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ATA Code of Ethics and Professional Practice


An association’s code of ethics defines it as no other description can. It tells the group’s purpose; its ideals and values; the standards of professionalism it expects; and most importantly, the real world ethical dilemmas its members may face.

The first ATA code of ethics was written and adopted in 1966. Over the years, it has been updated to reflect the emerging role of the translation and interpreting professions. The most recent revision came late last year when the ATA Board of Directors endorsed the following Code of Ethics and Professional Practice.

We the members of the American Translators Association accept as our ethical and professional duty

  1. to convey meaning between people and cultures faithfully, accurately, and impartially;

  2. to hold in confidence any privileged and/or confidential information entrusted to us in the course of our work;

  3. to represent our qualifications, capabilities, and responsibilities honestly and to work always within them;

  4. to enhance those capabilities at every opportunity through continuing education in language, subject field, and professional practice;

  5. to act collegially by sharing knowledge and experience;

  6. to define in advance by mutual agreement, and to abide by, the terms of all business transactions among ourselves and with others;

  7. to ask for and offer due recognition of our work, and compensation commensurate with our abilities; and

  8. to endeavor in good faith to resolve among ourselves any dispute that arises from our professional interactions,

mindful that failure to abide by these principles may harm ourselves, our fellow members, the Association, or those we serve.

As approved by the ATA Board of Directors October 2010


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Headlines


Industry News
Interpreters Help Indian Hospitals Attract Global Patients
Tough Pennsylvania Law Limits Court Interpreters
China and Taiwan to Offer First Joint Dictionary
A Teaching Network Brings Arabic to the Heartland
Europe Focuses on Three Languages for Patents
Internet Interpreting Service Helps Burmese
Polish Translator Jagodzi?ski Receives Czech Prize
Massachusetts Law Breaks Public Safety Language Barrier
China Lacks Qualified Translators, Interpreters
South Dakota to Create Court Interpreter Registry
Lack of Native Language Content Limits European Web Users
Google Patent Search Features Language Translation
DARPA Launches Translation Software Initiative
Vermont Courts Seek to Streamline the Use of Interpreters

ATA News
Early Registration Ends May 31
ATA Online Directory Stats
Revisers: Invisible But Important
Ensuring Payment – Before, During, and After the Project
Preparing to Take the ATA Certification Exam
New! ATA Mission Statement
ATA Board Meeting Summary
2011 ATA Honors and Awards
Coming Up in the June Issue of The ATA Chronicle

ATA-Endorsed Professional Liability, Hays Affinity
 

Industry News


Interpreters Help Indian Hospitals Attract Global Patients

Medical tourism has pushed up the demand for qualified interpreters and translators in India. To take advantage of a surge in foreign clientele, many of the country’s elite hospitals have established exclusive international patient services units, all staffed with experienced medical interpreters. An interpreter is assigned to each patient from the time he or she arrives at the airport until their discharge following treatment. In the process, the interpreter becomes one of the most important points of connection between the physician and the patient. The interpreter’s responsibilities include helping patients understand documents, explaining the recommended care, and being sure all their questions are answered. Many international patients come to India through medical tourism companies, and their business model shows that patients and their families prefer healthcare facilities where there are interpreters to handle their interactions with doctors and support staff. Artemis Health Institute's Mohammad Saifal Rehman says making patients feel comfortable in an alien environment is one of the primary challenges for his hospital. According to a representative of Max hospital in Gurgaon, the majority of overseas patients are from non-English speaking countries, including Russia, Africa, and the Middle East.

From "Medical Melody: Interpreters Attract Global Patients With Personal Care"
Times of India (India) (05/02/11) Dev, Aditya
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Tough Pennsylvania Law Limits Court Interpreters

