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National Security Adviser Defends Not Listening to the Khashoggi Tape Since He Doesn't Speak Arabic
CNN (NY) (11/27/18) Cohen, Zachary
White House National Security Adviser John Bolton has dismissed questions about whether he has listened to an audio recording that captured part of the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, saying he doesn't speak Arabic and would not gain anything from hearing the audio.
"No, I haven't listened to it. Why do you think I should? What do you think I'll learn from it?" Bolton said during a White House briefing. Bolton added that he was able to gain enough information by reading a transcript of the audio. When pressed why he did not have an interpreter go through the tape with him, especially when the content has such potential importance to international relations, Bolton said, "How many of you speak Arabic? People who speak Arabic have listened to the tape and they have given us the substance of what's in it."
Khashoggi, a U.S. resident and opponent of the Saudi government, was killed in October after going into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Saudi Arabia's government offered varying explanations over what happened to Khashoggi, eventually saying he was killed inside the consulate, but have continued to deny reports that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the killing.
Despite the fact that U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and Turkish officials say that there is evidence linking the prince to Khashoggi's murder, President Trump issued a press release last week defending the prince. "It could very well be that the crown prince had knowledge of this tragic event. Maybe he did and maybe he didn't!" Trump stated. When asked if he had listened to the recording, Trump stated that there is "no reason" for him to listen to it.
Trump and Bolton's refusal to listen to the tape has been ridiculed by Middle East experts, in part because of their advocacy for military intervention in the area. "Not knowing enough Arabic to understand the region has somehow never prevented them from advocating for bombing it all the time," noted Yousef Munayyer, the executive director of the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian rights.
Japan Native Writer Wins U.S. National Book Award
for Translated Literature
The Japan Times (Japan) (11/16/18)
The English version of Yoko Tawada's novel Kentoshi (The Emissary), translated from the Japanese by Margaret Mitsutani, has won the U.S. National Book Award for Translated Literature. This marks the first time an award has been given in the "Translated Literature" category since 1983.
Kentoshi, a dystopian novel, depicts an elderly man and his great-grandchild living in Japan after a catastrophic event that leaves its children weak, gray-haired, and frail.
"I think it's great that the translated literature category for the National Book awards has been resurrected," Tawada says. "Translation gives a book wings to fly across national borders." Tawanda also praised Mitsutani's translation.
Tawada, a native of Japan who writes in Japanese and German, has won numerous literary awards, including the Goethe Medal, Akutagawa Prize, and Tanizaki Prize. She uses unexpected words, alphabets, and ideograms to call attention to the need for translation in everyday life. Her writing highlights the strangeness of one language, or particular words in one language, when seen from the perspective of someone who speaks another language. She has said that language is not natural but rather "artificial and magical," and has encouraged translators of her work to replace word play in her manuscripts with new word play in their own languages. "When you learn a language—as a child, or as a foreigner—you don't just learn words, but also how to make them," Tawada says. "You learn the mechanism of the language, and you can keep making new words."
"I want to thank Yoko for writing the book because translators are nothing without authors," Mitsutani says. In addition to Yoko Tawada, Mitsutani has translated the works of Kyoko Hayashi, Kenzaburo Oe, and Mitsuyo Kakuta.
The National Book Awards were established in 1950 by the American Book Publishers Council, the Book Manufacturers' Institute, and the American Booksellers Association.
EU Revamps Terminology Database that Gets 50 Million
Queries a Year
Slator (Switzerland) (11/19/18) Diño, Gino
The European Union announced that it has redesigned and updated its terminology database for a better user experience. The Interactive Terminology for Europe (IATE) database currently contains eight million terms in 1.18 million entries in 26 languages (representing all the EU's 24 official languages and others such as Latin).
IATE was an EU project launched in 1999 that was designed specifically for the collection, dissemination, and management of EU-specific terminology. It was made available to EU institutions in 2004 and to the general public in 2007. According to the EU's Terminology Coordination Unit (TermCoord), IATE receives an average of 50 million queries a year.
"The key changes of the redesign include a more user-friendly interface with powerful search and filtering options, enhanced data reliability, greater integration with other EU resources, and a responsive design," says Stephanie Busse, head of the External Relations and Communication Section for the Translation Department at the Translation Centre for the Bodies of the European Union.
The redesign was coordinated by the Translation Centre for the Bodies of the European Union and was financed by IATE's partners, including the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union, the European Commission, and half a dozen other European institutions.
According to Maria Pia Montoro, a quality assurance analyst for the Translation Centre for the Bodies of the European Union who also worked on the redesign, "a second release with advanced data management features for EU terminologists and translators is scheduled for late January 2019."
Busse notes that users connect to the database from 180 countries. "IATE has become a standard reference in the terminology and linguistic field, not only for language professionals, but also for national experts, policy advisers, public administrations, academia, and private sector companies operating across different specialist areas in multilingual contexts."
Chinese University of Hong Kong Offers Program to Produce More Interpreters for the Deaf
South China Morning Post (Hong Kong) (10/18/18) Leung, Rachel
Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) hopes to fill a significant shortage of sign language interpreters in Hong Kong with a new program from its Department of Linguistics and Modern Languages. The initiative is Asia's first two-year degree program in bimodal bilingual studies and is designed to help students become fully fluent in sign language.
