International Translation Day #ITD2017
For more than 60 years, translators and interpreters around the world have celebrated International Translation Day on September 30. This year, they are joined by an important partner in the celebration.
On May 24, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution declaring September 30 to be International Translation Day. The historic resolution also recognized the role of professional translators, interpreters, and terminologists in connecting nations and fostering peace, understanding, and development. UN resolution.
But there's more!
The ATA Podcast: International Translation Day 2017 and Volunteerism. International Translation Day is more than a one-day event. In Episode 15 of The ATA Podcast, President David Rumsey talks about how translators and interpreters can celebrate their professions all year long as volunteers. Listen now.
FIT Panel Translation and Diversity: Language Access and Human Rights. Panel discussion with Giovanna Carriero-Contreras, Linda Fitchett, and Chantal Gangnon. Introduction by FIT's Immediate Past President Henry Liu. Moderator Bill Rivers. Watch now!
#ITD2017 @United Nations. First official UN Commemoration of International Translation Day includes photo documentary exhibition and lecture by FIT's Immediate Past President Henry Liu on "The Relevance of Language Professionals in the Modern World. Find out now!
Follow #ITD2017 on Twitter for all International Translation Day celebrations!
Interpreter Defends Trump UN Speech Omissions
BBC News (United Kingdom) (09/21/17)
The Iranian interpreter for President Donald Trump's speech to the United Nations General Assembly defended his decision to omit or alter certain segments.
During the September 19 speech, President Trump said that the U.S. might "have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea," and criticized Iran as a "rogue state." But some viewers watching in Iran may not have felt the full force of President Trump's words. While the entire speech was broadcast live and unedited on the Islamic Republic of Iran News Network, the network also included a simultaneous Persian interpretation that many say softened Trump's comments by leaving certain words out. President Trump included a number of criticisms of Iran in his speech, some of which appear below. The interpreted remarks follow in italics.
Trump's words: "[The Islamic Republic of Iran] has turned a wealthy country, with a rich history and culture, into an economically depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed, and chaos."
Interpreted version: In our opinion, the life of Iranians could be better.
Trump's words: "The entire world understands that the good people of Iran want change, and, other than the vast military power of the United States, that Iran's people are what their leaders fear most."
Interpreted version: The U.S. military is strong. The people of Iran are also strong.
Trump's words: "This is what causes the regime to restrict Internet access, tear down satellite dishes, shoot unarmed student protestors, and imprison political reformers."
Interpreted version: There are so many things happening in Iran that we consider to be unacceptable.
The interpreter behind the omissions, Nima Chitsaz, has defended his actions following widespread criticism on social media. In a short video, Chitsaz explained why he neglected to interpret parts of President Trump's speech. "Trump made some remarks in his speech at the United Nations against Iran that I did not interpret," he said. "I decided not to interpret them because these remarks were untrue. They were against my country and they were against Iran."
Chitsaz explained that because President Trump could be heard in the background it would be "obvious" what he had really said. "I do not think it would be good if I spoke against my own country on my own national network," he added.
However, many Iranian social media users remained unconvinced. "You were not speaking against your country, you were only interpreting," one commenter wrote. "Are you saying that listeners are not intelligent enough to understand what remarks are wrong and what remarks are right?" another commented. "At least find a better excuse."
California Court Interpreters End Contract Dispute
San Francisco Chronicle (CA) (09/27/17) Egelko, Bob
The California Federation of Interpreters and Superior Court officials in 12 Northern California counties have reached a wage agreement following a yearlong contract dispute that prompted walkouts in July and August. The labor contract allocates a wage increase of nearly 21% for a four-year period that began in October 2016, when the previous contract expired.
A majority of the 142 members of the California Federation of Interpreters voted to approve the agreement last week, and court officers in 12 counties endorsed it this week. The region includes the Bay Area and coastal counties from Monterey to the Oregon border.
Court officials say the agreement will elevate interpreters' salaries to $92,888 annually by September 2020, although they will still earn less than interpreters in federal courts or private contractors.
