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Preconference Seminars

All presentations are in English unless otherwise noted.

Seminar A (W, 9:00am-5:00pm) - Beginner
Strategies for Sight Translation, Consecutive Interpretation, and Note Taking

Claudia Angelelli (San Diego, California), assistant professor of applied linguistics, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, San Diego State University; and Christian Degueldre (San Diego, California), chair, ATA Interpretation Policy Advisory Committee, and program head, French Department, Graduate School of Translation and Interpretation, Monterey Institute of International Studies
Presenting Languages: English, Spanish, French, and others

Training is a major contributor to an interpreter's 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, there will be an in-depth discussion of many of the aspects involved in the interpreting process. 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, mental conceptualization); sight translation (reading ahead, anticipation, transfer from a written text to an oral message, presentation); consecutive interpretation of extemporaneous speeches (active listening, structure/analysis, public speaking); note taking (general principles, symbols, and practice); simultaneous preparation (shadowing, 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 (W, 9:00am-12:00noon) - All Levels
Jurassic Parliament or, How to Run Great Meetings
Ann G. Macfarlane (Seattle, Washington), chair, ATA Nominating and Special Projects committees, and owner, Russian Resources International

A repeat of the popular class giving the fundamentals of how to run great meetings. Learn the little-understood principles that excellent presiders use; three key elements of parliamentary procedure; and the psychological, physical, and emotional aspects of successful meetings. Participants in this interactive, hands-on workshop will practice making motions, amending them, voting, and dealing with points of order, information, and privilege. Find out how to handle the Velociraptors in the committee room and make the Tyrannosaurus Rex behave at your annual conference. One participant from last year commented: "The only time Robert's Rules of Order has been fun, believe me!" Open to ATA members active in committees, divisions, chapters, and affiliates. No fee, but pre-registration is required.

Seminar C (W, 9:00am-12:00noon) - Intermediate/Advanced
The Equity Market: Fundamental Versus Technical Analysis
Silvana Debonis (Buenos Aires, Argentina), certified public English/Spanish translator and instructor, Universidad del Museo Social
Presenting Language: Spanish

Market analyses are among the most interesting, though challenging, jobs for any financial translator. They may be 1, 5, or 30 pages long, depending on the time period they cover. But regardless of their size, they all share certain features: they are concise, full of acronyms, and, above all, call for translators who really understand what kind of analysis they are translating and what the analysis means. The purpose of this session is to describe fundamental and technical analyses through the tools they use to read the market, and to analyze and translate sample paragraphs written by fundamental and technical analysts.

Seminar D (W, 9:00am-12:00noon) - All Levels
La evolución del lenguaje químico: del carbono a los dinosaurios

Olga Lucía Mutis de Serna (Bogota, Colombia), translator
Presenting Language: Spanish

Why do translators translate legal documents or medical histories without a second thought, but feel intimidated by a chemical formula? In this presentation, we'll take an extensive look at the compounds more representative of organic chemistry. Using easy examples and entertaining exercises, we will learn to understand the difference, for example, between an alkane and an acid, and an amine and an amide. We will also learn to interpret symbols, numbers, and letters used in chemical nomenclature until we feel comfortable enough to translate the names of the most complex compounds.

Seminar E (W, 9:00am-12:00noon) - All Levels
Strategies for Getting the Mentoring You Need: Skill-Building Workshop for New Mentees
Courtney Searls-Ridge (Seattle, Washington), head of ATA Mentoring Program Task Force and ATA secretary

The formal mentoring program that ran as a yearlong pilot program will be wrapped up at this conference. The new "enhanced informal" model requires mentees to actively seek out suitable mentors from among ATA members who have been trained and are willing to serve. Participation in this workshop is required for ATA members who want to be mentees in the new ATA Mentoring Program. We will look at the best practices of successful mentees, introduce tips for structuring a successful mentoring relationship, and offer strategies that newcomers to translation and interpretation can implement immediately. The presentation will include both lecture and exercises in a collaborative atmosphere. There is no charge for the workshop itself. Participants must pre-register and complete the Mentoring Program Information Questionnaire.

