Preconference Seminars


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All presentations are in English unless otherwise noted.

Seminar A (Wednesday, 9:00am-5:00pm)
Strategies for Sight Translation, Consecutive Interpretation, and Note-taking
Christian Degueldre, professor and program head, Department of French, Monterey Institute of International Studies, Monterey, California; and Claudia Angelelli, instructor, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Stanford Law School, Pacific Grove, California

Interpreters' training is a major contributor to their professional success. This full-day workshop will discuss in a very flexible, interactive way various aspects of interpretation. In contrast to the previous years this workshop was given, after a general review/introduction to the principles of interpretation, we will discuss in-depth many aspects of the interpreting process. The participants will be actively involved during the whole day and strategies for self-improvement will be suggested. The main areas covered will be: discourse analysis (classification of ideas, schemata, memory, selective attention, and mental conceptualization); sight translation (reading ahead, anticipation, transfer from a written text to an oral message, and presentation); consecutive interpretation of extemporaneous speeches (active listening, structure/analysis, and public speaking); note-taking (general principles, symbols, and practice); simultaneous preparation (shadowing and whispering). As the session is meant to be very interactive, there will be no formal question-and-answer session at the end, but participants are encouraged to ask questions and share concerns at any time.

Seminar B (Wednesday, 9:00am-12:00noon)
German Financial Accounting and Reporting--Part I
Robin Bonthrone, managing partner, Fry & Bonthrone Partnerschaft, Mainz-Kastel, Germany

Following the successful short presentation on "Translating German Financial Statements" at last year's ATA Annual Conference, this workshop aims to provide more detailed insight into the complex, and often confusing, state of financial accounting and reporting in Germany today. In addition to an in-depth contrastive analysis of HGB/GoB, US GAAP, and IAS using examples from published financial statements, there will be a special focus on changes in accounting and reporting resulting from the KonTraG and other recent legislation, including the new-style German auditor's report. Participants are encouraged to bring with them examples of unusual or particularly difficult accounting and reporting texts they have encountered. Ample time will be set aside for an interactive discussion and question-and-answer session.

Seminar C (Wednesday, 9:00am-12:00noon)
Translating Legal Documents into French: Problems and Methods
Jean-Claude Gémar, professor, École de Traduction et d'Interprétation, Université de Genève, Switzerland
Presentation Language: French

Faced with a text to translate, a legal translator must deal with the dual challenge of language and law, which he must reproduce as faithfully as possible in the target language. This complex procedure of transferring from one legal language to another involves a number of risks inherent in language, which is why it is difficult to transfer the entire message of the source text (content and form) from one language to another and from one legal system to another. Therefore, legal translation is particularly tricky and is subject to the difficulties of transferring meaning, which at best is simply a compromise between the imperatives of law and the servitudes of language. We will start from the assumption that we must strive for a kind of equivalence known as "functional equivalence."

Seminar D (Wednesday, 9:00am-12:00noon)
From the Press to the Internet
Raul Avila, professor, El Colegio de México, Oaxaca, Mexico
Presentation Language: Spanish

In the seminar the presenter will discuss the following subjects, relating them to the problems of international communication in Spanish, as well as to the practice of translation: a) Spanish and other European languages in relation to mass media standardization; b) globalization and national identity: Spanish, English, and indigenous languages; c) lexical and semantic variation in dialects: connotation and denotation; d) the international use of Spanish; e) language, media, and audience: the simulation of the receiver; and f) towards a language policy for the media.

[Canceled] Seminar E (Wednesday, 9:00am-12:00noon)
The Six Steps of Web Searching
Manon Bergeron, freelance translator, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

This tutorial aims to help translators hone their skills as searchers by giving them specific Internet search techniques. It covers searching basics that everyone can use, but has been adapted to meet the needs of translators. All translators know that the word they need could be somewhere on the Web. The question is how to find it? Develop the skills that will help you use search engines to find a wealth of terminology. The presentation explains how search engines work, how to ask the right questions and how to evaluate the answers. It also studies the features of several search engines found to be particularly useful for translators. Best of all, it gives you tips that you can use to search faster and more effectively.

