The New U.S. Tax Code and You
Wondering how the new U.S. tax code will impact your freelance business? We did, too. At the request of ATA and its President-Elect Ted Wozniak, the accounting firm Raffa has reviewed the tax changes and prepared the summary U.S. Tax Code Review for ATA Members (2018).
This summary is specifically for freelance translators and interpreters. While it's only three pages long, the details may be intimidating. You'll want to plan to spend some time reading through the document at least once and quite possibly two or three more times. It's worth the work to understand what the new code will mean to your finances.
This summary is intended solely as general information and may not be considered tax or legal advice; nor can it be used or relied upon for the purpose of avoiding penalties under any taxing statute. Consult your accountant for professional advice specific to your business.
Login to ATA MembersOnly to download the summary.
Singapore to Fund Grants for Translators and Interpreters
Channel NewsAsia (Singapore) (01/26/18) Lee, Rachelle
Translators and interpreters in Singapore will soon receive additional support to enhance their skills via a new Translation Talent Development program. In addition to encouraging local translators and interpreters to develop their qualifications and attain mastery in their field, the program also aims to "groom the next generation of translation talent."
Co-sponsored by the National Translation Committee, the program will use grants to offset up to 90% of enrollment expenses incurred by successful applicants for courses, workshops, and seminars related to translation, interpreting, or languages. The initiative applies to training programs both inside and outside Singapore.
Only Singaporean translators and interpreters with at least three years of relevant working experience can apply. "What's important is to reach out to existing translation and interpreting professionals who are already working in the industry," says Chee Hong Tat, senior minister of state for the Ministry of Communications and Information.
Arumugum Palaniappan, head specialist for English and Tamil at the Parliament of Singapore and a member of the country's National Translation Committee, says there is a shortage of qualified translators and interpreters in Singapore, a problem he believes the program can help address. "There is a need not only for translating government documents or policies and programs, but we also need to nurture those who can translate poems and literary works."
Palaniappan says the translation and interpreting industry is experiencing many changes in terms of technology, accompanied by new words and concepts. This makes it vital for professionals to continue to work on their skills to keep up with industry practice.
National Book Awards Add Translation Prize
New York Times (NY) (01/31/18) Alter, Alexandra
The National Book Foundation announced that it will present its first National Book Award for Translated Literature, beginning this year at the 69th National Book Awards in November. The prize will be given jointly to authors and translators and will be limited to fiction and nonfiction works by living authors who are published in the U.S. International authors who write in English will not be eligible.
The decision to recognize international authors was made unanimously by the foundation's board of directors. The board wants to draw attention to works in translation, which are often neglected by American readers and publishers.
"This is an opportunity for us to influence how visible books in translation are," says National Book Foundation Executive Director Lisa Lucas. "The less we know about the rest of the world, the worse off we are."
While there are a growing number of publishing houses specializing in publishing works in translation and international literature—including Europa Editions, Archipelago Books, and AmazonCrossing—translated literature still accounts for a tiny percentage of books published in the U.S. Although international authors like Elena Ferrante, Haruki Murakami, Karl Ove Knausgaard, and Han Kang have been embraced by American readers, there's still a lingering perception that translated literature doesn't sell well in the U.S. This is the first time the National Book Awards has broadened its scope.
"It goes to the mission of the organization, which is to increase the impact of great books on the culture," says David Steinberger, chair of the board of directors of the National Book Foundation. "There have been so many deserving books that we were never able to recognize."
Submissions for the National Book Award for Translated Literature will open in March, and the winners will be announced at the National Book Awards Ceremony in November.
Linguists Discover Previously Unidentified Language in Malaysia
National Public Radio (DC) (02/07/18) Domonoske, Camila
Linguists working in the Malay Peninsula have identified a language, now called Jedek, that had not been recognized previously outside of the small group of people who speak it. The newly documented language is spoken by some 280 people, part of a community that once foraged along the Pergau River who now live in a resettlement area in northern Malaysia.