Five years ago, in a move designed to ensure that non-English speakers have equal access in the state’s judicial system, Pennsylvania passed legislation requiring court interpreters to undergo certification. The legislature established a grace period for interpreters to become certified and set enforcement of the new standard to begin January 1, 2011. Now some veteran court interpreters are finding that they are unable to pass the qualifying exam, and many are anxious that they will be out of a job because of failing to become certified. The certification process includes a mandatory written test in the foreign language as well as a three-part oral exam to evaluate the individual’s ability to interpret simultaneously. When certification testing began in 2007, there were approximately 1,000 interpreters regularly working in Pennsylvania’s court system. Currently there are 138 certified or otherwise qualified interpreters on the court’s roster and 90 interpreters going through the certification process. In explaining the reasons for the certification exam, Osvaldo Aviles, administrator of the state's court interpreting program, says, "It's an issue of due process. The whole point is to guarantee that the limited-English-proficient person completely and accurately understands the proceedings as if he were an English-language speaker." New Jersey and Delaware established court interpreter standards 15 years ago. Antonio Guerra, director of interpreting services at language services provider CETRA, Inc., notes, "On the one hand, we need high standards in the courts. On the other hand, you don't want to paralyze the judicial system and the right to a speedy trial. If you can't find interpreters, you have to keep delaying the procedures." Only two Pennsylvania court interpreters are certified in Chinese, while four are certified in Russian, and none are certified in Cambodian, Arabic, or Vietnamese. According to Aviles, some interpreters in those languages began the certification process but quit when they failed the test.

From "Toughening Language Tests for Court Interpreters Limiting Number of Interpreters"
Philadelphia Inquirer (PA) (04/29/11) Von Bergen, Jane M.
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China and Taiwan to Offer First Joint Dictionary

Scholars in China and Taiwan are collaborating on a first-ever joint dictionary that will cover their different ways of writing and speaking Chinese. The Great Chinese Dictionary will be free and accessible through the Internet. A preliminary version of 28,000 commonly used words and phrases is expected to be available by the end of 2011, with a more comprehensive version being released in 2015. The dissimilarities in the language of the two countries began in 1949, when they became political adversaries. Although Mandarin Chinese is the official language for both, many words and phrases have taken on new meanings in the intervening years. There are also variations in tone and pronunciation. Some words simply do not exist in the other country, having entered common use under the influence of local dialects. One of the biggest disparities between the two is that China required its citizens to use simplified Chinese characters in an effort to improve literacy. Taiwan continued to use the more traditional characters, stating that they best represent the language's underlying culture. In terms of numbers, simplified Chinese is in far greater use. Only 2 percent of Chinese speakers use traditional characters. However, in an attempt to bolster the traditional system, Taiwan has increased scholarships and marketing, including a free online Chinese-learning program offered through the National Taiwan Normal University. Since 2008, the relationship between China and Taiwan has steadily improved, and each country has noted a growing interest in the other’s language. People on the mainland are intrigued by the cultural heritage inherent in the traditional characters, while many Taiwanese are using the simplified characters because they are easier and faster to write. This is where the Great Chinese Dictionary may be a language bridge between the two. The leader of the Great Chinese Dictionary project, former Taiwanese Premier Liu Chao-shiuan, says the aim of the initiative is not to convert one side to the other's way of speaking or writing, but to create a word database and let the users on both sides of the Taiwan Strait decide for themselves.

From "China and Taiwan 'First Joint Dictionary'"
BBC News (United Kingdom) (05/21/11) Sui, Cindy
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A Teaching Network Brings Arabic to the Heartland

The U.S. Arabic Distance Learning Network is one of the largest Arabic language programs in the country. The network integrates in-person teaching and videoconference instruction for classes at eight universities in Missouri, Montana, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina. The program spreads the relatively costly and scarce expertise of a language professor across an institutional network. The price tag, including a study-abroad component, is about $15,000 for each campus, a fraction of the cost for a tenure-track professor. “We were looking at adding additional languages,” says Norman J. Peterson, vice provost for international education at Montana State, “and it was clear to me it wasn’t going to happen if we did it the traditional way.” Peterson collaborated with colleagues to develop the distance-learning program with an instructor conducting two hours of videoconferenced classes with three or four institutions at a time each week. For another two hours a week, native Arabic speakers teach Arabic on campus under the professor's supervision. University of California, Berkeley Professor Nabil Abdelfattah is the network's primary instructor. He uses one camera for his face, one camera for documents, and a remote control to switch between the two. Abdelfattah says, “It’s very taxing to stand in front of a screen in a room by yourself. There is no atmosphere except the one that you create.” It’s important, he adds, to look for ways to connect to the students in spite of the technology. Abdelfattah finds humor and camaraderie helps build those connections. “Whether it is in Dayton, Ohio, or Bozeman, Montana,” he says, “it is one network, one community, one class.” Discussions about Arabic culture—on everything from food to why some women wear the hijab and others do not—also play a role in creating a classroom feeling, as well as providing what Abdelfattah says is a critical element of language education. He explains that teaching Arabic is not just teaching how to construct a grammatically correct sentence or how to say greetings. Some 2,500 students have completed the U.S. Arabic Distance Learning Network's courses. Although the program is now self-supporting, plans to begin offering classes in Mandarin and Portuguese would require federal funds. The expansion has been put on hold following the recent federal budget compromise, which cut U.S. language education spending by 40 percent.

