Newsbriefs: August 2, 2021

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ATA62 Conference Registration Is Open!

No other industry event provides the same comprehensive professional development as ATA’s Annual Conference. Whether you attend virtually or in person, you’ll find the best education from world-class presenters.

Enhance your skills and grow your business so you’re always ready for what the future has in store.

Get practical and effective solutions for the challenges currently facing translators and interpreters.

Hear about the latest developments that affect you, your clients, and the language services industry.

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Don’t wait! Register by October 1 for the lowest rates. The hotel block for the conference is now open and discounted rates are available at the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis until October 1 or as space allows.

And don’t forget to follow #ata62 for the latest updates and details.

Hunter Master of Arts in Translation and Interpreting

Industry News

U.S. Flies 200 Afghan Interpreters and Their Relatives to Virginia in First Evacuations as Military Withdrawal Nears Completion

The Washington Post (DC) (07/30/21) Horton, Alex

About 200 Afghan interpreters and their families arrived in Virginia on July 30, the first evacuations of thousands imperiled because of their work with the U.S. in Afghanistan as the Taliban gains control of more territory nationwide.

The flight departed Kabul with Afghans on their first leg of travel to Fort Lee, Virginia, where they will finish the last rounds of processing over the next several days, Ross Wilson, head of the U.S. diplomatic mission in Afghanistan, said. The Afghans will then be resettled across the country.

“Today is an important milestone as we continue to fulfill our promise to the thousands of Afghan nationals who served shoulder-to-shoulder with American troops and diplomats over the last 20 years in Afghanistan,” President Joe Biden said in a statement.

The evacuees escaped Taliban militants who have targeted interpreters, in some cases killing them as retribution for their work with U.S. troops on the front lines and as crucial workers for diplomats and humanitarian agencies. The urgency has mounted in recent months as the Taliban has wrested control of wide swaths of the country from the Afghan government. According to U.S. officials, the insurgent group has seized about half the country’s district centers.

The Afghans on the initial flight are among a broader group of about 2,500 who are furthest along in the special immigrant visa process and who will arrive on subsequent flights, said Russell E. Travers, a senior adviser at the National Security Council.

“These arrivals are just the first of many as we work quickly to relocate [special immigrant visa]-eligible Afghans out of harm’s way—to the U.S., to U.S. facilities abroad, or to third countries—so that they can wait in safety while they finish their visa applications,” President Biden said.

Officials have said about 4,000 applicants and their relatives who are not as far along in the process would be flown to unspecified third countries for longer-term processing.

The U.S. Senate cleared more than $1 billion to pay for the evacuations, including transportation and housing provided by the Defense and State Departments. The bill would also reduce requirements for applicants and allow 8,000 more visas on top of the 26,500 currently allocated for the program. President Biden is expected to sign the bill.


Afghan Interpreter for U.S. Army Beheaded by Taliban

CNN (NY) (07/23/21) Sidhu, Sandi; Coren, Anna; Regan, Helen; et al.

According to reports, the Taliban beheaded an Afghan man who had worked as an interpreter for the U.S. Army.

Sohail Pardis was driving from his home in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul on March 12 to the nearby Khost province to pick up his sister when his vehicle was blocked at a checkpoint by Taliban militants.

Villagers who witnessed the incident said the Taliban shot his car before it swerved and stopped. Pardis was then dragged from the vehicle and beheaded.

Just days before, Pardis had confided to his friend that he was receiving death threats from the Taliban, who had discovered he had worked as an interpreter for the U.S. Army for 16 months.

“They were telling him you are a spy for the Americans, you are the eyes of the Americans and you are an infidel, and we will kill you and your family,” his friend and co-worker Abdulhaq Ayoubi said.

As the Taliban gains control of wider swaths of the country following the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, thousands of Afghan interpreters who worked for the U.S. military fear they now face persecution.

“We can’t breathe here. The Taliban have no mercy on us,” Ayoubi said.

