Do you need professional liability insurance?
Home insurance. Car insurance. Small business insurance. We pretty much understand these. Professional liability insurance? Not so much.
What is professional liability insurance?
Professional liability insurance covers experts who provide professional services. That's you. If you were a physician, it would be called medical malpractice insurance. You may have also heard it referred to as errors and omissions insurance, and that's a good way to look at it because that's exactly what it covers.
What does it do?
Professional liability insurance can help cover lawyers' fees, court costs, and settlements or judgments that arise from the performance of your services. Here are three examples.
Why does ATA offer professional liability insurance to its members?
- Work mistakes.
If a client sues you over an error that costs them money, professional liability insurance can help pay for their losses.
- Undelivered services.
If you promise a client a result your finished work does not deliver, professional liability insurance can help cover the expenses in a breach-of-contract lawsuit.
- Negligent services.
If your work does not meet industry best practices, professional liability insurance can help pay the legal bills when your client sues.
Professional liability insurance is a specialty coverage. The services covered for lawyers are different from the services covered for architects, which are different from the services provided by translators and interpreters.
The professional liability insurance policies ATA offers its members are specific to the work you do. It's not a one-size-fits-all plan.
Do all translators and interpreters need professional liability insurance?
No, but this is a good time to review the services you provide and consider the impact of a lawsuit on your business. Even a lawsuit without merit will result in significant legal fees.
How do I purchase professional liability insurance through ATA?
ATA's professional liability program is managed by Alliant. Visit their website to learn more about the coverage. You can even apply for a policy online!
Officials Call U.S. Language Education An 'Emergency'
Washington Times (DC) (06/15/17) Zietlow, Alex
Citing a report from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS), among other studies, government officials and educators say the widespread inability of Americans to learn or speak other languages could threaten the U.S. economy and hinder foreign policy. The report, America's Languages: Investing in Language Education for the 21st Century, which the AAAS delivered to Congress in February, was discussed this month at a briefing hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations.
The report was produced in response to a bipartisan request from senators and representatives in 2014 to find what the U.S. could do to ensure excellence in language education. It estimates that 20.7% of American adults can speak another language—compared with 66% of all European adults who know more than one language. U.S. students have no national mandate to study languages, but nearly two dozen European countries require high school students to study another language for at least a year. The report cautions: "The wide disparity between the European or Chinese approach to languages and the U.S. approach suggests that we, as a nation, are lagging in the development of a critical 21st-century skill, and that we risk being left out of any conversation that does not take place in English."
Esther Brimmer, chief executive officer of the Association of International Educators, says that since humanitarian crises occur most often in places where people don't speak English, speaking other languages—especially Chinese and Arabic—is "imperative for U.S. diplomats and international aid professionals."
Michael Nugent, director of the Pentagon's Defense Language and National Security Education Office, says national security is another area that could be threatened by a lack of language skills. "It's very important that U.S. agencies understand the culture and the region in which they're working," he says. Currently, the inability to speak a language doesn't prevent someone from being accepted into or rising through the ranks of the U.S. foreign service or military, but this could change. "We've been talking about this emergency now for 10 to 15 years," Nugent says. "In our business, it's an emergency."
Author and Translator Win Man Booker International Prize
The Guardian (United Kingdom) (06/14/17) Cain, Sian
Israeli author David Grossman and translator Jessica Cohen have won the Man Booker International prize for this year's best translated work of a fiction novel. Grossman and Cohen will share the £50,000 prize, which was awarded to Cohen's English translation of A Horse Walks into a Bar, Grossman's novel about a standup comedian's public breakdown. This is only the second year the Man Booker International prize has been awarded to a single book. The 2016 prize was awarded to South Korean novelist Han Kang and translator Deborah Smith for The Vegetarian.
