Newsbriefs: August, 31 2021

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ATA Podcast: Episode 64 – ATA’s 62nd Annual Conference

No matter what your language or specialty, whether you are a veteran conference-goer or a first-timer, you’ll walk away from ATA’s 62nd Annual Conference with practical and realistic ways to build, manage, and grow your business. In Episode 64, you’ll find out more about this opportunity to learn how to get better at what you do. Host Matt Baird speaks with ATA President-Elect and ATA62 Conference Organizer Madalena Sánchez Zampaulo. Find out about the educational sessions, networking opportunities, precautions being taken to keep attendees safe, and more. Don’t miss this sneak peek at ATA’s flagship event!
ATA62 Annual Conference

Industry News

A Stranded Interpreter, and the Soldiers Who Would Not Let Go

The New York Times (NY) (08/26/21) Fassihi, Farnaz

As Kabul fell to the Taliban, a group of about 20 former and current members of the military took matters into their own hands to get one of their former interpreters out of Afghanistan.

The interpreter, Mikey—who is being identified only by his American nickname for safety reasons—is one of tens of thousands of Afghans who worked for the U.S. and have applications pending for expedited visas allowing them to resettle in America.

To coordinate this effort, Sergeant First Class Joseph Torres, a Texan who served in the Special Forces, said the group formed a WhatsApp chat group and an email thread. Then they reached out to contacts at the U.S. Department of State, along with members of Congress, to try to get Mikey and his family onto a military evacuation plane.

Torres said Mikey, who worked as an interpreter for the Special Forces, did not just bridge language gaps. He did everything from easing negotiations with local Afghans loyal to the Taliban to warning a convoy away from an ambush.

“Mikey wasn’t just a regular interpreter,” Torres said. “He was our lifeline. He went everywhere we went on the most remote and dangerous missions. It was because of him that we returned home alive after deployments.”

Mikey worked as an interpreter for the Special Forces from 2009 to 2012 in Kandahar, and from 2015 to 2017 in Kabul. He was waiting for the U.S. government to give him an evacuation plan. He was waiting for the approval of his visa application.

But the day after Kabul fell to the Taliban, the 34-year-old Afghan was on his own.

Determined to get out of Afghanistan, Mikey made a desperate run to the airport with his wife and two young sons when they were caught in gunfire amid the crush of people who had gathered there to escape. His wife and one son, 6, were both shot in the foot. Mikey got them into a hospital and then went into hiding. Preferring rooms without windows, he switched locations four times in one week.

With no word from the U.S. government about when or how he might get out, he realized that the bonds he had forged with U.S. soldiers might offer his only hope for safe passage.

That’s where Sergeant Torres came in.

Last Monday, Mikey received an astonishing text from Torres: We are going to get you out, it said. Get ready now. Wait for instructions.

The mission to rescue Mikey, with the help of current and former military contacts on the ground, was in motion—and things were moving quickly. In a space of two hours, Mikey and his family were hidden in a car, their documents stashed, heading for a gate at the Kabul airport where members of the military were expecting him. They welcomed him, taking his family to a clinic so his wife’s and son’s bullet wounds could be treated.

When Torres got the call that Mikey was finally in the clear, he broke into sobs. He called Mikey and shouted, “I love you, man.”

The next day Mikey and his family flew out of Afghanistan aboard a U.S. military plane, his initial destination withheld for security reasons.

“I am extremely relieved and happy,” Mikey said during a call from the tarmac in Kabul as he waited to board the plane. “My infinite gratitude for the help and kindness of my American brothers. You gave us a second chance at life.”



Just 4% of Hispanic or Latino People Prefer the Term “Latinx,” New Gallup Poll Finds

CNN (NY) (08/05/21) Asmelash, Leah

A new Gallup poll confirms that “Latinx” remains an uncommon term among people who identify as Latino or Hispanic.

The use of the term “Latinx” has been a divisive issue for some time—and the poll shows that it’s the least popular signifier among Hispanic and Latino people.

