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Featured Article from The ATA Chronicle (October 2008)


School Outreach Profile: Jonathan Hine

By Lillian Clementi
Jonathan Hine is best known to readers of The ATA Chronicle for his many conference sessions on business skills for translators, but a 2006 school outreach presentation recently made him a local television celebrity.

Translating Latin During Vatican II
A full-time translator since 1985, Hine translated his first book in 1962.
As an adolescent altar boy, he translated Latin for American bishops attending Vatican Council II in Rome, and later used his French and Italian skills during a career in the U.S. Navy.

Now at Scriptor Services, LLC in Charlottesville, Virginia, Hine works with his colleague Hillary Hall, translating from Italian and French into English and specializing in finance and law. They also work as consultants, evaluating translator and interpreter training programs and intercultural business activity. An active member of ATA, Hine has presented at numerous conferences and has become an energetic advocate for language careers in local schools.

Golden Opportunity
In 2005 and 2006, Hine and his Scriptor Services colleagues staffed a table at Charlottesville’s Seventh Grade Career Fair, providing information on translation and interpreting careers to 2,500-5,000 students each time. In November 2006, the local vocational-technical center invited Hine to tape a school outreach presentation in its television studio as part of a longer program on a variety of careers. Intended for one-time broadcast on public access television in January 2007, the program was also slated for transfer to DVD and distribution to middle and high school guidance counselors in Charlottesville and the surrounding counties. It was a golden opportunity to reach a large audience through a single presentation, and Hine jumped at the chance.

“I downloaded Barbara Bell’s slides from ATA’s School Outreach website. I used that as the basic framework and supplemented it with material I had assembled for other local presentations,” he said. “Although there were only 10 students in the television audience, it was never meant to stop there.” It didn’t.

“I saw you on TV”
Once the lively 40-minute presentation had been recorded, it ran on the local public access television channel. And ran. And ran. “The TV station kept using it as their default programming for unscheduled air time,” Hine shrugs. “I have no way of estimating how many people viewed the program, but for nearly two years, not a week went by that someone didn’t accost me with ‘I saw you on TV the other day.’”

So many people saw the presentation that Hine has become a local translation and interpreting resource, and the Charlottesville Chamber of Commerce has recently added a new category for translation and interpreting to its online directory.

Hine’s vo-tech appearance has led to even more school outreach opportunities.
In January 2007, the Virginia Education Career Foundation (VECF) asked him to participate in Commonwealth Scholars, an eighth-grade outreach program that encourages students to broaden their career opportunities by choosing the most demanding high school courses—including languages. Sponsored by the VECF and the
U.S. Department of Education, the program reaches more than 800 Virginia eighth graders annually.

Suddenly the Lights Come On
“In Fall 2008, we expect to repeat the Seventh Grade Career Fair and the Commonwealth Scholars program,” says Hine. “When we participate in these larger programs, that lets the teachers know I’m available as a resource. Then I can do what I really like, which is getting into the classroom and talking to the students directly.” He clearly finds the contact rewarding. “I tell bilingual students they have an edge, and suddenly the lights come on.”

“It’s good exposure for ATA and the profession,” Hine continues. “Students who want to pursue language-oriented careers will be looking for translation and interpreting programs. This will put pressure on schools to deliver what students want. Eventually, demand will drive supply. But even if they don’t wind up as translators or interpreters, I want them to understand the value of being able to work in two languages.”

Hine will be making two presentations at this year’s ATA Annual Conference in Orlando. See the conference program and visit www.atanet.org/conf/2008 for details.

Now Open
ATA School Outreach Contest
2008–2009

Make a School Outreach presentation this year, and you could win free registration to ATA’s 50th Annual Conference in New York City, October 28 – 31, 2009. Here’s how to enter.

1. Visit ATA’s School Outreach Resource Center at www.atanet.org/careers/school_outreach.php.

2. Click on Presentation Resource Materials and choose the age level you like the best. Download a presentation, or use the resources on the School Outreach website to round out your own material.

3. Make a presentation on translation and/or interpreting careers at a school or university anywhere in the world between August 18, 2008 and July 20, 2009.

4. Get someone to take a picture of you in the classroom. For tips on getting a winning shot, visit the School Outreach Photo Gallery on ATA’s website at www.atanet.org/ata_school/photo_gallery.php.

5. Send your picture electronically to pr@atanet.org using the subject line “School Outreach Contest,” or mail your entry to ATA, 225 Reinekers Lane, Suite 590, Alexandria, VA 22314. Please include: your name and contact information; the date of your presentation; the school’s name and location; and a brief description of the class. You may submit multiple entries.

The deadline for submissions is midnight on July 20, 2009.

The winner will be contacted no later than August 17, 2009. You must be a member of ATA or an ATA-affiliated organization to enter.