ATA Elections 2016
ATA will hold its regularly scheduled elections at the upcoming 2016 ATA Annual Conference (November 2-5) in San Francisco to elect three directors. There will also be a special election for secretary for a one-year term to complete Rudy Heller’s term.
Meet the Candidates
Statements from this year's candidates are now available online. Become an informed voter! Take time to learn more about the individuals on the slate—from background to experience to what they hope to accomplish as a member of the ATA Board. And don’t forget to vote!
Secretary (one-year term)
Director (three positions, three-year terms)
Who is eligible to vote?
While any ATA member may nominate a candidate for the Board, only those members with Active and Corresponding membership status are eligible to vote. "Voting members" may vote by proxy online or by paper ballot at the Annual Meeting of Voting Members on Thursday, November 3, 2016, in San Francisco, California.
Become a voting member
ATA Associate Members who can demonstrate that they are professionally engaged in translation, interpreting, or closely related fields may apply for Voting Membership. The process to attain voting membership, called Active Member Review, is free and online.
Date of Record
To vote in ATA's 2016 election, you must have been approved for Voting Membership status by September 30. This is called the Date of Record.
The Race Is on for Volunteer Interpreters for 2020 Tokyo Olympics
The Japan Times (Japan) (08/10/16) Aoki, Mizuho
As the Rio Olympics enter full swing, Japan is gearing up to train volunteer interpreters for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. In September, seven universities specializing in languages--including Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Kobe City University of Foreign Studies, and Kansai Gaidai University--will hold a four-day intensive seminar in Chiba Prefecture so students can brush up on their interpreting skills. With their sights set on the Tokyo Olympics, the universities launched the program last year to allow students to strengthen their knowledge about the Olympics, foreign culture, and hospitality. About 400 specially selected students are expected to take part in the workshops. According to the Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, some 80,000 volunteers will be needed to run the Olympics smoothly. All applicants must be 18 years or older as of April 1, 2020, and be able to work eight hours a day for 10 days. According to the committee, desirable skills include language abilities, knowledge of Olympic sports, and experience working as a volunteer at sporting events. As with the Rio Olympics, volunteers will not be paid and must incur their own travel and accommodation expenses, causing some people to question the committee's plan. Noriyuki Nishiyama, a language policy professor at Kyoto University, says asking interpreters to work for free when they have spent years mastering their language skills shows the Olympic Committee's ignorance of the hard work that goes into becoming proficient in a language. "Japan has been pushing English education, saying gaining language proficiency provides huge economic benefits," Nishiyama says. "It doesn't make sense if people with language skills are not paid."
Language Clues Researchers Used to Link DNC Hack to Russia
Christian Science Monitor (MA) (08/01/16) Roberts, Paul F.
Governments and cybersecurity firms are turning increasingly to linguistic clues found in malicious code or metadata to identify lone hackers or the nations responsible for high-profile attacks. For example, security researchers investigating the source of malicious software that infected the Democratic National Committee's computers relied on linguistic clues in computer fonts, messages buried in malicious software applications, and even comments from the alleged culprit to help tie the attack back to Russia. "In the digital world, we look at every aspect of communication," says Mario Vuksan, chief executive officer of the cybersecurity firm ReversingLabs. "From the way a hacking group connects to an asset to the way the binary code is written to text and e-mail messages." For instance, code could be compiled on machines that are loaded with specific languages. And hackers could tip their hand by using expressions common in certain countries or languages. When it comes to investigating cybercrimes, techniques range from classical linguistic pursuits, such as word count analysis that examines patterns of language use, to more behavioral analysis that tries to identify unique patterns or behaviors using lexical analysis, says Steve Bongardt, a former agent in the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit who now works with the firm Fidelis Cybersecurity. Vuksan says officials don't rely on linguistic information alone during their investigations. Rather, governments and law enforcement agencies investigating crimes need to look to the preponderance of evidence--most of it not linguistic--as they attempt to understand who is responsible for an incident. "Cyber being what it is, it's an area where covert action can be done at different levels in many different ways," Vuksan says. Still, clues buried in language in blog posts, social media, or malicious code are critical in an age when nation-backed hackers are trying to cover their tracks.