Gallup found that only 4% of Hispanic and Latino Americans prefer the term “Latinx,” a gender-neutral signifier. In contrast, the poll found that 15% prefer “Latino” while 23% prefer “Hispanic.”

The term “Latinx” was originally intended to be used for people who fall outside the male/female gender binary and may not want to identify as “Latino” or “Latina.” Since 2016, the term has grown in popularity online, but it has also been criticized. Though the term may make immediate sense to anyone who speaks English, the “x” replacement doesn’t really translate in Spanish, something that’s been pointed out as early as 2015.

As a result, some people have proposed the term “Latine” instead, which flows better in the language.

But the poll also found that most don’t really have a preference, with 57% reporting “does not matter.” If they had to choose, most respondents leaned toward “Hispanic,” a term that directly signifies being of Spanish-speaking origin. “Latino,” on the other hand, is less specific, referring instead to Latin America as a whole.

The findings from Gallup are consistent with another survey by the Pew Research Center from 2020, where researchers found that only one in four Hispanic or Latino adults had even heard of the term “Latinx.” Only 3% of them used it to describe themselves.

“This reflects the diversity of the nation’s Hispanic population, and the Hispanic population of the U.S. thinks of itself in many different ways,” said Mark Lopez, director of global migration and demography research at Pew Research Center. “‘Latinx’ is just one of those many dimensions.”


In Ireland, a Lack of Interpreting Standards has Repercussions for Vulnerable People

Irish Times (Ireland) (08/14/21) Pollak, Sorcha

According to Mary Phelan, head of the Irish Translators’ and Interpreters’ Association (ITIA), a lack of minimum standards for interpreters and translators, poor regulation of the sector, and inadequate training for interpreters by some providers is having serious repercussions for vulnerable people.

Phelan said the main problem is that there is no minimum qualification or competency requirement in Ireland for interpreting services.

“There’s no training course in Ireland, that’s the key problem,” Phelan said. “Most people without training haven’t learned note-taking techniques, which is very important. They just rely on their memory, but notes are needed for names, places, and dates.”

In March of this year, ITIA wrote to the European Commissioner for Justice, warning that interpreting standards in Ireland were “wholly unsatisfactory.” Training and testing of interpreters and translators are essential to reduce the “risk of a miscarriage of justice,” ITIA stated.

A spokesperson for Ireland’s Health Service Executive, the country’s publicly funded health care system, said it was “developing an appropriate model for the provision of interpreting services” as part of the government’s Migrant Integration Strategy. The spokesperson added that interpreting and translation services are currently provided to patients “where it is deemed appropriate,” and each community health care organization and hospital makes “local arrangements for these services individually.”

“I can’t really imagine a person without training working in a hospital,” says Alves Passos, an ITIA member and Portuguese-to-English medical interpreter. “There are names of diseases or parts of the body like internal organs that most people don’t know how to say in their native language, let alone their second language.”

Passos knows many interpreters who have left the industry because of bad pay and poor regulation. She said that when companies rely on an employee with basic English to speak to other staff rather than hire an interpreter, it “undervalues the study people go through to make a living from that work.”

Phelan agreed that low pay acts as a disincentive for those who are qualified to enter the field. She said that most people working as interpreters in Ireland are highly qualified in other areas, with many holding advanced degrees. However, without the requisite training, they risk causing more harm than good.

“Training is essential but we need buy-in from the government. We need it to say this has gone on far too long,” Phelan said.

New Internet Browser Written in Scots Language

The Scotsman (United Kingdom) (08/11/21) Campsie, Alison

Scotland-based company Rubric has completed a new version of the Firefox web browser that features menus and settings pages written in Scots.

Rubric said the Scots language has been increasingly recognized in Scottish schools, parliament, and on social media, but that its use in software had lagged behind.

Translator and Scots writer Thomas Clark said Scots speakers would be “validated” with the introduction of the new browser.

“For younger speakers especially, it’s so important that they see that Scots is out there so they’re not embarrassed about using it. Being able to access the internet through a Scots medium makes so much difference to their confidence, their development, and hopefully to the status of the language.”

Clark said Rubric focused on including terms in its browser that would be immediately understandable to Scots speakers.