From "A Teaching Network Brings Arabic to the Heartland"
Chronicle of Higher Education (DC) (05/03/11) Wheeler, David
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Europe Focuses on Three Languages for Patents

There is new concern for the implementation of a uniform patent application system in the European Union. In March, the European Court of Justice ruled that the creation of a single court to handle all patent disputes in Europe was incompatible with EU law. Without this centralized court of appeals, challenges to a patent issued under EU’s proposed one-time application process would need to be defended country-by-country. Many lawyers feel this represents a significant financial risk to most entrepreneurs. “The introduction of a European patents court is seen by many as an essential ingredient to the introduction of a unitary European patent,” says Alasdair Poore, president of the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys. “In the absence of a single well-respected court, businesses might find that their patent protection had been invalidated by a national court with almost no experience of patents. Will they therefore be willing to risk all of their investment in Europe depending on such a decision?” The latest European Patent Office (EPO) proposal was already under attack by Spain and Italy. Under the proposed EPO plan, any patent application made in a language other than English, French, or German will need to be translated into one of those languages. If the patent is granted, the information central to the patent will have to be translated into the other two languages. EU officials estimate this will lower the cost of obtaining a patent from 32,000 euros to 2,500 euros, and possibly to as low as 1,000 euros if high quality machine translation can be used. Spain and Italy are against the latest proposals, arguing that the language requirements unreasonably favor English, French, and German. In reply, Michel Bamier, EU internal market commissioner, says, “The purpose of unitary patent protection is to make innovation cheaper and easier for businesses and inventors everywhere in Europe. It is my deeply held conviction there is no sustainable economic growth without innovation—and no innovation without efficient intellectual property protection.” Spain’s position is that if the issue is strictly cost, then a procedure based on English alone is more cost effective. The EPO hopes to move the plan forward even if Spain and Italy opt out.

From "European Patents: Officials Push Ahead on Single EU Regime"
Financial Times (United Kingdom) (05/19/11) Tait, Nikki
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Internet Interpreting Service Helps Burmese

To help doctors and Burmese patients overcome language and cultural barriers that can hinder medical care, a coalition of health care centers and foundations in Indiana started an online service that connects doctors' offices with interpreting services. The collaborating groups included Catherine Kasper Place, Parkview Health Community Outreach, Allen County-Fort Wayne Department of Health, and Advantage Health. Doctors using the service can schedule a Burmese interpreter to be available online during the patient’s office visit. "Face-to-face interpreting is great, but what we found is there is a lot of time spent waiting at an appointment, so an interpreter may only be able to do one or two appointments a day," says Meg Distler, executive director of St. Joseph Community Health Foundation. She says that the new V-See system, a voice-over-the-internet protocol similar to Skype, has allowed for a more efficient use of interpreters. The coalition was able to raise $130,000 to cover 12-month budget for the online interpreting services and currently employs two full-time and three part-time interpreters. Melanie Koch, clinical director of nursing at the health department, says the system has been easy for staff to learn and has lowered costs, allowed for a better flow of patients, and made more efficient use of a physician’s time. She says that although Catholic Charities has made Burmese interpreters available, the interpreters were frequently out in the field, and there would be a wait for the patient and doctor. Since V-See's debut in December, use has averaged between 10 and 20 appointments daily, and on occasion the system has handled as many as 40 patients a day.

