Making Plans for 2019
ATA Law Seminar
Set yourself up to succeed! Attend this full-day seminar for a full-day of intermediate-to-advanced workshops, featuring presentations by Melinda Gonzalez-Hibner, Elena Langdon, Holly Mikkelson, and Sandro Tomasi. Robert Joe Lee will be the event’s Keynote Speaker. Early registration ends February 6. Click for details!
ATA Membership Renewal Period
From landing a new client through one of ATA's online Directories to learning new business management methods that save time and money, the benefits of ATA membership can more than cover the cost of annual dues. Find out more! Listen to Episode 9 of The ATA Podcast as host Matt Baird interviews former Membership Committee Chair Tess Whitty about the returns on ATA membership investment. Renew your membership now to be part of ATA in 2019!
Mentoring Program Enrollment
Need to move your business forward? Have questions about technology, management, or clients? The ATA Mentoring Program may be just what you need. Limited to 30 mentees. Watch the free ATA Mentoring Program webinar to find out about the program. Applications accepted through March 4, 2019.
School Outreach Contest
Share your career with students in your local school and you might win a free registration to ATA's 60th Annual Conference in Palm Springs, California. Listen to Episode 11 of The ATA Podcast for details about ATA's School Outreach Contest. Submissions accepted through July 18, 2019.
Call for Nominations
This year the ATA membership will be asked to submit nominations to fill the positions of president-elect, secretary, and treasurer (each a two-year term), as well as three directors’ positions (each a three-year term). Elections will be held at the Annual Meeting of Voting Members on Thursday, October 24, 2019, in Palm Springs, California. The call for nominations will be in the January/February issue of The ATA Chronicle.
Next ATA Board of Directors Meeting
The ATA Board of Directors will meet February 2-3, 2019 in Austin, Texas. Don't know much about what this means or how the board works? Listen to Episode 3 of The ATA Podcast for a look at what happens "Inside the ATA Board Room."
Call for Proposals for ATA's 60th Annual Conference
Speaking at an ATA Annual Conference is not only a challenge, but also an opportunity: there is no better way to gain visibility and recognition as a "go to" expert in your field. Click to check out the ATA59 education sessions, and be sure to watch for the first call for proposals in mid-January. Want to get a head start on your proposal? Watch How to Write a Winning ATA Conference Proposal now.
ATA 60th Annual Conference
With more than 170 education and networking sessions, no other event can provide you with this level of professional development at this price. This year the conference will be held in Palm Springs, California (October 23-26, 2019). Registration opens in late July. Check out the highlights of ATA's 59th Annual Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Be sure to follow The ATA Chronicle and ATA Newsbriefs throughout 2019 for news, announcements, events … and everything else!
University of Massachusetts Translation Interpreting Certificate
Lawsuit Settlement Gives Georgia Voters Greater Access to Interpreters
Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA) (11/29/18) Niesse, Mark
Georgia voters with limited English proficiency will be allowed to bring an interpreter of their choice to the polls thanks to a U.S. District Court settlement.
State election officials agreed to lift restrictions on who can serve as interpreters for voters shortly after a lawsuit sought emergency action from the courts before the state's runoff election in early December. Georgia Secretary of State Robyn Crittenden announced that voters can now bring interpreters to help them understand their ballots in all future elections. "Ultimately, both sides were able to reach a satisfactory conclusion in this litigation, and we have taken immediate action to comply with the negotiated terms of the consent order," Crittenden stated.
The settlement invalidates a Georgia law that stipulates that voters in state elections can only use close relatives, caretakers, or voters registered in the same precinct as interpreters. The law conflicts with the federal Voting Rights Act, which states that anyone can serve as an interpreter provided they are not the voter's employer or a union official.
"We're pleased that common sense ruled in this case," says Stephanie Cho, executive director for Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Atlanta, which filed the lawsuit. "It allows people to choose whoever they want when they go to vote. Now we can get the word out to the community we serve."
Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Atlanta estimates that more than 500,000 Georgians identify themselves as having limited English proficiency, with the majority being Asian-American or Latino. Crittenden released a bulletin to county election officials informing them of the mandate to permit interpreters.
Public notices will now be posted at the entrance of each polling place notifying voters that they may receive assistance from any person of their choice. According to the court order, both parties consented to settle the suit to "avoid the burden, delays, and uncertainties of litigation, and to efficiently and expeditiously promote the parties' shared goal of ensuring that Georgia's voters are afforded the rights guaranteed by the requirements of the Voting Rights Act."
Canadian Commons Allows Interpreting for Members Speaking Indigenous Languages
Canadian Press (Canada) (11/30/18)
Members of Canada's Parliament from all political parties have accepted a report recommending that interpreting services be made available upon request for any member who wishes to use one of more than 60 indigenous languages in the Commons or in a Commons Committee. Previously, Commons rules recognized only French and English as languages that were permitted simultaneous interpreting.
