Newsbriefs: December 29, 2022

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It’s a Wrap!

It’s time to ring out the year! Join us as we look back at translation and interpreting media coverage in 2022 and recap the last 12 months of ATA activities and accomplishments. Thanks for coming along for the ride!

Reminder! The end of the ATA membership year is December 31.
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MultiLingual Media

Industry News

Despite Opposition, Plan Moves Forward for Students in the U.K. to Learn 1,700 Words for General Certificate Language Exams

The Guardian (United Kingdom) (01/14/22) Adams, Richard; Bawden, Anna

Starting in 2026, students in the U.K. taking the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) academic qualification exams in Spanish, French, or German will be expected to memorize up to 1,700 frequently used words.

The decision is part of a plan by the U.K.’s Department for Education (DFE) to reform the teaching and assessment of modern foreign languages at the GCSE level. The number of candidates for the foreign language GCSEs has decreased in recent years and the government has been searching for ways to increase participation in and enthusiasm for language learning.

“Research shows that students benefit from learning the building blocks of a language first, particularly focusing on vocabulary, phonics, and grammar,” a DFE spokesperson said. “Our proposal aims to increase pupils’ motivation through this approach, and we will continue to work with professional bodies to achieve this.”


Veterans Who Rescued Afghan Interpreters Help Canadian Forces Interpreters Evacuate from Ukraine

Global News (Canada) (03/25/22) Bell, Stewart; Semple, Jeff

Years after leaving the front lines, two Canadian veterans are tackling the horrors of war again as they help Ukrainians, including interpreters who worked with the Canadian Forces, escape.

For the past eight months, Kynan Walper, a former infantry officer who served in Afghanistan, and Dave Lavery, a former special forces officer, had been helping Afghan interpreters who worked for the Canadian military flee the Taliban. But after Russia invaded Ukraine last month, Walper and Lavery turned their attention to the war in Europe.

The Canadian Forces had been in Ukraine since 2015, training local security forces. As in Afghanistan, the Canadian trainers relied on Ukrainian interpreters. Fearing the interpreters could face added risks from the Russian forces because they had worked for a NATO country, Walper and Lavery traveled to Ustrzyki-Dolne, in the southeast corner of Poland, where they set up base operations and began the process of extracting former interpreters.

“We owe it to them,” Walper said. “They served Canada, and we want to serve them as well.”


Planet Word Founder on the Power of Language

Washington Post Magazine (DC) (01/25/22) Ottesen, KK

When Ann Friedman retired from teaching, she knew she wanted to continue her work promoting literacy. But how could she find something that would engage young people? Then she thought, what about combining technology and learning in a way that would make language “cool”? The result: Planet Word, an interactive museum of words and language that opened in 2020 in downtown Washington, DC.

Friedman knew she had hit upon an idea after reading about the National Museum of Mathematics in New York, which was using technology to bring math to life. “That’s when it really dawned on me: a museum approach for words and language hadn’t been tried yet.”

“I’m not a linguist, so I gathered around me really smart, knowledgeable people to help develop the idea,” Friedman said. “I started traveling around the U.S. looking at different museums that use technology. Because I knew that was one of the keys—we needed to use technology to bring words and language to life.”


British Sign Language to Become Recognized Language in the U.K.

The Guardian (United Kingdom) (01/27/22) Ambrose, Tom

With the British government poised to support the passage of the British Sign Language Bill, British Sign Language (BSL) is on track to become a recognized language in the U.K.

The bill, introduced by Member of Parliament Rosie Cooper, would improve accessibility for deaf people and promote the use of BSL during public service announcements. If the bill passes, an advisory board of BSL users would be established to offer guidance to the Department for Work and Pensions on ways to increase the number of BSL interpreters.

“The deaf community has constantly had to fight to be heard. This bill sends a clear message that they deserve equal access and will be treated as equal,” Cooper said.


University of Chicago Study Reveals Benefits of Early Bilingual Education for English Learners

WTTW (IL) (04/09/22) Gunderson, Erica

A study from the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research shows that getting bilingual education support to English learners early pays off in the long term.

Marissa de la Torre, senior research associate and managing director at the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research, said that to have young children developing English skills while still developing skills in their native language is a tall order.

