The ATA Podcast: School Outreach
ATA's School Outreach Program is now in its 12th year and more popular than ever! But how did it start? And why?
Podcast Host Matt Baird interviews School Outreach Sub-committee Member Birgit Vosseler-Brehmer to get answers and learn how translators and interpreters are sharing their careers in classrooms around the world. Birgit also offers a few pointers on how to win a free registration to this year's ATA Annual Conference!
This is Episode 11. Listen now!
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Adding Some Humanity to Trump's Deportation Push
Huffington Post (NY) (05/02/17) Marin, Rosario
Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Department of Justice will hire 75 new immigration judges this year and streamline the hiring process. Unlike most other U.S. courts, the immigration courts are managed not by the judiciary, but by the Department of Justice. The enormous task of managing hundreds of thousands of cases each year falls on the Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR), a little-known agency that manages the immigration courts. The EOIR has a backlog approaching 600,000 cases. That backlog, and the corresponding 677-day average wait for a person to have his date in court, has been growing for years, spanning both Republican and Democratic administrations, and represents a 300% increase in caseload since 2008. "More than half of all federal prosecutions brought by the U.S. Attorney's Office are immigration-related. Meanwhile, the overwhelmed immigration court system faces a backlog of more than 500,000 cases," says Heidi Altman, director of policy at the National Immigrant Justice Center. The U.S. Constitution affords everyone in the U.S.—regardless of their status—the Fifth Amendment right of the same access to the equal administration of justice. But getting your day in court requires much more than having enough judges to hear the case. Each hearing also includes a clerk to support the administration of a hearing, a court reporter to record the proceedings, deputies to provide security, and, of course, the interested parties and their lawyers. Immigration courts have another layer of support—the professional interpreters needed to ensure that those appearing before a judge understand the proceedings and their rights. "We can no longer afford to wait 18 to 24 months to get these new judges on the bench," Sessions states. "I have implemented a new, streamlined hiring plan that requires just as much vetting as before, but reduces the timeline, reflecting the dire need to reduce the backlogs in our immigration courts." Sessions' statement did not include anything about expanding other resources to ensure that everyone has a qualified interpreter at their side, acting as both their ears and their voice. The EOIR has a mandate to provide language interpreter services to more than 300 languages and dialects in the 58 immigration courts located across the U.S. Immigration advocates say its one thing for the Trump administration to hire more judges, but if the White House is serious about stemming an immigration backlog that will only grow in the months and years ahead, it also needs to provide the resources necessary for the EOIR to fully support the immigration court program. This includes ensuring that the interpreters hired can function in the best interest of those in front of the judge.
Language Barriers Negatively Impact Home Health Care
NYU News (NY) (05/04/17) James, Christopher
According to a new study from New York University and the Visiting Nurse Service of New York, language barriers can have a negative effect on patient outcomes in home health care. The adverse effects of language gaps may be most pervasive in home health care settings where the implementation of interpreter services is difficult and highly inconsistent, making effective communication between health care professionals and patients challenging. "The lack of research about the impact of language barriers on patient outcomes in home health care represents a point of vulnerability for limited English proficiency (LEP) patients as they transition through the health care system," says Allison Squires of New York University's Rory Meyers College of Nursing, who led the study. The study, An Exploratory Analysis of Patient Provider Language-Concordant Home Health Care Visit Patterns, examined language concordance—defined as a home health care visit where the provider spoke the same language as the patient or was accompanied by an interpreter. The study used data from home health care services in the New York City area representing the dominant immigrant demographics: English, Chinese, Italian, Greek, Korean, Patois, Russian, Spanish, Yiddish, and others. The study found that 18.1% of registered nurse visits and 26.7% of physical therapist visits with LEP patients were language concordant. Squires notes that the results of the study point to a lack of understanding of the language capacity of the U.S. health care workforce and calls for more research on this subject. "The broader significance of these findings is that as societies diversify through immigration, the demand for language-concordant health services will rise," Squires explains. In addition, the manner in which language gaps in health care delivery are addressed may mirror wider attitudes within the organization toward racial, ethnic, and linguistic minorities. Squires says guaranteeing that language-concordant encounters occur across the care continuum is vital for broadening access to care at the earliest stages, thus reducing re-hospitalization risks and improving care transitions across the health care system. "More research is needed to determine the right 'dose' of bilingual home care visits to optimize home care outcomes and establish a standard for care."