Around 18,000 Afghans who worked for the U.S. military have applied for a special immigrant visa (SIV) program that would allow them to go to the U.S.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Embassy in Kabul said they were “actively working on every possible contingency to make sure that we can help those who have helped us.”

“We have long said we are committed to supporting those who have helped U.S. military and other government personnel perform their duties, often at great personal risk to themselves and their families,” the spokesperson said.

“To be clear, our embassy in Kabul will continue to operate after our forces draw down. SIV processing will continue, including for those individuals who remain in Afghanistan, and we will continue to surge resources to process applications to the fullest extent possible.”


Advocates Say Massachusetts Department of Children and Families Not Providing Interpreters for Immigrant Families

The Boston Globe (MA) (07/14/21) Stout, Matt

The Massachusetts Appleseed Center for Law and Justice and Lawyers for Civil Rights have filed a complaint accusing the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF) with discriminating against immigrant families by repeatedly failing to provide non-English-speaking parents with interpreting services.

The advocacy groups have asked officials from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to investigate DCF, citing a potential violation of federal civil rights law. They warn this could have seismic consequences on families under investigation by DCF, potentially leading to children being taken from parents and placed in the state’s foster care system.

“It’s not limited to one region. It’s not limited to one language,” said Deborah Silva, executive director of the Massachusetts Appleseed Center for Law and Justice, which released a report in January examining how DCF provides interpreting services.

“Over and over again, [DCF] back-burnered this issue,” Silva said. “It just hasn’t been made a priority—and this is despite the fact that the federal government has already investigated them.”

In November, federal officials, including from the U.S. Department of Justice, concluded that DCF had repeatedly discriminated against parents with disabilities and that it had to reshape its policies so it didn’t rely on “unsupported stereotypes.”

Months later, a state probe into the death of an intellectually disabled teen involved with DCF found the agency currently had no “policies, standard practices, or training curriculum” concerning people with disabilities.

Proponents are now asking federal officials to go further than recommendations.

“This is not on the individual interpreters or individual case workers, who are truly doing their best. It’s a systemic issue with DCF that they’ve been aware of for years,” said Erin Fowler, an attorney with Lawyers for Civil Rights. “What we need to do to hold them accountable is to have a federal investigation and really bring them into compliance with federal law.”


ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith Apologizes for Criticizing Shohei Ohtani’s Use of an Interpreter

NBC News (NY) (07/13/21) Wong, Wilson

ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith has apologized after receiving backlash for his remarks about Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani’s use of an interpreter.

In a segment on ESPN’s morning talk show First Take, Smith said that Ohtani, a Japanese-born Major League Baseball sensation who has drawn comparisons to Babe Ruth, couldn’t be the face of the sport because he uses an interpreter.

“I understand that baseball is an international sport itself in terms of participation, but when you talk about an audience gravitating to the tube or to the ballpark, to actually watch you, I don’t think it helps that the number one face is a dude that needs an interpreter so you can understand what the hell he’s saying in this country,” Smith said on the show.

Criticism was swift, including from his fellow colleagues. Former ESPN commentator Keith Olbermann called for Smith’s suspension, saying his comments were particularly dangerous at a time of heightened anti-Asian violence.

“This requires an apology, and a suspension. Now,” Olbermann tweeted.

“I want to express my sincere apologies to the Asian community and the Asian American community,” Smith said later in a video. “In this day and age, with all the violence being perpetrated against the Asian Community, my comments—albeit unintentional—were clearly insensitive and regrettable. As an African American, keenly aware of the damage stereotyping has done to many in this country, it should’ve elevated my sensitivities even more.”


Middlebury Institute of International Studies

ATA News

Last Chance to Register: Free Webinar!

Building a Network
Presenter: Karen Tkaczyk, Ben Karl
Date: August 3, 2021
Time: 12 noon U.S. EDT
Duration: 45 minutes
Language: English
Level: All
CE Points: None

Meaningful, lasting relationships with colleagues help translators and interpreters create partnerships, share advice and resources, and grow their referral network. So why do many of us find networking so hard?

