ATA Elections: Candidate Interviews and Statements
ATA will hold its regularly scheduled elections at the upcoming 2019 ATA Annual Conference in Palm Springs, California, to elect a president-elect, secretary, and treasurer for two-year terms, as well as three directors for a three-year terms.
In addition, members will vote on proposed revisions to ATA’s Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation. Click to read the proposed amendments.
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!
Officers (two-year term each)
Directors (three-year term each)
- Director: Aaron Hebenstreit
Statement (unavailable for interview)
How to Vote
ATA has partnered with Survey & Ballot Systems (SBS) to administer the 2019 ATA Elections. Instructions for how to vote were emailed to Voting members on September 16. A Voting member may also request his or her login information through the SBS site. Go to www.directvote.net/ATA/sendID.aspx.
SBS technical support is available Monday-Friday (8:00AM - 5:00PM Central Time). Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +1-952-974-2339.
If a Voting member does not complete the voting process online, he or she will still be able to vote at the Annual Meeting of Voting Members in Palm Springs on Thursday, October 24 (9:30AM - 10:45AM).
Need more information?
Call: +1-703-683-6100, ext 3001
European Parliament Delegation to Focus on Irish Language
Newstalk (Ireland) (10/07/19) Quann, Jack
A delegation from the European Parliament's Directorate-General for Translation is scheduled to visit Ireland this month. The visit will focus on the Irish language, as well as briefing educators on future job prospects with parliament.
The visit takes place as the European Parliament is expanding its role for translators, reflected in the new job title "intercultural and linguistic professional." Director-General of the European Union Valter Mavric says the job title "reflects the true nature of the role, which extends beyond merely translating words, but also includes communicating parliament's role in citizens' lives by providing cultural and local context."
"The European Union's motto is 'United in Diversity'," says Mavric. "This resonates particularly strongly with our translators, who work through all official European Union languages, including Irish to which we are strongly committed."
The delegation will update key stakeholders—such as the Department of Culture, Heritage, and the Gaeltacht and representatives from the School of Languages at the National University of Ireland Galway—on the European Parliament's priorities. The goal is to highlight parliament's commitment to the Irish language and promote careers for linguists. Officials will discuss building parliament's Irish-language translation capacity, both in-house and freelance, and provide an update on new software tools used by translators. New changes to the format of recruitment competitions for European Union translators will also be highlighted.
Irish has been an official languages of the European Union since 2007, and English has been an official language of the bloc since 1973. English will retain this status even after the U.K. leaves the European Union. In their proposed budget for 2021-27, the European Commission states: "The withdrawal of the U.K. will result in a limited reorientation of some functions within the administration, but the scope of activities will not change and new priority areas will be intensified. The European Commission adds that "translation and interpreting services in the English language will also remain unaffected."
Once the U.K. leaves, English will be an official language in just two member states: Ireland and Malta.
Sign Language Interpreters, Career and Tech Educators Join Denver Teachers Union
Chalkbeat (CO) (09/20/19) Asmar, Melanie
Educational sign language interpreters employed by Denver schools will be permitted to join the expanding Denver teachers union, leading to imminent salary raises.
The move follows more than a year of advocacy, with interpreters arguing that unionizing would allow them to be recognized, compensated, and protected like most other district employees. Interpreters also emphasized the benefits for "a very specific and complex group of students."
"Setting this precedent will help to recruit and retain the most highly qualified educational sign language interpreters, and in so doing, directly improve the lives of deaf and hard of hearing students," Emily Abernathy, an interpreter, told the school board in March.
Denver Public Schools Superintendent Susana Cordova announced at a school board meeting that interpreters had signed "memorandums of understanding" with the district allowing them to be integrated into the Denver Classroom Teachers Association. "We're here to say that advocacy does make a difference, and we want to thank everyone for the passion that you have expressed for the work you do," Cordova stated.
According to the Denver Classroom Teachers Association, the district employs roughly 15 educational sign language interpreters who work with deaf and hard of hearing students, and some 45 career and technical educators. Membership in the union grew in the runup to a strike in February to demand fundamental changes to the way teachers and other members are paid. The final agreement included an almost 12% average raise this year, in addition to a return to a more traditional salary schedule.