“The real challenge was finding a medium between an interesting, lively, accessible Scots and making sure that it wasn’t too antiquated or whimsical,” Clark said.

The 2011 Scottish census estimated that 1.9 million people could speak, read, write, or understand Scots. Yet Rubric said momentum to incorporate it into technological products has been slower compared to other minority languages like Scots Gaelic.

Ashley Douglas, a writer, researcher, and translator for the project, said the browser demonstrates the use of Scots as the “fully-fledged, fully functioning, fully legitimate modern language that it is. It’s wonderful that Rubric and Mozilla are committed to doing this, and it was a real pleasure to help Rubric deliver on the goal.”

Rubric develops content strategies for global companies, and regularly contributes resources to volunteer projects. The company previously translated Firefox into Xhosa, and donated Wikipedia translations of key health information during the 2014 Ebola epidemic in West Africa.


Research Translated into Pacific Languages Brings Knowledge Back to Its Origin (New Zealand) (08/05/21) Hope, Sharnae

Scholars at New Zealand’s University of Waikato have launched an online journal to translate academic studies into diverse Pacific languages and dialects, correcting a long-standing oversight.

Although Pacific communities have long been the focus of academic health, culture, and lifestyle studies, University of Waikato Pacific Assistant Vice-Chancellor Keaka Hemi said few get published in their native language or dialect. Most ethics approval processes require academics to agree to give participants feedback on their findings. Yet such feedback is mainly in English, leaving some communities uninformed.

“Sometimes a community may not even know what’s being written about them,” said Hemi, who is Kanaka Maoli and Native Hawaiian. “There’s something that’s not innately quite right about that.”

The journal’s Co-Editor Apo Aporosa, who is of Fijian and European ancestry, said he witnessed this disconnect in action at a village in Fiji.

“I saw one of those bullet point fact sheets put on the floor for people to read. They just looked at it, and later used it to light a fire to cook with,” he said. “There are more than 2,000 Chinese language journals, but from our knowledge, not one Pacific journal.”

Launching In Our Language: Journal of Pacific Research will publish studies on health, law, science, and other subjects for Pacific stakeholders. Its 23-person editorial board will also help translate content. The board includes scholars and professionals from Pacific countries such as Samoa, Tonga, Guam, Fiji, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Niue, and the U.S.

The journal’s first paper, on kava ethno-cultural identity in Oceania, was translated into Fijian by Aporosa and Waikato graduate student Usaia Gaunavou.

“We say if you really want rigorous academic criticism of your work, which we should all be open to as academics, then you should be willing to open that up to the community that has the most stake in it,” Aporosa said. “While we can’t necessarily change the history that has happened, language is crucial to changing the outcomes that we are seeing.”


Hunter Master of Arts in Translation and Interpreting

ATA News

ATA Urges Administration to Prioritize Evacuation of Interpreters

The American Translators Association (ATA) wrote letters to President Biden and other administration officials, including the Secretary of Defense, the Director of the National Security Agency, and the Secretary of State, urging them to immediately prioritize the evacuation of Afghan interpreters and their families to a safe location outside Afghanistan.

In addition to citing the role Afghan interpreters have played in the global war on terror, ATA President Ted Wozniak called for a strong U.S. presence to be maintained in Afghanistan by both the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. military “until every translator and interpreter, and their families, who assisted U.S. forces and who wishes to leave the country is safely evacuated.”

“Anything less would constitute a breach of President Biden’s promise that those who helped the U.S. military ‘are not going to be left behind’ and would be a moral and political failure by the United States.”

ATA will continue to support efforts to get additional interpreters evacuated as well as assist Afghan interpreters in getting assimilated in the U.S.


Did You Miss Taking the ATA Compensation Survey?

It’s not too late. We’ve extended the survey deadline to Friday, October 1. Don’t wait—take the survey now!