From "Internet Translation Service Helps Burmese"
Fort Wayne News-Sentinel (IN) (05/10/11) Bogue, Ellie
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Polish Translator Jagodzi?ski Receives Czech Prize

Polish translator Andrzej Jagodzi?ski has been honored with the first Ji?í Theiner Prize. Jagodzi?ski has translated the works of Václav Havel, the first president of the Czech Republic, into Polish. He has also translated most of the works of Josef Škvorecký, a Czech writer living in Canada. Other Czech authors whose works Jagodzi?ski has translated into Polish include Bohumil Hrabal, Milan Kundera, and Pavel Kohout. "Thanks to his work before the fall of the Iron Curtain, Poles had perhaps a better knowledge of the creation of Czech exiled writers than Czechs themselves," says juror Ji?í Gruntorad. Jagodzi?ski is an author himself, having published a book of interviews with exiled Czech writers in 1988. "If it were not for Czech literature, I would never have studied the Bohemian studies and would never have become a translator," Jagodzi?ski says. "I owe all my previous career to it." Pavel Theiner established the Ji?í Theiner Prize in memory of his father, a translator who was sent to the Silesian coal mines in 1948 when he refused to join the Communist Party. The elder Theiner took his family to Britain following the 1968 Warsaw-pact invasion of Czechoslovakia. During the 1970s and 1980s he promoted Czech literature and poetry abroad, and as editor of the Index on Censorship, he was passionately committed to freedom of expression throughout the world and to publicizing its persecution. His translations include works by Ivan Klíma, Ludvík Vaculík, Václav Havel, and many others. The Ji?í Theiner Prize was previously awarded to authors publishing abroad, but jury chairwoman Lenka Jungmannová says that from 2011 on it will be given "for the dissemination and promotion of Czech literature abroad."

From "Havel's Polish Translator Jagodzi?ski Receives Czech Prize"
Prague Daily Monitor (Czech Republic) (05/16/11)
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Massachusetts Law Breaks Public Safety Language Barrier

The first language access statute in Massachusetts has been unanimously passed by the Springfield City Council. The law, which is intended to improve safety for the immigrant community, requires the city’s police, fire, and other emergency services to develop procedures for communicating with limited English speakers. An accountability clause in the ordinance calls for the submission of an annual compliance report. The statute was drafted through negotiations that included the city council, the Massachusetts chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Springfield Police Department, and the Pioneer Valley Project. Verne McArthur, a member of the Pioneer Valley Project Executive Board, says the non-profit organization began working on the legislation about 18 months ago as an offshoot to its work with Springfield's immigrant community. The group documented cases where Spanish speakers were unable to get police protection because they could not be understood by 911 dispatchers or law enforcement officers. Fred Rose, an organizer with the Pioneer Valley Project, says the problem takes on significant importance since 33 percent of Springfield’s population is non-English speaking. Attorney William Newman, director of the ACLU’s Western Massachusetts office, commends the legislation, saying the language access statute augments and enforces civil rights. City officials have said the implementation of the law, including training, translation of written material, and phone interpreting services, will cost less than $10,000. According to Springfield Police Commissioner Aide Sgt. John Delaney, bilingual 911 operators are typically scheduled around the clock, and interpreting services are also available to police through a statewide system. Delaney says officers in the field can use the services on their cell phones. In addition, they have been trained to seek assistance from neighbors or relatives when they have difficulty communicating with an individual.

From "Law Aims to Break Public Safety Language Barrier"
WAMC.com (NY) (05/19/11) Tuthill, Paul
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China Lacks Qualified Translators, Interpreters

A shortage of capable staff and teaching resources is a serious concern for the Chinese translation industry, according to the Translators Association of China (TAC). In a survey conducted by the association, 68 percent of the businesses who responded believe that there is too little training and cultural expertise in the current translation industry. On average, each of the companies reported that they plan to hire more than five employees this year. Analysts say the poll is indicative of the strong demand for qualified translators and interpreters in China. According to TAC, the number of people who receive formal training in translation is very limited, and neither the educational content nor the teaching resources are sufficient, given the demand. The history of translation education in China is relatively short, only dating back to 1979 when the UN offered the first translation courses at Beijing Foreign Studies University. The results of the TAC survey were presented during the annual International Permanent Conference of University Institutes of Translators and Interpreters held in Beijing May 21-22. The focus of the meeting was economic development and the function of translation and interpreting.

