ATA 46th Annual Conference
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Preconference Seminars  
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ATA's Preconference Seminars are in-depth educational opportunities provided by experts in their respective fields. All Preconference Seminars take place on Wednesday, November 9. Seminars are presented in English, unless otherwise noted.

Ticket required. See the Conference Registration Form.


Seminar A
Jurassic Parliament, or How to Run Great Meetings
Ann G. Macfarlane
Wednesday, 9:00am-12:00pm - All Levels

ATA Past President Ann G. Macfarlane repeats her popular training on the fundamentals of parliamentary procedure and running great meetings. Learn the little-understood principles that make meetings fair and efficient, the three key elements of parliamentary procedure, and the psychological aspects of successful meetings. Participants in this interactive, hands-on workshop will practice making motions, amending them, voting, and dealing with points of order, and information and privilege. The training is practical, non-judgmental, and a lot of fun. (This seminar is free, but preregistration is required.)


Seminar B
Naval, Maritime, and Port Terminology for Spanish-English Translators
Aaron Ruby
Wednesday, 9:00am-12:00pm - All Levels

This presentation will use visual images and explanations of maritime and naval vocabulary. Vocabulary items include: vessel types (tankers, barges, crane barges, tugs, semisubmersibles); parts (bridge, quarters, stowage, engine room, propellers, anchors, bilges, etc.); personnel (captain, mates, stewards, able seaman); ship orientations (port, starboard, port quarter, etc.); vessel motions (pitch, heave, roll); buoyancy-stability (displacement, draft, trim, heeling, listing, ballast, righting moments); ports—mooring and anchoring (anchor tugs, knots, slings, cable terms); navigation aids; breakwater terms (overtopping, shoaling, causeways, heads, trestles); and wave terminology (crests, troughs, period, 100-year wave). (Presenting Languages: English and Spanish)


Seminar C
U.S. Product Liability and Its Particular Dangers for German>English Translators
Mathew Kundinger, Invited Speaker of the German Language Division
Wednesday, 9:00am-12:00pm - All Levels

This seminar will show how "typical German" thinking and assumptions found in German operations, repair, maintenance, and other technical manuals can lead to mistakes in translation, making the translation susceptible to attacks by attorneys in product liability lawsuits. The presenter will explain the legal requirements and address the measures necessary to minimize the risks of such mistakes. This seminar will teach German>English translators how to detect and analyze the pitfalls of German technical documentation when content alone is transferred into the English language without taking the American legal system into consideration.


Seminar D
Aspects of French Legal Translation
Frédéric Houbert, Invited Speaker of the French Language Division
Wednesday, 9:00am-12:00pm - Beginner/Intermediate

Designed for both beginners and intermediate-level translators, this hands-on session focuses on two specific aspects of legal translation: legal phraseology and the translation of bylaws, or statutes. Based on a number of handouts on these two subjects, participants will be able to test their knowledge. An updated bibliography and list of websites will also be provided for discussion. (Presenting Language: French)


Seminar E
Advanced Spanish Legal Translation Workshop
Thomas L. West III
Wednesday, 9:00am-12:00pm - Advanced

This is a workshop on translating difficult legal passages from Spanish into English. The texts will be taken from the following areas of law: contracts, torts, civil procedure, and criminal procedure. The format will consist of both a lecture on the four areas of law and practical translation exercises in each of these areas. Our focus will not be on translating contracts, but on contract law (i.e., topics such as vicios del consentimiento). This workshop is intended for translators with significant experience in the legal field.


Seminar F
Tools for Translators
Alan K. Melby and Sue Ellen Wright
Wednesday, 9:00am-12:00pm - Intermediate/Advanced

This seminar will discuss the work MITRE (a nonprofit federally-funded research and development center) has been conducting on translation tools, including surveys of tools and assessments of the impact of tools on translators. The speakers will also discuss the ISO draft standard for Lexical Markup Framework, designed to facilitate data exchange between terminology management systems, dictionary management systems, and machine translation lexicons. The speakers will also discuss the development of a guide and template for dictionaries, which are compliant with this standard, and a free browser tool for using such dictionaries.