Arizona Dentists Want Federal Government to Delay Translation Rules
KJZZ News (AZ) (08/03/16) Estes, Christina
The Arizona Dental Association has joined forces with the American Dental Association to request additional time to comply with a new federal rule under the Affordable Care Act that requires translation services for patients with limited English proficiency. The new rule, known as Section 1557, applies to all providers who collect Medicaid and Medicare. "Most likely there are very few practices that are in compliance," says Kevin Earle, executive director of the Arizona Dental Association. The regulation requires dentists to provide translations in the top 15 non-English languages spoken in their state. (The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, lists these languages on its website.) Earle says many of his group's 3,200 practicing dentists run solo or small group practices. "This adds another layer of costs to delivering services." The Arizona Dental Association is currently trying to help providers by researching companies that offer appropriate translation services. "There are technical terms that have to be used, and you have to find a way to translate technical terms and understand a little bit about health care to be able to communicate effectively," he says. According to the list compiled by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Spanish, Navajo, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Arabic top the list of the 15 most common non-English languages spoken in Arizona. On the national level, the Organized Dentistry Coalition sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office for Civil Rights requesting an extension of the implementation deadlines for Section 1557 to allow "sufficient time for our members to meet the requirements." It also requested relief for "our members working in small practice settings and that the most burdensome regulations be limited to those who employ 25 or more staff." Earle would like to see at least a six-month delay, but says so far the federal government has not responded to the industry's request. "Certainly we don't want to have a situation where a dentist may choose, because of the burden of these regulations, to exit the Medicaid program," Earle says. "That's an outcome that's not good for patients, nor is it good for the dental profession."
African Immigrants Drive French-Speaking Renaissance in Maine
Portland Press Herald (ME) (07/31/16) McGuire, Peter
An influx of Francophone African immigrants in Maine has given new hope for a resurgence of the French language. Africans from French-speaking countries have recently been arriving in Maine, either as refugees, immigrants, or asylum-seekers. According to Catholic Charities Refugee Immigration Services, 437 people from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi, and Rwanda--all Francophone countries--have settled in Maine since 2010. People from Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Djibouti, Ivory Coast, and Togo--countries where French is a national language--have also moved to the state. For some immigrants, the unnerving experience of coming to an unfamiliar country has been softened by the realization that they can connect, in their own language, with an existing community. Blandine Injonge, a refugee from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, was surprised when she arrived in Lewiston a few years ago and stumbled on its Franco community. "Discovering that was like coming home," she says. When she moved to the U.S., Injonge was concerned she and other Africans might lose their French language skills, so she formed the Hillview Adult French Club to help the language survive. Franco-Americans started to participate in the group as well. "When we came here, we felt like we were abandoned children, but now we feel like we've been adopted by the Franco-American community," Injonge says. Francophone Africans have made an impression elsewhere in Maine, filling the pews at French church services and starting after-school French programs. In recent years, many longtime residents feared that their heritage would disappear, especially after decades of decline and past efforts to discourage spoken French. (In 2014, the U.S. Census estimated that only about 3% of state residents spoke French at home.) French has been spoken in Maine since at least the 19th century, when waves of French Canadians immigrated to work in New England mill towns like Lewiston, Biddeford, and Waterville. According to a 2012 legislative task force report, roughly 24% of Maine's population self-identifies as Franco-American, making it the largest ethnic group in the state. But the number of people who speak French at home has dwindled generation after generation. But many French speakers who are working hard to preserve their French-speaking heritage see the arrival of Francophones from other countries as a positive sign. Chelsea Ray, a professor at the University of Maine, says the addition of new Francophone immigrants offers another opportunity to build connections and strengthen the language. "Especially for people who want to keep their French, I think it's really important to connect with the new immigrants and respect what they are bringing and that you have something in common."
How BuzzFeed Translates the News in Multiple Languages
Forbes (NY) (07/26/16) Griffith, Erin
Media startup BuzzFeed is now translating content for its news bureaus in 10 countries to increase its appeal to a worldwide audience. Millie Tran, the company's first director of global translations, has assembled a team to translate a handful of the estimated 500 pieces of content BuzzFeed produces each day. For example, one team member's job is to read BuzzFeed's U.S. edition every day and pitch translations to the site's editors. "It's a really nice way to expose our international teams to the whole network of BuzzFeed," says Tanner Greenring, who translates content from the international bureaus. Before Tran formalized the operations, BuzzFeed translated items on an ad hoc basis. Currently, translations make up 30% to 40% of the content in BuzzFeed's international editions. Translations generally don't perform as well as original content written in the country's native language, which Tran says is "to be expected." BuzzFeed translates around 75 pieces a month. The company also adapted 685 English-language videos into other languages, which has added three billion video views from international markets. With the exception of large cross-border collaborations, translation doesn't happen the moment content is created, Tran says. "It's a matter of seeing it doing well somewhere else and saying, 'Oh, this would be good.'" She notes that BuzzFeed's international teams know their audiences and media environments and flag trending content that has universal appeal. Often, the translation allows BuzzFeed to be the first organization to break U.S. news internationally. The team tries to translate a mix of news, scoops, videos, entertainment, and listicles. Tran says translation is another way media companies are finding efficiencies in today's fragmented, globally distributed media environment. "It's really about maximizing those types of articles that we've done."