The report stipulates that reasonable notice must be given so that the House administration has time to secure the required interpreting service. According to Member of Parliament Robert-Falcon Ouellette, this directive is "the most significant event for languages" in Canada since 1952, when French interpreting services were introduced. (Ouellette delivered an address entirely in Cree last year.) Ouellette says that it also sends a message to indigenous people that their languages "are just as important as English and French."
"It is a momentous occasion to demonstrate to indigenous Canadians that this chamber is fully representative of each and every one of us in this country, that we are not half citizens, that we are full citizens of this nation," Ouellette stated.
Ouellette also expressed hope that this move will help preserve "the original languages of Canada." "With this, we have a fighting chance to ensure that our children will be able to speak those languages and speak those languages well and into the future."
Google Working to Remove Gender Bias in Its Translations
Engadget (CA) (12/07/18) Locklear, Mallory
Google has taken a step toward reducing gender bias by providing feminine and masculine translations for some gender-neutral words on the Google Translate website.
In the past, when a word could be translated in either a masculine or feminine form, only one translation was provided. However, since Google Translate learns from existing examples of translations, there was always the risk that biases in those translations could then be inadvertently replicated in the responses provided by Google Translate. This could sometimes result in masculine translations being provided for words like "strong" or "doctor," while feminine translations would be provided for words like "beautiful" or "nurse." Now, however, for certain languages, Google Translate will offer both a masculine and a feminine translation when either might be appropriate.
This feature is currently only available when translating English into French, Italian, Portuguese, or Spanish and when translating from Turkish into English. For example, if you type "o bir doktor" in Turkish, you will now get "she is a doctor" and "he is a doctor" as the gender-specific translations.
Last month, Google shared that it had left gender pronouns out of its Gmail Smart Compose feature to ensure there was no bias in its suggestions. Company employees say they've tried other solutions to prevent gender bias, but nothing works as well as removing those pronouns entirely. Both efforts are part are of a larger move on behalf of Google aimed at being more inclusive and reducing bias in machine learning.
"In the future, we plan to extend gender-specific translations to more languages, launch on other Translate surfaces like our iOS and Android apps, and address gender bias in features like query auto-complete," says James Kuczmarski, a product manager at Google Translate. Kuczmarski added that while it's not part of this launch, Google is also considering non-binary gender in translations as well.
Spanish-Speaking Families Turned Away During Holiday Toy Registration
WCPO Cincinnati (OH) (12/01/18) Puente, Gitzel
Community members in Tulsa, Oklahoma, are outraged after Spanish-speaking families were turned away during a holiday toy registration at Loaves and Fishes Ministry.
"My children are Hispanic. We speak predominantly Spanish at home, so for someone to be turned away for their language is really offensive to me," says Megan Aviles, who had brought her two daughters to register for the ministry's annual toy giveaway. While standing in line Aviles noticed that several Hispanic women in front of her were being denied access to the registration because they didn't speak English. "I went forward to try and assist, and was like, 'Look, I can interpret for these women. I'm bilingual,'" Aviles says. However, she was not allowed to do so.
Al Poncel, the ministry's executive director and a pastor, admits that he did not allow anyone to interpret for the families. "The reason I didn't use one of our guests or a family member or even a child is that my experience with interpreters is they don't necessarily interpret what I say," Poncel explains.
Poncel says he would feel more comfortable having interpreters he knows so nothing gets left out. He adds that this is the first time he has encountered a language issue during his years at the ministry. Poncel feels he made a mistake by turning away families just because he didn't have the staff to help with the high demand. "I didn't want to offend anybody. I want to help as many people as I can."
Poncel says the ministry is looking for ways to improve and be more inclusive of the needs of the community, including partnering with other local ministries and organizations to help provide interpreters at future events. "I'm going to make sure I have an interpreter here to be able to interpret properly for our Christmas outreach to fulfill Loaves and Fishes' mission of offering charitable assistance to impoverished families."
Italian Fastest Declining Language in the U.S.
Quartz (NY) (11/30/18) Kopf, Dan
According to the U.S. Census, the number of Americans speaking Italian at home dropped 38%, from almost 900,000 to just over 550,000, between 2001 and 2017. Among languages with at least 100,000 U.S. speakers in 2001, no language experienced a larger decline.
The rapid decline of Italian in the U.S. is due to two major factors. First, there are significantly fewer Italian-born residents of the U.S. today. The population fell from about 530,000 in 2001 to under 400,000 in 2017. The lack of migration to the U.S. is largely due to the increasing prosperity of Italy across the second half of the 20th century—while the U.S. Gross Domestic Product per person was almost double that of Italy in 1960, it is only about 50% greater today.
Also, free movement within the European Union has made migrating to the U.K., another rich English-speaking country, more appealing than going to the U.S. The number of Italians in the U.K. grew by almost 70,000 from 2000 to 2017.
