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ATA 59th Annual Conference

What to know about ATA's 59th Annual Conference

  • It's not too late to register
    There is no better opportunity for translators, interpreters, and company owners to learn, share ideas, and build invaluable personal and professional relationships. This is where you belong! Register today!

  • Kick off the Conference with the Welcome Celebration
    This is the event that starts it all. Everyone you hope to see and meet will be there: make new friends, connect with old ones, and get to know speakers, sponsors, and ATA Board members. (Wednesday 5:30pm - 7:00pm) See special events!

  • Learn how to use the Conference app
    Don't wait until you get there! Create your profile, upload your résumé, review sessions, create your schedule, and more. All about the ATA59 App!

  • Review The Conference Program
    What's the number one tip experienced conference-goers offer newcomers? Review the Conference Program now and decide on your "must attend" sessions before you leave home. Create your schedule with the ATA59 Conference app!

  • Sign up to be a Buddy
    Get ready to help an overwhelmed first-time attendee navigate the conference. Even if you've only attended one ATA Annual Conference, you've got what it takes. Sign up or show up! ATA-certified translators will earn 2 CEPs for their participation as a Buddy. Learn more about the Buddies Welcome Newbies event!

  • Get to know the exhibitors
    Look over the list of exhibitors before you get to New Orleans, then use the ATA59 app to map out plans to see the latest technology that can save you time and money. Visit the Exhibit Hall!

  • Need a professional headshot?
    Take this opportunity to move up from a casual photo to one that conveys business and success. Photographer Sandra Pitre will be onsite offering 3 headshots for $30. Schedule with Sandra now at ataphotos2018@gmail.com.

  • Meet the people who are looking to hire
    The ATA59 Job Fair includes two evenings to connect with company reps who are recruiting professionals like you. Don't wait to have your website and résumé found online. Go to where the jobs are—and take your business cards with you. Check out agencies at the Job Fair!

  • And more!
    Check out the ATA59 Conference website and listen to Episode 24 of The ATA Podcast to make this the best Conference ever!
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Translation Graduate Degree UNC Charlotte

Industry News

ACLU Objects to Michigan Police Using Border Agents as Interpreters
MLive.com (MI) (09/13/18) Burns, Gus

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has raised concerns with the Detroit Board of Police Commissioners over Michigan state police using U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents to help interpret during traffic stops around metropolitan Detroit.

Abril Valdes, an ACLU immigration rights lawyer, says some members of southwest Detroit's heavily Hispanic community perceive the practice as a way for police to assist with immigration enforcement. Opponents say the practice allows the state police to circumvent its own policy, which states: "Enforcement members of the department shall not stop and question, arrest, or detain anyone suspected of being an illegal alien solely on the grounds of his or her immigration status or alienage." However, the same policy states that troopers who believe a suspect is an illegal immigrant should contact immigration enforcement authorities.

State Police Lieutenant Michael Shaw says that while troopers may contact customs agents when help with interpreting is required, they do not contact Immigration and Custom Enforcement agents because they "have a different enforcement role." "Troopers are instructed to utilize whatever means necessary to conduct the traffic stop as quickly and safely as possible, so they do not detain an individual longer than necessary," Shaw explains. "Because our goal is to get the driver back on their way as quickly as possible, it would be absurd for us not to utilize the services of other officers who are nearby and available to assist with interpreting."

While troopers have around-the-clock telephone interpreting services available to them, Shaw says it's "always more effective and quicker" to interpret onsite, rather than call someone to interpret over the phone.

Valdes also raises concerns about special state police units she says are part of a Hometown Security Team. Valdes explains that those enforcement efforts involve teaming Customs and Border Protection agents with troopers in state police patrol vehicles. "The Michigan state police are in charge of traffic, but the Border Patrol has a different mission, so one of our biggest worries is that these agencies are now in the same car."

Shaw continues to support the practice, saying, "at no time has there been an immigration enforcement function to this team, as responsibility for immigration enforcement rests with the federal government."
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New Zealand Parliament Stops Using Sign Language Interpreters for Question Time
New Zealand Herald (New Zealand) (10/04/18)

The New Zealand Parliament has decided to discontinue the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) interpreters during the time set aside for questions. Officials say the number of interpreters available is already limited and that the additional parliamentary duties are taking them away from the more important services they offer.

Parliament began offering NZSL interpreting for oral questions in May as an extension of an NZSL Week initiative. Interpreters were required three days a week for about an hour. NZSL is one of the country's official languages and is used by more than 20,000 people.

