Home Activities Membership Center Conference Contact Us Banner


ATA Elections 2018: Candidates Announced


ATA will hold its regularly scheduled elections at ATA's 59th Annual Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Association's Voting Members will elect three directors, each for a three-year term.

In addition, Voting Members will elect a director for a one-year term following Director Karen Tkaczyk's election to the position of ATA Secretary.

The candidates proposed by the Nominating and Leadership Development Committee are:

Director (three positions, three-year terms)
Eve Bodeux
Melinda Gonzalez-Hibner
Diego Mansilla
Meghan McCallum
Tianlu Redmon
Kyle Vraa

Director (one position, one-year term)
Tony Guerra

Further nominations, supported by a nominee's written acceptance statement and petition signed by at least 60 voting members, must be received by June 1. Acceptance statements and petitions should be submitted to the Nominating and Leadership Development Committee Chair David Rumsey.

Candidate statements and photos of the candidates will appear in the September/October issue of The ATA Chronicle and on ATA’s website.

Become an ATA Voting Member
ATA Associate Members who can demonstrate that they are professionally engaged in translation, interpreting, or closely related fields may apply for Voting Membership. How? Just complete and submit the ATA Active Member Review application. No additional paperwork required. It's fast, free, and easy!

Share Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter  | More ›››

The ATA Podcast

Industry News


Hawaiian Language Taking Off on Hawaiian Airlines
Associated Press (04/15/18)

Passengers flying Hawaiian Airlines may soon get a complimentary language lesson as the airline amplifies efforts to preserve traditional Hawaiian by incorporating it into everyday business.

Cabin announcements and crew instructions were given in English and the traditional Hawaiian language on a Las Vegas-bound flight this month, marking the first time the language was utilized on a flight headed to the mainland. Hawaiian Airlines stated that the goal is for flight attendants to provide a "one-of-a-kind cultural experience by engaging with guests in both Olelo Hawai'i and English."

The idea was tested earlier this month on four flights to Hilo. Both the in-flight announcements and announcements at the gate were provided in Hawaiian. A spokesperson for the airline stated that the "initiative is an extension of the airline's commitment to honor and share our Islands' unique culture with guests visiting Hawaii."

Hawaiian Airlines hopes to expand and formalize the language immersion program in the coming months.
Share Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter  | More ››› | Return to top

Prescriptions Translated into Spanish Could Be Hazardous
HealthDay News (CT) (04/08/18) Thompson, Dennis

According to a new study published in the journal Pediatrics, many Spanish-speaking people in the U.S. receive prescription instructions that are so poorly translated that the medications are potentially hazardous to their health.

"The errors occur largely because of deficiencies in the computer programs most pharmacies rely on to translate medication information from English into Spanish," says Iman Sharif, the study's lead researcher who is chief of the division of general pediatrics at the Nemours Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Delaware.

Sharif says that 50% of the Spanish-language prescription labels reviewed for the study contained errors, some of which could lead to life-threatening situations if misinterpreted by the patient. Almost all the pharmacies surveyed stated that they had someone double-check the labels for errors, but researchers still found dozens of examples of poor translation.

Sharif says the use of Spanglish is a common problem, noting that the computer programs pharmacies use generate a mix of English and Spanish, creating confusing instructions that are difficult to read. Spanglish usage also created potentially hazardous scenarios. For example, the word "once" means "eleven" in Spanish. "The wording on the label says 'once,' as in 'take once a day,' but a Spanish-speaking person could interpret that to mean 'eleven,' which could lead to an overdose," Sharif says.

Sharif adds that misspellings are another problem. She saw the word "poca" instead of "boca" on one label, which meant that patients were being instructed to take medications "by the little" instead of "by the mouth."

David Flockhart, director of the division of clinical pharmacology at the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, says it's not surprising that computer-generated errors are occurring. "Word-for-word, you could probably get it right, but you can't get the entire sense of what's being communicated through a computer program."