“Research shows that it takes between five to seven years to really acquire the academic English that is necessary to be successful in the schools,” de la Torre said. “And in the Chicago Public Schools system, we have around 21% of the students being classified as English learners, which roughly amounts to 70,000 students, which is a really large number, and this number has been growing over time.”


Audiences Love Foreign TV/Film and So Do Streamers. There’s Just One Little Challenge

Vulture (NY) (05/31/22) Motamayor, Rafael

As audiences embrace subtitles, translated series have become more common, particularly on streaming services. From the Netflix hit Squid Game to Tokyo Vice on HBO Max to Pachinko and Tehran on Apple TV+, more international shows are breaking through on mainstream U.S. platforms, requiring streamers to navigate an array of global nuances as they localize new titles.

Localization, or the process of readying a title produced in one country to be viewed in another, is a minefield of logistical challenges and cultural sensitivities that include commissioning translations for audio dubs, closed captions, and subtitles, juggling bilingual casts and crews, and adjusting to colloquial terms and cultural traditions across languages.

When Netflix’s Squid Game became a global sensation, it didn’t take long for complaints to pour in about how clumsily the show’s original Korean dialogue had been translated. Lines were mangled, character traits were flubbed, and honorifics were mishandled. The show unintentionally served as an example of how localization can go wrong. That’s why improving the quality of translated content has become a priority for Netflix, HBO Max, Disney+, and other streamers tapping into their international resources for the next big hit.


U.S. Presidential Commission Recommends Translating Federal Websites into Hindi, Gujarati, and Punjabi, among Other Asian Languages

ABP Live (India) (05/27/22)

A U.S. Presidential Commission has recommended that the content of key government websites, such as the White House and other federal agencies, be translated into languages spoken by Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, including Hindi, Gujarati, and Punjabi.

A series of recommendations in this regard were recently approved by the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders. In addition to having key documents, digital content, and website forms available in multiple languages spoken in the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities, it was also recommended that federal agencies ensure that emergency/disaster prevention, planning, response, mitigation, and recovery programs are inclusive of and reflect the experiences of limited-English-proficiency populations.

A proactive approach for multilingual access to information on the websites of federal government agencies will help meet the U.S. government guidelines that are already in place, such as U.S. Department of Justice Executive Order 13166, Improving Access to Services for People with Limited English Proficiency.


Quebec Tech Companies Warn New Language Law Could Hurt Recruitment, Damage Economy

CBC (Canada) (06/14/22) Northcott, Alison

In Canada, the leaders of dozens of technology companies based in Quebec have signed an open letter asking to delay the implementation of Bill 96, the province’s contentious new language law aimed at protecting the French language.

Bill 96, which the government passed in May, will limit the use of English in the courts and public services and impose tougher language requirements on businesses and municipalities. One part of the law stipulates that immigrants who have been in Quebec for six months or more will only be able to access most government services in French.

In their letter, business leaders warned Quebec Premier François Legault that Bill 96 will make it difficult to recruit talent and threatens to do “enormous damage to the province’s economy.” They called on Legault and the province to delay implementation of the bill until there is better French-language support, such as tutoring, available for workers.

“We have team members who come from South America, who come from Europe. We need to give them more time and more support,” said Lloyd Segal, president and chief executive officer of Repare Therapeutics, a Montreal-based biotechnology company that develops cancer drugs, who is one of the letter’s signatories. “These phenomenal researchers embrace coming to Quebec—and everything about coming to Quebec. They can go anywhere, and we don’t want to lose them,” Segal said.


Elves and Hobbits among Us: Linguistic Anthropologist Explores the Languages of Middle-earth

Tulane News (LA) (08/24/22) Dorje, Jill

As Amazon prepares to transport viewers back to Middle-earth in its highly anticipated Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power series, a prequel to J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic novel, students at Tulane University are getting a lesson in the origins of the mythical invented languages of elves and hobbits.

Linguist Marc Zender, associate professor in the Department of Anthropology, provides a fascinating look into the deeply linguistic and anthropological nature of Tolkien’s writing in the Tulane Interdisciplinary Experience Seminar course, Tolkien as Translator: Language, Culture, and Society in Middle-earth.

