ATA 58th Annual Conference: Registration Open!
With nearly 170 education sessions and close to 200 experienced presenters, no other industry event can provide the same comprehensive professional development as the ATA 58th Annual Conference!
Save 30% when you register by September 15!
Find out what the ATA Conference can do for you! Review the conference program, check out the Job Fair, see what Brainstorm Networking is all about, and learn more about AST Day.
Early registration discounts are too good to miss. Register today!
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!
Terminating Immigrant Citizenship Program Could Hurt Military
Washington Post (DC) (07/18/17) Horton, Alex
The Pentagon has recommended ending the Military Accessions Vital to National Interest (MAVNI) program, which gives foreign-born troops with medical and language skills leverage in gaining citizenship. Advocates, defense analysts, and the military's own assessments of the MAVNI program state that the program benefits national security, reduces recruitment and training costs, and provides a steady stream of troops. However, internal discussions point to anxieties over security risks and internal mismanagement as a reason to end the program, which has recruited 10,400 troops since its launch in 2009. Proponents say that ending the program could produce some unintended consequences that would affect the military's ability to execute its missions worldwide.
"While program recruits are a fraction of the military's roughly 2.2 million active troops and reservists, the potential of losing access to their highly specialized skills could have major security consequences," says Todd Harrison, a defense budget expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC.
Rising personnel costs mean that it is generally more expensive to recruit new troops than to retain those already in service. Recruitment of U.S. citizens with critical skills is particularly difficult and expensive when competing with the private sector, Harrison explains. Harrison says that MAVNI program recruits have been a reliable way to inject motivated troops into the force. The Pentagon's review of the program found that foreign-born recruits have a lower attrition rate than U.S.-born service members. Harrison says having linguists who stay in uniform would reduce the cost of finding third-party interpreters. "When you lose a linguist, you end up buying them back at a higher rate through a contractor."
"Special operators spend time and resources to groom culturally attuned interpreters to become their eyes and ears in often hostile environments, where trust can mean the difference between mission success and failure," says Paul Scharre, director of the Technology and National Security program at the Center for a New American Security, a Washington think tank. Scharre served in Afghanistan as an army ranger and worked with both local interpreters and Afghan-born contractors who lived in the U.S. for years. While Scharre has not worked with MAVNI program recruits specifically, he says interpreters with American insight are "far and away" the most valuable on the battlefield. "They can bridge cultural divides and explain why locals are behaving in a way that U.S. troops can understand."
Interpreter Attends Controversial Meeting at Trump Tower
Huffington Post (NY) (07/14/17) Schulberg, Jessica; Blumenthal, Paul
Anatoli Samochornov, a Russian-born American interpreter who spent years working for the U.S. government, has been identified as the linguist who attended the June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with Donald Trump Jr. and Natalia Veselnitskaya, a Russian lawyer.
The meeting at Trump Tower last year has caused concern among Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill. Trump Jr. states that he agreed to attend the meeting with Veselnitskaya because he was promised "incriminating" information from the Russian government about Hillary Clinton. Veselnitskaya stated previously that an interpreter attended the meeting, but refused to name him. Veselnitskaya does not speak English, and Samochornov has worked with her several times over the past year, including around the time of the meeting with Trump Jr.
Samochornov's presence at the meeting is key because he appears to be the only witness to the event who does not have close ties to either the Trump campaign or the Russian government. Samochornov has not disclosed whether he has been contacted by investigators probing the Trump campaign's relationship with Russia. Interpreters and translators are bound by professional codes of conduct not to talk publicly about discussions with clients. For example, the American Translators Association lists in its Code of Ethics and Professional Practice that it is the professional duty of interpreters and translators to "hold in confidence any privileged and/or confidential information entrusted to us in the course of our work."
Samochornov has worked as an interpreter on dozens of government assignments, including for the U.S. State Department, Defense Department, Securities and Exchange Commission, and Drug Enforcement Administration. He has worked periodically with the State Department as a contract interpreter for exchange programs.
"Freelance interpreters who work for government agencies often hold a security clearance so they can sit in on sensitive, high-level meetings," says Bradley Moss, a lawyer who has represented interpreters with government contracts. Moss explains that interpreters with security clearances are in high demand. "Doing jobs for a foreign government or a foreign national with ties to a foreign government could make it hard, but not necessarily impossible, to obtain such clearance," he says. According to the U.S. State Department, all interpreters and translators are required to hold at least a Moderate Risk Public Trust clearance.
Samochornov has not offered any details about his involvement in the meeting. "I'm a professional freelance interpreter and I can't talk about any of my clients," he states. "I'm bound by confidentiality agreements. You have to refer those questions to Mrs. Veselnitskaya."