Jedek was recognized as a unique language by Swedish linguists from Lund University, who discovered it while studying the Jahai language in the same region. "Jedek is not a language spoken by an unknown tribe in the jungle, as you would perhaps imagine, but in a village previously studied by anthropologists," says Niclas Burenhult, associate professor of general linguistics at Lund University and the first researcher to record the language. "As linguists, we had a different set of questions and found something that the anthropologists missed."
"One possible reason the language went undetected for so long is that the formerly nomadic people who spoke it didn't have a single consistent name for it," says Joanne Yager, a doctoral student who spent four years doing intensive fieldwork and studying the language. Yager says that Jedek is surprising because it has words that have little in common with the languages immediately around it, but which were familiar to linguists from languages "spoken farther away in other parts of Malaysia and southern Thailand."
While Jedek is spoken by a very small community, it doesn't appear to be acutely threatened by extinction like many other minority languages. "It's always been quite a small language because the groups of speakers have been small and quite mobile," Yager says. "Children still learn it, which is really great for the future prognosis of the language."
Hawaii Judiciary to Allow Court Interpreters to Speak Hawaiian
Maui News (HI) (01/27/18)
The state Judiciary of Hawaii has announced that it will provide qualified Hawaiian language interpreters "to the extent reasonably possible" when parties in court proceedings choose to speak in Hawaiian.
This policy was announced two days after a bench warrant was issued for Samuel Kaleikoa Kaeo, who had been arrested for protesting and spoke only Hawaiian during a Wailuku District Court proceeding. After Kaeo responded only in Hawaiian when asked to identify himself in court, Judge Blaine Kobayashi said he could not ascertain that the defendant in court was Kaeo and issued a $750 bench warrant for his arrest. The warrant was revoked a day later and another hearing was scheduled concerning the use of a Hawaiian language interpreter in Kaeo's case.
The Judiciary issued a statement that it "will provide or permit qualified Hawaiian language interpreters when possible when parties in courtroom proceedings choose to express themselves through the Hawaiian language." The Judiciary says it will develop deployment procedures for the policy and welcomes community feedback.
NATO Signs Translation Cooperation Agreement with ISIT
NATO (Belgium) (01/31/18)
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) wants to develop closer ties with France's academic institutions in the field of translation. The goal of this relationship is to familiarize students with the expectations and requirements of international organizations and businesses before they enter the job market.
As a first step toward this goal, NATO's Translation Service has signed a cooperation agreement with the Institute of Intercultural Management and Communication (ISIT). The agreement covers terminology discussions, presentations, and workshops by NATO translators at ISIT, as well as greater cooperation on recruitment. Students will also have the opportunity to apply to get a real-life introduction to professional translation work through an internship.
"It was important for us to develop a closer relationship with an institution such as ISIT because we noticed that Francophone translators did not necessarily know that NATO is a bilingual organization with an in-house translation team at its headquarters," says Raphaël Prono, a representative of the Translation Service at NATO Headquarters. "We see this as an opportunity to better inform students about our work and help them prepare themselves for our recruitment competition."
ISIT Executive Director Nathalie Gormezano notes that ISIT's mission is to train professionals skilled at communicating meaning and bridging divides. She says that the initiative will enable students to learn from experts and gain a better understanding of the complexities they will face when they take their first steps in the professional world. "This agreement formalizes the long-standing relationship between ISIT and NATO," she says. "Training, employability, and research opportunities: our two institutions have a bright future together!"
ATA Headquarters has noticed a recent spike in scam reports from members.
Technology has given scammers an unprecedented level of sophistication and access, making it easier than ever to be fooled. Names and email addresses can be harvested electronically. Individuals can be targeted by occupation. Propositions can sound interesting or at least like a good deal.
The best defense
The best defense against scams is to understand how they work. A basic primer on several scams reported by members is posted on ATA's website. Take a look now to learn more. Be sure to scroll down the page to Tips for Recognizing and Avoiding Fake Check Scams.
Translators and interpreters are frequent targets of the fake check scam
After several years in decline, the fake check scam is making a comeback, increasing by 15% in 2016 and 13% in 2017. It is now in the number 2 position on the National Consumers League's Top 10 Scams of 2017. The Federal Trade Commission's Consumer Information site has a great article on how this one works. You'll want to pay particular attention to You and Your Bank—Who is Responsible for What?