The interpreters and career and technical educators won't follow the same salary schedule as teachers, but they will receive raises this year. The starting wage for interpreters will rise 5.5% from $37,568 to $39,644, while the top salary an interpreter can earn will increase from $48,255 to $49,293. In accordance with Colorado regulations, educational sign language interpreters must have at least a two-year college degree and earn a score of 3.5 out of 5 on a skills test.
Lawrence Garcia, executive director of the Denver Classroom Teachers Association, stated that he is "extremely happy to have interpreters be part of our family."
Spread the Word: Iraqis Translating the Internet into Arabic
The Guardian (United Kingdom) (10/08/19) Cuthbert, Olivia
When the Islamic State overran the Iraqi city of Mosul, human life was not the only thing in peril. So was knowledge, particularly access to information in Arabic. But now that the city has been liberated from ISIS, the situation is starting to change.
A team of student translators at the University of Mosul are making Wikipedia pages, academic articles, and seminal works covering science, literature, and philosophy available to Arabic speakers in an attempt to pit critical thinking against propaganda.
It is estimated that only 6% of content found online is available in Arabic, despite it being the fourth most common language among internet users. Ideas Beyond Borders (IBB), the organization behind the translation project, plans to narrow this gap and democratize access to knowledge for the Arab world.
IBB's founder, Faisal Saeed Al Mutar, grew up under the regime of Saddam Hussein. "It was kind of the motherlode of misinformation," he recalls. Now he wants to arm Iraqi and Arab young people against the authoritarian regimes and extremist groups that he says silence diverse narratives and allow violence to thrive. So far, the organization has added more than 2.1 million words to Arabic Wikipedia, including entries on female scientists, civil rights, religious diversity, evolution, and conspiracy theories.
Al Mutar says the response has been remarkable. Since launching in 2017, IBB has attracted more than one million followers to its Facebook page, and draws more than 40,000 views across its online channels each day. With the demand for translated content continuing to increase, IBB is doubling its team of 60 translators to work with six more universities across Iraq, as well as branching into Kurdish and Farsi.
Momen Mohamad, a third-year student, spends two hours a day translating articles for the project. He is paid a small stipend, but money is not what motivates him. "I want to do something good as a person from Mosul and show the world that we can achieve things," he says.
IBB makes material available via PDF files, which can be downloaded for free, but readers are finding their own ways to spread the word. "People have started unofficially printing our books or distributing them via Telegram and other cloud-based platforms to avoid censorship," Al Mutar says. He adds that what started as a translation project is rapidly becoming a youth movement. "These are people who have every reason to feel hopeless—all they have known is war and destruction," Al Mutar says. "Yet they wake up every morning and translate stories about culture and diversity because they want to be part of a solution that makes their country a better place."
Patient Privacy May Trump Deaf Companion's Right to Interpreter
Bloomberg Law (NY) (10/01/19) Pazanowski, Anne
The U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland says a Maryland hospital is facing a court trial concerning a deaf woman's claim that it violated federal disability bias law by failing to provide her with an American Sign Language interpreter during her husband's treatments.
Patricia Ganzzermiller alleges that the University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center did not provide her with a qualified sign language interpreter so that she could fully understand her husband's medical care and his cancer prognosis. The District Court has stated that the claim hinges on whether her husband's right to withhold medical information truly entitled Ganzzermiller to those services.
The court denied the hospital's motion for summary judgment, saying it could not resolve a factual dispute over the information Ganzzermiller was entitled to receive based on the record. The court explained that there is little law on whether a nonpatient deaf companion's Rehabilitation Act rights equal those of a patient. The court added that it's undisputed that a patient has a right to privacy in his protected health information under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
The court concluded that Ganzzermiller was entitled to auxiliary aids to enable effective communication with her husband's caregivers. However, the court also stated that her husband's Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act rights tempered her ability to enforce the right to auxiliary aids.
