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ATA 47th Annual Conference


Preconference Seminars

ATA's Preconference Seminars are in-depth educational opportunities provided by experts in their respective fields. All Preconference Seminars take place on Wednesday, November 1. Seminars are presented in English, unless otherwise noted.

Ticket required. See the Conference Registration Form.


DVD-ROM Seminar A
Community Interpreting: Ethics, Skills, and Standards of Practice
Marjory A. Bancroft
Wednesday, 9:00am-12:00pm - All Levels

Over the last decade, community interpreting has transformed itself, and the number of community interpreters has increased exponentially. Yet, at present, there are no general ethics, skills, or standards to regulate the field. Which code of ethics should community interpreters adhere to? What are the core skills that interpreters should possess? Which standards of practice should apply? Are interpreters allowed to interrupt the session if a cultural barrier arises? Answers to these questions lie in healthcare interpreting which has developed national ethics and standards of practice that promote targeted skills, clear roles, and professional boundaries. This session offers strategies for effective, professional interpreting in community and social service settings.


Seminar B
Representing and Defending Translators in France and in Latin Countries
Yves Champollion
Wednesday, 9:00am-12:00pm - All Levels

A discussion of the translator's status in France and Europe from the Middle Ages to the present day. The presenter will discuss how the crucial lack of strong unions, clear standards, and legal framework make the Latin translator an undervalued, underpaid knowledge worker in comparison to his Anglo-Saxon/Scandinavian colleagues. Possible solutions to this problem will be explored. Will translators, especially in Latin countries, be victims, rather than actors or heroes, of globalization?


DVD-ROM Seminar C
Deconstructing Legal English for the Legal Translator and Interpreter
Steven Todd Mines
Wednesday, 9:00am-12:00pm - All Levels

A successful legal translator or interpreter needs more than a passing acquaintance with the particular forms and conventions of legal English. Many learn by imitation and stumbling through by trial and error, dictionary-in-hand, never having the benefit of any instruction on the characteristics inherent to English as used by lawyers or the fundamental differences between civil law and common law reasoning and language. This session aims to improve legal English writing and speaking skills through exercises and examples of cognates and linguistic traps, and offers a brief overview of the legal and language culture of the U.S.


Seminar D
Emphasizing Medical Aspects of Medical Interpretation
Holly Mikkelson and Rafael A. Rivera
Wednesday, 9:00am-5:00pm - Advanced

This session is intended for advanced medical interpreters who wish to gain a broader understanding of the medical vocabulary they interpret in their daily work and its clinical implications. Participants will be dealing with coached sight translations, consecutive scripts, information sheets, and word lists in either language. The presenters will intercalate medical explanations, questions, illustrations, examples, or any other data appropriate to enhance understanding and retention of the medical vocabulary, terminology, culturally-bound expressions, symbols, and abbreviations as they appear.


Seminar E
Butterflies, Condors, and Jelly Rolls: Derivatives Explained
Ralf Lemster
Wednesday, 9:00am-12:00pm - All Levels (Presenting Languages: English & German)

The presentation will focus primarily on German<>English financial derivatives. Based on an outline of the main types of instruments and markets, we will discuss key comprehension aspects and the terminology involved. There will be time for questions and answers at the end of the session.


Seminar F
Anatomy for German<>English Translators, Part I
Rudolf Leube
Wednesday, 9:00am-12:00pm - All Levels (Presenting Language: German)

This session is designed as an anatomy and terminology unit that will introduce current or future medical translators to the "big picture" they often feel they lack. It focuses on the knee joint as an example of the musculoskeletal system, introducing terminology pertaining to spatial description and the principles of bone/muscle interactions and function. PowerPoint slides, animated illustrations, and anatomical models will be used to enhance understanding of theoretical concepts.


Seminar G
Translation Pitfalls: Cómo evitarlos
Javier Labrador
Wednesday, 9:00am-12:00pm - All Levels (Presenting Language: Spanish)

The presenter will demonstrate the most common types of translation errors he sees working as a senior quality manager at TransPerfect Translations. This will be a hands-on workshop with heavy audience participation, the intent being to create a learning environment. Attendees can expect to leave this presentation with a solid sense of the things they have to pay special attention to in order to avoid errors and produce consistently high quality work.


