UN Recognizes International Translation Day
On May 24, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution declaring September 30 to be International Translation Day, thanks to the longstanding work of International Federation of Translators and its member associations, including ATA.
This historic resolution also recognized the role that professional translators, interpreters, and terminologists play in connecting nations and fostering peace, understanding, and development.
Andrei Dapkiunas (Belarus), who presented the resolution, said that its meaning and importance is much broader and deeper than simply demonstrating respect for a profession. It is about people, the invisible workers and unsung heroes of the linguistic professions.
International Translation Day was first celebrated in 1953. The UN's official recognition of September 30 and the European Commission's European Day of Languages on September 26 are major milestones in the campaign to raise awareness of language professionals around the world.
The 2017 theme for International Translation Day is Translation and Diversity.
Interpreter and Attorney Charged with Obstruction of Justice
Baltimore Sun (MD) (05/24/17) Fenton, Justin
A Baltimore defense attorney and his interpreter have been charged with obstruction of justice and witness intimidation for allegedly trying to dissuade a rape victim from testifying by telling her she risked deportation by the Trump administration. According to an indictment by the Maryland attorney general's office, during a conversation recorded by a hidden device, Attorney Christos Vasiliades told the alleged victim's husband about the "current environment for immigrants in this country" and offered him $3,000 if his wife did not show up to court to testify against his client, which would force prosecutors to drop the case. Edgar Ivan Rodriguez, Vasiliades' interpreter, then told the husband, "You know how things are with Trump's laws now. Someone goes to court and—boom—they get taken away." The victim's husband says Vasiliades and Rodriguez warned of the potential risk for the couple if the wife testified in court. "They explained that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) would likely be present in the courtroom for their client," the husband explained in a statement. "They cited new federal laws and policies, and maintained there was a high risk that we would be deported for testifying in court," he added. According to the statement, Vasiliades then explained that his client was "very sorry and could offer compensation if the victim did not come to court and testify against him." Vasiliades and Rodriguez indicated that the monetary compensation would help ensure that the couple would not get deported. Vasilades told the husband that Rodriguez would wait outside the courthouse holding the money. Once the case was dropped, Vasiliades said Rodriguez would deliver the money. The charges come amid heightened concerns for immigrants as the Department of Justice (DOJ) steps up immigration enforcement. According to the DOJ, arrests by ICE increased 40% in the first 100 days of the Trump administration. "If you're an immigrant, you live in a climate of fear at this point, and Vasiliades and Rodriguez were trying to capitalize on that," Attorney General Brian Frosh says. City prosecutors were handling the rape case, but asked the attorney general's office to get involved due to a possible conflict, Frosh says. The state attorney's office says it "has and will continue to partner and combine our efforts with the attorney general's office, not only in protecting immigrant populations, but also in the prosecution of these individuals." Prosecutors agreed to release Vasiliades and Rodriguez under pre-trial supervision. Both have pled not guilty.
Canada's Prime Minister Nominates New Commissioner of Official Languages
CBC News (Canada) (05/15/17)
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has nominated Madeleine Meilleur as the new Commissioner of Official Languages. Meilleur will be responsible for ensuring the full recognition and widespread use of English and French within Canadian society, as well as within federal institutions and other organizations subject to the Official Languages Act. Meilleur is a former Ontario cabinet minister and Ottawa-Vanier Member of Provincial Parliament. After working as a registered nurse and earning her law degree from the University of Ottawa, Meilleur served as a member of municipal councils between 1991 and 2003. During that time, she worked to promote Francophone rights and services. She continued this work in the provincial legislature, where, among other duties, she served as Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs from 2003 to 2016. As one of Canada's longest-serving Ministers of Francophone Affairs, Trudeau says Meilleur improved conditions and services for the Francophone minority community in Ontario, and oversaw several accomplishments that were widely recognized nationally. Trudeau says that Meilleur's quarter-century of advocacy work for Francophones in Ontario is in part what made her an "outstanding choice" for the job. "With her extensive experience and accomplished track record, I know Ms. Meilleur will be a tenacious advocate for both Francophone and Anglophone minority communities."
Charleston County Schools to Train Teachers to Recognize Gullah
Post and Courier (SC) (05/11/17) Bowers, Paul
The Charleston County South Carolina School District says it will offer special courses in Gullah for some of its teachers before the 2017-18 school year starts as part of a larger effort to better educate students who speak it. School leaders in the district say that nearly every school has students who speak some variation of Gullah or Geechee, one of the more Anglicized dialects. Catherine Hines-McCormack, interim arts and world languages coordinator, says the goal is to help teachers understand and appreciate their students' home language. The school district started looking at ways to address the language needs of students who speak Gullah and Geechee last fall at the request of school board member Michael Miller, who heard concerns that many teachers were unfamiliar with the local dialect or its history. Miller says the Gullah culture took root in South Carolina before the Revolutionary War as enslaved West Africans blended their languages and culture into a new way of life. Linguists who study Gullah say pieces of the language have slipped into African-American vernacular English across the country, but the language remains the most concentrated in coastal areas of South Carolina and Georgia. Hines-McCormack says she consulted with Herman Blake, executive director of the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission. She also spoke with Jessica Berry, a language scholar at Columbia College who grew up speaking Gullah in Berkeley County's Huger community. Hines-McCormack says the district is not moving toward hiring an English for Speakers of Other Languages teacher at this time, in part because Gullah does not appear in federal guidelines identifying foreign languages. Instead, teachers will learn to identify the language and teach their students to code-switch—intentionally moving from one way of speaking to another depending on the context. According to Hines-McCormack, this summer's professional development courses will be targeted at instructional coaches, early childhood and Head Start teachers, literacy coaches and interventionists, and teachers who are using the state's Ready for High School curriculum. Miller says the goal is to give every student an equal opportunity in the classroom. "We need to make sure children have the best ability to achieve."