"The pool of interpreters is very small and we've been told that having interpreters at Parliament every day that the House is in session is putting a lot of pressure on the services they offer in other areas, such as interpreting at medical visits, in schools, or in legal settings," says Clerk of the House of Representatives David Wilson. Wilson says the decision was made jointly with Deaf Aotearoa New Zealand, the main organization for New Zealand's deaf community.

Wilson says that Parliament will continue to offer NZSL interpreting for significant events, such as for oral questions during NZSL Week, the budget statement presented by the minister of finance on Budget Day, and speeches from party leaders. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will also still use an interpreter for her weekly post-cabinet press conference. "We know many members in the deaf community really liked it when Parliament offered NZSL interpreting for oral questions, but it's a careful balancing act," Wilson says.
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Teaching Arabic in French Schools to Halt Radicalization
Quartz (NY) (09/25/18) Timsit, Annabelle

France has tried several controversial tactics to stop the rise of Islamism in the country, so far with little success. Now, a former French government official has a novel suggestion: to prevent young people from becoming radicalized, start teaching Arabic in public schools.

Arabic language classes have declined in France over the past few decades, even as the country's Arab and Muslim population increased. In a new report published by the think tank Institut Montaigne, Hakim El Karoui, an expert on Islam and the Arab world who served in the cabinet of former French President Jacques Chirac, argues that if public schools fail to offer Arabic lessons, young Muslims may seek out classes at mosques, where the language will inevitably be tied with religious studies, thus elevating the risk of radicalization.

In a recent interview about the report, the French Minister of Education Jean-Michel Blanquer says that Arabic is a "very important" language that needs to be "developed and given more prestige in the mainstream educational community." However, critics warn that directly tying Arabic to fundamentalist Islam is dangerous and misleading and will make little headway against the proliferation of radicalized Islamic ideology in France.

Blanquer estimates that only about 0.1% of primary school students and 0.2% of middle and high school students are currently learning Arabic. El Karoui attributes this decline to the French government's policy of assimilation and the opposition to "communautarisme," or the regrouping of people with a common language, culture, or religion.

Schools often deem Arabic to be less "prestigious" than other languages, and more austere public education budgets have forced many schools to reduce or eliminate their Arabic language programs. Despite this, learning a second language is mandatory in French primary schools, and more than 90% of French middle and high school students learn English. There is, however, growing demand for Arabic education, with a 2016 Institut Montaigne survey noting that 67% of Muslim or Arab parents want their children to study classical Arabic, and 56% want classical Arabic taught in public school.

There are also arguments in favor of investing in Arabic education that do not center on its utility as a tool against Islamism. France has deep ties and a shared history with the Arab world, and non-Muslim or non-Arab students would also benefit from learning the language, culture, and history of Arab civilization. "I'm obviously not talking of teaching Arabic only to young Muslim children or kids with North African origins," El Karoui says. "It must be a language for all, as is Chinese or Russian today."
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Canadian Court Revokes Ex-Nazi Interpreter's Citizenship
CBC News (Canada) (09/27/18) Bueckert, Kate

A former interpreter for the Nazi party has lost his latest appeal to retain his Canadian citizenship after the federal government stripped him of it for a fourth time in 2017. Helmut Oberlander, 94, a resident of Waterloo, Ontario, has stated repeatedly that he was forced into service and never subscribed to Nazi ideology.

Oberlander was an interpreter for the Einsatzkommandos, a group of killing squads that targeted Jewish people in the former Soviet Union during World War II. Although Oberlander hasn't been charged with participating in the murders committed by the squads, Federal Court Justice Michael Phelan wrote in his ruling that the government's decision to strip him of his citizenship was "reasonable." Phelan stated that Oberlander "obtained citizenship through false representation or by knowingly concealing material circumstances."

Oberlander was born in Halbstadt, Ukraine, in 1924, and was put into service by the Nazis when he was 17, during Germany's occupation. In 1952, Oberlander and his wife applied to immigrate to Canada and were interviewed by a security officer a year later.

"Had Oberlander answered the security officer's questions truthfully by including his service as an interpreter with the Einsatzkommandos, his application would have been rejected on security grounds," Phelan states in his ruling. Instead, Oberlander's immigration application was approved. He moved to Canada and became a permanent resident in 1954. He obtained Canadian citizenship in 1960.

Oberlander was interviewed by a German consular official in Toronto in 1970 and signed a statement about his wartime experience. In 1995, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police began an investigation into Oberlander's involvement in Nazi war crimes. A few days later, the government started proceedings to strip him of his citizenship. The governor in council did so again in 2001, 2007, and 2012.

Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Ahmed Hussen says that the court's decision "reaffirms our position that Canada should never be a safe haven for war criminals and people who have committed crimes against humanity." He acknowledges, however, that the ruling could still be appealed.