From "China Lacks Qualified Translators, Interpreters"
People's Daily (China) (05/23/11)
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South Dakota to Create Court Interpreter Registry

A 15-member panel appointed by the South Dakota Supreme Court recently agreed to establish a state registry of approved court interpreters. The proposed rules for the new registry include an oral legal terminology exam in source and target languages, a written exam with an ethics component, and an orientation course. Karl Thoennes, court administrator for the Second Judicial Circuit, believes most of the state’s interpreters will elect to remain unregistered. “We’re begging, not choosing,” he says. The panel has held lengthy discussions on how a case should be handled if a registered interpreter is not available. The committee members concur that in that situation a judge should be allowed to select an unregistered interpreter. Sioux Falls Circuit Judge and panel Chairman Bradley Zell says that although the U.S. Justice Department requires states to adhere to federal civil rights laws by providing competent interpreting services, South Dakota will nonetheless have to permit judges to use interpreters who otherwise do not meet those rules in certain circumstances. "We need to comply, but we also need some wiggle room," Zell says. The panel was charged by the high court with ensuring that people with little to no English fluency, as well as the hearing impaired, understand what is happening when they end up in court. Members of the committee say their biggest challenge will be coming up with a way to cover the costs of the expected increase in the use of interpreters. For criminal hearings and trials, counties currently bear much of the responsibility for the cost of interpreting services. The court system pays for services required by those on probation, and in civil lawsuits interpreter fees are paid by the individual parties. Panel members say that grants, state funding, fees attached to criminal fines, and additions to court filing fees are among the possible funding sources for the increased costs. The need for interpreters varies across South Dakota, with Sioux Falls courts reporting they use interpreting services almost daily. On the other hand, rural courts seldom deal with non-English speakers. The recent influx of immigrants to the Sioux Falls area has prompted the Second Judicial Circuit to develop a more formal system for hiring interpreters. Many of the immigrants are from Africa and speak less common languages.

From "SD Committee Agrees on Court Interpreter Registry"
Associated Press (NY) (05/06/11) Brokaw, Chet
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Lack of Native Language Content Limits European Web Users

According to recent European Union research, more than 50 percent of European web surfers use a language other than their own on the Internet. The Eurobarometer survey also found that 44 percent of online European web users feel they are losing out when web pages are not in a language they understand, and just 18 percent actually make a purchase online when the site is in a language foreign to them. The findings, say the researchers, emphasize the value of providing multilingual content and investing in online translation tools. Following the report, European Union Digital Agenda Commissioner Neelie Kroes observed, "If we are serious about making every European digital, we need to make sure that they can understand the web content they want. We are developing new technologies that can help people who cannot understand a foreign language." He noted that the European Commission is currently managing 30 research and development projects in translation technologies, including a free online portal. Web consultant Trenton Moss says that although language expansion is essential to web firms' extension of their global presence, they need to recognize that there is more to it than a simple word-for-word translation of their site. He also notes that people are frequently frustrated by sites that advertise accessibility in multiple languages, yet have only a few translated pages. "It should be indicated whether the full site is translated or if it is only specific pages," Moss says. He adds, "Generally, if websites offer content in multiple languages, it should as a minimum cover the most popular content." Moss advises clients looking to go multilingual to carefully think through their translation decisions. In particular, they need to look at their site for country-specific content. Typically, it does not pay to translate that material.

From "European Web Surfers Frustrated by Lack of Native Language Content"
V3.co.uk (United Kingdom) (05/12/11) Muncaster, Phil
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Google Patent Search Features Language Translation