Spain Wants Jamaica to Make Spanish a Second Language
Jamaica Observer (Jamaica) (07/23/17) Henry, Balford
Fernando Garcia Casas, Spain's Secretary for International Cooperation, believes bilateral cooperation between Spain and Jamaica could be improved if Jamaica encourages greater use of Spanish. "We would like to see Spanish made a second language in Jamaica," Casas says.
Casas made his remarks during a visit to Kingston earlier this month as part of a visit to five selected Caribbean states following the 47th regular session of the general assembly of the Organization of American States in Mexico. Casas says he came to Jamaica with instructions from Spain's government to seek ways to foster the relationship between Spain and Jamaica, which celebrated 50 years in 2016. Casas believes that making Spanish a second language in Jamaica would be one way to increase economic cooperation with Spain, particularly in areas such as tourism. "I believe this would be an important factor in promoting tourism, especially since Jamaica is surrounded by Spanish-speaking countries."
Casas says Spain would be willing to work with the Jamaican government to help train local Spanish teachers. "It's a good trade-off for our countries, and I also see working together as the responsibility of our governments," he notes. "The relationship between Jamaica and Spain has always been good, and we want to celebrate these ties."
Are More U.S. Students Learning a Second Language?
USA Today (DC) (07/22/17) Caruana, Claudia M.
Language immersion programs are increasing in the U.S., as are more traditional programs in second-language learning in elementary schools. According to the Center for Applied Linguistics, an organization that tracks language study in the U.S., 25% of all U.S. public and private elementary schools offer language instruction. According to the most current U.S. Department of Education statistics regarding second-language learning, Spanish is the language most in demand, with French coming in second. Many of the programs are immersion programs, where children are taught in English for part of the day and in another language at other times.
Despite the fact that many educators and parents support a strong approach and increasing interest in language learning, it is not available in every school district. "The U.S. is still far behind many European countries, where young children are required to begin learning a second language before the age of nine," says Nancy Rhodes, senior language education consultant for the Center for Applied Linguistics.
"Shrinking budgets often mean that schools just don't have the funds to hire language teachers," says Theresa Bruns, director of professional development at Middlebury Interactive Languages, a digital language-learning center for K-12 students in Middlebury, Vermont. Bruns says more schools are navigating budget constraints by employing creative strategies to deliver language instruction to students. These approaches can include integrating digital tools (e.g., games and videos) into classroom lessons. "We've seen growth in the number of school districts where administrators, teachers, and parents recognize the long-term benefits of second-language acquisition and employ strategies to provide students with instruction."
In addition to the intellectual benefits that learning a second language might offer, globalization provides another motive to speak another language as more Americans decide to travel, study, or work overseas. "There are now definitely more jobs globally that require language and cross-cultural skills," Rhodes says. "U.S. universities are realizing that they need to prepare globally competent graduates and are starting to offer more tailored language classes in preparation for needs in the workforce," she notes. "They are also internationalizing their curricula to help their graduates adapt to the global marketplace."
It can be difficult to advocate for language learning in lower grades because a second language is not required by schools in most states. But Rhodes and Bruns say it is important for parents to urge school boards, administrators, and even local politicians to include language learning in their children's schools for reasons that range from preserving native languages to serving a specific community.
John Milton Translated More than 300 Times into 57 Languages
The Guardian (United Kingdom) (07/20/17) Flood, Alison
More than 300 years after they were first published, the works of John Milton continue to find relevance around the world. Research by more than 50 academics collaborating on a new book for Oxford University Press, Milton in Translation, has revealed that the works of the 17th-century author have been translated more than 300 times into 57 languages.
"We were surprised by the number of languages Milton has been translated into," says Islam Issa, a professor of English at Birmingham City University (U.K.) who worked on Milton in Translation. "We expected lots of translations of his epic poem Paradise Lost, but we didn't expect so many translations into languages that aren't spoken by millions of people, such as Manx," he adds.
Why is Milton so popular? Issa says that the revolutionary nature of Milton's writing could be a factor. "He was a republican who played a part in the execution of Charles I, he was anti-Catholic, and there's his characterization of Satan, trying to revolt against God," he says. "As a result, at times of political and religious struggle, such as countries trying to move away from Soviet rule, or the Middle East during the Arab uprisings, people are translating these revolutionary ideas." Issa explains that translations of Paradise Lost often "mirrored periods of rebellious ideology or nationalism."
Issa describes Milton in Translation as the first detailed research into how Milton has been translated and read across the globe. "This book shows the real reach of literature, even if it's from 350 years ago," he explains. "It also confirms that Milton's works, particularly Paradise Lost, have themes that are both universal and adaptable to different contexts."
T&I Advocacy Day
Advocate for yourself and your profession! Join ATA and the Joint National Committee for Languages in an all-day advocacy event in Washington, DC.
The day will include training sessions, collaborative working groups, and meetings with Congressional offices and Executive Branch agencies.