The California Federation of Interpreters, which led the walkouts, says its members had suffered a 4-6% loss in take-home pay this year because of mandatory increases in pension contributions, a loss the courts had offset with raises for other employees but not for interpreters. The agreement does not address this issue, but the union says court officials have agreed to a "re-opener" that would permit a new round of wage negotiations in July 2019.
Officials also agreed to give part-time interpreters the same treatment as full-timers and apply the wage increases uniformly in all counties. "We're happy to have resolved some of the issues that made interpreters' pay too low," says Mary Lou Aranguren, legislative director and bargaining coordinator for the California Federation of Interpreters. However, she notes, "the courts continue to resist treating interpreters fairly based on the market for our skills. The battle is not over."
Scholars Discover Long-Lost Languages in Ancient Monastery
Smithsonian (DC) (09/05/17) Katz, Brigit
St. Catherine's Monastery, a sacred site in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, is home to one of the world's oldest continuously used libraries. Thousands of manuscripts and books are kept there—some of which contain hidden treasures.
Now, a team of researchers is using new technology to uncover texts that were erased and written over by the monks who lived and worked at the monastery. Many of these original texts were written in languages well known to researchers—Latin, Greek, Arabic—but others were inscribed in long-lost languages that are rarely seen in the historical record.
According to the website of the Early Manuscript Electronic Library, which has been leading the initiative to uncover the original texts, the library contains more than 130 manuscripts with multiple layers of writing (known as palimpsests).
To uncover the palimpsests' secret texts, researchers photographed thousands of pages multiple times, illuminating each page with different-colored lights. They also photographed the pages with light shining onto them from behind, or from an oblique angle, which helped highlight tiny bumps and depressions in the surface. Researchers then fed the information into a computer algorithm, which is able to distinguish the more recent texts from the originals.
Among the newly revealed texts, which date from the 4th to the 12th century, are 108 pages of previously unknown Greek poems and the oldest-known recipe attributed to the Greek physician Hippocrates. But perhaps the most intriguing finds are the manuscripts written in obscure languages that fell out of use many centuries ago. Two of the erased texts, for instance, were written in Caucasian Albanian, a language spoken by Christians in what is now Azerbaijan. According to Sarah Laskow of Atlas Obscura, Caucasian Albanian only exists today in a few stone inscriptions. Michael Phelps, director of the Early Manuscripts Electronic Library, says that the discovery of Caucasian Albanian writings at the library has helped scholars increase their knowledge of the language's vocabulary.
Other hidden texts were written in a defunct dialect known as Christian Palestinian Aramaic, a mix of Syriac and Greek, which was discontinued in the 13th century only to be rediscovered by scholars in the 18th century. "This was an entire community of people who had a literature, art, and spirituality," Phelps says. "Almost all of that has been lost, yet their cultural DNA exists in our culture today. These palimpsest texts are giving them a voice again and letting us learn about how they contributed to who we are today."
Spanish Fluency in the U.S. Decreases with Each Generation
USA Today (DC) (09/10/17) Castaneda, Laura
Proficiency in Spanish is declining while English proficiency continues to rise for many young Latinos, according to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center. As a result, a command of the language decreases with each Latino generation in the U.S. For example, about 57% of Latinos older than 69 are proficient in Spanish, fewer than 50% of Boomer and Generation X Latinos speak the language comfortably, and approximately 25% of Hispanic Millennial adults know the language well.
According to the Pew study, younger Latinos are gravitating more toward English than Spanish. About 88% of Latinos ages 5 to 17 in 2014 said they either speak only English at home or speak English "very well," compared with 73% in 2000. Among Latinos ages 18 to 33, the number has increased from 59% to 76%.
Pew also found that English proficiency among older Latinos has remained stagnant over the same time period. So, while their children and grandchildren are becoming fluent in English, older generations are not retaining or learning at the same rate, causing a generational communication gap.