Seminar G
Public Speaking: A Seminar for Interpreters
Rut Simcovich
Wednesday, 9:00am-12:00pm - All Levels

Why do people get nervous when they have to face an audience? What is the hidden meaning in certain types of questions? What makes audiences unresponsive? The answers to these questions are useful for an interpreter in order to learn to face an audience (whether as a speaker or an interpreter), understand what the speaker and the audience may be experiencing, and, whenever possible, suggest better ways to do things. Speaking better will help position the interpreter as an expert in oral communication!


Seminar H
Ethics for Court Interpreters
Judith A. Kenigson Kristy
Wednesday, 9:00am-12:00pm - All Levels

For interpreters in the legal domain, adherence to protocols and ethical principles is not always easy—in fact, it often seems counter-intuitive. This session will combine instruction with a little entertainment by examining and then playing with the application of ethical principles for interpreting in legal settings, both in and out of court. Participants will be introduced to various performance standards for court interpreters, with a particular focus on the "Consortium" Model Code of Professional Responsibility. Audience participation is encouraged through team and role-play activities as well as a group review of some materials from the controversial trial of Mohammed Yousry.


Seminar I
The Construction, Deconstruction, and Reconstruction of a Brazilian Lawsuit
Enéas Theodoro Jr., Invited Speaker of the Portuguese Language Division
Wednesday, 9:00am-12:00pm - All Levels

How is a lawsuit initiated in Brazil and a complaint drawn up and filed? This seminar will provide an analysis of the structure, dynamics, and terminology involved in this process. Learn how to render the elements of a pleading into an English translation that makes sense. A similar analysis will also show how a lawsuit can be contested and an answer drawn up and filed. We will look at some systemic differences between Brazilian and American practice and procedure, issues and solutions encountered by lawyers and translators alike, and the linguistic dynamics and reverse-engineering processes that invariably come into play. (Presenting Languages: English and Portuguese)


Seminar J
Emphasizing the Medical in Medical Interpretation
Rafael A. Rivera
Wednesday, 9:00am-12:00pm - Intermediate/Advanced

Medical interpreters learn to work in their field of expertise with a limited understanding of the "bigger picture" that lies behind their daily interactions. This will be a practical seminar for advanced and intermediate Spanish<>English medical interpreters who want to acquire a broader understanding of medical terminology and its clinical implications. Attendees will spend the entire session dealing with coached sight translations and consecutive medical interview scripts in either language as the instructor uses questions, explanations, illustrations, examples, or any other data deemed appropriate to enhance understanding and retention of the material. (Presenting Languages: English and Spanish)


Seminar K
Tools for Chinese Translators
Jennifer DeCamp
Wednesday, 2:00pm-5:00pm - Intermediate/Advanced

This seminar will discuss the tools that can help Chinese<>English translators. Some of the tools to be discussed include: word processing; automatic segmentation (dividing characters into terms); user dictionaries; commercial and freeware dictionaries; tools for easily accessing research resources; machine translation; translation memory; terminology management; and dictionary management. The speaker will also discuss the work done by MITRE (a nonprofit federally-funded research and development center) to integrate these and other natural language processing tools in ways that can help the translator.


Seminar L
A Homicide in Mexico: A Comparative Examination of Procedure and Terminology for the Translator
Aaron Ruby
Wednesday, 2:00pm-5:00pm - Intermediate/Advanced

This presentation will use a vehicular homicide case in Mexico as a starting point to explain criminal procedure and terminology in Mexico and how it differs from the U.S. An expurgated version of the entire case file will be presented, explaining the titles and types of documents and the entities involved. Discussion will address pitfalls and challenges for a translator in understanding the legal process, and in deciding how to translate specific legal terms or concepts that may not have equivalents in the other language. Participants will be provided with glossaries, flow charts, and diagrams of criminal procedure in Mexico. (Presenting Languages: English and Spanish)


Seminar M
Simultaneous Interpreting Workshop
Liese Katschinka, Invited Speaker of the German Language Division
Wednesday, 2:00pm-5:00pm - All Levels

This will be a hands-on workshop on simultaneous interpreting. Depending on participants' needs, the presenter will first give an introduction to simultaneous interpreting and then take participants through a number of texts on topical issues. The focus will be on German>English interpreting, but colleagues with other language combinations will also find the exercise useful.