Seminar H
Objective Self-Analysis: Applying Empirical Research Techniques to Self-Study and Skills Maintenance
Peter P. Lindquist
Wednesday, 9:00am-12:00pm - All Levels

Professional translators and interpreters often work in isolation, making it difficult to obtain analysis of their work. The MRC (meaning, rhetorical value, and clarity) approach provides a framework for objective, systematic self-analysis through which personal patterns, strengths, and weaknesses can be identified. This workshop will illustrate the MRC approach using guided discussions as well as group and individual exercises. Attendees will translate passages of text, apply the MRC approach to their efforts, and discuss their findings. This workshop is applicable to all language combinations.


DVD-ROM Seminar I
A Second Pair of Eyes: Revision, Editing, and Proofreading
S. Alexandra Russell-Bitting
Wednesday, 9:00am-12:00pm - All Levels

Inadvertent translation bloopers can ruin an otherwise excellent job. This session will review three different types of quality control in translation: revision, editing, and proofreading. Participants will examine short texts and solve common problems such as accuracy, register, style, and consistency. Translation issues will refer to original documents in Spanish, but knowledge of Spanish is not required to attend the workshop. Editing and proofreading exercises will be in English only. We will also discuss translator resources such as dictionaries, style manuals, and using the Internet.


Seminar J
Tools for Chinese Translators
Jennifer DeCamp
Wednesday, 9:00am-12:00pm - All Levels

This presentation focuses on the results of surveys and assessments of tools for assisting Chinese>English translators. A range of resources will be shown, with references provided, from online dictionaries to integrated machine translation and named entity extraction. Tools and resources will be demonstrated.


Seminar K
The Basics of Meeting Procedures
Jim Lochrie
Wednesday, 9:00am-12:00pm - All Levels

This session will cover the basic responsibilities of board members and their duties, principles of meeting procedures, voting, debating, and three or four of the basic motions that cover 95% of meetings. Come prepared to participate and ask questions on all aspects of meeting procedures. Chapter and division officers and anyone needing to know about parliamentary procedure are encouraged to attend.


DVD-ROM Seminar L
Dealing with the Media
Rut Simcovich
Wednesday, 2:00pm-5:00pm - All Levels

This session will cover many of the various instances in which interpreters are called upon to act in situations that involve the media, ranging from personal interviews to press conferences, as well as interpreting for radio or TV programs. These interpreting situations are unique in many respects. Topics will include: tips on how to prepare; the various players involved and how to deal with them; what to expect; on-camera versus off-camera; what to wear; voice considerations; consecutive, simultaneous, and whispering modes of interpreting; and the particularities of each medium.


DVD-ROM Seminar M
Practicing Self-Revision
Louise Brunette
Wednesday, 2:00pm-5:00pm - All Levels (Presenting Language: French)

Growing demand can make it hard to find editors for a translation project. It has been proven that delivering an unedited translation to the client can be extremely risky. In the case where an editor cannot be found, the translator may have a life preserver at his disposal: self-editing. This session will focus on mastering this skill, emphasizing the most dangerous "booby traps," the distortions of meaning, and linguistic interferences. Participants will be required to translate a short text from English into French before the beginning of this session.


Seminar N
Bang! The Automotive Personal Injury Lawsuit in the U.S. and Latin America: From Tread Separation and Yaw Marks to Bystander Injury Claims
Aaron Ruby
Wednesday, 2:00pm-5:00pm - All Levels

Automotive accidents pose a particular challenge for Spanish-language interpreters and translators. Witness statements involve idiomatic variations in descriptions of highway and automobile parts, work and personal history, as well as transit authorities, especially when the accidents happen in Latin America. Discovery documents for personal injury lawsuits often include medical, accident reconstruction, and police reports, vital statistics records, and even legal briefs on tort law in Latin America when the U.S. venue is challenged. This presentation will discuss technical aspects, legal concepts, and the vocabulary commonly encountered in these lawsuits. Participants will receive references, glossaries, and visual aids.


