Preconference Seminars


Seminar A (Wednesday, 9:00 am - 12:00 noon)
Spanish Legal Translation: Part III
Thomas L. West III, attorney, translator, and owner, Intermark Language Services Corporation, Atlanta, Georgia

This is the final three-hour session in the seminar on Spanish legal translation that was begun at the San Francisco conference and was continued at Hilton Head. In this session, we focus on family law (marriage, divorce, and adoption), intellectual property law (trademarks and copyright), and trusts and estates (wills, intestate succession). We will then examine a power of attorney in detail as a way of reviewing everything that we have studied during the three parts of this series.

Seminar B (Wednesday, 9:00 am - 12:00 noon)
Units of Weight and Measurement in Translation
Joao Manuel Roque Dias, technical translator, Lisbon, Portugal

For the translator who is not accustomed, due to educational or professional reasons, to dealing with units of weight and measurement, seeing them in a translation is often regarded as a bad dream from long-gone high school physics classes and a subject best left to math and engineering specialists. Not so! Units of weight and measurement are with us from birth to burial, and their concepts come to us as a natural part of our lives. It is only when we, as translators, must convey their meanings to others, that the problem sometimes becomes daunting. In this hands-on seminar we will discuss the U.S. and the International System of Units, the relationship between the units of both systems, and the rules of usage and writing. Attendees will be asked to solve practical exercises, which will include the conversion of the Gateway Arch into SI Units. Are you up to the challenge?

Seminar C (Wednesday, 9:00 am - 12:00 noon)
Demystifying the English-Spanish Cognates: Another What, When, and Why
Alicia Agnese, organizer, Spanish translation workshops and freelance translator, Falls Church, Virginia

Following a series of What, When, and Why pre-conference seminars initiated by the presenter in San Francisco, this workshop will demystify the many English-Spanish cognates that puzzle Spanish native and non-native speakers alike. Seminar participants will be made aware of what the proper renditions are, when they are valid, false, and partially valid/false, and why. Through this in-depth terminology analysis, the presenter will raise awareness of the subtle semantic differences, in both source and target languages, which provide the translation with more vitality and a better style.

Seminar D (Wednesday, 9:00 am - 12:00 noon)
The Language of Development English/Spanish/French Workshop
S. Alexandra Russell-Bitting, staff translator-reviser, Inter-American Development Bank, Washington, DC

This trilingual workshop will explore current issues in international development and the terminology of international development banks and other multilateral organizations. It will begin with a presentation about the issues of poverty reduction, modernization of the State, economic integration, environmental protection, and private-sector development, with an emphasis on socioeconomic context, nuances in meaning, and proper usage in English, French, and Spanish. Participants will then be given short texts from a variety of sources for translation and discussion. The workshop will close with a question-and-answer period. Knowledge of both Spanish and French is helpful, but not necessary to participate in the workshop.

Seminar E (Wednesday, 9:00 am - 12:00 noon)
Becoming Professional Voice Talent in the World of Video
Julie Johnson McKee, president, Pacolet International Translation, Inc., Roscoe, Illinois

As companies offer products and services worldwide, the need arises to translate the corresponding instructional and marketing videos. As a result, video producers are seeking language professionals in two areas: first, translators to translate video scripts, and second, announcers to record the translated scripts. The U.S. is home to very few experienced foreign language announcers. Therefore, professional opportunities abound for persons wanting to develop this ability. This workshop focuses on both areas. First, translating, timing, and editing a script. Second, becoming a voice talent: how to train the voice for a professional sound, how to market oneself, and how to produce a demo tape that results in work.

Seminar F (Wednesday, 9:00 am - 12:00 noon)
The Pro's and Con's of Translation Memory
Christina Spies, director of regional sales, TRADOS Corporation, Alexandria, Virginia

This hands-on workshop, with actual computer demonstrations, will benefit translators and agencies who are wondering whether an investment in a translation memory tool will pay off. There is a lot of noise about using translation memory products in the translation industry, and this workshop will help attendees evaluate whether they can benefit from using this technology. The following topics will be discussed: who should use translation memory, which projects are suitable for translation memory, how to select the right tool, what return on investment to expect, what to watch out for, and how to balance the pros and cons.

Seminar G (Wednesday, 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm)
French Legal Translation: Part I
Thomas L. West III, attorney, translator, and owner, Intermark Language Services Corporation, Atlanta, Georgia

This three-hour seminar, which was presented at the ATA conference in Colorado Springs, starts with an examination of the principles of legal translation. We then discuss the differences between the civil law and the common law systems, the various types of laws and regulations in each system, the court system in France and in the U.S., and the terminology of civil procedure and a civil lawsuit. This is an excerpt from the semester-long course in French legal translation that the presenter teaches at Georgia State University.