Seminar F (Wednesday, 9:00 am-12:00noon)
Business of Translating
Jonathan Hine, translator and writer, Charlottesville, Virginia

Freelance translators are in business. Pricing, marketing, and quality control are crucial to business success. This presentation should expose new professionals to the elements of budgeting and business management. It should also help experienced translators develop personal criteria for determining whether a proposed assignment would be profitable. The presentation will cover calculating the break-even price, and tracking sales volume and revenue. This year's presentation will include new material on planning in a dual-income household and more time devoted to the discussion of quality and tax issues.

Seminar G (Wednesday, 9:00am-12:00noon)
Translating Spanish Business Documents
Marian S. Greenfield, adjunct associate professor of translation, New York University, and manager, Translation Services, JP Morgan, New York City

Participants in this hands-on workshop will translate a variety of business documents. Potential topics include balance confirmations, letters of credit, bid and/or performance bonds, financial statements, bringdown letters, and debt instruments. Newspaper articles may also be used to work on commercial translation vocabulary. Where possible, English parallel documents will be provided, as will a list of recommended dictionaries and Websites.

Seminar H (Wednesday, 2:00-5:00pm)
German Financial Accounting and Reporting--Part II
Robin Bonthrone, managing partner, Fry & Bonthrone Partnerschaft, Mainz-Kastel, Germany

Building on the background information, concepts, and terminology presented in Part I, this hands-on workshop will focus on a detailed examination of German financial statements using the following accounting standards: HGB/GoB; US GAAP; and IAS. Based on unique bilingual illustrative financial statements used at Fry & Bonthrone for internal training purposes, participants will have an opportunity in an interactive environment to follow and participate in the translation of examples taken from actual financial statements, including: single-entity financial statements (HGB/GoB); consolidated financial statements (US GAAP and IAS); pro forma consolidated financial statements; and reconciliation accounts (HGB/US GAAP and IAS) covering a number of complex issues, including: accounting for deferred taxes; accounting for long-term construction contracts; and pensions accounting. Participants should have at least a basic knowledge of financial accounting and reporting, and attendance at Part I is advisable, though not compulsory.

Seminar I (Wednesday, 2:00-5:00pm)
Software Computing and Website Localization Basics--Tricks, Tips, and Issues
Xosé Roig Castro, translation issues adviser, Instituto Cervantes, Madrid, Spain
Presentation Language: Spanish

In this workshop, the translator will discover the basic issues of software and Website localization as well as other issues related to reception and delivery of some technical translations: file types and extensions; file transmission methods (FTP); help file translation (RTF); software strings; making your way through HTML and Java code; Neutral Spanish terminology for this field; OEM official glossaries; online and offline specialized resources and help; terminology; what information you need to get from your client before setting to work on a localization project, etc. This workshop will be profusely documented with URLs and other online resources for translators.

Seminar J (Wednesday, 2:00-5:00pm)
Translation and Voice Opportunities in the Video Production World
Julie Johnson McKee, president, Pacolet International Translation, Inc., Roscoe, Illinois

As international communication changes, new doors open for translators and persons with a flair for the spoken word. Corporate video script translation requires skills over and above those needed for printed work. And once translated, a video must be voiced by someone with the verbal skills and confidence to deliver the message effectively. This class introduces basic skills needed to translated a video script: timing the translation, editing for time without losing the message, and communicating effectively with video producers. The class also details opportunities for those wishing to become voice talent; where to find work, producing a "demo" tape, and the pros and cons of talent agents. Class participation in editing and voice exercises are included in this program.

Seminar K (Wednesday, 2:00-5:00pm)
Developments in Corporate Finance: New Instruments and Their Translation into Spanish
Silvana DeBonis, instructor, Universidad del Museo Social, Buenos Aires, Argentina

In the past decade, corporate finance and project finance have become key factors in the success of multinational companies. Financial institutions have thus developed a wide range of innovative and exotic financial products to meet their corporate clients' needs. Translators who already work or plan to work with financial documents need to be aware of the latest developments in this field. The goal of this seminar is to describe the structure of new financing instruments and to work on the translation into Spanish of new terms coined by the financial industry.