With only about 50 sign language interpreters in Hong Kong, about 155,000 deaf people in the city have spent a lifetime learning to do what could not be more unnatural: pretending to hear well.
Gladys Tang Wai-lan, director of CUHK's Center for Sign Linguistics and Deaf Studies, says the program is long overdue. "Even though society has adopted a more open-minded attitude toward sign language, there's still a gap," Wai-lan says. According to Wai-lan, Hong Kong is still deficient in teachers, sign interpreters, and social workers who could support effective interaction for the deaf and hearing-impaired.
"Most people don't understand the need to learn sign language and think we can just write down the message and that the information will eventually get through to the deaf, but that's not the case," Wai-lan explains. "The grammar and phrasing for spoken languages is different than the wording for sign language." Wai-lan says students who enroll in the university's new program will receive foundational training in general linguistics and sign linguistics to allow them to understand how knowledge is organized and relayed visually.
Wai-lan acknowledges that it may take more than two years for students to become fully conversant in sign language. "Ideally, the program would be a four-year degree program, but we want to start off with a two-year program before expanding it further," says Felix Sze Yim-Binh, an associate professor of linguistics in CUHK's Department of Linguistics and Modern Languages.
The program, which is being funded by the government, provides six levels of sign language courses over the duration of the degree. Graduates will have spent more than 400 hours learning the nature of sign language. The program will become available for application next summer, with the first course scheduled to start in the fall. Enrollment will be limited to 20 students at first. Graduates will eventually be able to pursue careers in education, with non-governmental organizations, and as interpreters.
The Hong Kong Society for the Deaf fully supports the CUHK program. Its director, Winnie Wong Ho Kit-Yuk, says it's encouraging to see the incorporation of sign language on campus. "This brings an awareness to sign language and is also very helpful in promoting the need for the language."
Time is running out to win big!
Did you complete the ATA59 Overall Conference Survey? If not, stop and do it now for your chance to win a free ATA60 conference registration valued at more than $500! Deadline to submit is December 1.
There are two ways to access the Overall Conference Survey:
#1: Using your mobile device, open the ATA59 App and tap the Overall Survey icon.
#2: Using your laptop/desktop computer, visit bit.ly/ata59app and click the Overall Survey icon
You must submit your survey by December 1 to be entered in the drawing for the free registration. The winner will be announced in the next issue of ATA Newsbriefs.
Once again, thank you for joining us in New Orleans for ATA's 59th Annual Conference. Your attendance and participation helped make this one of the Association's best. We look forward to seeing you next year in Palm Springs, California!
Episode 27 of The ATA Podcast
At ATA’s 59th Annual Conference in New Orleans, guest hosts and ATA members Ekaterina Howard and Veronika Demichelis sat down with Jeannette Stewart and Winnie Heh to discuss translator and interpreter collaboration: how it works, what skills are needed, and where to find opportunities.
Listen to Episode 27 now!
Next month’s podcast will wrap up ATA’s year—from public relations success to the Annual Conference to everyday ATA activities. In January, Ekaterina and Veronika will be back with two more conference interviews. So, be sure to watch this space!
Save the Date!
Mark your calendar and plan to attend the ATA Law Seminar on February 16 in Jersey City, New Jersey. This seminar will offer full-day 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. Lee, a 30-year veteran of the New Jersey Judiciary, is well known for implementing quality control and performance standards for language professionals working in New Jersey courts.
Look for Seminar registration and details in the December 17 issue of ATA Newsbriefs.
2017-2018 ATA School Outreach Winner
The 2017-2018 ATA School Outreach Contest winner is Jessica Sanchez, an interpreter coordinator for the Fayette County Public School District in Kentucky. For her winning photo, Jessica received a free registration to ATA’s 59th Annual Conference.
Career Day at Harrison Elementary School in Lexington, Kentucky was the perfect opportunity for Jessica to show students and teachers alike what being an interpreter is all about.
A teacher read a short story out loud in English while the children wore headsets. "I stepped outside the room and interpreted the story into Spanish," Jessica explains. "Seeing the countless smiles on their faces and how they covered their mouths in disbelief when they heard me in action was amazing!"
Click to read more ATA School Outreach Stories!
Join ATA’s campaign to share translation and interpreting careers with students around the world … and you just might win a free registration to ATA’s 60th Annual Conference in Palm Springs, California! (October 23-26, 2019) Visit ATA's School Outreach Contest for details.
Tell Us Your Story!
If you visit a school to speak to students about translation and interpreting, we would love to hear from you—even if you decide not to enter the contest. Send the story of your experience with the date and name of the school to School Outreach Coordinator Meghan Konkol.
ATA Supports Language Advocacy Day 2019
What is Language Advocacy Day? It’s an annual event organized by the Joint National Committee for Languages (JNCL) to network and advocate for language learning on Capitol Hill. Keeping translator and interpreter issues in front of Congress is critical in a time of budget cutbacks, especially when language education is seen as a nice thing to have but not terribly useful. It’s an effort that ATA supports 100%.
JNCL will set up appointments for attendees to meet with congressional staff and provide briefing materials, coaching, and insights for navigating Congress.
The 2019 Language Advocacy event is February 14-15.
Now is the time to learn more about what advocates are doing for our industry. Click to learn more.
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.
News summaries © copyright 2018 SmithBucklin