The sheer volume of information that a pharmacist must provide every day also makes it difficult for people with a shaky grasp of Spanish to catch errors. "It's a particular issue because the Physicians Desk Reference that pharmacists use is so huge," Flockhart explains. "It's nearly impossible for pharmacists who speak little Spanish to relay information accurately. "

Sharif believes these errors help explain why non-English speakers tend to receive poorer health care in the U.S. "This is something that is a critical contribution to disparities in care," she says. "Many people who don't speak English can't understand how to use their medications. This is one piece of that puzzle."

Sharif says software firms need to create better programs if patients are to be better served, since it's unlikely that every pharmacy in the U.S. will be able to find and hire qualified translators or interpreters to produce labels and instructions. "We need the technology industry to step up and improve the way pharmacy prescription software translates drug instructions."

Flockhart says the best solution is to hire more bilingual pharmacists. "I doubt you could improve the software to the point where it's as good as a pharmacist who speaks Spanish," he says. In the meantime, Sharif says Spanish-speaking patients need to protect themselves. "My recommendation would be make sure you ask for an interpreter who speaks your language to explain how to use the prescribed medicine."
Share Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter  | More ››› | Return to top

Iowa Approves 'Seal of Biliteracy' in Schools
Des Moines Register (IA) (04/18/18) Mackenzie, Ryan

The Iowa Department of Education announced that students will soon be able to add a new distinction to their high school transcripts. Earlier this month, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed Senate File 475 into law, which contains a Seal of Biliteracy program to recognize high school graduates with proficiency in a second language other than English.

The legislation highlights the need to leverage language skills as Iowa faces a growing need for bilingual talent in industries across the state. Iowa joins 26 other states across the country that have adopted the program. "I'm thrilled that there is now a law on the books in Iowa that recognizes that literacy in two or more languages is something to be celebrated," says Jason Noble, past president of the Iowa World Language Association, which represents language teachers and professors in the state.

Supports say that by recognizing the value of speaking more than one language, the Seal of Biliteracy promotes language learning and delivers new economic opportunities to Iowa. According to a study from the New American Economy Online, job postings for bilingual workers in Iowa grew by nearly 200% between 2010 and 2016.

"I commend the state legislature and Governor Reynolds for working together and recognizing Iowa's need to celebrate students achieving a high proficiency in multiple languages," says Mary Bontrager, executive vice president of Talent Development at the Greater Des Moines Partnership. "With business demand for bilingual talent spiking, Iowa is just the latest state to recognize that learning a second language is a sound investment for students to make," says John Feinblatt, president of the New American Economy Online. "Iowa's seal of biliteracy will help more young job seekers stand out and excel in the increasingly global economy."

The Iowa Department of Education is reviewing the legislation and will be issuing guidance to schools for the next school year.
Share Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter  | More ››› | Return to top

Translating Shakespeare for Deaf and Hearing Audiences
Crosscut (WA) (04/16/18) Golden, Hallie

Acclaimed deaf actor Howie Seago is bringing his knowledge and experience to Seattle, Washington, for the Sound Theatre Company's inaugural American Sign Language (ASL) and English production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Seago, a native of Seattle, will be co-directing the production.

"Finally, the deaf community can see something that was made by one of their own—someone who understands their language, their feelings, and their perspective," Seago says. Teresa Thuman, the Sound Theatre's producing artistic director, says she was inspired to do the show after hearing comments about the challenge of interpreting Shakespeare for deaf audiences. "It started me thinking that there's a whole community of deaf people that have not experienced Shakespeare." Thuman contacted Seago and proposed producing a show that incorporates sign language into the performance.

The cast is a mix of both hearing and deaf actors, with interpreters on hand. Thuman says those involved with the production who are not fluent in ASL have started picking up the language, including herself. Unlike shows in a single language, Thuman says a lot of the work has involved translating the lines from the Shakespearean text to modern English and then ASL. Cast members first propose signs for a line and then Seago works with them to determine what would best communicate Shakespeare's intended meaning. "Seago moves it from just an interpretation into its own poetic, visual, and physical art form," Thuman says. "It's transformative to watch that process happen."