Organizers will handle all aspects of meeting scheduling and logistics. Transportation between the Washington Hilton and Capitol Hill will also be provided.
This event will take place on Wednesday (10:00am – 4:00pm) and is open to 3-day conference attendees only.
Additional registration is required.
More Client Education Through Public Relations
"Not Connecting with Consumers? Maybe You’re Not Speaking Their Language" is the ninth client education article released by ATA's PR Committee. The article, which will run in a number of small business publications over the next several months, reminds company owners that it's an emotional connection that drives sales. And nothing creates that connection better than speaking the customer's own language.
Client Education through Public Relations is a key piece of the PR Committee's campaign to reach the business community and those individuals who are responsible for contracting translation and interpreting services.
ATA PR articles have now been reprinted in more than 65 print and digital magazines across the U.S.!
Click now to catch up on the first eight PR articles.
What's there to do in Washington, DC?
Arrive early, leave late! Spend an extra day in Washington before or after the Annual Conference to take in the sights.
The Lincoln Memorial, U.S. Capitol, National Mall, Georgetown, The Smithsonian, and the Kennedy Center are on everyone's "must see" list.
And here are a few sights that are often missed, but well worth the time: Jefferson Memorial, U.S. Botanic Garden, National Archives, Adams Morgan, the Freer Gallery of Art, and Ford's Theatre.
Want to know more? Follow ATA's 58th Annual Conference on Pinterest for weekly updates of famous and not-so-famous places to see in Washington, DC!
Are you attending the ATA Annual Conference for the first time? Then the ataNewsbies58 listserv is for you!
This is the place where you can ask questions and get answers about the conference before you leave home. No matter what the question—should you take your laptop, what's the best way to meet people, how do you decide which sessions to attend—there will be someone on the list with an answer.
Get started on your conference adventure now. Join the atanewbies58 listserv today!
Not on the ATA Business Practices Listserv?
The issues are real and so is the conversation on ATA's Business Practices Listserv. Questions, answers, suggestions, recommendations, why I do it, why I don't do it, why I disagree—it's all there and available to ATA members. Open to all association members, including students. Join now!
From Denver, Colorado
The ATA Board of Directors met July 29-30 in Denver, Colorado.
Find out more about the people who volunteer to ensure that the Association works for its members. Each name below will take you to a bio where you can learn who's who and what skills they bring to the table.
Standing, from left: Board Directors Madalena Sánchez Zampaulo, Frieda Ruppaner-Lind, Geoffrey Koby, Cristina Helmerichs, Faiza Sultan, Karen Tkaczyk, Evelyn Yang Garland, Melinda Gonzalez-Hibner, and Christina Green.
Seated, from left: President-elect Corinne McKay, Treasurer Ted Wozniak, President David Rumsey, and Secretary Jane Maier.
Build Your Brand, Reach Your Audience
The ATA Annual Conference is a once-a-year opportunity to get your name in front of translators, interpreters, and language company owners from around the world. There is no better way to increase your visibility.
Conference Program advertising is a proven strategy to reach a large audience at a very affordable price. Place your ad now before it's too late! (Deadline August 18)
Exhibit space is selling quickly, with more than 60% of available booth space now sold. Reserve your booth soon—or your competition will beat you to it!
For those who would like to have an even bigger presence at the conference, one of the conference's sponsorship opportunities will do the trick. See how easy it is to become a sponsor!
Invest your advertising budget where it counts. Whether you want to reach the 1,800 conference attendees or more than 10,000 ATA members, the ATA Annual Conference can make it happen!
In the July/August Issue of The ATA Chronicle
Treasurer’s Report: The First Eight Months of FY2016–17
The Association’s finances have continued the positive development of the past few years. (Ted Wozniak)
Colorado Translators Association Conference Recap
More than 80 language professionals braved a spring snowstorm to attend the Colorado Translators Association’s seventh annual conference. (Sharon Heller, Katja Yeats)
Competency-Based Education and Translator Training
How can we maximize the effectiveness of university translator training programs? Competency-based education is an innovative approach to teaching and learning that has been gaining traction in universities throughout the U.S. and beyond. (Jason Jolley)
How can project-based internships add value for an organization? Here’s one language services provider’s approach to designing a mutually beneficial project-based program that includes well-established goals, training, evaluation, and feedback. (Serena Williams)
Expanding Your Business: Genealogical Translation
Genealogy is one of the fastest-growing hobbies in the U.S., but once Americans trace their ancestors back to the “old country,” they often get stuck. Even if they’re able to obtain historic documents from non-English-speaking clerks, they find that they cannot read them. This is where the skilled translator steps in. (Corey Oiesen, Bryna O’Sullivan)
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.
ATA 58th Annual Conference Platinum Sponsors
ATA wishes to recognize the following companies for their contributions to the ATA Annual Conference and their invaluable support of the translation and interpreting fields.
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