Canadian Government Invests Over $35 Million to Preserve Indigenous Languages
Radio Canada International (Canada) (05/26/17) Sevunts, Levon
Canada's federal government is pledging to invest $35.4 million to support and preserve indigenous language services in Nunavut and the country's Northwest Territories (NWT). The government has allocated $19.6 million for the NWT and $15.8 million for Nunavut. The money will fund community radio stations and education programs geared toward language training in the indigenous governments in the NWT. Nunavut's Minister of Languages George Kuksuk says the funding is "an initial positive step" toward the establishment of a new partnership with the federal government with regard to the protection and promotion of Nunavut's official languages. "We need adequate and sustained resources to remedy the decline of Inuktitut and to revitalize and support Nunavut's education, professional, and community sectors," Kuksuk says. "There's no relationship more important to our government then the one with indigenous peoples," says Melanie Joly, Canada's heritage minister. "The unprecedented level of support for indigenous language services in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut is just one way that our government is living up to this important commitment."
Chinese-Russian Inter-Translation Project Underway
Global Times (China) (05/09/17) Yuchen, Zhang
The Chinese-Russian Inter-Translation Project, established in 2013, has already resulted in a number of translations of classic works from both countries. First proposed by the Chinese Culture Center in Moscow, the initial goal of the project was to translate no less than 100 works over a period of six years. In 2015, that number was increased to 200. Zhang Hongbo, the project's team leader and director-general of the China Written Works Copyright Society, says a critical component to the project's success is to recruit sinologists—those who undertake the academic study of China, primarily its language, literature, culture, and history. "Not only can expert sinologists translate Chinese into Russian, since they have a better understanding of Chinese culture, but they can also play an important role in helping Russian-speaking readers who can't read Chinese understand China," Hongbo explains. The project is designed to take full advantage of the resources in both countries. "Basically, most Sino-foreign publishing cooperation takes place between two publishing houses, but we work as a hub for several publishing houses we think are good at translating Russian," Hongbo says. The project has yielded 44 translated works, 26 of which are Russian-to-Chinese translations while the rest are Russian translations of Chinese works. Although earlier translations between the two nations concentrated on classic literature, Hongbo says the current project's organizers opted to focus on contemporary works from both nations. "Contemporary literature will play a key role in illustrating the current face of China to the world."
XXI FIT World Congress—Disruption and Diversification
ATA members are eligible for FIT member registration rates!
The International Federation of Translators will hold its XXI World Congress in Brisbane, Australia (August 3-5, 2017). The Congress is open to all language professionals.
The theme of the Congress is Disruption and Diversification. What will the industry look like in the future and what will it take to be successful? This year's Congress will explore the rapid rate of technological change within the industry and the current challenges it creates for translators, interpreters, terminologists, and language services providers. Experts from around the world will discuss trends, developments, and solutions.
Get ready to connect with colleagues from across the globe, as well as LSPs, and other industry stakeholders, including government, end-clients, academics, and students.
Learn about the Congress here. Register soon for beneficial pricing!
ATA Webinar | More Tools and Toys for 'Terps
Approved by CIMCE and ATA for 1 continuing education credit!
Presenter: Cris Silva
Date: June 9, 2017
Time: 12 noon U.S. Eastern Daylight Time
Duration: 60 minutes
Take this time to explore all the apps and technology that interpreters can use to strengthen their skills and hone their craft
Register: ATA Member $45 Non-Member $60
Unable to attend? You can register for this webinar now and a link to the recorded version will be sent to you after the live event!
ATA Public Relations Campaign
Client education through public relations is a key piece of the ATA PR Committee's campaign to reach people responsible for contracting translation and interpreting services. Over the last year and a half, the Committee has developed a series of eight "penned pieces" for business publications and trade association magazines. These articles offer straightforward, practical advice about when, why, and how to use professional translation and interpreting services.
Take a look at some of the publications where ATA PR articles have appeared.
Win a Free Registration to ATA's Annual Conference
Just think—you could be the winner of this year's ATA School Outreach Contest! Not sure what this is? Get all the details in Episode 11 of The ATA Podcast. Listen now.
But don't delay! The contest deadline is July 18, 2017.
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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