"We were bowled over by Grossman's willingness to take emotional as well as stylistic risks: every sentence counts, every word matters in this supreme example of the writer's craft," says Nick Barley, director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival. "Written with empathy, wisdom, and emotional intelligence, A Horse Walks into a Bar is a mesmerizing meditation on the opposite forces shaping our lives: humor and sorrow, loss and hope, cruelty and compassion, and how even in the darkest hours we find the courage to carry on," state the prize's judges.
Born and still based in Jerusalem, Grossman has long been recognized as one of the world's great novelists, with awards including the French Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, Germany's Buxtehuder Bulle, Rome's Premio per la pace e l’azione umanitaria, the Frankfurt Peace prize, and Israel's Emet prize. Cohen previously translated Grossman's 2008 work To the End of the Land, which U.K. critic Jacqueline Rose called "without question one of the most powerful and moving novels I have ever read."
Other books shortlisted for this year's prize include French author Mathias Énard's Compass, Norwegian author Roy Jacobsen's The Unseen, Israeli author Amos Oz's Judas, Danish author Dorthe Nors's Mirror, Shoulder, Signal, and the Argentine author Samanta Schweblin's Fever Dream.
Multimedia Project Promotes Mexico's Native Languages
Public Radio International (CA) (06/21/17) Bonilla, Natalia
Gabriela Badillo, a professional graphic designer, is leading a nonprofit multimedia project to promote Mexico's 68 native languages, a cause she first became interested in as a university student. "68 Voces" is a series of animated shorts that showcase myths, poems, and oral traditions in each indigenous language. The initiative began in 2013, inspired in part by the death of Badillo's grandfather, who was of Mayan descent. Badillo says the event changed her way of thinking and motivated her to be more "conscious of everything that a person entails, including all the traditions, culture, and words that leave with that person or that are lost when one is gone." The project has received support from several organizations, including Mexico's National Institute of Indigenous Languages (INALI), allowing Badillo and her team to travel to specific indigenous communities and encourage young people to help design the short films. Badillo says that indigenous languages help create cultural identities and, as such, are just as important as Spanish to communicate knowledge.
According to a 2015 survey conducted by Mexico's National Institute of Geography and Statistics, 25.6% of about 120 million Mexicans describe themselves as indigenous. Of these, about seven million are speakers of a native language. Badillo says the number of native language speakers is low due to education policies that were in place for decades discouraging the teaching of indigenous languages in schools in favor of Spanish. As a way of survival, Badillo says indigenous parents decided to stop teaching their children their native languages so they could have a better life and not feel embarrassed by their roots. "We have gone to several communities and found that most of those who speak the languages are grandparents or people over 70," says Badillo. "They're part of generations that had these policies and the mindset that 'You cannot speak in your native language because it's wrong and people will discriminate against you.'" However, new policies and cultural tourism in southern Mexico have recently elevated native cultures, inspiring efforts to revive indigenous languages across Central and South America.
In four years, Gabriela's team has produced 20 of 68 animated shorts, and this year they expect to release 15 more, incorporating the first drawings made by children and teenagers in the indigenous communities they visited. These videos are meant to spark curiosity in children, but it's left to parents to teach their kids the native language of their region.
Bilingual Children Are Better at Recognizing Voices
NYU News (NY) (06/12/17)
According to a study by New York University's (NYU) Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, bilingual children tend to be better than their monolingual peers at speech perception, including recognizing voices. The findings, published in the journal Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, suggest yet another advantage of speaking multiple languages beyond the well-known cognitive benefits. "This advantage exists in the social aspect of speech perception, where the focus is not on processing linguistic information, but processing information about who is talking," says Susannah Levi, assistant professor of communicative sciences and disorders at NYU Steinhardt and the study's author. "Speech simultaneously carries information about what is being said and who is saying it," she adds.