This webinar will highlight networking best practices and good places to start to find and build a professional network. Presenters Karen Tkaczyk and Ben Karl will share advice on networking both within the confines of the current pandemic and beyond, so you can prepare for the return to in-person events.

Click to learn more and register for this ATA Back to Business Basics webinar. Free, but space is limited.


Next ATA Board of Directors Meeting

The ATA Board of Directors will meet this weekend in Nashville, Tennessee. Check out the agenda, get to know the Directors, and review the Board Meeting Summary from the April 24-25, 2021 meeting.

The ATA Board values your feedback. What are we doing right? Where can we do better? Comments are shared during the Board meeting and tracked over time to ensure we understand what is important to you. So, if you have feedback for the Board, please take a minute to send it to any of the Board Directors. You’ll find email addresses here.

Want to know more? Listen to Episode 3 of The ATA Podcast for a behind-the-scenes look at an ATA Board meeting. Don’t forget—all ATA members are welcome to attend Board meetings.

ATA Webinars: Third Doubleheader of 2021!

Two webinars, one day, and $15 off! Don’t miss this opportunity to expand your skills, gain critical knowledge, and earn continuing education points from three major credentialing organizations.
Presenter: Karen Borgenheimer
Date: August 4, 2021
Time: 12:00 noon U.S. EDT
Duration: 60 minutes
Language: English
Level: All
CE Point(s): ATA-approved 1 CE point; CCHI-approved 1 CE hour; IMIA-approved 0.1 CE unit

Clear and concise communication in English is crucial for successful relationships with clients in the U.S., but interpreters and translators often fall short due to routine errors in written and oral expression.

Attend this webinar to learn how to overcome common pitfalls in the Spanish<>English language pair. You will tackle exercises designed to improve both written and spoken English by removing unnecessary words and confusing verbal clutter. You will also learn easy techniques to conquer problematic pronunciation in English through a series of drills, focusing on proper vocal expression, pronunciation, and articulation.
Presenter: Katty Kauffman
Date: August 4, 2021
Time: 7:30 p.m. U.S. EDT
Duration: 60 minutes
Language: English and Spanish
Level: All
CE Points: ATA-approved 1 CE point; CCHI-approved 1 CE hour; IMIA-approved 0.1 CE unit

Special Notes:
  • This webinar is language-neutral. Some exercises will focus on Spanish, but the majority of practice elements will work for all languages.
  • The presenter will lead mini practice sessions. Having the ability to record yourself will be beneficial but is not required.
We have all been there: an attorney or a conference delegate walks in, comes over, hands us a document (a speech, a proffer), and says, “I tend to read very quickly, so I brought you a copy.”

We thank the speaker, skim through it, and make some notes. What happens next is key. Do you put it aside, close your eyes, and just focus on the spoken words? Or do you read along, interpreting as you go, and adjust to additions and deletions on the fly?

If you are in the former group, this session is for you! Attend and learn key techniques to translate your sight-reading skills into the simultaneous mode. Come prepared to practice!

Register now! ATA Member $45 | Non-Member $60


Attend one at full price or attend both and take $15 off the total registration fee. The discount will appear when you have added the second webinar to your cart.


The ATA Podcast: From the Classroom to the Real World

As many in the U.S. gear up to head back to school, Episode 62 of The ATA Podcast steps away from association activities to examine translation and interpreting education. Guest Host Michael Schubert interviews ATA members Alaina Brandt and Jamie Hartz to discover how well their T&I courses prepared them for the transition to careers, what they wish they had known before they graduated, and what other alternative career paths current students with a T&I degree might consider.

There’s a lot to learn from Alaina and Jamie’s personal stories, even for those of us who’ve been out of school for many, many years!


Become an ATA62 Exhibitor

ATA’s Annual Conference is a once-a-year opportunity to get your company’s name and services in front of translators, interpreters, and language company owners from around the world. There is no better way to reach your target audience and increase your brand visibility.

Virtual Booth or In-Person/Virtual Booth—You Choose!
Two great options to connect with both ATA62 attendees and ATA members—before, during, and after the conference. Check out the deals! And be sure to reserve by August 31 for the best rates.