Language Shapes How the Brain Perceives Time
ScienceDaily (MD) (05/02/17)
According to a new study, language can influence the way in which we experience time. Panos Athanasopoulos, a linguist from Lancaster University, and Emanuel Bylund, a linguist from Stellenbosch University and Stockholm University, have discovered that people who speak two languages fluently think about time differently depending on the language context in which they are estimating the duration of events. Their research, reported in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, published by the American Psychological Association, reports the first evidence of cognitive flexibility in people who speak two languages. According to the study, bilinguals go back and forth between their languages rapidly and, often, unconsciously—a phenomenon called code-switching. But different languages also embody different worldviews, and therefore different ways of organizing the world. And time is a case in point. For example, according to Athanasopoulos and Bylund, Swedish and English speakers prefer to mark the duration of events by referring to physical distances (e.g., a short break, a long wedding, etc.). The passage of time is perceived as distance travelled. However, Greek and Spanish speakers tend to mark time by referring to physical quantities (e.g., a small break, a big wedding). For this group of speakers, the passage of time is perceived as growing volume. The study found that bilinguals seemed to flexibly utilize both ways of marking duration, depending on the language context. This alters how they experience the passage of time. "By learning a new language, you suddenly become attuned to perceptual dimensions that you weren't aware of before," Athanasopoulos says. "The fact that bilinguals go between these different ways of estimating time effortlessly and unconsciously fits in with a growing body of evidence demonstrating the ease with which language can creep into our most basic senses, including our emotions, our visual perception, and our sense of time."
Why Readers Are Embracing Translated Literature
Financial Times (United Kingdom) (04/28/17) Smith, Deborah
Translator Deborah Smith, whose credits include translating South Korean author Han Kang's The Vegetarian in 2013, says that the fact that translated books have been honored by the Man Booker International (MBI) Prize and other awards in recent years signifies that such literature is gaining favor among readers. "According to Nielsen BookScan, in 2015, only 1.5% of fiction published in the U.K. was translated, yet this accounted for 5% of total fiction sales," Smith notes. "The rapidly expanding range of translations available, including some of the most wildly popular contemporary authors in both literary and genre fiction, has dispelled the notion that 'translated' denotes some special degree of difficulty or intellectualism," Smith explains. "Instead, the fact that only the crème de la crème gets through makes literary translation a byword for originality and excellence—qualities that this year's MBI shortlist has in abundance," she says. Smith also cites this year's first-ever Warwick Prize for Women in Translation as a cause for optimism, given the endemic under-representation of translations of female writers. "Translators are like authors in many ways—over the course of a book, we'll agonize over individual words, dream about the characters, and wreck our backs, eyes, and relationships spending 14-hour days hunched at our computers," Smith says. "But authors do everything translators do—pace, mood, rhythm, and register—plus plot, character, and creation ex nihilo. How could we not be in awe of that?"