The court stated that Ganzzermiller's husband had elected to withhold certain medical information from his wife throughout his illness. The hospital, therefore, could not be liable for failing to provide her with auxiliary aids if by doing so it would have provided her with more information than her husband wanted her to have. The court added that such action would have violated her husband's right to privacy.
Cherokee Nation Announces $16 Million Investment in Native Language Preservation
Tulsa World (OK) (09/27/19) Eger, Andrea
The Cherokee Nation has announced the largest language investment in the tribe's history.
Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin, Jr. says the Durbin Feeling Cherokee Language Preservation Act would provide $16 million for a new language center, ongoing programming, and a new Cabinet position within the tribal government's administration. "Now is the time to be bold and act quickly so we do not fail the legacy of our ancestors or the future of our Cherokee speakers," Hoskin says. "We have focused on health care and economic development, and we have seen immeasurable achievements, but now we must also focus on saving our Cherokee language as another high priority."
The Cherokee Nation currently has identified about 2,000 first-language Cherokee speakers. The tribe already invests more than $6 million annually in its language department. Currently, that includes the Cherokee Immersion Charter School, the Cherokee Language Master Apprentice Program, which is an adult language immersion program for novice learners, and a radio show called "Cherokee Voices, Cherokee Sounds."
The Durbin Feeling Act passed a Tribal Council committee and is now up for a vote by the full Council of the Cherokee Nation. The measure would create and fund a cabinet-level position for a secretary of language, culture, and community in the chief's administration. It also calls for the investment of an additional $1.5 million per year for five years in Cherokee Nation Businesses dividends for language program operations, with an option to reauthorize after the fifth year.
The most significant investment will be in the creation of the Durbin Feeling Language Center in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. It will house the Cherokee Immersion Charter School, the Cherokee Language Master Apprentice Program, and the tribe's team of Cherokee translators under one roof.
"The Cherokee language is the soul of the Cherokee people, and is the source of our pride and our strength as a tribe," says Deputy Chief Bryan Warner. "The investments we are making in our language programs are meant not only to preserve the Cherokee language today, but to encourage us as Cherokee people to embrace our language and to use it for many generations into the future."
Amazon Launches Multilingual Mode for Using Alexa in Multiple Languages at Once
TechCrunch (CA) (09/25/19) Etherington, Darrell
Amazon has announced that it is launching a multilingual mode for its Alexa-supporting devices.
The new multilingual mode will initially be available in the U.S., where it will work with English and Spanish; Canada, where it will offer French and English support; and India, where it will offer Hindi and English.
These bilingual modes will mean that households can use their Alexa devices in both languages simultaneously, which Amazon calls "a great feature for families where more than one language is spoken at home." Alexa will switch between languages and employ new natural-sounding voices modeled using neural network processing to provide more realistic and expressive responses.
Offering a multilingual mode is just the start says David Limp, senior vice president of devices and services at Amazon.com. "There are billions of households around the world that have dual speakers, and sometimes three languages, in a single household, all of which would benefit from expanded multilingual options."
ATA Conference Newcomer Blog
Check out the ATA Conference Newcomer Blog. This is the best advice you can get from veteran conference attendees. And not just for newcomers—everyone can benefit from someone else's experience.
Check out these posts!
• Ordering Business Cards
• 9 Things to Do Today to Get the Most Out of the Conference
• Anatomy of an ATA Conference
• Working the Exhibit Hall
Share your own advice!
Have some advice you'd like to share? Leave a comment with additional tips, recommendations, and suggestions … or let others know how the information matches up with your own experience. Help make this an essential resource for all conference-goers.
Networking is new business!
Get the best return on your ATA conference investment by putting together a game plan for networking before you leave home. This month’s members-only free webinar Killer Networking Skills for Language Industry Professionals provides you with tips and tricks to help you become a better networker. Don’t miss it!
In Memoriam: Peter Less
Peter Less, the 2006 recipient of ATA’s Alexander Gode Medal, passed away on October 9, 2019. A native of Germany, Mr. Less was recruited by the U.S. Army in 1946 to interpret English<>German testimony at the Nuremberg Trials. There, he was one of the first interpreters to use the simultaneous mode in a courtroom—becoming a pioneer in the world of interpreting. (Listen to How the Nuremberg Trials Changed Interpretation Forever.)