Seminar F (W, 9:00am-12:00noon) - Intermediate
Spanish Translation of Standard and Nonstandard Contract Clauses
Daniel Giglio (Washington, DC), freelance EnglishSpanish translator and interpreter
Presenting Language: Spanish

Legalese poses a number of challenges for the translator. This presentation is aimed at providing participants with useful examples and information on the translation of standard and nonstandard contract provisions, especially as regards complicated legal concepts such as "torts," "damages," "indemnity clauses," and other similar covenants. Sample translations as well as exercises will be made available to attendees. The instructor encourages open participation and questions from the audience. Some prior knowledge of legal translation is required.

Seminar G (W, 9:00am-12:00noon) - All Levels
What is an Aorta? How to Become a Specialist Translator
Robert George Dewsnap (Soelvesborg, Sweden), freelance medical translator

This is a hands-on workshop for anyone planning to become a specialist translator in any subject or language. It has been tested at the Translator Training Program at Lund University, and was conducted at the 2001 conference of the Association of Professional Translators in Sweden. This session will present an informal lecture comparing general with specialist translation, followed by an exercise on translating a specialized text (from Swedish into English). The subject, chosen to exemplify all subjects, is "medicine." You don't need any special knowledge of medicine to take part in this workshop. If your goal is to be a professional, come along!

Seminar H (W, 9:00am-5:00pm) - Intermediate
Translating as a Purposeful Activity
Christiane Nord (Magdeburg, Germany), professor of translation science and professional communication, Spanish Department, Magdeburg Stendal
Presenting Language: German
German Language Division Invited Speaker

This presentation will focus on the practical implications of translating as a "function-oriented intercultural activity." After a brief general introduction, participants will analyze, with the help of a text sample, the relationship between text function and translation function. In this context, the following questions will be discussed: What is communicative action, what is a text, what is translation? How do we define a culture? How does communicative activity function within a culture and across cultural boundaries? How can the communicative functions of a text be recognized? Can translation units be defined as functional units? Which conditions must be met to assure that the communicative intentions of a text in the source culture will effectively function for recipients in another culture (in the target language)? What can be done (in translation) if these conditions are not met? Do theoretical approaches really lead to better practical translation?

Seminar I (W, 9:00am-12:00noon) - All Levels
How to Become a Pro in Voice-Overs
Maya León Meis
(Arvada, Colorado), voice-over talent and trainer, and president/CEO, Voice Productions International

Today's global market for video and multimedia dubbing requires professionally trained voice-over talent. With this training, translators will not only master the art of interpreting copy, but will also learn the specialized skill of turning any regular text into a script. Skills you'll learn in this session include: how to analyze and mark scripts; how to interpret copy with various delivery styles; powerful microphone techniques; effective ways to respond to the producer's directions; plus coaching skills to get the best performance out of talent. In this dynamic session, you'll gain insights to the skills necessary to become a pro in the growing audio/video and multimedia industry.

Seminar J (W, 9:00am-12:00noon) - All Levels
Freedom is Not Free: The Business Side of Freelancing

Jonathan T. Hine, Jr. (Charlottesville, Virginia), translator and instructor of technical translation, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia

Freelance translators and interpreters are in business. Pricing, marketing, and quality control are crucial to business success. This presentation covers the elements of budgeting and business planning. It should also help anyone develop personal criteria for determining whether a proposed freelance assignment or employment offer 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 evaluating a geographic move and more time will be devoted to discussion of quality and tax issues.

Seminar K (W, 2:00pm-5:00pm) - Advanced
Practicum in German Patent Translation
Nicholas Hartmann (Milwaukee, Wisconsin), independent technical and scientific translator

The basic principles and procedures for translating German patents into English will be discussed during this session. Topics will include the nature and purpose of patents as both legal and technical documents, the structural organization of a patent, and terminological and syntactic peculiarities of the patent "dialect" in both languages. Information will also be provided about the present and future market for patent translations, suggested working methods, and the attitudes and qualifications that patent translators must bring to their work. Participants will have an opportunity to translate both typical and exceptionally challenging German patent texts. The approach is intended to be informal and interactive, with ample time for questions and discussion.

