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ATA Press Release


For Immediate Release

Contact: Jeff Sanfacon
Editor, The ATA Chronicle
(703) 683-6100, ext. 3007
jeff@atanet.org

American Translators Association Members
in The Boston Globe and The Daily Beast

ALEXANDRIA, VA — The Boston Globe and The Daily Beast interviewed several members of the American Translators Association for articles concerning the possible summit meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Both news outlets contacted ATA to find out about the challenges interpreters in such high-pressure situations face when interpreting the conversations of world leaders.

"These are historical talks, if they happen, and the interpreter will play a huge part in this," ATA Spokesperson Judy Jenner told Sam Stein of the The Daily Beast. "Kim doesn't speak English, as far as we know," she says. As for Trump, "it would be easier if you know him and worked for him, but he is a significant interpreting challenge." Jenner emphasized that it takes thousands of hours of practice to develop the skills necessary to be a professional interpreter.

Korean interpreter and former ATA Board Director Jacki Noh, a long-time interpreter who worked on the nuclear-arms-focused Six Party Talks with North Korea in 2003, assured Stein that differences in the language spoken in North Korea will not be a problem for an experienced South Korean interpreter.

ATA Member Harry Obst, in an interview with David Scharfenberg of The Boston Globe, also emphasized the importance of having a highly skilled professional interpreter in the room. "If each side brings a professional interpreter, whatever the two tell each other will come across the way it was said."

Founded in 1959, the American Translators Association is the nation’s largest professional organization for translators and interpreters. Its primary goals include fostering and supporting the professional development of translators and interpreters and promoting the translation and interpreting professions. ATA, based in Alexandria, Virginia, has nearly 11,000 members in over 100 countries. For more information on ATA, please visit www.atanet.org.

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For Immediate Release

Contact: Jeff Sanfacon
Editor, The ATA Chronicle
(703) 683-6100, ext. 3007
jeff@atanet.org

American Translators Association Holds Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill

ALEXANDRIA, VA — The American Translators Association (ATA), the nation’s largest professional organization for translators and interpreters, held its first Translation and Interpreting (T&I) Advocacy Day in conjunction with the Association’s 58th Annual Conference in Washington, DC.

On October 25, nearly 50 translators and interpreters traveled to Capitol Hill, where they met with staffers in 68 Congressional offices and Executive Branch agencies to discuss issues and policies affecting the T&I industry. Advocacy Day participants focused on three T&I issues during their Congressional office meetings, summarized in the Statements on Advocacy Issues and Recommendations for Action, provided to them in advance.

  1. Inaccuracies in Prevailing Wages Rate Determinations for Translators and Interpreters
  2. Machine Translation vs. Human Translation
  3. Language Services Procurement: The Need for the Best Value Approach

"It would have been an incredible missed opportunity not to take advantage of having ATA’s Annual Conference in DC without reaching out to public officials regarding translation and interpreting," said Past ATA President David Rumsey. "There had been several government-related issues over the past two years where ATA spoke out on behalf of the T&I industry, including the Special Visa Program for Iraqi and Afghani interpreters, the situation for interpreters working in immigration courts, and use of machine translation by local governments."

T&I Advocacy Day 2017 was hosted by ATA in partnership with the Joint National Committee for Languages (JNCL). JNCL, along with the National Council for Languages and International Studies (NCLIS), lobbies Congress and the Executive Branch on behalf of the language community. Learn more about the event.

Founded in 1959, the American Translators Association is the nation’s largest professional organization for translators and interpreters. Its primary goals include fostering and supporting the professional development of translators and interpreters and promoting the translation and interpreting professions. ATA, based in Alexandria, Virginia, has nearly 11,000 members in over 100 countries. For more information on ATA, please visit www.atanet.org.

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For Immediate Release
Contact: Jeff Sanfacon
Editor, The ATA Chronicle
(703) 683-6100, ext. 3007
jeff@atanet.org

American Translators Association President David Rumsey Featured on CNBC and PBS Nightly Business Report 

ALEXANDRIA, VA — American Translators Association (ATA) President David Rumsey was featured on CNBC’s Where the Jobs Are series and the PBS Nightly Business Report. The news programs interviewed Rumsey, Past ATA President Jiri Stejskal, and ATA Member Jutta Diel-Dominique for stories concerning the growing demand for translators and interpreters.

“As the economy becomes more globalized and businesses realize the need for translation and interpreting to market their products and services, the opportunities for people with advanced language skills will continue to grow sharply,” Rumsey said.

According to CNBC, language services companies work with about 1,000 independent contractors in translation services in any given year and recruit on a daily basis. And while there was once a fear that technology would replace humans in the process as demand for services increased, the opposite has happened—it’s enhanced their work.

“The overall industry is growing because of the amount of content out there—it’s increasing exponentially,” said Stejskal, president and CEO of CETRA Language Solutions in Philadelphia. “Technology is helping to translate more content, but for highly specialized content, you need an actual human involved.”

Rumsey highlighted the complexity of the interpreting and translation industry and the sustained skills and adaptive approaches needed by practitioners of the craft, stressing that translators who want to distinguish themselves as professionals have to continue to work and hone their skill sets. “It’s a lifelong practice, and it requires keeping up not only your language skills but your subject matter skills so that you really understand the industries and fields you are working in.”

Diel-Dominique, who has been translating for over 20 years, echoed Rumsey’s thoughts on the necessity for perfecting one’s language skills to become a qualified professional. “I like finding the rhythm of language,” she said. “I am a complete word nerd—I realized I wanted to learn the English language, the nuts and bolts of it, almost to perfection.”

Founded in 1959, the American Translators Association is the nation’s largest professional organization for translators and interpreters. Its primary goals include fostering and supporting the professional development of translators and interpreters and promoting the translation and interpreting professions. ATA, based in Alexandria, Virginia, has nearly 11,000 members in over 100 countries. For more information on ATA, please visit www.atanet.org.

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For Immediate Release
Contact: Jeff Sanfacon
Editor, The ATA Chronicle
(703) 683-6100, ext. 3007
jeff@atanet.org

ATA Statement Regarding President Trump’s Executive Order on Immigration Nightly Business Report

As the voice of over 10,000 interpreters and translators in the United States and abroad, the American Translators Association is very concerned about President Trump’s recent Executive Order to suspend issuing visas to nationals from certain countries in the Middle East and northern Africa.

This decision will have a negative effect on interpreters and translators who are citizens of those countries and their personal and business relations with the US. It may have a particularly adverse effect on those interpreters who bravely served with US forces in Iraq.

ATA has been monitoring the progress of the US government’s Special Immigrant Visa program, which issues visas to interpreters assisting forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. ATA expressed its displeasure in the New York Times in February 2016 ("Visas for Interpreters") when the government attempted to delay and complicate the application process for this program. The government ultimately rejected its plans thanks to pressure from ATA and others.

Nevertheless, ATA will continue to raise objections to any obstruction to this successful and valuable program.

ATA values the strengths and skills of its diverse membership, which includes a large number of immigrants to this country as well as overseas members in over 100 countries. The experience and expertise brought by these members not only benefit the association, but the nation at large.

ATA will continue to monitor the situation and encourages members who are concerned about changes to US immigration policy to contact their congressperson, senator or the President through these links:

Sincerely,
David Rumsey
President
American Translators Association