Levi says that processing information about who is speaking is an important social component of communication that begins to develop even before birth. In her study, Levi examined how children process information about who is speaking and sought to understand whether differences exist between children speaking one language or multiple languages. Forty-one children participated in the study, a combination of 22 monolingual English speakers and 19 bilingual children. The bilingual children all spoke English and either spoke or were exposed to a second language (other than German) on a daily basis. The children were divided by age into two groups: nine years and younger and 10 years and older. The children completed a series of exercises that involved listening to different voices. In one, they listened to pairs of words in a language they knew (English, spoken with a German accent) and an unfamiliar language (German). The children were then asked whether a pair of words was spoken by the same person or two different people.
Levi found that bilingual children performed better than monolingual children in terms of recognizing and processing information on voices speaking both English and German. When listening to English, bilingual children were better at learning to identify a speaker's voice. When hearing German, bilingual children were better at distinguishing differences in a speaker's voice. "The study is a strong test of the benefits of bilingualism because it looked for differences in both a language familiar to all participants and one unfamiliar to them. The bilingual advantage occurred even in a language that was unfamiliar," Levi says. "While we need more research to explain why bilingual children are better and faster at speech perception, our study provides yet another example of the benefits of speaking and understanding multiple languages."
Book Examines Quran Translation Into English
Chicago Tribune (IL) (06/20/17) Reardon, Patrick T.
Duke University professor Bruce B. Lawrence's new book, The 'Koran' in English: A Biography, charts the history of attempts to translate Islam's central religious text into English. "Translation is hard work, never more so than when translating a scripture from its original language into another," says Lawrence. "To ponder the meaning of esoteric words is to explore the signs of other realities and then render them into their lyrical equivalents." Since the Quran's translation into Latin by Robert of Ketton in 1143, adapting the Arabic language and its underpinning culture to different languages has been a key challenge. "It's not just that Latin and Arabic are different alphabets and grammars. They also reflect histories and societies even more disparate than their speech and writing," Lawrence explains. For example, Lawrence uses the transliteration "Koran" in the title and often in the text because it's the word most often used in English in the past and the one that is still best known by English speakers.
Regarding previous translations, Lawrence particularly admires Abdullah Yusuf Ali's 1934 English translation, which follows the precept that "the rhythm, music, and exalted tone of the original should be reflected in the English interpretation." Lawrence also praises the work of 21st-century scholar Shawkat Toorawa, whom he says, "is rapt in his attention to sound as integral to, and inseparable from, meaning." Lawrence explains that the strategy of such translators "is to appeal to the full spectrum of sound/meaning, to draw from each fragment/sign/verse a sense of the whole that engages, elevates, and motivates the listener." Lawrence says this is important. "In the same way that the original Qur'an was a spoken not a written text, the feel of its English equivalent must goad the reader to speak out loud, to announce, and then repeat the words that appear on the page."
UCLA Historian Reviving Aztec Language
UCLA Newsroom (CA) (06/15/17) McInerny, Peggy
Kevin Terraciano, a historian and professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the director of the Latin American Institute, is helping usher in a renaissance of the ancient Aztec language of Nahuatl. In addition to teaching classes in Nahuatl at UCLA, Terraciano is also involved in many other projects designed to bring attention to a language that is still being spoken.
Once the lingua franca of Mexico, Nahuatl was eventually overshadowed by Spanish. Today, the indigenous language is only spoken by 1.5 million people in Mexico, many of whom live in the state of Veracruz on the western edge of the Gulf of Mexico. However, despite the number of speakers, modern Nahuatl is rarely taught in schools or universities in the U.S. and Mexico. "Nahuatl was still the majority-spoken language in the Valley of Mexico at the end of the colonial period [1521–1821]," Terraciano explains. "Despite the fact that 90% of the population died over a 100-year period as a result of one epidemic after another, indigenous peoples were still the majority of the population of Mexico by the end of that period."