CV theft is another scam that frequently targets translators and interpreters
The ATA Chronicle covered this scam in an excellent article by ATA member Carola Berger. Translation Scams: Tips for Avoiding Them and Protecting Your Identity is definitely worth the read.
These are not the only scams out there. The Federal Bureau of Investigation's website provides details on more than 500 scams.
Where to report scams
There are a number of ways to report scams, most of them as easy as filling out an online form. Your complaint will help authorities around the world spot trends and coordinate efforts to combat fraud.
Internet Crime Complaint Center
National Consumers League
Federal Trade Commission
eConsumer.gov (cross border complaints)
One more resource
Members on the ATA's Business Practices Listserv often discuss scam attacks. If you're not on the list, this would be a good time to join!
The Countdown Is On!
There's no time to lose. Make a note of these dates and then get busy!
Time left to nominate a candidate. Help shape ATA's future by making a nomination for the ATA Board of Directors. Any ATA member can make a nomination. Deadline: March 1.
Time left to submit a conference presentation proposal. Presenting at the ATA Annual Conference is a challenge as well as an opportunity: there is no better way to gain recognition as a go-to expert in your field. Deadline: March 2.
Time left to apply to the ATA Mentoring Program. This is a chance to work on your business goals with the assistance of an experienced translator or interpreter. Deadline: March 3.
New! ATA-Certified Translator Logo
Did you know that ATA members—individual, corporate, institutional, and life—have unique logo designs for their websites?
Now there's one more. ATA has a new logo design available for ATA-certified translators!
Why use an ATA logo?
Are you using an old ATA logo?
- It instantly highlights your professional affiliation.
- It increases your visibility with clients.
- It signals a commitment to your career.
- And best of all, it looks really great!
If you are using a logo from before 2010, then you're looking a bit dated. Swap up to the current ATA logo! Follow the directions below to request the latest set of logo designs.
Well, of course there are rules! But they're not difficult.
Take time to take advantage of the ATA logo membership benefit!
Read the ATA Logo Usage Guidelines and then submit your request to Mary David at ATA Headquarters. You must include your membership number in your request. Please allow five business days for your request to be verified.
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Being an ATA Member
There is an association for almost every industry and every profession. What makes ATA stand out from all the rest? Watch "Being an ATA Member" to find out!
Forgot to renew?
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In the January/February issue of The ATA Chronicle
Call for Nominations: ATA Directors
Do you know someone who would make a good potential candidate for ATA’s Board of Directors? If so, ATA’s Nominating and Leadership Development Committee would like to hear from you. Any ATA member may make a nomination. Here’s your chance to help shape the future of the Association!
Stepping Out on Capitol Hill: ATA’s First Advocacy Day
ATA’s 58th Annual Conference in Washington, DC was an opportunity too good to pass up! It was the right time and place for ATA’s first Translation and Interpreting Advocacy Day.
Why Can’t I Raise My Rates?
How are your services valued? What is their marginal utility? Are you offering something that has value in use, value in exchange, or perhaps both? The answers to these questions will provide a framework to help you understand the market better, where you stand in it, and what you can do to improve your current position.
Evidentiary Translation for U.S. Courts
To produce a translation that’s suitable for use as evidence, the evidentiary translator must take a specific approach that differs greatly from best translation practice in other fields. Learn the basics of this approach and how to identify cases in which it’s necessary.
Copyediting for Stand-Out Style in Any Translation
A bit of organization at the beginning of a project can save you a lot of time and energy during the review stage of your translation project, and customizing your review to each client’s preferences will certainly increase the quality of your language services.
ATA School Outreach Contest Winner Profile: Marybeth Timmermann
Marybeth had always been interested in participating in ATA’s School Outreach Program and contest. She got her chance when she spoke to students in an advanced Spanish class at the local high school, impressing her audience with her French skills and real-life translation examples.
2017 ATA Honors and Awards Recipients
ATA and the American Foundation for Translation and Interpretation present annual and biennial awards to encourage, reward, and publicize outstanding work done by both seasoned professionals and students of our craft. This year's recipients are...
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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