Translate Iowa Project Releases Its First Publication
The Daily Iowan (IA) (04/27/17) Goodman, Lily
Although founded only a little more than a year ago, the University of Iowa's Translate Iowa Project is achieving great success. One of the university's newest student organizations, the group was formed with the intention of being a culturally and linguistically inclusive creative platform dedicated to the undergraduate translation of literature. Members of Translate Iowa will soon present their first publication, an anthology entitled Boundless. "This collective work presents a shared effort to create a common space for people who come from various places, cultures, and languages," says Zhiyun Ma, a senior from China majoring in English and creative writing who is the vice president of Translate Iowa. "The arrangement of the pieces really emphasizes that English is serving as a middle ground—a bridge—that brings all the different languages together and helps us become ready to approach a new language, a new culture, and eventually embrace a brave new world," says Ma. Perhaps it's only natural that a university known for its writing programs and rich abundance of literature would advocate for translating the rest of the world's great written works. "Studying or writing in a language is never about just the language," says Claire Jacobson, a junior majoring in translation, French, and Arabic who is the translation coordinator for the organization. "A language carries with it an entirely different way of looking at the world, which means that when we only speak one language or only know literature from that literary tradition, then we find ourselves limited." Jacobson explains that limitations, particularly in terms of experiencing different cultures, have never proven to be a good thing. Literature has always given people, specifically populations who find themselves gravely misrepresented, a way of sharing their voice. "Now more than ever, I think it's important to not only understand what is happening around the world, but it's also important to understand how we take part in it," says Bryan Flavin, a senior studying linguistics, French, Arabic, and translation who cofounded Translate Iowa. "From this arises a 'global literature'—a literature that speaks of our nuances, as well as our universalities. This is what initially led me to be a cofounder and president of the organization." Flavin says the publication of Boundless shows that the hard work members of the Translate Iowa Project have put into creating a supportive and inclusive community centered on foreign literature is finally paying off. "It's been a wild ride," Jacobson says. "But I'm hoping this is just the first in a long line to come in Translate Iowa's future."
ATA Webinar | Why Can't I Raise My Rates?
Presenter: John Milan
Date: May 25, 2017
Time: 12 noon U.S. Eastern Daylight Time
Duration: 60 minutes
CE Point(s): 1
Understanding the market forces that affect translators and interpreters is critical to knowing what decisions to make when setting rates. Attend this ATA webinar to learn how prices are determined in a competitive freelance market and what translators and interpreters can do to influence what they charge for their services. [Learn More]
What you will learn:
In compliance with U.S. antitrust law, no specific rate recommendations will be made during the webinar.
- Why value and marginal utility matter to translators/interpreters
- How a competitive market affects and controls pricing
- The roles of scarcity and demand in language services
- How prices for language services are determined
- What individuals can do to influence the prices that they charge
About the presenter: John Milan is a Portuguese>English ATA-certified freelance translator with over 20 years of experience in language services. He holds a Master of Science in Microeconomics from Ohio State University, where he was a Foreign Language and Area Studies fellow. John has been a member of ATA's Finance and Audit Committee since 2015.
Register: ATA Member $45 Non-Member $60
Unable to attend? You can register now and a link to the recorded webinar will be sent to you after the event!
For Interpreters Only!
Presenter: Cris Silva
Date: June 9, 2017
Time: 12 noon U.S. Eastern Daylight Time
Duration: 60 minutes
CE Point(s): 1
Join us for the last ATA webinar before summer break!
Translators are not the only ones with cool software. Learn what's out there to help interpreters strengthen their skills in public speaking, measuring voice quality, reading texts out loud, and more.
Register: ATA Member $45 Non-Member $60
What Do You Know About ATA Finances?
Who's in charge?
The ATA Bylaws call for the Treasurer and the Finance and Audit Committee to oversee the finances of the Association, ensure accurate and complete financial reports, and safeguard the Association’s assets. ATA's financial statements and accounting and control system are audited annually by an independent audit firm specializing in not-for-profit entities.
Who's the Treasurer? Who's on the Finance and Audit Committee?
ATA's Treasurer, who serves a two-year term, is currently Ted Wozniak. Committee members are Ted Wozniak (Chair), President David Rumsey, President-elect Corinne McKay, Secretary Jane Maier, Director Evelyn Yang Garland, and John Milan.
How is the budget handled?
Each year the Treasurer, the Executive Director, and the in-house accountant prepare a working budget to present to the Finance and Audit Committee and the Board of Directors at their spring meeting. The working budget covers the period from July 1 to June 30 of the upcoming year. ATA also has draft budgets that project revenue and expenses for the subsequent two fiscal years beyond the working budget.