Tolkien was an Oxford professor of Anglo-Saxon language, history, and literature who created anywhere from 15 to 20 languages for his master work, including a detailed Elvish proto language, several distinct Elvish languages, Dwarvish, The Black Speech, and The Common Speech. Zender’s class is a way to introduce students to the concepts of historical linguistics, including how and why languages are related.


European Parliament Interpreters Call Off Strike

Politico (10/18/22) Sheftalovich, Zoya

Interpreters for the European Parliament have called off a partial strike, in place since June, after union representatives struck an interim deal with the institution on working conditions.

Trade unions representing the interpreters withdrew their strike notice “with immediate effect” in anticipation of further talks on the Parliament’s post-pandemic working methods, scheduled to start in November. The interim deal will remain in effect until the end of the year.

Interpreters walked off the (virtual) job in June in protest of problems that arose due to Members of European Parliament (MEPs) teleworking during the pandemic. With lawmakers calling into meetings from cars, restaurants, and other places with poor connections and sound quality, interpreters complained of deteriorating health conditions, saying they were suffering from tinnitus, insomnia, nausea, and vision issues, among other problems.

Since June, interpreters have refused to interpret for members who connect to meetings remotely, though they continue to work on in-person addresses.


Hong Kong Disneyland Unveils Pilot Program to Bring Sign Language to Live Musicals

South China Morning Post (Hong Kong) (10/27/22) Ng, Sue

Hong Kong Disneyland has unveiled a one-year pilot program to integrate sign language into its signature live musicals in an effort to make its shows more accessible.

Starting on November 5, Disneyland will incorporate “immersive theatrical interpretation” into one of its regular musicals, Mickey and the Wondrous Book, which presents various Disney tales on stage. The show is the park’s second live musical with theatrical interpretation under the new program and the next step toward promoting diversity and inclusion in the park.

Angela Lam, associate show director at Hong Kong Disneyland, said the park was always eager to take the initiative and create an accessible environment for everyone. “Disneyland strives to create a diverse entertainment experience for our guests, and we always welcome people with disabilities,” Lam said. “Currently, we have free sign language interpreting services at some theater shows and attractions, available upon request.”

Lam said it had taken three months for the park and interpreters from the Arts with the Disabled Association Hong Kong (ADAHK) to design the accessible performance. “We held a number of meetings to discuss how to match the music, narration, and storyline with sign language to present a perfect show for our deaf and disabled audiences, as well as give the general audience a new experience,” she said.


In the Documentary In Flow of Words, War-Crime Interpreters Tell Their Own Stories

The New Yorker (11/02/22) Chatta, Sarah

Eliane Esther Bots’ In Flow of Words, which won best short documentary at the Netherlands Film Festival this year, follows the interpreters who spoke the words of victims and perpetrators alike at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

Bots lives in The Hague, where the Tribunal took place for most of her life. She never thought about the work of interpreters until a chance encounter with one of them, a woman named Alma, who was haunted by the stories she interpreted. Bots watched hours of the Tribunal’s archival footage and compared the proceedings to theater. “Everyone has a role,” she said.

In the Tribunal’s intricate legal proceedings, which took place from 1993 to 2017, the interpreters had a critical, but functional, responsibility: if they did their job well, they were almost invisible.

Throughout the film, the interpreters reveal what was demanded of them (e.g., neutrality, the use of the first person) and how the work affected them. In an impromptu scene early in the film, Alma compared the role to that of a vase: “The only purpose of a vase is to hold a flower. And our sole purpose here is to provide interpretation, to facilitate a conversation and nothing else.”



Middlebury Institute


ATA News

ATA Year in Review—2022

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    • State of the Association
      ATA President Madalena Sánchez Zampaulo took stock of where the Association stands following the pandemic years in Episode 79 of The ATA Podcast. From the online certification exam to finances to a changing of the guard at ATA Headquarters, take time to listen to this in-depth look at where we were in 2022 and where we’re going in 2023!

    • The ATA Compensation Survey Report
      Released in early 2022—and available exclusively to ATA members at no cost—the sixth edition of the ATA Compensation Survey documents income and pay rate data by profession, employment status, and languages. In addition, respondent profiles include specialties, education, business structures, pricing structures, services provided, client mix, and more. For interpreters, there’s a breakout by delivery modes and credentials; for translators, the use of CAT tools and post-editing services are reported. Take advantage of this ATA member benefit to see how your business stacks up in the U.S. market!