Mark Hugo Lopez, director of Hispanic research for Pew, says English is gaining ground over Spanish among U.S. Latinos for many reasons. Immigration, especially from Mexico, has slowed. U.S. births are now a bigger driver of Latino population growth than immigration. Increased intermarriage between Latinos and non-Latinos is also a factor. "All three are slowly changing the share of the Hispanic population that speaks only English at home," he says.
Another reason is that for many immigrants from Latin America, lacking a command of English has held them back in the labor market, so they make learning English a priority for their children. "They highly value English, and when it comes at the expense of maintaining Spanish, they may value it too much," says Patricia Gándara, a research professor at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Even families that want their children to use Spanish at home and English everywhere else face challenges, says Elvira Armas, associate director of the Center for Equity for English Learners at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. She says that overtly or not, students get the message that English is the language of status. "We may be forging a new identity that is not as tied to the Spanish language as in other parts of the world."
Disney's Translated Movie Bolsters One of New Zealand's Official Languages
New York Times (NY) (09/19/17) Graham, Charlotte
Walt Disney Animation Studios announced that the Maori-language version of its hit animated feature Moana is the first time a major film has been translated into the Tahitian language. Maori is one of New Zealand's official languages, so linguistic experts hope the translated version of the popular film will encourage more young people to speak the language.
About 125,000 of New Zealand's 4.7 million people speak the Maori language, or "te reo Maori," as it is widely known. There are concerns that the number of speakers is declining, putting it at risk of dying out. But with one in three Maori people in New Zealand younger than 15, experts think that the chance for them to see a wildly popular movie in their own words could turn the language's fortunes around after more official efforts faltered.
"The language has got to be made cool, sexy, and relevant to young people, and this movie is the perfect way to make that happen," says Haami Piripi, former head of New Zealand's Maori Language Commission, a government body charged with promoting Maori as a living language.
Moana—the story of a Polynesian princess, Moana, on an adventure with her chicken, Heihei, and the demigod Maui—has already netted Disney awards, critical acclaim, and box office revenue of $643 million worldwide. The filmmakers say they did extensive research throughout the Pacific to ensure the story's authenticity.
Taika Waititi, a New Zealand writer and director who worked on the original English-language version of the film, approached Disney early on about translating the film. His sister, Tweedie Waititi, went on to produce the translated version. The film was screened free at 30 theaters around New Zealand at the end of the annual Maori language week. It did not have English subtitles, but screenings were fully booked within 30 minutes, leading to plans in at least one town for additional showings.
Many of those attending in Manukau, in southern Auckland, said they had never seen a film at the theater entirely in their language before. Several of the families there came from nearby Manurewa, a district usually in the news for unemployment, homelessness, and poverty. Parents entering the theater said they relished the chance for their children to see themselves and their language reflected on the big screen in a different kind of story that they hoped would instill pride in being Maori.
Piripi says that although he is proud of efforts to increase the status of the native language and culture, he worries that it may be too little, too late. He says many parents have lost confidence in immersion schooling, worrying that their children could miss out on the benefits of mainstream education, "even though statistics tell us that children do better" in native-language classrooms. He argues for a more methodical and strategic approach. "Language is the expression of a culture and a race of people," Piripi says. "To retain your language is an emblem of survival through history. If you've still got your language now, you have the key to your culture."
No assistance is too little or too late
Disaster relief organizations for Puerto Rico, Houston, Florida, and Mexico City are in need of your support.
• United for Puerto Rico
• UNICEF in Puerto Rico
• Hispanic Federation Unidos
• Topos México
• Project Paz
• UNICEF in Mexico
• Go Fund Me
• Rebuild Texas Fund
• Mayor's Fund for Hurricane Harvey Relief
• UNICEF in Texas
• Feeding Florida
• UNICEF in Florida
All Disaster Relief
• Save the children
• Habitat for Humanity
• Direct Relief
• Global Giving
• One America Appeal
Whenever you give, wherever you give, please check with Charity Navigator to be sure your money is going to a reputable organization.