Inventors seeking a pan-European patent are burdened with the responsibility of ensuring that similar work has not already been protected in other nations. The European Patent Office (EPO) has partnered with Google to help make that task easier. Google's Patent Search application features language translation software that will translate patents into 28 European languages as well as into Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. Inventors can use the application to search thousands of patent records in other European countries, looking for existing patents similar to theirs. The goal is to help them ensure the originality of their work. “The ramifications of that are potentially huge,” says Matthew Lambrinos, an attorney with FAI Patents. “At the moment, if I’m going to file a patent application in Spanish, I have to search abstracts in English or in multiple other languages.” Through the alliance with EPO, Google will gain access to a vast collection of both technical and multilingual documents that can be used to help the company improve its language translation software. Antoine Aubert, head of public policy at Google Brussels, says, “This project will be of huge benefit to inventors, scientists, and innovators across Europe, enabling them to speed up R&D efforts with searches in their own language, across the entire EPO corpus of European, Asian, and Russian patents. Google Translate was created to help break down language barriers, and this collaboration with the EPO will do exactly that, for all Europeans in all languages.” EPO President Benoit Battistelli adds, "The new translation tool is a further stepping-stone to improving innovation in Europe and enabling European businesses to play level with their competitors in other regions." Analysts say the broad use of Patent Search by investors applying for pan-European patents will strengthen the patents that are granted approval. The application is scheduled to be running by the end of 2014.

From "Lost in Translation: Tie-Up With Google Offers Hope for Cheaper Patent Filing"
Financial Times (United Kingdom) (05/19/11) Gelles, David
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DARPA Launches Translation Software Initiative

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is seeking proposals for new technology that will enable the U.S. military to accurately translate dialects of Arabic and Mandarin Chinese and decipher intelligence and communications data in voice, video, and print. As part of the Broad Operational Language Translation (BOLT) program, DARPA also wants to develop machine translation software that will enable military personnel to have real-time complex face-to-face conversations in a foreign language. Part of the BOLT program will involve the agency's Spoken Language Communication and Translation System for Tactical Use, a tool that translates short phrases for spontaneous two-way communication. BOLT’s other goals include developing the capability to retrieve information from multilingual sources using natural English language and researching semantic language acquisition and basic technologies, such as parsing and language modeling. BOLT is asking for contractors to submit bids in three technical areas: the development of algorithms and integrated systems to support translation; the construction of systems for data collection; and the ability to evaluate language solutions in machine translation. Each area will be divided into three phases with each phase lasting about 12 months.

From "DARPA Launches Translation Software Initiative"
InformationWeek (NY) (04/26/11) Montalbano, Elizabeth
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Vermont Courts Seek to Streamline the Use of Interpreters

Although interpreters working in Vermont's courts almost always have some legal training, the judiciary has yet to standardize interpreting requirements. In March, Vermont court officials took a step toward ensuring reliable interpreting by disseminating a standardized written test recognized by courts nationally. Court officials also hosted a summit in May to discuss with other state agencies whether Vermont should support a central contact point for interpreters. The Vermont court system spends about $65,000 annually on interpreters, and the courts generally recruit them through either the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program, the Association of Africans Living in Vermont, or a New Hampshire-based organization. Jacqueline Rose, with the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program's Interpreting and Translating Services, says that almost all interpreters hold at least one other job. French interpreter Guylaine Daoust says court interpreters earn between $30 and $35 an hour, but, he adds, this type of income is too sporadic to rely upon. Court officials say the viability of interpreting as a profession could be increased in Vermont by streamlining the use of interpreters, which also could reduce costs and make interpreters more readily available.

From "Vermont Courts Seek to Streamline the Use of Interpreters"
Burlington Free Press (VT) (05/01/11) Ryan, Matt
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ATA News


Early Registration Ends May 31

International Federation of Translators
FIT XIX World Congress—Bridging Cultures
San Francisco, California
August 1-4

This summer, ATA will host the International Federation of Translators (FIT) XIX World Congress in San Francisco, California.

FIT’s triennial conference and exhibition offers a unique educational program focusing on international and intercultural translation and interpreting. Presentations will include workshops, panel discussions, and scholarly papers from a diverse and experienced group of language professionals. The meeting is a tremendous opportunity for attendees—and ATA members—to share, learn, and network with colleagues from around the world.

The FIT World Congress offers you an excellent program of continuing education, and the host city of San Francisco is an unforgettable experience with its timeless neighborhoods, cable cars, and Golden Gate Bridge.

Early registration discounts end May 31. Look for details and registration information online.

There is still time to become an exhibitor or sponsor. Contact Caron Mason, ATA Public Relations and Marketing Manager, for details. Email caron@atanet.org or call +1-703-683-6100, extension 3003.