    • ATA Certification Exam On-Demand
      In May 2022, ATA launched an on-demand option allowing members to take the exam from their home or office at the time of their choosing. To date, more than 300 exams have been taken online. Also in 2022, the Board approved certification testing for Korean-into-English, English-into-Korean, and English-into-Romanian! Watch the free Ins and Outs of the ATA Certification Exam webinar to learn more about preparing for the exam, or listen to Episode 74 of The ATA Podcast for an explanation of how the on-demand exam works.

    • ATA Membership Diversity Award
      Nael Hijjo, Safira Amazan, and Erin LaFargue won the American Foundation for Translation and Interpretation’s new annual ATA Membership Diversity Award for 2022. The award offers a fully-paid ATA membership to individuals who are Black, Indigenous, or people of color joining ATA for the first time. Students and newcomers to the translation and interpreting profession (including people changing careers) are given preference, and awardees are selected based on answers to essay questions. Click ATA Membership Diversity Award to find out more about the award. Also, be sure to watch The Importance of Diversity to learn about diversity, equity, and inclusion in ATA.

    • ATA Wins FIT’s Best Website Prize
      The International Federation of Translators (FIT) named ATA the winner of its Best Website Prize in June 2022. The jury noted that the straightforward, informative, and well-structured website appeals to clients and colleagues alike, while the site’s “client assistance” section best promotes the professional image of the translator, terminologist, and interpreter in terms of quality, presentation, and relevance. Bookmark and follow the ATA website!

    • ATA TEKTalks
      In March 2022, ATA’s Language Technology Division launched ATA TEKTalks, a quarterly webinar series offering translators the chance to learn about translation tools and software directly from the vendors. Each 45-minute webinar features an interview with a company representative who explains what their platform can do and how it fits into a user’s translation workflow. Attendees walk away understanding the pros and cons of the software and whether it’s a good investment for them. All free to ATA members! Check out the first-year lineup of Wordfast, Smartcat, Smartling, and Trados Studio and watch for new ATA TEKTalks in 2023.

    • ATA Professional Development
      ATA has a longstanding commitment to offering translators, interpreters, and company owners the most relevant continuing education—and 2022 was no exception! With more than 65 webinars and workshops, including 24 free to members, and over 165 presentations at the ATA63 Annual Conference, the Association gave members the best opportunities to advance their skills, knowledge, and proficiency in order to stay competitive in the market. Check out the on-demand library to see if there’s something you missed!

    • The ATA Podcast
      Now entering its eighth year, The ATA Podcast has been downloaded 83,334 times. In 2022, the program continued to attract listeners with its Inside Specialization series. Each episode explores the what, why, and how of various specialties through interviews with translators and interpreters in the field and doing the work. There are loads of personal stories and recommendations for how to get started—and our download numbers show listeners are loving it.

  • The Next Level Blog
    ATA’s Business Practices Education Committee debuted the Next Level blog in the fall of 2021, and we celebrated its first anniversary in September 2022. From enhanced productivity with text expansion to marketing and productivity tools for Gmail to ways to grow your freelance business with client referrals, it’s been a great first year. Designed for established translators and interpreters, the blog is a sister publication to ATA’s long-running The Savvy Newcomer.


Looking for Your Paper Renewal in the Mail?

ATA is “going green” and streamlining the renewal process this year, so you only need to look as far as your inbox for a link to the 2023 online membership renewal. Check your inbox for the December 28 message “Stay connected to those who understand you and your business!” or click here to renew now!


Take the Survey, Enter to Win!

Share your feedback with us! Enter to win a free ATA membership for 2023!

ATA is conducting a membership survey to gather information about who our members are, what areas of ATA membership are most valuable to them, and what needs are most crucial to them as language professionals. The survey will also serve to document ATA’s diversity and inclusion as well as let us know where we don’t have representation within our membership.

Your feedback is invaluable to us and will help us better serve you as an ATA member.

All questions on the survey are optional, and your answers will be kept anonymous unless you decide to provide your name. The full survey is expected to take less than 10 minutes.

The survey will be open until December 31, 2022.

At the end of the survey, you will have an opportunity to enter a drawing for a free individual ATA membership for 2023.