Seminar N
A Second Pair of Eyes: Revision, Editing, and Proofreading
S. Alexandra Russell-Bitting
Wednesday, 2:00pm-5:00pm - All Levels

Inadvertent translation bloopers can ruin an otherwise excellent job. In this practical workshop on how to avoid them, we will review three different types of quality control in English translation: revision, editing, and proofreading. Participants will examine short texts and solve a variety of common problems, such as style, ambiguity, and consistency, as well as grammar, spelling, and, of course, translation. Translation issues will refer to original documents in Spanish, but knowledge of Spanish is not required. We will also discuss translator resources, such as dictionaries, style manuals, and the Internet.


Seminar O
Legal Translation and Neutral Spanish
Guillermo Cabanellas and Eleanor Hoague, Invited Speakers of the Spanish Language Division
Wednesday, 2:00pm-5:00pm - All Levels

Clients often ask for translations into neutral Spanish. Does this request make sense? This seminar will answer this question by considering whether it is possible to identify a neutral form and examining whether there is an actual need for it. The speaker will offer an analysis of centuries of multinational development of the Spanish language and will distinguish neutral Spanish from traditional, correct, or cultivated Spanish. This seminar will also focus on the difficulty of translating legal terminology where the systems are structurally different. Examples from the law of business organizations, procedure, and real estate will be used to show these difficulties.


Seminar P
The ABCs of QA vs. QC
Keiran J. Dunne
Wednesday, 2:00pm-5:00pm - All Levels

In the realm of professional translation, the terms Quality Assurance (QA) and Quality Control (QC) are generally conflated—and wrongly so, since these terms refer to very different processes. Drawing on the professional experiences of the presenter, and using concrete examples taken from graphical user interface localization software, user assistance localization, and document translation/publishing projects, this session will explore the ways in which QA and QC differ, the impact that confusion over these terms can (and usually does) have on project workflow, cost, and timelines, as well as some possible solutions. Interactive activities will be planned, so audience participation is highly encouraged.


Seminar Q
Basic Note-Taking Techniques for Practicing Interpreters
Daniel Giglio
Wednesday, 2:00pm-5:00pm - All Levels

Consecutive interpretation is one of the modes used by language mediators to communicate ideas expressed in a different language. The so-called "conference" consecutive interpretation (CCI) mode differs from the kind of interpretation done in court settings, in that the latter must be verbatim and be rendered in the same language level as the original, including hesitations, nonsensical statements, and so forth. This seminar will give participants an overview of CCI techniques and note-taking skills using a hands-on approach that combines both theory and practice. Active participation is encouraged. The training session will be in English and will not be language-specific.


Seminar R
Sight Translation: Linking Translation and Interpreting
Arlene M. Kelly
Wednesday, 2:00pm-5:00pm - All Levels

For translators: Have you ever wondered if interpreting, an extrovert activity, might be a viable alternative for the introverted occupation of translating? Well, here is your chance to find out! For interpreters: Have you ever been stumped by a request to read a document aloud in a target language? Here are some strategies to ease your anxieties and doubts so you can prepare and deliver a delightful sight translation. For anyone: Here is an opportunity to hone your language skills in English using cognitive strategies valuable for translation and interpretation.


Seminar S
VocabuLando: The Making of a Translator-Friendly Dictionary
Isa Mara Lando, Invited Speaker of the Portuguese Language Division
Wednesday, 2:00pm-5:00pm - All Levels

The speaker will explain why she felt the need to write a new type of dictionary, and what kinds of entries were most urgently needed to fill the gaps left by existing dictionaries. She will illustrate how Internet searches help her find common collocations, expressive example-sentences, and idiomatic translations. She will go over the challenges of finishing the lengthy work of writing a dictionary and getting it published, as well as the improvements she has made to the new revised edition. This seminar will be useful to Portuguese translators and to all those who are considering writing dictionaries or glossaries.


Seminar T
Taxation in Spanish-Speaking Countries
Silvana Teresa Debonis
Wednesday, 2:00pm-5:00pm - All Levels

The speaker will address the problems frequently encountered when translating income tax and value-added tax regimes of Spanish-speaking countries into English. Based on a broad selection of texts from several Latin American countries and Spain, this hands-on seminar will give attendees insight into some highly technical tax concepts and their translation. (Presenting Language: Spanish)