See you in beautiful San Francisco!


ATA Online Directory Stats

The ATA Online Directory statistics for 2010 are in! Which languages and specialties were the most requested? How many times was the directory opened? What is the number of unique visitors to directories? Find out now. Click 2010 ATA Online Directory Stats.

A listing in one of ATA's online directories can be your most valuable member benefit. Take advantage of the opportunity to get your services online, and let your ATA membership work for you.

If you've already listed your services, this would be a good time to review and update your listing to include your specialties, experience, education, and important keywords. Interpreters will also want to attach a sample voice file to their listing.

Seven tips to make the most of your listing:
  1. Review your listing often to add new information.
  2. Experiment with different keywords.
  3. List non-English language combinations, such as Portuguese into Spanish.
  4. Check your spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
  5. Keep your contact information updated.
  6. Highlight your skills in the "Additional Information" field.
  7. Include all your areas of specialization.


Revisers: Invisible But Important

Presenter: Jonathan Hine
Date: June 8
Time: 2:00 p.m. US Eastern Daylight Time
Duration: 60 minutes
CE Point(s): 1

Language services companies know that revision is their most powerful quality assurance tool for delivering a translation that is as close to perfect as possible. Translators who can provide them with professionally edited work are invaluable.

Join us for this 60-minute webinar to learn about the practice of revision in the translation industry and the strategies for pricing and performing this crucial value-adding step in a translation project. The presentation will be structured to accommodate at least 30 minutes of questions and answers.

Attendees will learn:
  • Definition of revision; what it is and is not.
  • Types of revision; focus on professional revision in the commercial context.
  • Roles of the reviser in large and small projects; what makes a "good" reviser.
  • Financial considerations: pricing, opportunity costs.
Don’t lose out! ATA’s March and April webinars sold out in advance of the events. Take time to register now while space is still available.

Register online: ATA Member $35 | Non-Member $50


Ensuring Payment – Before, During, and After the Project

Presenter: Ted R. Wozniak
Date: June 14
Time: 12 noon US Eastern Daylight Time
Duration: 60 minutes
CE Point(s): 1

Late and non-payments are a fact of life in all businesses. The Internet and the rise of translator "auction" portals, while increasing the translator's exposure to the global market, have unfortunately also made it easier for freelancers to be "stuck with the bill."

Join us for this 60-minute webinar to learn the steps that all freelancers can and should take to minimize the risk of not being paid for their services.

Attendees will learn:
  • Actions to take before, during, and after the project.
  • Standard business practices regarding accounts payable.
  • Resources for checking a company's payment reliability.
  • Collection procedures.
Register online: ATA Member $35 | Non-Member $50


Preparing to Take the ATA Certification Exam

Presenter: Celia Bohannon, CT
Date: July 14
Time: 12 noon US Eastern Daylight Time
Duration: 60 minutes
CE Point(s): 1

You've set the goal of earning ATA certification as a professional credential, and you've decided to take the exam. What can you do to set yourself up for success?

Now's your chance to find out! In this 60-minute webinar, veteran grader Celia Bohannon will outline the path to exam day, pointing out opportunities and pitfalls along the way.

Attendees will learn:
  • How to approach eligibility requirements.
  • What to do with the practice test results..
  • How to train for taking the exam.
  • What the examination results mean.
Register online: ATA Member $35 | Non-Member $50


New! ATA Mission Statement

The simplest reason for a mission statement is to answer the question “What do we do?” That is, it succinctly states the fundamental purpose of an organization. The ATA Board of Directors recently approved the following ATA mission statement.

The mission of ATA is to benefit translators and interpreters by promoting recognition of their societal and commercial value, facilitating communication among all its members, establishing standards of competence and ethics, and educating both its members and the public.

The statement, which draws from Article II of ATA’s Bylaws, offers members and the public a quick snapshot of both the vision and the function of the association, and will be a way for the ATA Board of Directors to measure up plans and initiatives for the association's future.


ATA Board Meeting Summary

The ATA Board of Directors met in Alexandria, Virginia April 30-May 1. Look for a summary of the meeting’s actions, discussions, and ongoing committee work in the Members Only area of the ATA website. The summary is a quick read designed to keep members up to speed.