How to take the survey
Each ATA member was emailed a SurveyMonkey invitation with a unique link on December 5. A reminder email to those members who have not yet responded was sent on December 15.

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Using TransTools and TransTools+ to Improve Your Translation Process

Presenter: Stanislav Okhvat
Date: January 17, 2023
Time: 12:00 noon ET
Duration: 90 minutes
Language: English
Level: All
CE Point(s): 1 ATA-approved

A common mistake is to rely on a CAT tool to create a perfectly translated document without doing anything to prepare the original document. There are many areas, however, where CAT tools fall short—from cleaning tags and fixing formatting issues in the source document to making sure that the final translation is well formatted and easy to read.

Learn how to use TransTools and TransTools + to overcome these CAT tool limitations while working in Word, PowerPoint, and Excel documents.

Attend this 90-minute webinar to discover how TransTools and TransTools+ can increase your productivity, improve your efficiency, and produce a final professional translation that will gain you repeat business!

In addition to translators, this webinar will be useful for project managers at language services companies, desktop publishing specialists, editors, and other language industry professionals.

You will learn how to:
  1. Save time and avoid errors with an efficient workflow prep of source documents
  2. Translate Word documents in a CAT tool, ignoring text marked as non-translatable
  3. Produce a dual language final Word document quickly
  4. Use checklists and tools to prevent common formatting issues in translations
  5. Improve and polish the look and feel of a final document in Word
Register now! ATA Member $70 | Non-Member $90

If you have already registered for this webinar, please check your inbox for to find your invitation to join. Email if you cannot find it.


ATA School Outreach Contest

Back to Business Basics: Reviewing Your Own Performance

Presenter: Dorothee Racette
Date: January 19, 2023
Time: 12:00 noon U.S. ET
Duration: 45 minutes
Language: English
Level: Beginner
CE Point(s): None

Want to measure your translation or interpreting business performance? Join this webinar to turn your project data into business analytics!

When you work alone, it can be hard to measure how well your business is set up to succeed. Consistent metrics give you the necessary tools to plan your goals for the new business year or to evaluate how well you did in the last year. Attend this webinar to learn how to use different metrics to assess the performance of your freelance translation or interpreting business.

You will learn how to:
  1. Pick useful metrics
  2. Set reasonable goals in line with your current business stage
  3. Incorporate long-term values into your planning
  4. Set expectations for your own learning
Register now!
Free to ATA members, but you must sign up by 10:00 a.m. ET on January 19. Click to learn more and register.


In the November/December Issue of The ATA Chronicle

ATA Strategy Committee Update
The language services market is constantly evolving, growing, and adapting to changes in technology and economic forces. ATA and its members are affected by these changes. The Board needs data and analyses to make informed decisions about the industry, the Association, and individual members’ livelihoods. Here are some of the initiatives the Strategy Committee has been working on to help the Board in their task. (John Milan)

How Case Studies Can Help You Market Your T&I Services
While testimonials are powerful, case studies allow you to tell the story of your clients’ successes as a result of working with you. When well-written, case studies can be very useful in marketing to potential clients. (Madalena Sánchez Zampaulo)

Interpreting Is a Performance Art
In addition to all the linguistic aspects, our work as interpreters involves performance. Thinking of yourself as an actor giving a stellar performance will help improve the quality of your work. (Javier Castillo)

We Need to Talk about…Money!
It can be embarrassing and feel intrusive when someone asks about your rates, particularly if you suspect that you’re not earning enough or you’re not earning what you would like. However, if we are less obscure and cryptic about our own rates, more translators in the profession might start re-evaluating what they charge. (Justine Raymond)

Protect Your Career by Protecting Your Eyes
As translators and interpreters, we need to protect our vision if we want to work productively. Given the nature of our jobs, however, and our dependence on computers for everything, avoiding screen use altogether is simply impossible. How can we strike a balance between using technology to work and avoiding health problems caused by overusing our eyes in the process? (Danielle Maxson)

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 2022 Smithbucklin

December 29, 2022

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In This Issue

It’s a Wrap
ATA Year in Review
Going Green for Renewal
Take Survey, Enter to Win
Webinar: TransTools
B2BB: Performance
The ATA Chronicle

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