5 Ways the Compensation Survey Can Help in Your Business and Career
  • I want to know if I’m charging enough. How do my rates compare with everyone else’s?
    While your rates really have to stand on their own based on your specialty, language pair, experience, and more, having access to industry-wide data will help you know if you’re in the same ballpark as everyone else––or if you can charge more.
  • I want to know if I’m charging enough. How do my rates compare with everyone else’s?
    While your rates really have to stand on their own based on your specialty, language pair, experience, and more, having access to industry-wide data will help you know if you’re in the same ballpark as everyone else––or if you can charge more.
  • I provide translation/interpreting services as an employee. Is my salary in line with other language company employees?
    There are a lot of variables to consider when it comes to compensation for your services but knowing what other staff translators and interpreters earn will show you if your salary is in the same range as others in the profession.
  • I’m considering a new specialty. What should I charge for my services?
    It takes a lot of time, energy, and planning to take on a new specialty. Knowing what revenue this specialty can bring in will help you determine if it’s worth the work.
  • I’m thinking about becoming a company owner. Will the change be worth it financially?
    Starting your own language services company may be a way to increase revenue. With data from your peers, you will know what your take-home could actually be rather than just assuming.
  • The Occupational Outlook Handbook says translators and interpreters earn $52,330/year on average. Can I trust this number?
    Currently, independent contractors are not adequately represented in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ report. With your help, ATA will have the data to lobby the agency for a more reliable revenue statistic.
Only you can help ATA collect the data that will give you the opportunity to evaluate your income appropriately. Your participation is critical.

How to Take the Survey
Go to to register and set up a login and password with Dynamic Benchmarking, the survey vendor. After completing the registration and accepting the terms of use, you will be taken to the survey. If you have any questions, contact us at

Who can take the survey?
Translators, interpreters, and company owners working in the U.S. You do not need to be an ATA member to take the survey.

Spread the Word
Please let your colleagues know about the survey. The more information we collect, the better for you in planning your business practices.

Participate to Receive the Report
All participants will get access to the full report with interactive filters to search the data for individual needs and interests.

ATA Webinar: AutoHotkey (Parts 1 and 2)

Presenter: Nora Díaz
Dates: September 8, September 25, 2021
Time: 12:00 noon U.S. EDT
Duration: 60 minutes
Language: English
Level: All
CE Points: 2 ATA-approved

Time is money, so be sure to attend this ATA webinar to learn how to save both with AutoHotkey, a free tool that makes automating computer tasks seem like magic.

In Part 1 on September 8, you’ll learn the basic AutoHotkey macro structure that will allow you to automate steps in multi-part tasks—from typing a couple of letters to expand text, to transferring copied content from one program to another, to maximizing your favorite CAT tools.

In Part 2 of the series, you’ll build on the lessons learned in Part 1 to take your automation to the next level while still keeping it simple and non-programmer friendly.

What will you learn?
  1. How to create scripts for text expansion
  2. How to create a script for quick glossary creations
  3. How to create scripts for CAT tools
  4. How to run and edit scripts
  5. How to automate mouse clicks
  6. How to activate Windows
  7. How to use loops to run an action sequence several times
  8. How to find help when building your macros
Register Now! ATA Member $90 | Non-Member $120

Special Notes
  • AutoHotkey does not run on Macs.
  • This is a 2-hour webinar presented in two parts.
  • Part 1 takes place September 8, 12:00 pm EDT.
  • Part 2 takes place September 15, 12:00 pm EDT.
  • When you register for Part 1, you are automatically registered for Part 2.
Too busy to attend?
Register now to receive a link to the on-demand recording after each live event.

Call for Comments on ATA Membership Restructuring

ATA members are invited to comment on a proposed restructuring of ATA membership classes and accompanying benefits.

Click to read the Proposal to Restructure ATA Membership Classes and Benefits

The proposal was developed by the Association’s Governance and Communications Committee to better serve members and offer many the opportunity to participate more fully in the organization’s governance.

Deadline for comments is September 24, 2021.


Middlebury Institute of International Studies

Free! Sign Your Company Up for the ATA62 Job Fair

Don’t miss this free opportunity to be seen and get found by ATA62 attendees. This two-hour recruitment event will be held on Friday, October 29, 12:30PM-2:30PM.

