Featured Article

Find a Translator or Interpreter
Search for:

Featured Article from The ATA Chronicle (June 2009)


Ben Teague In Memoriam
Ben Teague

Portions of the following were published in the April 29, 2009 edition of the Athens Banner-Herald and in the online Translation Journal. Thanks to Gabe Bokor, ATA director, for contributing to this piece.

Ben Teague, ATA past president, secretary, and director, died April 25, 2009. Teague, 63, of Athens, Georgia, was one of three people shot and killed while attending a reunion of the Town & Gown Players, the oldest community theater company in Athens. Ben’s tragic death is a major loss to ATA and to the profession as a whole.

Born September 19, 1945 in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, Ben was the son of Anna Kate and the late Benjamin Teague.

He received a BS in physics from Rice University in 1967, where he also did graduate work in space science.
Ben worked for Union Carbide in Oak Ridge, KPFT-Pacifica in Houston, the Houston Independent School District, and in the physics department at the University of Texas at Austin, before beginning his long career as a scientific and technical translator from German into English in 1972. Nationally recognized, he translated for clients from around the world, specializing in patents, energy research and technology, the physical sciences, and engineering. Ben moved his practice to Athens in 1977, when his wife, Fran, took a job teaching at the University of Georgia.

Ben served as ATA secretary from 1975 to 1979, and as the Association’s president from 1981 to 1983. Ben was probably one of ATA’s youngest officers. He was actively involved in ATA’s Accreditation (now Certification) program. At one time or another he headed about half of ATA’s committees, including the Accreditation and Ethics Committees. His column in The ATA Chronicle, “The View from Down Here,” dealt with ATA governance and issues of the profession. As one of the early members of CompuServe’s Foreign Language Education Forum (FLEFO), he was an enthusiastic promoter of the use of technology by language professionals in the 1980s. He was tireless in helping his colleagues by answering their questions about terminology, technology, and business practices. In 1990, he received ATA’s Alexander Gode Medal for distinguished service to the translation and interpreting professions.

Ben’s avocation and great love was theater, and he worked with the Town & Gown Players for many years after moving to Athens. He was involved in nearly every aspect of putting a show together, and worked on well over 100 productions, most notably playing roles in The Oldest Living Graduate and The Tempest, and directing Arcadia. He acted and directed, but took the most pleasure in building sets and teaching novices how to use power tools. His technical expertise in set construction was so revered that Town & Gown named its annual Technical Achievement Award “The Teaggie.”

Survivors include his mother, Anna Kate Teague; his brother and sister-in-law, Tom and Stephanie Teague; Fran, his wife of 41 years; and his nephews, Joseph Townley Teague, Recy Benjamin Dunn, Christopher Dunn, and Nick Dunn.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Town & Gown Players, P.O. Box 565, Athens, GA 30601, or to Care International, 151 Ellis Avenue NE, Atlanta, GA 30303.

More information on Ben’s life, as well as other tributes, can be found at:

Aued, Blake. “Remembering Ben Teague: A Passion for Theater.” Athens Banner Herald (May 2, 2009).

Ben Teague’s Website

Translation Journal

Town & Gown Players