "active partners, repairing relationships and building trust in the district." Despite this goal, the lawsuit alleges district officials "have failed, and continue to fail, to implement translation and interpreting policies" to ensure an open dialogue between educators and parents. The suit seeks, among other things, a declaratory judgment that state and local officials violated the rights of Holyoke families who speak limited English.
Tokyo Boosting Medical Language Services Before 2020 Olympics
Nikkei Asian Review (Japan) (08/20/17)
Tokyo plans to certify 14 local hospitals to support multiple-language medical services to meet the needs of the anticipated wave of tourists who will attend the 2020 Olympics.
Under the plan, the hospitals will be recognized by the Japan Medical Education Foundation as institutions sufficiently equipped to accept foreign patients under the Japan Medical Service Accreditation for International Patients (JMIP) system. The requirements for JMIP certification include the availability of manuals for receiving and treating foreign patients as well as interpreter services. As of May, only eight hospitals in Tokyo had received JMIP certification.
In a separate program, the metro government will provide subsidies to medical institutions that meet certain standards for handling foreign patients. Institutions that meet the criteria, such as providing signage and website information in other languages, will be eligible to receive up to 500,000 yen ($4,560) in subsidies. The metro government expects 180 medical institutions to become eligible for the subsidies during the three years through March 2020.
Responding to the metro government's drive, the Tokyo Nursing Association has launched an English-language course for its members. The association plans to provide "support nurses" for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. It is working to ensure that about 700 nurses take the course in fiscal 2017. The course will focus on medical terms and phrases used in asking patients about their symptoms and in giving first-aid treatment.
Meanwhile, the Japan Institute for Global Health will increase personnel at its video-call service by about 40%, to 400 interpreters, by 2020. The expansion will focus on interpreters who specialize in Portuguese and Spanish. Tokyo's government wants to attract 25 million foreign visitors to the city in 2020.
ATA Annual Conference: Early Registration Ends September 15
The savings on early Conference registration are too good to miss. Register now!
5 Things You Should Know About the ATA Annual Conference
ATA Conference Hotel 80% Booked
- It's about what matters to you. Choose sessions on the issues and topics that are important to you. Network the way you want when you want. This is your conference, do it your way.
- There's no better value for the money.
Over 170 sessions, from practical skills to teaching theory, across all levels of experience. No other event can provide you with this level of professional development at this price.
- The Advanced Skills and Training Day will be worth it.
This "conference-before-the-conference" offers in-depth instruction by some of the most experienced translators and interpreters in the industry. Limited seating to guarantee individual attention.
- Some of the best solutions are in the Exhibit Hall.
Stay competitive with the latest technology, software, and services in the Exhibit Hall—wouldn't you rather ask your question in person than wade through countless online references?
- Brainstorm networking is totally cool.
There’s something special about getting to know people while working together in a team. And there’s nothing like learning how to solve a problem from a colleague. This is the best of both worlds.
The Washington Hilton is holding a limited number of rooms at special ATA rates for Conference attendees. In-room complimentary wireless Internet is included.
This deal won't last long! ATA rates end on October 4 or as soon as the room block is full. Make your room reservation online today to guarantee you don't miss out!
ATA Webinar: A Closer Look at the Endocrine System
Presenter: Tracy Young
Date: September 12
Time: 12 noon U.S. Eastern Daylight Time
Duration: 60 minutes
CE Point(s): 1
Medical translators and interpreters will want to attend this webinar to learn more about the endocrine system and its related hormones, diseases, and disorders. Presenter Tracy Young will also share visual concepts and memory techniques to strengthen translator and interpreter skills in this complex specialty.
Register now! ATA Member $45 Non-Member $60
Unable to attend? You can register for this webinar now and a link to the
recorded version will automatically be sent to you after the live event!
T&I Advocacy Day at the Conference
Join ATA and the Joint National Committee for Languages in an all-day advocacy event in Washington, DC.
The event will include training sessions, collaborative working groups, and meetings with Congressional offices and Executive Branch agencies.
Limited to 50 registrants. Additional registration required.
Reminder: ATA Elections Date of Record
To vote in ATA's 2017 Elections, you must have been approved for voting membership status by September 22, 2017.
- Can I become a voting member?
Any ATA Associate Members who can demonstrate that they are professionally engaged in translation, interpreting, or closely related fields may apply for Voting Membership.
- How do I become a voting member?
Complete and submit the ATA Active Member Review application. It's easy, free, and fast!
International Translation Day
You may have already marked September 30 on your calendar as International Translation Day, but what do you really know about the event?
Here are a few facts: It's always celebrated on September 30, regardless of the day of the week. It was launched in 1953—six years before ATA was founded! The International Federation of Translators, or FIT, has promoted the event from the beginning. The theme for International Translation Day 2017 is Translation and Diversity.
And last but not least, International Translation Day is now recognized as an official event on the Days of the Year website!
Make the Most of the Conference: Exhibit and Sponsor
Invest your advertising budget where it counts! Whether you want to reach 11,000 ATA members or 1,800 conference attendees, the ATA Annual Conference can make it happen.
Only 20 booths left in the Exhibit Hall
Booth reservations not only include a free registration to the full conference but also direct promotion of your company before, during, and after the conference.
Reserve your booth now before it's too late!
Become a sponsor!
Multiple levels of sponsorship let you choose how, when, and where to promote your business. Options to fit every budget.
Become a conference sponsor!
To learn more about how ATA's Annual Conference can help you achieve name-brand recognition and reach qualified buyers, contact Lauren Mendell at +1-703-683-6100, ext. 3001, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join the Conference Crowd on Facebook
The Hope Diamond, the Peacock Room, and the almost famous Busboys and Poets. What do these have in common? They're all in Washington, DC, host city of the ATA 58th Annual Conference (October 25-28, 2017).
Will you be there? Yes? Then stop by the ATA Conference Event Page on Facebook to let everyone know. And while you're there, check out who else is going. Finally, don't forget to share the event in your FB News Feed.
Coming Up in the September/October Issue of The ATA Chronicle
ATA 2017 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 October!
Translation: An Intellectual Pursuit
True translation is an art that involves the translator understanding and appreciating the culture behind and reflected in the language. It’s the art of exercising an intellect. (Jesse Tomlinson)
Who Is Really Visiting Your Website? (It’s Not Who You Think!)
Unfiltered Google Analytics reports have been contaminated by automated computer programs known as bots, spiders, or crawlers. These contaminated reports can lead to potentially bad marketing decisions. Learn how to recognize the sources of this contamination along with two solutions that freelance translators and smaller translation companies can implement. (Richard Paegelow, Thea Dery)
Emotional Self-Discipline: A Key Ingredient for Success as a Freelance Translator
Emotional self-discipline is a key ingredient for success as a freelancer—and one that people are much less aware. (Karen Rückert)
Legal Aspects of Marketing Content: Things to Consider when Translating
While the translation of marketing copy does require some creativity, just as writing the original copy did, it may also require some knowledge of law. (Denise Josey)
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 58th Annual Conference Sponsors
ATA wishes to recognize the following companies for their contributions to the ATA Annual Conference and their invaluable support of the translation and interpreting fields.
Alliant Insurance Services, Inc
National Language Service Corps
SpeakEasy Services, Corp.
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