Seminar L (Wednesday, 2:00-5:00pm)
Translation of Bond Clauses from Spanish into English
Dr. Leland D. Wright, Jr., freelance translator and instructor, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio

This seminar will focus on translating the bond clauses typically found in contracts. At least two different documents will be analyzed and discussed, with an emphasis on the pertinent terminology and phraseology used in Spanish and English. The presenter teaches Spanish Legal Translation in the graduate program at Kent State University. Although the seminar will be conducted using PowerPoint presentations, printed handouts of the texts and bilingual terminology will also be provided to the participants.

Seminar M (Wednesday, 2:00-5:00pm)
The Use of Terminological Methodology in Translation: A Tremendous Solution to a Difficult Problem
Leticia Leduc, founding partner, Leduc Servicios Lingüísticos, S.C., Mexico City, Mexico
Presentation Language: Spanish

All specialized translators fight daily battles with terminology. These battles may be more torturous or less torturous depending on the level of specialization of the source text. Many of us know from experience or intuition or both that the better we emulate the specialists themselves, the better able we are to fight these battles, but we have not faced the problem of how to do so. The principal objective of this presentation is to demonstrate through practical examples from the presenter's translation practice in Mexico City that the use of terminological methodology in translation not only solves this problem to a great extent and thus significantly increases the quality of our work, but also makes our work much more satisfying.

[NEW]Seminar N (Wednesday, 9:00am-5:00pm)
LEIT Workshop on Localization
Sue Ellen Wright, Kent State University Institute for Applied Linguistics; Ulrike Irmler, International Terminologist for Microsoft; Adjunct, The Translation & Interpretation Institute, Seattle; Scott Bennett, Logos Corporation; Peter Altaniro, Associate Professor at Austin Community College; Carolyn Kollstedt, XTRA Translation Services

The jobs forum for techies on the Web,, currently lists 10,499 hits for the keyword "localization". These professional positions include translators, program managers, project managers, technical writers and editors, language engineers QA personal, and a score of other subspecialties. Certainly not all these positions require bilingual or multilingual applicants, but many do. At the same time, the combined efforts of all the current translation schools in the US probably turn out fewer than 200 graduates per year, and many of these are not prepared to seek positions in the localization industry. Furthermore, many other students of language in the US are channeled into literature programs or give up languages as a primary concentration in their studies because they fail to see a professional future at the end of a four or six-year degree program.

The LISA Education Initiative Taskforce (LEIT) has established a short, but highly successful track record sponsoring one and two-day workshops designed to bring localization trainers and potential trainers together from industry and academia for the purpose of assisting in establishing programs designed to prepare young language professionals for careers in the localization field. These workshops have provided a forum for the exchange of models and experience for teaching advanced technical writing and translation tools, localization skills, and project management in both university programs and within enterprises. In the past, participants in these workshops have been drawn from such industry leaders as Berlitz, Trados, Simultrans, Language Partners, Logos, and such universities as Kent State, the Monterey Institute, the University of Washington, and the University of Geneva. The LEIT workshop scheduled for Wednesday prior to the ATA conference will draw on the expertise of:

Tentative Topics  

Likely topics include:
The challenges facing trainers in configuring the infrastructure necessary for teaching language technology
Requirements for a coherent localization program for translators, technical writers, programmers, and program managers
The job market for localizers and internationalizers: defining professional profiles in today’s chaotic language industry
Technical writing and internationalization
Industry and the college curriculum: building partnerships between academia and industry
Integrating tools and computer applications into the curriculum (terminology management, translation memory, machine translation, and localization tools
New technologies: text corpora and term mining, human language technologies

The target audience for this workshop includes:
Translation and technical writing trainers in academia and industry
Translators wishing to familiarize themselves with issues involving localization and training
Representatives from the localization field who wish to encourage and influence the course of localization training



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