In addition to teaching courses, Terraciano is also working with Diana Magaloni, director of the Art of the Ancient Americas Institute at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, as a principal investigator on the Getty Research Institute's collaborative project with the Laurentian Library. The team is creating a high-resolution, interactive digital online version of the Florentine Codex, considered one of the greatest works ever written in classic Nahuatl. A virtual encyclopedia of Nahua culture compiled by a dedicated Franciscan friar in the mid-16th century, the work has never been accessible to the public—much less to descendants of the Aztecs living in Mexico. The Codex "is one of the most unique, lavishly illustrated, and longest such works to have miraculously survived," Terraciano says. "This is an opportunity to truly involve native Nahuatl speakers on the scholarly level," he notes.
Literary Translation Takes Center Stage
In 2015, the Booker Prize Foundation announced that the prestigious Man Booker International Prize for Fiction would become an annual award limited to works of fiction translated into English. In addition, for the first time in the history of the prize, the author would share the award with the translator.
According to the Foundation, the decision was made in part to highlight the work of translators.
ATA is pleased to congratulate translator Jessica Cohen, the winner of this year's Mann Booker International Prize for her translation of David Grossman's A Horse Walks into a Bar. The novel was translated from Hebrew.
Jessica is not unknown to ATA: she was the winner of ATA's Student Translation Award in 2000!
Jessica has worked with Grossman on three previous novels. Check out this interview in the New York Times to learn more about her working relationship with Grossman and how she came to be his translator.
How do you show you're a professional?
Belonging to a professional organization signals your commitment to quality and ethical practices.
This is one way your ATA membership can work for you. It's also why you should make sure your ATA membership gets noticed. How?
Use the ATA Logo
The ATA logo is a bold announcement of your membership. Using it on your business card and website instantly highlights your professional affiliation with ATA and increases your visibility with clients. And it looks great! Click to learn more about using the ATA Logo,
Display Your ATA-certified Translator Seal
Getting recognized by clients as an ATA-certified translator is a big deal. Using the ATA-certified translator seal in your work can help. It quickly confirms your certification status and language pair. Click to learn more about using the ATA-certified translator seal.
List Your ATA Continuing Education
Maximize the effectiveness of your résumé by including recent ATA continuing education! Professional associations are recognized as offering top-tier conferences, seminars, and webinars. Including the ATA conferences and webinars you've attended is a great way to get a client or project manager's attention. Click to learn more about this year's ATA Annual Conference and ATA's on-demand webinar library.
Don't miss your chance to exhibit at the Conference
The ATA 58th Annual Conference is the ultimate opportunity to reach more than 10,000 translators, interpreters, language services companies, educators, and government agencies companies who need your products and services. There is no better way to target the buyers in your market.
Benefits of exhibiting include:
Space in the Exhibit Hall is selling quickly! Reserve your booth soon—or your competition will beat you to it!
- booth in the Exhibit Hall with 1,800 attendees onsite ready to make a connection
- listing in the Final Program and the Conference edition of The ATA Chronicle
- listing on the Conference app and Conference website
- one complimentary full-Conference registration
Contact Lauren Mendell, ATA Membership and Marketing Manager, or call (703) 683-6100 ext. 3001, to learn more about becoming an exhibitor at this year's Conference.
In the May/June Issue of The ATA Chronicle
Unraveling Translation Service Contracts
If translation is such a specialized professional service, where so much is at stake for the end client, why are so many translators operating without the protection of a solid contract? (Paula Arturo)
Remote Interpreting: Feeling Our Way into the Future
While it’s probably impossible to quantify exactly how much mobile technology has influenced and expanded human communication, it has completely changed how just about everyone on the planet communicates. (Barry Slaughter Olsen)
Tablets for Interpreters: The Device You Didn’t Know You Wanted
You may already be using an Android mobile device or iPad to browse the web, play games, or stream video. But did you know that tablets also make great companions for interpreters? Read on for some great tips to get started. (Holly Behl and Alexander Drechsel)
Key Components of Successful Translator Recruitment
A fundamental tenet of language services is that an organization’s translation product will only be as good as the translator who provides the target content. That’s why vendor recruitment must be counted among the most critical of processes for translation firms. (Alaina Brantner)
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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