Seminar H (Wednesday, 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm)
The Language of Accounting: Translating a Brazilian Balance Sheet
Danilo Nogueira, full-time freelance translator, Campo, Spain

Although the general rules of accounting are the same everywhere, each country develops different financial statement structures to deal with its own legal environment. This presentation is an account-by-account analysis of a Brazilian statutory balance sheet with a detailed discussion of acceptable translations. The emphasis is on comparing Brazilian and U.S. models to identify the differences and their effect on the translation. A list of reliable sources of terminological information complements the course.

Seminar I (Wednesday, 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm)
Names of Places and Their Inhabitants: Tradition, Translation, and Transcription
Alberto Gomez Font, philologist and head of the Departamento de Español Urgente of the Agencia EFE, Madrid Spain

There are three distinct types of toponyms in Spanish: 1. Traditional names, used for Spanish or European places that must keep the Spanish form. 2. Names used by the international press that keep the form of the countries of origin, whose governments insist upon such form as a sign of their rejection of colonial times. 3. Names without Spanish tradition, which must be transcribed using the Spanish alphabet. Participants in this workshop will study each of the problem groups, analyzing practical cases in order to find solutions.

Seminar J (Wednesday, 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm)
Stumped? The Answer May be on the Net...Somewhere
Manon Bergeron, freelance translator, Montreal, Quebec; and Susan Larsson, freelance translator, LaConner, Washington

You are a translator with connections: to the Internet, that is. You know about browsers. You know about URLs. You can click on a link. You've seen Yahoo! and Alta Vista, Hotbot, and Infoseek; yet, when you try to find information, the results are overwhelming--or underwhelming. So how do you find the answers and how do you narrow it down? How do you keep the information at your fingertips? By learning to ask the right questions, choosing the right tools, organizing the results, and developing a few techniques and strategies, the Internet can help you find and understand terminology in both the source and target language. It can also tell you if there are accepted translations for terms you need, or verify if a word or phrase is truly used in the target language, and much more.

Seminar K (Wednesday, 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm)
Test-drive a Translation Memory Tool
Michael Sneddon, president, Multiling International, Provo, Utah; and Brian Chandler, manager of business development, Multiling International, Provo, Utah

This hands-on workshop, with actual computer demonstrations, will give participants the opportunity to work with STAR Transit, a translation memory tool. Translation memory tools can help you do your job more effectively and efficiently. Find out how by attending this session.

Seminar L (Wednesday, 1:00 pm- 4:00 pm)
Demystifying the English-Spanish Cognates: Another What, When, and Why
Alicia Agnese, organizer, Spanish translation workshops and freelance translator, Falls Church, Virginia

Repeat of Seminar C

Seminar M (Wednesday, 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm)
Professional Secrets for Success in the Audio/Video/Multimedia Market
Maya León Meis, owner, Cosmopolitan Business Communications, Inc., Arvada, Colorado

The demand for video and multimedia dubbing for global markets has created a great need for professional script translators and foreign language voice-over talent. In order to respond to, as well as benefit from, this need, translators must learn the specialized skill of script preparation, timing, and synchronization to video. In addition, foreign language professionals need to be trained as voice-over talent in order to master the art of interpreting copy. These skills open the doors to successful performance in this industry. In this seminar, you will gain insights on the skills necessary to become a pro in the audio, video, and multimedia industry.

Seminar N (Wednesday, 9:00 am - 12 noon)
Introduction to Interpretation

Claudia Angelelli, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Stanford Law School, Stanford University, Pacific Grove, California; and Christian Degueldre, program head, French Department, Graduate School of Translation and Interpretation, Monterey Institute of International Studies, Monterey, California

This seminar will provide an introduction to principles and practices of interpretation. A review of the modes (consecutive and simultaneous) and types (community, conference, court, medical and over the telephone) of interpretation as well as skills and strategies for translators who have no formal training in interpretation and find themselves acting as interpreters. Active participation is required. Participants are requested to bring a tape recorder and blank tapes.

(Please Note: Seminar L, Seminar M and Seminar N are new. Anyone who has already registered for a pre-conference seminar and who wishes to change registration to include one of these new offerings may do so at no additional cost. Please contact headquarters as soon as possible if this is the case. Email your request at or fax at 703-683-6122.)


For more information, contact ATA,
phone: (703) 683-6100; fax: (703) 683-6122;
or e-mail: