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ATA 59th Annual Conference

ATA59: Early Registration Ends September 14

This October, ATA's 59th Annual Conference will bring together translators, interpreters, educators, and language company owners from all over the world. Here are 8 reasons why you should be there, too!
  1. $$$
    Finding new clients, developing business networks, learning new skills—it all adds up to money in your pocket. Click to hear conference attendees tell you what the conference did for their business.
  2. Jobs
    Don't wait to have your website and résumé found online. Go where the jobs are—and take your business cards with you. [more]
  3. Networking
    Welcome Celebration, Buddies Welcome Newbies, Brainstorm Networking, Advanced Skills & Training Day workshops, Division events, and even the hotel elevator—networking opportunities are everywhere. [more]
  4. Education
    More than 170 high-quality sessions and 16 masterclass Advanced Skills & Training Day workshops—knowledge increases your value in a global economy. [more]
  5. Exhibits
    70-plus exhibits featuring the leading translation tool providers, university programs, language companies, and more—find out what's new, ask questions, get answers. [more]
  6. Sharing
    From first-timers to "been there, done that" veterans, everyone has something to share—attendees are amazing in their willingness to help you succeed. [more] 
  7. Divisions
    ATA Division events put you in touch with a community of professionals working in your specialty or language—another way to expand your referral network and your opportunities for new clients. [more]
  8. CE Points
    ATA-certified translators earn 10 continuing education points for attending—earn additional CEs when you become a buddy or attend Advanced Skills & Training Day workshops. [more]
Bonus! Ideas, enthusiasm, and motivation. Three days to learn from others, be inspired, renew your enthusiasm—and remember what makes your career great! [more]

Register now! Rates increase October 5.

Listen in, Learn More about the ATA59 Conference!
What should every first-timer do? How does the Job Fair work? When is the best time to go to the Exhibit Hall? Does the conference really pay for itself? President-Elect and Conference Organizer Ted Wozniak and Podcast Host Matt Baird cover the ATA Annual Conference from beginning to end in Episode 24 of The ATA Podcast.
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The ATA Podcast

Industry News

More Diverse Courtrooms Make Finding Interpreters Frustrating
San Diego Union Tribune (CA) (09/02/18) Davis, Kristina

The Trump administration's pledge to treat every illegal border crossing as a crime under a "zero tolerance" policy is causing frustration as San Diego courtrooms struggle to find interpreters for increasingly diverse defendants amid burgeoning caseloads.

The biggest shift in demand has been for languages other than Spanish. The U.S. District Court of Southern California, which covers San Diego and Imperial counties, estimates that there was a need for 11 such languages in May, which rose to 28 in July. "During the months of June and July, our district has experienced an influx of cases requiring interpreters of languages of India and Nepal: Punjabi, Urdu, Hindi, Gujarati, Bengali, and Nepali," state court officials said in a statement. "We have also had cases requiring interpreters of languages that have not been heard in our district before, such as Ashanti Twi from Ghana."

Prior to the "zero tolerance" policy, many migrants would not be criminally charged in federal court, but instead would go directly to immigration proceedings. Attorneys are obligated to find interpreting services outside of court, and the court must offer such services during hearings.

The Southern District court recently established a dedicated court to deal with the logistics of a sudden surge in misdemeanor illegal entry cases. Each defense lawyer is usually assigned two to four clients each morning, in preparation for afternoon hearings. They have little time to explain the charges, how the U.S. legal system works, what the government's plea deal is, and determine whether the client should accept the deal or request a trial. Information on the client's criminal history, ties to the U.S., potential asylum claims, and financial situation must also be communicated to argue for bond. When an attorney is notified 20 minutes beforehand that a client doesn't speak English or Spanish, the scramble to secure an interpreter begins. That effort often cuts severely into the time an attorney could be meeting with other clients.

Once an interpreter is located, there is only one telephone in the U.S. Marshals Service basement on which the attorney, interpreter, and client can converse. Defense attorney Anthony Colombo says the initial weeks following the special court's launch were an ordeal. "There's no speaker option on the phone, no simultaneous interpreting," he notes, which affects the quality and accuracy of the interpreting.

It remains uncertain exactly how many unlawful entry prosecutions have been dismissed over the past several months due to language issues, although defense lawyers cite the difficulty in finding an interpreter as a major reason for dismissal. "The denial of an interpreter who can interpret defense counsel's advice, questions, and information to the accused is essential to the vindication of the Sixth Amendment right to counsel," says attorney Marc Levinson. "Without the ability to communicate, the physical presence of an appointed attorney is nothing more than window dressing."
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Pentagon Raises Alarm Concerning Sharp Drop in Iraqi Refugees Coming to U.S.
Reuters (Washington, DC) (09/01/18) Torbati, Yeganeh

Military officials are sounding the alarm inside the Trump administration about the sharp drop in admission to the U.S. of Iraqi refugees who have helped American troops in battle.

Since 2007, the U.S. has awarded visas to Iraqi and Afghan citizens who risked their lives working for U.S. forces. This effort is collectively known as the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program. There has always been a backlog of applicants for SIV and a more recent Direct Access Program for Iraqis, but a sudden drop in SIV recipients is something new. According to the International Refugee Assistance Project, there has been a 90% drop in monthly SIV admissions over the past nine months. According to data provided by the U.S. Department of State, as of August 15, just 48 Iraqis have been admitted to the U.S. this fiscal year through the SIV program. More than 3,000 came last year and about 5,100 in 2016.

So, why the drop? Officials met at the White House recently to examine the multiple security checks that Iraqis must pass, including one background check that all refugees undergo called the Interagency Check. They determined that a major obstacle was a separate process called Security Advisory Opinions (SAOs), which are required for a smaller subset of people—male and female refugees within a certain age range from Iraq and 10 other countries, mostly in the Middle East and Africa. The Federal Bureau of Investigation and intelligence agencies conduct the SAOs while the U.S. Department of State coordinates the process. At the meeting, the FBI revealed that out of a batch of 88 Iraqis for which it had recently completed SAOs, it found suspicious information on 87 of them. Current and former officials say this is a much higher "hit rate" than in past years, but are unclear what is causing it.

Pentagon officials say they are concerned that not providing safe haven to more Iraqis, many of whom interpreted and did other key tasks for U.S. forces, will harm national security by dissuading locals from cooperating with the U.S. in Iraq and other conflict zones. The refugee ceiling President Trump set last year of 45,000 is the lowest since 1980, when the modern refugee program was established. The U.S. is on track to admit about 22,000 refugees this year, approximately half the maximum allowed.

Advocates for Iraqis who worked for the U.S. government or American companies say hundreds of them have been killed, wounded, abducted, or threatened because of their work and face continued danger inside Iraq from armed militias opposed to the U.S.

"Iraqis with a U.S. affiliation currently have no avenue to safety," says Betsy Fisher, policy director for the International Refugee Assistance Project.

A State Department spokesperson says the U.S. will continue to process U.S.-affiliated Iraqis for resettlement "while prioritizing the safety and security of the American people." The department says additional vetting procedures are enabling departments and agencies to more "thoroughly review applicants and identify potential threats to public safety and national security."
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Taiwan to Make English an Official Language Next Year
Hong Kong Free Press (08/31/18) Creery, Jennifer

Premier William Lai announced that Taiwan will make English an official language next year. The Ministry of Education has been discussing the proposal since last October.

Lai says the goal is to improve English-language proficiency and help the Taiwanese people pursue opportunities abroad. Lai says bilingual schools will be established across the country, with English being taught to students from an early age.

Lai says he wants to see Taiwan become a "bilingual country." The island nation already hosts several languages, including Taiwanese Hokkien, Hakka, and other Austronesian languages.

According to the Education First English Proficiency Index, Taiwan currently has a low level of global English-language proficiency, ranking 40th out of 80 non-English language-speaking countries.

Lai says recognizing English as an official language will boost Taiwan's global presence. "Culture is our root, and the English language is our tool," he says. "Given that language is the primary tool of communication, a lack of English proficiency hampers one from gaining an advantageous position in international competitiveness."

But critics argue that the plan threatens the country's national identity. An editorial in the English-language newspaper Taipei Times stated that while international competitiveness is important, the preservation of indigenous languages is essential to native identity, culture, and heritage.

The Ministry of Education will outline its recommendations for adopting English as an official language in a report to Lai next month.
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New Dictionary Published for Indigenous Vancouver Island Language
CBC News (Canada) (08/25/18) McArthur, Liz

Decades of effort to preserve and translate the indigenous language of the WSÁNEC First Nations on Vancouver Island in Canada recently concluded with the publication of a new dictionary in SENCOTEN.

The dictionary contains more than 12,000 words in SENCOTEN, one of the Coast Salish group of languages that is written mainly in an uppercase alphabet. The dictionary will be used as a tool for people working to learn the language.

Louis Claxton, of the Tsawout First Nation, worked with a linguist and other elders from the Tsartlip, Tsawout, Tseycum, and Pauquachin communities to complete the project. Claxton says that people like his mother initially began language preservation and translations into English, and he is proud to have helped complete their work. "There was so much work put in there by a lot of our people that aren't here today. They're the ones that get the credit for doing this."

Claxton's sister, Belinda, who has made many recordings of people speaking SENCOTEN, says helping others learn the language is essential for their culture. "It was nice to hear because I only heard it from my mum and the older generation, " she says. "It was just like listening to music."

John Elliot, who has devoted the past several years to teaching children enrolled in a SENCOTEN immersion elementary school program, is pleased to see new resources developed for the language. His father, Dave Elliot, spent years transcribing SENCOTEN words, eventually developing an alphabet specifically for the language. "He was born in 1910 and saw the loss of culture and language and it bothered him," Elliot says. "I'm really happy to see that the dictionary has been put together."

Work is currently underway on a SENCOTEN grammar book.
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Facebook Removes Burmese Translation Feature After Reuters Report
EuroNews (London) (09/09/18) Steckler, Steve

Facebook has removed a feature that allowed users to translate Burmese posts and comments after a Reuters report showed the tool was producing bizarre results.

A Reuters investigation published on August 15 documented how Facebook was failing in its efforts to combat offensive Burmese language posts about Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims. Some 700,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar over the past year amid a military crackdown and ethnic violence. In late August, United Nations investigators said Facebook had been "a useful instrument for those seeking to spread hate" against the Muslim minority group.

The Reuters article also showed that the translation feature was flawed. It cited an anti-Rohingya post that said in Burmese, "Kill all the kalars that you see in Myanmar; none of them should be left alive." Kalar is a pejorative for the Rohingya. Facebook had translated the post into English as "I shouldn't have a rainbow in Myanmar."

A spokesperson for Facebook stated that the Burmese translation feature was "switched off" on August 28. "We are working on ways to improve the quality of the translations, but until then we have switched off this feature in Myanmar."

Facebook has had other problems interpreting Burmese, Myanmar's main local language. In April, the California-based social media company posted a Burmese translation of its internal "Community Standards" enforcement guidelines. Many of the passages were incorrect. A sentence that in English stated "we take our role in keeping abuse off our service seriously" was translated into Burmese as "we take our role seriously by abusing our services."

The Reuters investigation found more than 1,000 examples of hate speech on Facebook, including calling the Rohingya and other Muslims dogs, maggots, and rapists, suggesting they be fed to pigs, and urging they be shot or exterminated. Facebook's rules specifically prohibit attacking ethnic groups with "violent or dehumanizing speech" or comparing them to animals.

Shortly after the Reuters article was published, Facebook issued a statement saying it had been "too slow to prevent misinformation and hate" in Myanmar and that it was taking action, including investing in artificial intelligence that can police posts that violate its rules.
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Translation Graduate Degree UNC Charlotte

ATA News

ATA Webinar: Interpreting in Danger Zones

Presenter: Maha El-Metwally
Date: September 18
Time: 12 noon U.S. Eastern Daylight Time
Duration: 60 minutes
CE Point(s): 1 ATA-Approved

Register now!

Interpreters currently working in conflict zones are routinely threatened, attacked, kidnapped, injured, killed, and imprisoned for doing their jobs. Join presenter Maha El-Metwally for a look at the conditions these interpreters face, the efforts of Red T and other organizations to assist them, and what the worldwide interpreting community can do to support their colleagues.

Remember, members save 25% on ATA webinars.

Too busy to attend? Register now and a link to the recorded webinar will be sent to you after the live event. This webinar will also be available on the ATA website as an on-demand recording. See www.atanet.org/webinars.

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ATA 2018 Elections

ATA will hold its regularly scheduled elections at the upcoming 2018 ATA Annual Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, 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.

Meet the Candidates
Statements 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!
Become a voting member
ATA Associate Members who can demonstrate that they are professionally engaged in translation, interpreting, or closely related fields may apply for Voting Membership. The process to attain voting membership, called Active Member Review, is fast, free, and online.

Date of Record

To vote in ATA's 2018 Elections, you must have been approved for Voting Membership status by September 24. This is called the Date of Record.
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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. 

Please note that material proposed to be deleted is struck through; material proposed to be added is underlined. ATA’s bylaws may be altered, amended, or repealed by a two-thirds vote of the voting members.
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Get Ready to Celebrate in a Big Way!

ATA is set to make this year's International Translation Day all about reaching out and changing the way the world sees translators and interpreters.

Join us on September 28 for a social media blitz to promote the professions. We'll put up the posts, tweets, and downloadable infographics for you to share with your family, friends, and clients.

Find us at #InternationalTranslationDay and #ataitd2018. Then jump in and make yourself heard!
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ATA Webinar: Find and Keep Your Best Clients Using the 80/20 Principle

Presenter: Tess Whitty
Date: October 2
Time: 12 noon U.S. Eastern Daylight Time
Duration: 60 minutes
CE Point(s): 1 ATA-Approved

Register Now!

The 80/20 rule, also known as the Pareto principle, is a widely used tool in business management. Marketing guru Tess Whitty is ready to show freelancers and company owners how to take their business to the next level with six strategies based on the 80/20 rule.
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ATA Webinar: Building Entrepreneurial Skills

Presenter: Rosanna Balistreri
Date: October 10
Time: 12 Noon U.S. Eastern Time
Duration: 60 minutes
CE Point(s): 1 ATA-Approved

Register Now!

Beginning a freelance business comes with a unique set of challenges. In this webinar, presenter Rosanna Balistreri will address three of the most important of these challenges: how to market yourself competitively; how to manage working relationships with clients; and how to grow revenue.

This presentation is intended for individuals just starting out as freelancers or in the early years of establishing their business.
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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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Abstract News © Copyright 2018 INFORMATION, INC.
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September 14, 2018

In This Issue

Early Registration Ends
Webinar: Danger Zones
ATA Elections: Candidates
Bylaws Amendments
Celebrate ITD
Webinar: Clients
Webinar: Business Skills
The ATA Chronicle

ATA Webinars

Find and Keep Your Best Clients Using the 80/20 Principle
October 2
Registration open

Building Entrepreneurial Skills
October 10
Registration open

Calendar of Events

Translation Day

September 30, 2018
Celebrate with ATA!

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

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.

Get noticed by more than 10,000 ATA members!

How? Become an ATA Annual Conference sponsor! Contact Adrian Aleckna for details.

Advertise with ATA! American Translators Association Webinars
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