Michael Mostyn, the chief executive officer of B'nai Brith Canada, which intervened in the case, says his organization thinks Oberlander should leave Canada. "There can never be a statute of limitations on matters as grave as this, and Canada is being watched by the world right now on how we deal with those who were involved in very deep ways in the Holocaust."

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs and the Canadian Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Descendants issued a joint statement in which they agree with Mostyn. "For survivors, this issue remains an open wound. This ruling is an important step in ending Oberlander's cynical abuse of Canada's judicial system."
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Need for Indigenous Court Interpreters Increasing in Oregon
Associated Press (OR) (09/28/18) Ramakrishnan, Jayati

Court officials in Oregon say requests for interpreters who speak indigenous languages such as Mam, Q'anjob'al, and K'iche' have risen dramatically in the past year.

These dialects, spoken by people in Guatemala and parts of Mexico, Belize, and Honduras, are distinct from Spanish as well as from each other. Roy Blaine, the trial court administrator for Umatilla and Morrow County Circuit Courts, says the need for court interpreters far outweighs their availability. He also notes that while there may be a greater number of people who can interpret from Mam into Spanish or into English, this doesn't automatically qualify them as court interpreters.

"I don't say to anybody in the community, 'you speak K'iche' or Mam, so we need you to come to court," Blaine says. "You have to communicate in the specific dialect, but you can't be related to people in court or have a personal investment in the case."

Local courts work closely with the Oregon Judicial Department's Court Language Access Services, which provides translation and interpreting services for many languages, including Spanish, Russian, Korean, and Vietnamese. Requests for interpreters are coordinated via the state courts system.

Kelly Mills, manager of Court Language Access Services, says the number of requests for several indigenous languages statewide rose 42% between 2015 and 2016. Mills says this year's requests will likely be twice as many. According to Mills, there have already been 33 requests for Q'anjob'al interpreters in the first half of 2018, versus 33 for all of 2017. Requests for K'iche' interpreters have also topped last year's numbers (25 in the first half of this year, compared to 24 in 2017). Meanwhile, Umatilla and Morrow counties have reported 15 requests for Mam interpreters, 19 requests for Q'anjob'al, and 11 requests for K'iche' in the same period.

Mills notes that the state courts must frequently rely on people from out of state for shorter proceedings like arraignments. Blaine says there is only one interpreter for K'iche' in Oregon, so many cases requiring interpreters are handled via over-the-phone interpreting.

Blaine says a lack of interpreters means that court proceedings will often be delayed. "Somebody ends up sitting in jail, or maybe a family case needs to be heard because there are children in danger," he explains. "It can't be heard until we get an interpreter."
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The ATA Podcast

ATA News

ATA 2018 Elections: Meet the Candidates

ATA will hold its regularly scheduled elections at the upcoming 2018 ATA Annual Conference in New Orleans to elect three directors for a three-year term. There will also be an election for a director for a one-year term. (The vacancy occurred with the election of Director Karen Tkaczyk to secretary.) In addition, members will vote on two proposed revisions to ATA’s bylaws
Statements and podcast interviews from this year's candidates are now available online. Become an informed voter! Take time to learn more about the individuals on the slate—from background to experience to what they hope to accomplish as a member of the ATA Board. And don’t forget to vote!

Even if you are not a Voting member, check out what this year's candidates envision in ATA's future.

Director (three positions, three-year term each) Director (one position, one-year term)

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Let's keep International Translation Day going!

International Translation Day is more than a one-day event!
  • If you missed ATA's International Translation Day infographics campaign, don't worry! The infographics are available to download and share all year long on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram. They're perfect for family, friends, clients, and all those people who keep asking, "Can you really make a living doing that?" Download all six infographics here!

  • Learn how ATA's International Translation Day social media blitz came together. Then make plans to celebrate with ATA and your local T&I group in 2019. Listen to Episode 25 of The ATA Podcast.

  • Listen in to Episode 15 as Past President David Rumsey talks to Podcast Host Matt Baird about what translators and interpreters can do to celebrate their profession all year long.
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Take an active role in your association

Attending the ATA Annual Conference is not just about education and networking. It's also an opportunity to learn more about the association.
  • Get to know members of the Board during the morning's continental breakfast. Look for tables reserved for this event. (Thursday, Friday, Saturday 7:30am - 8:15am)
  • Attend the Annual Meeting of Voting Members, even if you can't vote, to hear the candidates present their goals for ATA. (Thursday 9:30am – 10:45am)
  • Attend the Annual Meeting of All Members to learn more about ATA's accomplishments, activities, and future plans. (Friday 8:30am - 9:30am)
  • Check out the ATA Board of Directors Meeting to find out how it works—from finances to governance to current projects and long-term plans. (Saturday 1:00pm - 4:00pm)
Not attending this year’s conference?
Watch for the Board of Directors election results on the ATA website, look for the Board meeting summary announcement in a post conference issue of Newsbriefs, and start thinking now about ATA’s 60th Annual Conference in Palm Springs, California (October 23-26, 2019).
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Proposed Changes to the Bylaws

In addition to electing four directors, Voting Members will also vote on proposed bylaws amendments. The Board approved putting forward two proposed bylaws amendments for approval by the membership.