Seminar O
German GAAP Today: A Crash Course for Translators and Interpreters
Robin Bonthrone
Wednesday, 2:00pm-5:00pm - All Levels

German GAAP (HGB/GoB) remains firmly anchored in German single-entity financial reporting, and hundreds of these financial statements are translated each year. 2006 has been a bumper year for new resources—the fourth edition of Deutsches Bilanzrecht/German Accounting Legislation (IDW-Verlag) and second version of the bilingual XBRL German GAAP taxonomy. This seminar begins by focusing on German GAAP primary financial statements, including problem "weasel words" and revised terms resulting from the new resources, followed by a textual analysis of a "how to do it" translation exercise that will highlight issues when translating narrative disclosures. All participants will receive a set of illustrative bilingual single-entity primary financial statements.


Seminar P
Anatomy for German<>English Translators, Part II
Renate Chestnut, Karen A. Leube, and Rudolf Leube
Wednesday, 2:00pm-5:00pm - All Levels (Presenting Languages: English & German)

This session will use texts focusing on pathological conditions of the knee joint for hands-on translation practice. Groups will be formed according to target language (German or English). The groups will compile terminology lists, analyze texts, learn about reference materials (dictionaries, Internet resources), and produce translations. Participation in Part I of this session is not required.


DVD-ROM Seminar Q
Translating Books for the Spanish-Speaking World: The Intermingling of Translation and Editing for Publishing
Mercedes Guhl
Wednesday, 2:00pm-5:00pm - All Levels (Presenting Language: Spanish)

Fidelity can become a difficult problem to tackle when translating a non-literary original that is so deeply rooted in the source culture that its faithful translation renders a nonfunctional text for the reader. This session will examine and discuss the problems linked to fidelity through examples of translations of self-help books for Latin American audiences.


DVD-ROM Seminar R
Diferencias ortográficas entre el inglés y el español
Jorge de Buen
Wednesday, 2:00pm-5:00pm - All Levels (Presenting Language: Spanish)

Enumeraremos y discutiremos las diferencias más importantes que hay entre las ortotipografías inglesa y española. Reconoceremos los usos respectivos de la coma, la barra, el espacio, los paréntesis, las comillas, las mayúsculas y más. Nos serviremos de frases paradigmáticas y ejercicios para evitar las confusiones. Los asistentes podrán enriquecer el taller expresando sus dudas y compartiendo sus experiencias. Todos nos hemos enfrentado con problemas como los que veremos aquí. Ni siquiera los expertos están a salvo, porque, a veces, mientras más profundos son nuestros conocimientos lingüísticos, más difícil se nos hace navegar en aquellas regiones donde se fusionan dos idiomas.


DVD-ROM Seminar S
Business of Translation: Organization and Management
Dorothee Racette
Wednesday, 2:00pm-5:00pm - All Levels

This session will present timesaving organizational strategies to help independent contractors manage the business aspects of their professional lives. Topics will include computer organization, workflow management, time management, and an overview of standard software tools, with hands-on exercises for participants.


DVD-ROM Seminar T
Torture the Translator
Michele A. Berdy
Wednesday, 2:00pm-5:00pm - All Levels (Presenting Languages: English & Russian)

No matter how many years you have been translating Russian into English or English into Russian, there are words, syntactical constructions, and aspects of cultural reality and genre that remain problematic. When translating English into Russian, what do you do with inclusive language (s/he)? When translating Russian into English, how do you repackage a five-line, three-clause sentence in which the subject is the last word? We will examine genre (with special attention to business correspondence), subtext, lexical difficulties, and syntax in order to improve both translations and translation strategies. We will translate both Russian into English and English into Russian.


Seminar U
When is a Literary Translation Finished? Short Answer: Never
Betsy Wing
Wednesday, 2:00pm-5:00pm - All Levels

This session will focus on the steps necessary to create a satisfactory end product. Participants are requested to bring 10 copies of the following: 1) a brief (one page or less) text they are interested in working on; and 2) a word-for-word translation of this text. (It works best if the various possible choices for each word are noted.) If the text is not in French, please have it checked with someone with a native or near-native understanding of the language. Other items suggested include any previous translation of the text and the dictionary you work with.