Seminar L (W, 2:00pm-5:00pm) - All Levels
Translating Debt: Spanish to English
Marian S. Greenfield (South Plainfield, New Jersey), owner, msgreenfield Translations, and ATA director and chair, ATA Professional Development Committee

This hands-on seminar will lead attendees through the translation of a Chilean loan term sheet and promissory note. Participants will finish the seminar with a definitive translation of these term-rich texts, providing them with ample material to produce a loan translation glossary.

Seminar M (W, 2:00pm-5:00pm) - All Levels
Cómo evitar anglicismos (Avoiding Anglicisms in Spanish)
Emilio Bernal Labrada (Sterling, Virginia), translator, interpreter, and bilingual writer
Presenting Language: Spanish

Through the use of general principles and specific examples, this presentation is designed to help Spanish translators at all levels by showing them how to avoid falling into the alluring trap of using false cognates and, worst of all, English syntax. Translators should concentrate on picking up concepts and "thinking in Spanish," rather than copying words and sentence structures. Special attention will be given to little-noticed problems arising from the widespread use of "Spanglish" in the Spanish-language press (written and broadcast), both in the U.S. and abroad, due to the powerful influence of English in today's world.

Seminar N (W, 2:00pm-5:00pm) - All Levels
Mentoring That Makes a Difference: Skill-Building Workshop for New Mentors
Courtney Searls-Ridge (Seattle, Washington), head of ATA Mentoring Program Task Force and ATA secretary

The formal mentoring program that ran as a yearlong pilot program will be wrapped up at this conference. The new "enhanced informal" model requires mentees to actively seek out suitable mentors from among ATA members who have been trained and are willing to serve. ATA mentors volunteer approximately two hours a month, and they get many benefits in return. Hear what last year's mentors had to say: "This was really fun!" "I learned so much from my mentee." "I feel like my people skills have improved." "I didn't realize how much I had to offer." "What a terrific experience!" Mentors also receive recognition from the association, and they get to play an active role in professionalizing translation and interpretation. This skill-building workshop focuses on how to be effective mentors in mentee-driven relationships. Participation in this workshop is required for ATA members who want to volunteer to be mentors in the new ATA Mentoring Program. There is no charge for this workshop, and mentors will be provided with free materials. Participants must pre-register and complete the Mentoring Program Information Questionnaire.

Seminar O (W, 2:00pm-5:00pm) - Intermediate
Understanding Argentina: What Led the Third Largest Economy in Latin America to Default?
Alexandra Russell-Bitting (Washington, DC), staff translator-reviser, Inter-American Development Bank

Based on a variety of reference material, this seminar will give a brief history of the recent economic turmoil in Argentina and review the current situation. Spanish source texts will be used to illustrate economic concepts, such as "default" and "devaluation," and to discuss specifically Argentine terminology, such as "corralito" and "pesificación." In an interactive session, participants will translate selected passages from the reference material (from and/or into Spanish) and review their translations.

Seminar P (W, 2:00pm-5:00pm) - All Levels
The Art of Medical Interpretation: An Inclusive Approach to Teaching
Zarita Araújo (Winchester, Massachusetts), president, Cross Cultural Communication Systems, Inc.; Richard S. Lane (Winchester, Massachusetts), practicing internist, Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates, and medical interpreter trainer, Cross Cultural Communication Systems, Inc.; Vonessa Phillips (Lynn, Massachusetts), legal and medical translator/interpreter, and coordinator of Translation Services, Cross Cultural Communication Systems, Inc.; and Ben Ready (Winchester, Massachusetts), medical interpreter and interpreter trainer, Cross Cultural Communication Systems, Inc.

Experiencing, asking questions, listening, and daring to try--this is how we learn. The presenters will discuss an innovative and dynamic manual for medical interpreters based on adult learning theories. They will also demonstrate how this role-play dominated model not only teaches medical interpreting techniques and medical vocabulary, but also helps to increase the interpreter's self-confidence as he or she witnesses their own progress. Please join us for this workshop and explore new strategies for overcoming linguistic and cultural barriers.