The ATA Podcast: ATA Client Outreach Kit
Reaching the direct client market requires a different strategy, one that goes to clients rather than waiting for them. Enter the ATA Client Outreach Kit! Created in 2009, the kit puts together the practical resources and techniques needed for this kind of marketing. But what is it really?
Tune in to Episode 6 of The ATA Podcast as Lillian Clementi and Stephanie Tramdack Cash talk about how to use the ATA Client Outreach Kit.
ATA Webinar | Getting Personal About Pricing
Presenter: Jonathan Hine
Date: August 23
Time: 12 noon. U.S. Eastern Daylight
Duration: 60 minutes
CE Point(s): 1
Jump-start your budget process! Learn the principles of break-even pricing, and then examine the personal and business categories to include in your financial plan. This is the webinar that can help you break through the "budget block."
Already have a budget? Take this opportunity to re-evaluate your plan to be sure you've got all the contingencies covered—from the feast-or-famine cycle to a well-funded retirement. Register now!
“The High Cost of Cheap Translation”
The fourth penned piece from ATA’s PR Committee has made its way to audiences with interests in translation and interpreting services. Written by Stephanie Tramdack Cash, “The High Cost of Cheap Translation” warns readers that when everything from product development to marketing has been top-notch, skimping on translation simply doesn’t make sense.
Client education through public relations is a key piece of ATA’s PR Committee campaign to reach the business community and those individuals who are responsible for contracting translation and interpreting services. If you haven’t done so already, take time now to read the PR articles published earlier this year: “Automation Doesn’t Solve Everything,” “5 Tips for Taking Your Business Global,” and ”Don’t Get Lost in Translation.”
ATA Webinar | Negotiating Translation Agreements
Presenter: Paula Arturo
Date: September 8
Time: 12 noon. U.S. Eastern Daylight
Duration: 60 minutes
CE Point(s): 1
Learn how to become an effective negotiator! Using a series of translation-related case studies, presenter Paula Arturo will demonstrate the strategies that work in real-life business deals. You'll also discover ways to adapt these negotiating strategies to different types of clients. Register now!
First Membership Review Audit Completed
A commitment to professionalism is at the heart of ATA membership. Many members take this commitment one step further by becoming Active and Corresponding members. This change in membership status is available to translators, interpreters, and individuals who can show that they are professionally engaged in work closely related to translation and/or interpreting.
To ensure the integrity of the now paperless application, ATA conducted its first random audit earlier this year of members who went through the process online. A second audit will be conducted in 2017 and annually thereafter.
Board of Directors Meeting Summary: July 30-31
Learn more about ATA’s governance and goals—read the summary of the latest Board of Directors meeting in Minneapolis, Minnesota (July 30-31). This meeting summary is your opportunity to stay informed and involved in the Association. It’s a quick, easy-to-read report, so take five minutes of your time now to find out what’s happening.
In the July/August Issue of The ATA Chronicle
International Payment Updates
For companies of all sizes, the cost of each international payment transaction can result in a significant cost of doing business. Read on to find out what’s changed regarding the international payment options available today. (Eve Lindemuth Bodeux)
Where Does Language Fit in with Big Data?
What is “big data” and how did it become part of the language sector? How should translators and interpreters approach it? (Don DePalma )
SOAP Notes: Getting Down and Dirty with Medical Translation
Progress notes and patient records are the medical translator’s bread and butter, but this doesn’t prevent even the most experienced medical translators from making mistakes. (Erin M. Lyons)
How to Read and Translate R and S Phrases in Technical Texts
R (risk) and S (safety) phrases occur extensively in chemical documentation. The following explains their origin and set wording, along with their successors—the H (hazard) and P (precautionary) statements. (Matthew F. Schlecht)
U.S. Immigration Benefits for Professional Translators and Interpreters
The immigration options available to foreign-born translators and interpreters are varied. An immigration attorney and a certified translator explain the benefits and drawbacks of applying for immigration benefits for foreign-born translators and interpreters. (Elizabeth Ricci, Michael K. Launer)
Access to The ATA Chronicle's searchable archives is available online! And don't forget to check out the latest issue of the Chronicle-Online.
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