Who approves the budget?
The Finance and Audit Committee reviews the budgets before they are presented to the ATA Board of Directors for approval. The final working budget is approved at the summer Board meeting. This interval allows for discussion of the proposed budget and time for changes to be made following the June 30 end-of-year report of actual revenue and expenses.
How can I learn more about the ATA's finances?
The ATA Treasurer reports the status of the Association's finances at quarterly Board meetings, and The ATA Chronicle publishes updates throughout the year. A summary of the Association's finances is also presented during the Annual Meeting of All Members.
But you don't have to wait to learn more! Association members can login to the Members Only area of the ATA website and look for the Treasurer's reports under the ATA News tab or click the link below and login.
ATA Financial Update from the Treasurer
ATA’s finances have continued the positive development seen in the last few years, due in part to another financially successful Annual Conference.
During the April 2017 Board of Directors meeting, Treasurer Ted Wozniak reported that the first eight months of the current fiscal year saw a change in net assets (net income) of $464k, on total revenue of $2,407k and total expenses of $2,029k.
Treasurer Wozniak noted that positive cash flow over the last two years has allowed the Association to significantly increase the amounts in its bank and investment accounts. This is reflected in a 30% increase in the balance of cash and cash equivalents year-on-year to $1,861k. These “rainy day” funds ensure that the Association will be able to withstand any unforeseen short-term negative developments over the next few years.
During its April meeting, the Board approved the working budget for the 2017-2018 fiscal year and the draft budgets for the subsequent two fiscal years (2018-2020). The FY2017-18 budget forecasts a change in net assets of approximately $76k.
The Board will approve the final 2017-18 budget and the 2018-2020 draft budgets at its summer 2017 meeting.
Become an ATA Voting Member
ATA will hold its regularly scheduled elections at its 58th Annual Conference to elect a president-elect, secretary, treasurer, and three directors.
Check out the 2017 slate of candidates.
This is the time to make sure you are eligible to vote in ATA elections. Not sure? Look for the notation "voting" in your listing in the ATA Directory of Members.
Not a voting member? Take steps now to become one! The process is free and online.
Taking part in this year's ATA election is your chance to help shape the future of the Association. Get involved, do it now!
XXI FIT World Congress—Disruption and Diversification
The International Federation of Translators will hold its XXI World Congress in Brisbane, Australia (August 3-5, 2017).
FIT2017 will bring together translators, interpreters, and terminologists to discuss the rapid rate of technological change within the industry and the current challenges it provides for practitioners, service providers, and clients. Experts from around the world will explore trends and developments in translation and interpreting services and focus on what it will take to be successful in the future.
The Congress is open to all language professionals, and ATA members are eligible for FIT member registration rates.
Register now and get ready to connect with colleagues, LSPs, and other industry stakeholders including government, end-clients, academics, and students.
In the May/June Issue of The ATA Chronicle
Unraveling Translation Service Contracts
If translation is such a specialized professional service, where so much is at stake for the end client, why are so many translators operating without the protection of a solid contract? (Paula Arturo)
Remote Interpreting: Feeling Our Way into the Future
While it’s probably impossible to quantify exactly how much mobile technology has influenced and expanded human communication, it has completely changed how just about everyone on the planet communicates. (Barry Slaughter Olsen)
Tablets for Interpreters: The Device You Didn’t Know You Wanted
You may already be using an Android mobile device or iPad to browse the web, play games, or stream video. But did you know that tablets also make great companions for interpreters? Read on for some great tips to get started. (Holly Behl and Alexander Drechsel)
Key Components of Successful Translator Recruitment
A fundamental tenet of language services is that an organization’s translation product will only be as good as the translator who provides the target content. That’s why vendor recruitment must be counted among the most critical of processes for translation firms. (Alaina Brantner)
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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