ATA 2021 Elections: Slate of Candidates

ATA will hold its regularly scheduled elections at ATA’s 62nd Annual Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to elect a president-elect, secretary, treasurer, and three directors. The candidates for this year’s elections are:
  • President-elect (two-year term)
    Veronika Demichelis
    Geoff Koby
  • Secretary (two-year term)
    Alaina Brandt
    Cristina Helmerichs
  • Treasurer (two-year term)
    Ben Karl
    John Milan
  • Director (three positions, three-year terms)
    Robin Bonthrone
    Céline Browning
    Manako Ihaya
    Meghan Konkol
    Carol Shaw
Become an ATA Voting Member
ATA Associate Members who can demonstrate that they are professionally engaged in translation, interpreting, or closely related fields may apply for Voting Membership. How? Just complete and submit the ATA Active Membership Review application. No additional paperwork required. It’s fast, free, and easy!


Free ATA Members-Only Webinar for August

ATA offers members one free webinar every month. Here’s the freebie for August. Don’t put it on your “to-do” list—the dog days of summer have a habit of flying by. Watch it today!

Subtitling: How a Text Translator Can Become a Subtitler
Subtitling is a translation job. You’re a translator. Shouldn’t that be enough? Actually, it’s not. When you’re translating a book or document, you have a single stream of text to deal with. When you’re translating a movie, you have two streams of information coming at you at the same time and are limited by reading speed and the number of characters allowed. And the differences don’t stop there.

Is this specialty a good fit for your business? Watch now to find out!

This webinar was organized by ATA’s Audiovisual Division. Check out the summer 2021 issue of the division’s newsletter, Deep Focus.


August Is Women in Translation Month

It began with an observation by translator Alison Anderson in 2013 and a post by Meytal Radzinski in her blog Biblibio a year later. It has now evolved into a global collaborative project to support women authors who write in languages other than English. The Women in Translation movement pulls together diverse reading lists, reviews, and discussions to spread the word through #WITMonth on Twitter, Booktube, and other social media.

How can you participate?
Begin by following @Read_WIT and #WITMonth for book recommendations. Then check out Goodreads Listopia for “Women in Translation” and PEN America Translation Committee’s virtual reading series, which is bringing together 15 translators and their authors for bilingual readings on Zoom. There’s even a WIT readathon on YouTube. And finally, be sure to post your books and insights on social medial with #WITMonth.


ATA Webinar: Transcreation in Video Game Localization

Presenters: Lucio Alcaide, Marina Ilari
Date: August 25, 2021
Time: 12 noon U.S. EDT
Duration: 1 hour
Language: English
Level: All
CE Points: 1 ATA-approved

Learn how to adapt creative content when localizing video games!

In video game localization, the player is the priority, the game is an immersive experience of story and characters, and the primary goal is to entertain. This gives translators a lot of freedom to modify, or even remove, components that interfere with the player’s experience. And that’s where transcreation comes in.

Join this webinar to explore how transcreation is applied to the diverse, multilingual content of video games and how to tackle these fun but challenging projects.

What will you learn?
  1. The difference between translation, localization, and transcreation
  2. The evolution of video game localization
  3. Where transcreation might be needed in video games
  4. Examples of transcreation in a variety of video game content
  5. Strategies to use when working on projects that require transcreation
Register now! ATA Member $45 | Non-Member $60


ATA Workshop: Consecutive Note-Taking

Presenter: Andy Gillies
Date: September 2, 2021
Time: 9:00 a.m. U.S. EDT
Duration: 4 hours
Language: English
Level: Advanced Only
CE Points: ATA-approved 4 CEPs, CCHI 4 hours

This interactive workshop will include a presentation of the main elements of a note-taking system for long consecutive interpreting followed by one-on-one practice. There will be two, two-hour sessions with a one-hour break in between.

Register now! ATA Member $180 | Non-Member $240

Come prepared to participate!
Attendees will be expected to actively participate in practice sessions encompassing the techniques introduced during the workshop.