Multiple approaches are used to ensure that both hearing and deaf audience members not only understand the show, but are thoroughly entertained. Sometimes this will involve a hearing character saying another character's lines aloud as that character signs them. At other times actors will communicate a line through a visual gesture that a deaf or hearing audience member can easily understand.

Seago says the production will introduce many more audiences (both hearing and deaf) to the captivating power of ASL and English theater and expand opportunities for deaf actors. "There are not many mainstream production opportunities for deaf actors locally, so this is truly a rare accomplishment."
Share Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter  | More ››› | Return to top

Man Booker International Prize Promotes Translated Literature
The Conversation (Australia) (04/13/18) Rushton, Amy

If the shortlist for the 2018 Man Booker International Prize, the U.K.'s most prestigious prize for translated fiction, is any indication, interest in translated fiction in the U.K. definitely seems to be on the rise.

Whittled down from a longlist of 13 titles spanning the globe, the six titles that made the cut are translated from Arabic, French, Hungarian, Korean, Spanish, and Polish. This year's nominations were selected by a panel of five judges, including novelists Lisa Appignanesi, Hari Kunzru, and Helen Oyeyemi, poet and translator Michael Hofmann, and journalist Tim Martin.

In addition to promoting translated works, the prize is also raising the profile of small presses and independent publishers who are at the vanguard of translated literature. This year's shortlist is dominated by titles from independent presses specializing in translated literature, including two books from Tuskar Rock Press, and one each from MacLehose Press, Portobello Books, Oneworld, and Fitzcarraldo Editions.

The role of independent publishers in supporting translated literature was not lost on the judges. "I think we have to raise our hats to independent publishers. It does cost money to translate, and it's harder to publish and harder to sell," says Appignanesi, who chaired the judge's panel. Appignanesi says the prize has had a direct impact on the range of translated literature available in the U.K. For example, Kang and Smith's inaugural win in 2016 for The Vegetarian meant that Smith had extra funds for her nonprofit small press, Tilted Axis, which Smith says is "on a mission to shake up contemporary international literature."

Translated fiction may be a small part of the British reading diet, but it's one that is steadily growing. In 2015, The Bookseller reported that translated fiction only accounted for 1.5% overall and 3.5% of published literary fiction. However, translated fiction provided 5% of total fiction sales in 2015.

Although it's tempting to see the commercial popularity of international writers as a sea of change in translated fiction's fortunes in U.K. publishing, there are reasons to be cautiously optimistic.

"There's definitely greater and wider awareness of fiction in translation as a result of such successes," says Adam Freudenheim of Pushkin Press. "The Man Booker International Prize is doing a great deal to raise the profile of such books.'"
Share Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter  | More ››› | Return to top


ATA News


Proposed ATA Bylaws Revision

In addition to electing Board directors, Voting Members will also decide on a proposed bylaws revision. Click to read the proposed bylaws change.

The change is intended to expand voting rights to members who have met the requirements for ATA's Credentialed Interpreter (CI) designation. Click to learn more about ATA's CI designation.

ATA’s bylaws may be altered, amended, or repealed by a two-thirds vote of the Voting Members. 
Share Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter  | More ››› | Return to top
Welcome to the ATA Law Division!

The Board of Directors approved the establishment of the Law Division at its April 2018 meeting. LawD is the Association's 21st Division.

ATA members working in legal translation and interpreting, or members who would like to learn more about this specialization, are invited to join the Division. Click to join online.

LawD will work with the ATA Annual Conference organizer in the selection of sessions and distinguished speakers. The Division also plans to build relationships between ATA and law associations around the world.

What is an ATA Division?
An ATA Division is a community within the Association that connects members with the same professional interests and challenges. The result is the best in practical networking and shared information.

Eight Smart Reasons to Join an ATA Division
ATA dues include Division memberships. So why not take a minute to increase the value of your membership—join an ATA Division and get connected!
Share Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter  | More ››› | Return to top
ATA Webinars in May

Setting Up a Termbase: What Does It Take?