Another reason for the decline in usage is assimilation. From 1930 to 1970, there were more foreign-born residents of the U.S. from Italy than any other country. As these immigrants die and their descendants start families who speak primarily English, the number of Italian speakers dwindles further.
Though Italian is in decline, the number of Americans who speak a language besides English at home is rising. According to the U.S. Census, just 11% of U.S. citizens spoke another language at home in 1980, compared to 22% in 2016.
ATA Law Seminar
Set yourself up to succeed! Register now to attend this full day of intermediate-to-advanced workshops presented by industry experts in legal translation and interpreting. Early registration ends February 6, 2019. ATA-certified translators earn 7 CE points for attending.
February 16, 2019 | Jersey City, New Jersey | Hyatt Regency
Welcome / Keynote Address
Lessons Learned the Hard Way: Takeaways from 26 Years of Managing a State Judiciary's T&I Program
Robert Joe Lee
Performing from the Stand: Advanced Sight, Simultaneous, and Consecutive Skills
Translating Legal Documents: Expert to Expert
Anatomy of a Deposition and How to Master this Niche (Part I)
Ethics in Action: Moving Beyond Should and Shouldn't (Part II)
Translating Legal Terms Based on Functional Equivalency
ATA Position Paper on Machine Translation
The ATA Board of Directors has released the Association's first position paper Machine Translation: A Clear Approach to a Complex Topic.
Media outlets often hype machine translation as the solution to whatever needs to be translated. The negative impact on human translation services is undeniable. ATA's position paper offers both consumers and translators alike a comprehensive view of the issues and ATA's stance on the use of machine translation.
What is a Position Paper?
A position paper is an official document representing a group's viewpoint on a key issue. Typically the paper will define the problem or controversy, then use facts and inductive reasoning to support a particular position or recommendation. The goal of a position paper is to convince an audience that a viewpoint is logical and valid.
Position Paper or White Paper?
They are not the same. A white paper provides general information about a topic; a position paper expresses a particular viewpoint on an issue.
ATA59 Conference Survey Winner
Congratulations to Jama Rinehart, winner of a free registration to ATA's 60th Annual Conference in Palm Springs, California (October 23-26, 2019)! Jama's name was randomly selected from those attendees who completed this year's overall conference survey. Surveys received by December 1 were automatically entered into the drawing for a free registration.
Relive Conference Moments, See What You Missed!
Video Recap: Scenes from the conference
Conference Slideshow: Four days of people and events
See What Members Had to Say: Read the tweets
Member Photo Gallery: Add your own conference photos
Photo Booth: Who's that at the Welcome Celebration?
Translation and Interpreting Case Studies
Since 2016, the ATA PR Writers Group has had sixteen Translation and Interpreting Case Studies published in professional and trade association magazines, journals, newsletters, and blogs. These case studies are a key piece of the PR Committee's campaign to reach the business community and those individuals who are responsible for contracting translation and interpreting services.
ATA's Translation and Interpreting Case Studies have now been reprinted in more than 103 publications!
What Your Signage Says about You
As a new business owner, Ben created a colorful, eye-catching sign which he translated for the Spanish-speaking community surrounding his store. It was a mystery then as to why there were so few customers. And that's when Ben discovered the downside of do-it-yourself translation. [more]
From Blunder to Wonder
In 2009, an international bank made a simple yet costly translation mistake when its catchphrase "Assume Nothing" was mistranslated as "Do Nothing." When it comes to recovering your reputation following a language blunder, there's no room for error. [more]
Did you receive my payment?
Want to check on a payment you made to ATA? You can do it online! Just log in to your ATA member record through Members Only and click the Invoice History link. Payments are posted 3-5 days following a transaction.
In the November/December Issue of The ATA Chronicle
ATA at the United Nations Photo Exhibit
"Interpreters on Mission: Contributing to Peace"
This exhibition celebrated the second UN International Translation Day and recognized interpreters and translators for their contributions and vital role they play in international affairs. (Hilda Shymanik)
Translation Workflow Reference Tables: Setting Job Expectations the Easy Way
Setting expectations before starting translation-related tasks is a critical step in the project lifecycle. By clarifying work requirements in advance, linguists and other language services providers can set reasonable rates, workflows, and schedules that deliver exactly what clients need and want. (Steven Bammel)
How to Nail the “About” Page of Your Website
The “About” page of your business website is arguably the most important page to get right. Why? This section allows potential clients to get to know you and get a sense of what you’ll be like to work with. (Madalena Sánchez Zampaulo)
Dealing with PDF Files During a Translation Project
Why do some customers send PDF files for translation? There’s certainly not just one answer to this question. (Nancy Matis)
Teaching Localization in the 21st Century: Six Practices That Make a Difference
As the field of localization evolves, so must the programs that prepare students for the increasing number of opportunities in this exciting field. (Uwe Muegge)
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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