Click to read the proposed bylaws ammendments. 

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Translators without Borders

Translators without Borders (TWB), a U.S. non-profit organization, offers translation and language service support for humanitarian and development agencies worldwide.

By maintaining a global network of professional translators, the organization is able to work year round assisting other non-profit aid programs whose effectiveness depends on information being available in a local language.

TWB's language needs are constantly changing. Head over to the organization's website to check out its most recent projects or go straight to the volunteer application form.

Your language skills can make a difference!
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In the September/October Issue of The ATA Chronicle

ATA 2018 Elections: Candidate Statements
Calling all Voting members! Participating in ATA’s annual elections is your opportunity to help shape the future of the Association. Learn what this year’s candidates for ATA’s Board of Directors have to say, and remember to vote!

Top Economics, Finance, and Translation Experts Convene in Brussels for UETF 2018
Highly specialized translation conferences may be few and far between, but they’re worth their weight in gold. (Amanda Williams)

The Benefits of a Translator Collective: Staying Sane as a Freelance Translator
Freelancing can be isolating. Forming a working group with trusted colleagues can provide tangible and intangible benefits, including built-in support to avoid burnout. (Mary McKee)

Tips for Networking When You Work from Home
Let’s be honest. The traditional methods of networking are not effective for everyone all the time. If I’ve learned anything over the years about networking effectively, it’s that you don’t have to know how to work a room to be good (or great!) at networking. (Madalena Sánchez Zampaulo)

Recovering from Setbacks: It’s the Narrative That Counts
Recovering from setbacks involves self-discovery: getting curious and noticing things about yourself to build self-awareness. Engaging thoughts, emotions, and your narrative—and rewriting it for better results—builds a strong foundation for action and lasting changes. (Alison Carroll)

Modality Matters: Including Remote Interpreting in Interpreter Training Programs
As the demand and opportunity for remote interpreting grows, interpreters need to develop their ability to perform effectively in this area. Let’s examine a framework to categorize key areas of professional development for remote interpreters and discuss perceptions and trends and how they impact training. {Suzanne Couture}

Advanced Tips and Tricks in Microsoft Word
Microsoft Word contains more handy features than most people realize. Here are some tips and tricks to improve productivity and format documents with ease. (Andie Ho)

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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Platinum Sponsor


Booths: 24, 25, 26, 27, 36, 37, 38, 39SD

Trados offers innovative market-leading translation software to the entire translation supply chain, including freelance translators, language service providers, academic institutions, and corporate language departments. SDL Trados is dedicated to supporting and developing translation productivity software and services, such as the industry-renowned SDL Trados Studio, and has supplied over 250,000 product licenses, hundreds of server installations and billions of translated words to the industry. Visit www.sdltrados.com and follow us on Twitter @sdltrados #Trados2019 for more information.
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Silver Sponsors


Booth: 8

Lionbridge partners with brands to break barriers and build bridges worldwide. We orchestrate a network of 500,000 passionate experts in 5,000-plus cities, who create culturally rich experiences in more than 300 languages.  We use the best of human and machine intelligence to forge understanding that resonates with our customers’ customers.

Total Language


Booth: 17

Total Language is a unified communications platform. Designed to manage and streamline language procurement including Interpretation, Translation and Transcription service integration. Localized VRI and OPI (November 2018), Fast-track scheduling, A.I. vendor selector, compliance, rate centers, application and mobile tools including gps vendor arrival and departures, mobile notification, confirmation and appointment acceptance, pre-filled forms, etc.
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Bronze Sponsors

Alliant Professional Liability Program

U.S. Legal Support
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October 16, 2018

In This Issue

ATA59 Conference
Candidate Interviews
ITD Infographics
Your Role in ATA
Bylaws Changes
TWB Language Needs
The ATA Chronicle

Calendar of Events

ATA 59th Annual Conference
October 24-27, 2018
New Orleans, LA
Register today!

Next Board Meeting
October 27-28, 2018
New Orleans, LA

ATA Certification Exam
Upcoming schedule

See ATA's Online Calendar for translation and interpreting events around the world.

The ATA Chronicle
The ATA Chronicle September/October 2018