ATA 2017 Elections
ATA will hold its regularly scheduled elections at the Annual Meeting of Voting Members on Thursday, October 26, 2017, in Washington, DC. President-elect, secretary, and treasurer (each a two-year term) and three directors (each a three-year term) will be elected.
President-elect (two-year term)
• Ted Wozniak Statement Interview
Secretary (two-year term)
• Karen Tkaczyk Statement Interview
Treasurer (two-year term)
• John Milan Statement Interview
Director (three positions, three-year term each)
• Jennifer Guernsey Statement Interview
• Tony Guerra Statement Interview
• Geoff Koby Statement Interview
• Elena Langdon Statement Interview
• Madalena Sánchez Zampaulo Statement Interview
• Kyle Vraa Statement Interview
Proposed ATA Bylaws Revisions and Resolution
In addition to electing Board officers and directors, Voting Members will also decide on proposed bylaws revisions. The changes are intended to expand voting rights to Associate Members who are professionally engaged in language services and have been members for three consecutive years. Click to read the proposed bylaws changes.
(The material proposed to be deleted is struck through; material proposed to be added is underlined.)
ATA’s bylaws may be altered, amended, or repealed by a two-thirds vote of the voting members.
Resolution Supporting Diversity
In addition to the proposed changes to the bylaws, Voting Members will be asked for their approval of the following resolution.
“Whereas translators and interpreters are committed to promoting and facilitating communication and understanding between peoples, be it resolved that we, members of the American Translators Association, strongly oppose all forms of discrimination on the basis of gender, race, ethnicity, country of origin, or sexual orientation, as well as all forms of expression of and incitement to xenophobia, racial hatred, and religious intolerance, and strongly favor welcoming qualified immigrants who, with their skills and knowledge, contribute to the wealth of our country or seek refuge here from war or persecution.”
ATA Webinars: Translation Tools
The number of translation tools on the market leaves newcomers—and even seasoned professionals looking to make a change—puzzled over where to start. The answer? Right here!
ATA Webinar: Trados Studio 2017
Presenter: Tuomas Kostiainen
Date: October 3
Time: 12 noon U.S. Eastern Daylight Time
Duration: 60 minutes
CE Point(s): 1
Trados Trainer Tuomas Kostiainen will demonstrate the basic features of Trados Studio and how the application manages the translation process, including benefits, basic settings, customization, and additional advanced features. Limited seating.
Register: ATA Member $45 Non-Member $60
ATA Webinar: Déjà Vu X3 from Atril
Presenter: Steven Marzuola
Date: October 12
Time: 12 noon U.S. Eastern Daylight Time
Duration: 60 minutes
CE Point(s): 1
Presenter Steven Marzuola will walk through a translation using DVX3, from creating a project, assigning translation resources, performing the translation, alternative views, quality assurance steps, and final review. Limited seating.
Register: ATA Member $45 Non-Member $60
Unable to attend? You can register now and a link to the recorded webinar will be sent to you after the event!
There's still time to register and save on ATA58!
You don't want to miss this! More than 1,800 translators, interpreters, educators, and company owners will attend ATA's 58th Annual Conference this year. With over 170 education and networking sessions, no other event offers this level of professional development at this price.
Conference registration fees increase October 7. Register today!
ATA58 Exhibit Hall–Close to Selling Out!
The ATA 58th Annual Conference is the ultimate opportunity to let more than 1,800 translators, interpreters, language company owners, and government agencies know what you and your company can do for them. Reserve your booth now before the Exhibit Hall is sold out!
Benefits of exhibiting include:
Contact ATA Marketing Manager Lauren Mendell at call (703) 683-6100, extension 3001, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- booth in the Exhibit Hall with more than 1800 attendees onsite ready to make a connection
- listing in the Final Program and the Conference edition of The ATA Chronicle
- listing on the Conference app and Conference website
- one full Conference registration
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 or show up! ATA-certified translators will earn 2 CEPs for their participation as a Buddy.
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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