How will you participate?
You can choose to participate in one of two ways:
  • In Person and Virtually
  • Virtually Only
What is required?
You must assign only one agency rep to serve as the main contact. All agency reps participating in the Job Fair must be registered for the conference. Register today!

What will you receive?
Your agency name and website will be listed on the Job Fair event page and the virtual ATA62 portal. Your logo, a link to your current job listings, and the language pairs and specializations you’re looking for will also be listed on the virtual portal.

How to sign up
Just complete the Agency Participation Form on the ATA62 Job Fair web page.

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 2-hour sessions with a 1-hour break in between.

What will you learn?
  1. Review and practice of a complete note-taking system
  2. How structure in notes can be used to present meaning
  3. How to use notes to improve delivery
  4. How to use symbols in notes effectively
  5. How to note less and remember more
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.

Special Notes
  • This workshop is limited to 14 advanced-level interpreters.
  • Credentialed interpreters receive priority. Confirmation of payment does not guarantee you a seat as we will vet all attendees for credentials and/or experience before finalizing registration. We will maintain a waitlist once we reach 14 attendees.
This workshop was organized with the assistance of ATA’s Interpreters Division.

Back to Business Basics: Why Interpreters Need Niche Markets

Presenter: Mireya Pérez
Date: September 9, 2021
Time: 12 noon U.S. EDT
Duration: 45 minutes
Language: English
Level: Beginner
CE Points: None

Take your first step toward becoming more visible in a crowded market! Attend Identifying Your Target Audience: Why Niche Markets Can Boost Your Interpreting Business to learn how to master the power of quality versus quantity.

What will you learn?
  1. The meaning of a niche market
  2. The power of niche markets for your interpreting business
  3. What communication strategies to use to connect with your audience
  4. Why you should focus on quality vs. quantity
  5. Understanding your differentiating factor
Register now! Free to ATA members, but you must sign up by 10 a.m. EDT on September 9.

ATA Begins Its Second Year of Back to Business Basics!
In September 2020, ATA began a monthly 45-minute webinar offering practical advice on common translation and interpreting business problems. The free-to-members series has become extremely popular, with many episodes approaching 500 attendees.

Check out the first 12 Back to Business Basics webinars!

What’s ahead in Back to Business Basics second year? Watch for the next six webinars in the series to alternate between interpreting- and translation-specific topics. And if you’ve been missing out on attending because of your day job, be sure to keep an eye on the schedule for a couple of evening sessions coming your way!

ATA Position Paper on Remote Interpreting

Following the Board of Directors’ recent meeting, the Board released the Association’s position paper on remote interpreting. A draft had previously been circulated to ATA members for feedback, and these comments were then incorporated into the final document.

The purpose of the paper is to identify differences between on-site and remote interpreting and offer best practices for effective remote interpreting.

Although remote interpreting has existed since the 1970s, advances in technology and the COVID-19 pandemic have pushed new methodologies onto the market without any established industry-wide standards. Coupled with the unique challenges of working on new platforms, the loss of context and the speaker’s nonverbal cues in their workplace, and increased demand for offsite services, interpreters have struggled to make sense of expectations and best practices when working remotely.

This is ATA’s second position paper. The first, Machine Translation: A Clear Approach to a Complex Topic, was released in 2018.


Free ATA Member Orientation Session September 30

New time! ATA’s next free one-hour member orientation session will be offered at 7:00 p.m. EDT, our first evening session for this popular live guide to member benefits!

Join Veronika Demichelis and Ben Karl on September 30 to get answers on everything from how to set up an online ATA Directory listing and how to participate in ATA divisions to where to find ATA on social media and how to contact ATA Headquarters staff for assistance. Bring your questions, too, for a great Q&A session closeout.

Note: ATA’s member orientation is an interactive experience with networking and sharing via the chat feature. It will not be recorded. There will be another session on November 18 if you are unable to attend this one.

Free, but registration is required.

Don’t miss out on benefits you can really use simply because you didn’t know they existed. Even if you joined ATA years ago, this presentation is for you!