This workshop was organized with the assistance of ATA’s Interpreters Division.


Latest Issue of Translatio Available

The latest issue of Translatio, the quarterly newsletter of the International Federation of Translators (FIT), is available for download. This issue covers the first FIT African Forum, the Ordre des traducteurs, terminologies et interprètes agréés du Québec’s digital advertising campaign, and activities of FIT Regional Centers.

Advocacy was also featured in this issue: (1) FIT Europe challenged the European Commission’s social media campaign promoting the “high quality” of its machine translation tool; (2) the FIT Council wrote to Microsoft in support of the Welsh government’s request for an interpreting channel in Microsoft Teams.

Expand your horizons! Translatio is a fast read and a great way to see what translators, interpreters, and terminologists are doing around the world. Don’t miss this issue!


In the July/August Issue of The ATA Chronicle

ATA’s Public Relations Committee: Bringing Positive Attention to T&I Professionals
ATA’s Public Relations Committee focuses on informing and educating the media and public about the roles that translators and interpreters play in society and what it means to be a translator or interpreter. Find out how the committee’s dedicated team of volunteers is working to increase awareness one publication at a time! (Eve Lindemuth Bodeux)

What the Business Practices Education Committee Is Doing for ATA Members
ATA’s Business Practices Education Committee offers many opportunities for members to get involved, give back to the Association, work with fellow members, and broaden their professional network. (Michael Engley)

Language Access in the Courts: How Technology Saved the Day During a Pandemic
On March 17, 2020, the Santa Barbara Superior Court received approval for an emergency order to suspend all non-emergency services—all criminal, civil, family, traffic, small claims, and probate proceedings—until April 3. Little did we know the courthouse would remain closed physically, but operational nonetheless, for more than a year. (Lorena Pike)

Diversify Successfully with Online Language Teaching/Cultural Experience Hosting
Linguistic and cultural skills such as those cultivated by most translators are in high demand in education and are difficult to duplicate. This industry is likely to remain active even after the pandemic, so it’s a stable option for translators/interpreters looking to diversify. (Carlie Sitzman)

Almond, Eyeless – Can Poetry Be Translated? An Interview with Author Karen Meadows
Poetry, with all its nuance, rhythm, sound, and multiple levels of meaning, is certainly the most difficult language to translate. Is it possible to translate poetry from one language into another without losing meaning? Karen Meadows, author of Almond, Eyeless, attempts to answer the question. (Petra Caroline Rieker)

What’s Cooking: An Introduction to Culinary Translation
Here’s an introduction to culinary translation as a specialization, including some of the main challenges encountered and tips on how to develop your skills! (Olivia Singier Texier)

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.


News summaries © copyright 2021 SmithBucklin

August 2, 2021

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In This Issue

ATA62 Registration Open
B2BB: Building a Network
Next ATA Board Mtg
Webinar Doubleheader
Podcast Episode 62
Become an Exhibitor
ATA 2021 Elections
Free Webinar
Video Game Localization
Consecutive Note-Taking
The ATA Chronicle

ATA Members Only

Free ATA Webinar!
Subtitling: How a Text Translator Can Become a Subtitler
Click to watch!

ATA Webinars

ATA Doubleheader!
Register for both webinars and save $15 on the registration cost!

Does Your English Match Your Suit?
August 4 @ 12 noon EDT
Registration open

Sight for Simul
August 4 @ 7:30 p.m. EDT
Registration open

Transcreation in Video Game Localization
August 25 @ 12:00 noon EDT
Registration open

ATA Workshop

Consecutive Note-Taking
September 2 @ 9:00 a.m. EDT
Registration open

Calendar of Events

Next ATA Board of Directors Meeting
August 7-8, 2021
Read the agenda

ATA62 Annual Conference
Minneapolis, Minnesota
October 27-30, 2021
Registration open!

ATA Webinars Live and On Demand
Continuing education anywhere, anytime!

ATA 62 Annual Conference