The Board meets four times a year to establish policy, develop goals and objectives, review emerging trends and issues, monitor annual conference planning, hear committee reports, and oversee Association finances. To learn more about the association’s governance, click How ATA Works.


2011 ATA Honors and Awards

The ATA Ungar German Translation Award is bestowed biennially for a distinguished literary translation from German into English that has been published in the United States. The award honors Frederick Ungar, an ATA member and distinguished publisher dedicated to both high literary standards and the exacting standards of fine translation. The honoree will receive a $1,000 cash award, a certificate of recognition, and up to $500 toward expenses for attending ATA's 52nd Annual Conference in Boston, MA (October 26-29, 2011). Deadline for nominations is June 4, 2011.

The Alicia Gordon Award for Word Artistry in Translation is given for a translation (from French or Spanish into English, or from English into French or Spanish) that demonstrates the highest level of creativity in solving a particularly knotty translation problem. The honor was established in memory of Alicia Gordon, a translator known for her rigorous research in search of imaginative solutions to translation problems. The translator of the winning entry will receive $250 and a certificate of recognition. Open to ATA members in good-standing. Deadline for nominations is June 6, 2011.

The American Foundation for Translation and Interpretation’s JTG Scholarship in Scientific and Technical Translation or Interpretation is presented to a student enrolled or planning to enroll in a degree program in scientific and technical translation or in interpreter training. The award is a $2,500 non-renewable scholarship for the 2011-2012 academic year. Completed applications must be received by June 6, 2011.

The Student Translation Award is given to a graduate or undergraduate student, or group of students, for a literary or sci-tech translation or translation-related project. The award is given annually by ATA and the American Foundation for Translation and Interpretation. The honoree receives a $500 award, a certificate of recognition, and up to $500 in expenses for attending ATA's 52nd Annual Conference in Boston, MA (October 26-29, 2011). Deadline for submissions is June 30, 2011.

The Harvie Jordan Scholarship is awarded annually to a member of the Spanish Language Division who has demonstrated leadership skills and commitment to service. The scholarship was established to promote, encourage, and support professional development of translators and interpreters within the ATA's Spanish Language Division and to honor Harvie Jordan's lifetime contributions as a language professional. The scholarship provides a paid registration to attend ATA's 52nd Annual Conference in Boston, MA (October 26-29, 2011). Deadline for nominations is September 19, 2011.

The S. Edmund Berger Prize is awarded annually in recognition of excellence in scientific and technical translation. The winner of the prize receives $1,000 from ATA and the American Foundation for Translation and Interpretation (AFTI) in honor of this achievement. The recipient of the award will be announced during ATA's 52nd Annual Conference in Boston, MA (October 26-29, 2011).

New! The establishment of the Julia Segall-Derfler Scholarship in Arabic or Hebrew Translation and Interpreting was announced at ATA’s 51st Annual Conference in Denver, Colorado. The award will be presented to a student enrolled in a graduate or undergraduate degree program in Arabic or Hebrew language studies with a focus on translation and/or interpreting at an accredited U.S. college or university. The first scholarship will be a $1,000 award presented at ATA's 52nd Annual Conference in Boston, MA (October 26-29, 2011). Completed applications must be received by September 1, 2011


Coming Up in the June Issue of The ATA Chronicle

To Sign or Not To Sign? Chris Durban Answers the Question
When nobody takes responsibility (and credit) and opacity reigns, clients and good translation suppliers suffer. (Catherine Jan)

Are Translators Luddites?
This year marks the 200th anniversary of the Luddite uprising in England. As technology gains traction in the language services industry, translators and interpreters may be tempted to follow their example. (John M. Milan)

Translation and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Science is not so mysterious nor the texts so difficult as you may think at first. (Gary Smith)

Beyond Subtitling: Audiovisual Translation in the 21st Century
The author provides an overview of the main modes of audiovisual translation, such as subtitling, dubbing, and audio description, and highlights new growth areas within the industry and the changing role of the translator. (Christine Kretschmer)

Online access to The ATA Chronicle is included with your association membership. View the latest issues in PDF for articles that can give you a heads up on ideas, tools, and new ways of doing business.


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