International Translation Day Is September 30

International Translation Day is just around the corner on September 30th, and this year ATA has an entire week of activities planned. So be sure to mark your calendar and be prepared to join the fun! Watch for details in the September 15 issue of ATA Newsbriefs!


Free ATA Members-Only Webinar for September

ATA offers members one free webinar every month. Here’s the freebie for September.

Diabetes 101: An Overview for Medical Translators and Interpreters

It doesn’t take long for a new medical translator or interpreter to see that terminology for diabetes is a necessity in their work. But what about an understanding of the disease? Even experienced linguists may fall short on knowing the full story–and the latest treatment options–for the condition.

Watch this webinar to learn not only about the three most common types but also about recent research that suggests there are actually five classifications. The webinar includes a review of the frequency, causes, risk factors for the disease, and treatment options, and some of the cultural implications and misconceptions.


ATA Elections: Date of Record

To vote in ATA’s 2021 Elections, you must be approved for Voting membership status by September 30, 2021.

Can I become a Voting member?
Any ATA Associate Member who can demonstrate that they are professionally engaged in translation, interpreting, or closely related fields may apply for Voting membership.

How do I become a Voting member?
Complete and submit the ATA Active Member Review application. No additional paperwork required. It’s fast, easy, and free!

New! This ATA member video tutorial shows you how to apply for Voting membership! Just follow the steps outlined in the video to get your application done today. And be sure to watch for new member video tutorials coming soon!


Coming up in the September/October Issue of The ATA Chronicle

ATA 2021 Election: Candidate Statements
Calling all Voting members! Participating in ATA’s annual elections (in person and virtually) is your opportunity to help shape the future of the Association. Learn what this year’s candidates for ATA’s Board of Directors have to say. Remember, the Annual Meeting of Voting Members will be held October 28, 2021.

Choosing and Building a Specialization
In our experience, the best way to ensure quality and a sustainable business practice is to specialize. Whether you arrived in the industry with a specialization or are currently working to build one, you’ll find it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Regardless of how you choose a specialization, you must work to build, maintain, and transform your areas of expertise to attract great clients and earn top dollar. (Karen Tkaczyk and Ben Karl)

Audio Transcription: What It Is, What It Is Not, And Why It Is High in Demand
As people continue to favor a fully virtual or hybrid model when it comes to holding conferences, workshops, webinars, group discussions, and networking events, the demand for transcription will only increase. This might be the sector to help diversify your services! (Rafa Lombardino)

Is Information Security the New Black in Translation?
Machine translation has grown exponentially. Translators need to adjust their standard practice to this new reality to provide high-quality translation services. (Dolores R. Guiñazú and
Gabriela Escarrá)

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 31, 2021

Do you still use business cards?

See the Results!

Previous Poll Results

Do you take work with you on vacation?

14% = Always, can’t get away from it
17% = Usually yes
34% = Only check in by phone or text
26% = Never
9% = Vacation? Never heard of it

In This Issue

ATA Podcast: Episode 64
ATA Calls for Evacuation
ATA Compensation Survey
AutoHotkey Webinar
Membership Restructuring
ATA62 Job Fair
Note-Taking Workshop
B2BB: Niche Markets
Remote Interpreting Paper
Member Orientation Session
International Translation Day
Free Member Webinar
Date of Record
The ATA Chronicle

ATA Members Only

Free ATA Webinar!
Diabetes 101: An Overview for Medical Translators and Interpreters
Click to watch!

Back to Business Basics

How Niche Markets Can Boost Your Interpreting Business
September 9, 2021
12 noon EDT
Free! Register now!

ATA Webinars

The Magic of Automation: AutoHotkey for Non-Programmers
September 8 @ 12 noon EDT (Part 1)
September 15 @ 12 noon EDT (Part 2)
Registration open

ATA Workshop

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

Calendar of Events

Int’l Translation Day
September 30, 2021

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

Next ATA Board of Directors Meeting
October 30-31, 2021
Minneapolis, Minnesota

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

Advertise with ATA!
Watch ATA’s Panel “How to Market Yourself in Today’s Translation and Interpreting Market” on October 6 @ 2pm EDT!