Presenter: Barbara Inge Karsch
Date: May 3, 2018
Time: 12 noon US Eastern Daylight Saving Time
Duration: 60 minutes
CE Point(s): 1 ATA-Approved

You're doing fine. You have work coming in the door, and you're getting it out on deadline or before. So, why set up a termbase? What can a termbase give you that you don't already have? This webinar has the answers and more. Click for details.

Agencies vs. Freelancers? A Market Analysis

Presenter: John Milan, Mike Collins
Date: May 24, 2018
Time: 12 noon US Eastern Daylight Saving Time
Duration: 60 minutes
CE Point(s): 1 ATA-Approved

The last three decades have seen significant changes in how translators, interpreters, and agencies work. It's time to take a look back at where we've been and analyze the current industry to figure out what's in the future. Click for details.

Members save 25% on ATA webinars!

Too busy to attend? You can register for one or both of these webinars and links to the recordings will be emailed to you following the live event.  These webinars will also be available on the ATA website as on-demand recordings.

Take time now to check out ATA's library of more than 70 on-demand webinars!
Share Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter  | More ››› | Return to top
Get Psyched for ATA59 in New Orleans!

What do the Garden District, the French Quarter, and Café du Monde have in common? They're all in New Orleans, Louisiana, site of ATA's 59th Annual Conference (October 24-27).

It all begins now!

Don't wait for registration to open in July! Check out the conference website. Make your hotel reservation. Find out what the ATA Conference can do for you. And be sure to follow #ata59 for the latest news.

Share Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter  | More ››› | Return to top
What's wrong with this job offer?

If you're asking yourself this question, then you probably already suspect it's a scam. Congratulations on spotting the red flags!

Technology has given scammers an unprecedented level of sophistication and access, making it easier than ever to be fooled. Your best defense is to understand how these scams work. Learn more in ATA Newsbriefs.
Share Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter  | More ››› | Return to top
Coming Up in the May/June Issue of The ATA Chronicle

A Conversation with Man Booker International Prize Winner Jessica Cohen
Jessica Cohen, winner of the 2017 Man Booker International Prize, shares her thoughts on literary translation, including what it’s like to collaborate with one of Israel’s finest writers. (Lois Feuerle)

Is There a Future in Freelance Translation? Let’s Talk About It!
Why are many professional freelance translators having difficulty finding work that compensates translation for what it is—a time-intensive, complex process that requires advanced, unique, and hard-acquired skills? (Christelle Maginot)

Remote Simultaneous Interpreting: The Upside and Downside
Many experienced interpreters consider remote simultaneous interpreting as a threat to their working conditions, but is it? (Silvana G. Chaves)

Recap of ATA’s Certification Exam Preparation Workshop
ATA’s Certification Exam Preparation Workshop presented opportunities for participants to learn how the Certification Program works, including the general characteristics of exam passages and how exams are evaluated and graded. (Rudy Heller and Diego Mansilla)

Miami Spring into Action 2018
An outstanding program, fabulous speakers, and camaraderie in a beautiful location set the tone for the “Spring into Action 2018” conference in Miami. (Anne Connor)

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.
Share Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter  | More ››› | Return to top
Abstract News © Copyright 2018 INFORMATION, INC.
Powered by Information, Inc.
April 30, 2018

In This Issue

ATA Board Candidates
Proposed Bylaws Revision
New! Law Division
ATA Webinars in May
Get Psyched for #ATA59
Is This a Scam?
The ATA Chronicle



Renew your
ATA Membership
for 2018!


Click to renew online now.


ATA Webinars

Setting Up a Termbase
May 3
12 noon EDT
Register now!

Agencies vs Freelancers
May 24
12 noon EDT
Register now!



Calendar of Events

Next Board of Directors Meeting
August 4-5, 2018
Portland, OR

ATA 59th Annual Conference
October 24-27, 2018
New Orleans, LA

ATA Certification Exam
Upcoming schedule

See ATA's Online Calendar for translation and interpreting events around the world.


Build your brand Reach your market

A button or banner ad in ATA Newsbriefs will connect you to thousands of professional translators, interpreters, and language services companies.

Contact Jeff Sanfacon, ATA Publications Manager, for details.


Join the American Translators Association Advertise with ATA!