Read Peter Less’ remarkable story of interpreting at Nuremberg. Click “Lunch with a Legend,” first published in The ATA Chronicle (September 2004).
ATA Webinar: How to Elevate Your Website Copy
Attend this interactive ATA webinar to learn more about writing effective website copy. You'll discover why "we are cheaper" is not your most persuasive marketing promotion, how headlines and subheads can work to emphasize your services, and what kind of messaging is needed to position you as the go-to expert.
Submit your website copy for a chance at a live makeover!
Attendees are invited to submit their own website copy or draft to be included as one of four case studies presented during the webinar. If your web copy is selected, you'll join the webinar to work in real time with presenter Ekaterina Howard in finding the message and style that best represents your goals and marketing strategies.
You must attend the webinar for your site to be selected.
What to Know About ATA60
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. Register today!
Kick off the Conference with Wednesday’s 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. 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. Learn all about the conference app and how to use it!
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.
Sign up to be a Buddy
Get ready to help an overwhelmed first-time attendee navigate the conference. Even if you've only attended a few Annual Conferences, 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 Palm Springs, then use the ATA60 app to map out plans to see the latest technology that can save you time and money. Visit the Exhibit Hall!
Meet the people who are looking to hire
The ATA60 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!
Check out the ATA60 Conference website and listen to Episode 35 of The ATA Podcast to make this the best Conference ever!
Free ATA Webinar for Members Only
Attention ATA members! Take advantage of this month's free ATA webinar until October 31. Just click the play arrow to start the recording.
Killer Networking Skills for Language Industry Professionals
What’s your networking style? Frozen at the door? Hovering on the edges of conversations? Standing in the corner waiting to be found? Find out how to develop skills that will let you make the most of every networking opportunity in a style that’s all your own!
Networking means new business.
In this webinar, you'll to learn practical tips and tools that are applicable for networking at conferences, local business events, and even on social media. The goal is to make you a more connected networker, contributing to your own success and that of others.
About the Presenter
Eve Lindemuth Bodeux is an ATA-certified French>English translator specializing in corporate communications, technical marketing, and international development. In addition to co-hosting the podcast Speaking of Translation, she is a prolific author and a well-known presenter at industry and business events. Eve is currently a Director on ATA's Board and the Chair of ATA's Public Relations Committee.
Follow the #ATA60 Conference Buzz!
Whether you're attending the conference or sitting at your desk, #ATA60 is the answer to what's going on. Look to ATA’s social media for staying up to date with all the latest conference news! Follow ATA on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
Meet Up to Tweet Up
You won’t want to miss this ATA60 event! Check the Conference Program for location and time.
In the September/October Issue of The ATA Chronicle
ATA 2019 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!
Are You Getting the Most from Your ATA Directory Profile?
To enable potential clients to make the most effective use of the Directory of Translators and Interpreters, ATA members should strive to keep their profiles up to date. Members should also take advantage of all of the Directory options that allow an individual to highlight their services. (Eve Lindemuth Bodeux and Madalena Sánchez Zampaulo)
How to Successfully Tackle Translation Tests
If approached with the right mindset, translation tests can be a professionally enriching experience for translators. Remember, there’s a lot more being judged than your translation ability. (Marina Ilari)
Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and the Future-Proofed Translator: What I Learned from TAUS
As language specialists, we tend to think of machine translation and artificial intelligence as the monsters under the bed. But if we’re willing to embrace these monsters, we can use them to our advantage. (Tess Whitty)
ATA at the New York Rights Fair and Book Expo
ATA’s presence at the New York Rights Fair and Book Expo was a resounding success. Enthusiastic responses received from potential clients reveal a wealth of opportunities for our members in the publishing industries, both in the U.S. and abroad. (Eve Lindemuth Bodeux)
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.
ATA60 Annual Conference Sponsors
News summaries © copyright 2019 SmithBucklin