Newsbriefs: February 1, 2022

The Importance of Diversity

Translation and interpreting from one language to another requires an appreciation of diversity. ATA strives to represent and elevate people from all over the world, by working to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion.


Industry News

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.

“Deaf people still do not have access to the same essential information and services that are available to the hearing population,” said David Buxton, chief executive officer of the British Deaf Association. “The Equality Act does not cover linguistic rights, and we are forced to rely on inadequate disability discrimination legislation to access information in our own language.”

“Effective communication is vital to creating a more inclusive and accessible society, and legally recognizing BSL in Great Britain is a significant step towards ensuring that deaf people are not excluded from reaching their potential,” said Minister of State (Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work) Chloe Smith.


Ontario Freelance Court Interpreters Rally for Better Wages

Brampton Guardian (Ontario, Canada) (01/21/22) Gamrot, Sabrina

Freelance court interpreters in Brampton, Ontario, started the year with a rally, calling for a long overdue wage increase and other benefits to improve working conditions.

The interpreters joined members of the Professional Court Interpreters of Ontario (PCIO) outside the Brampton Provincial Offences Court armed with signs reading “skilled profession = skilled rate” and “justice for all except for interpreters.”

“Our wages were raised in 2010, but we have not had an increase since then. It’s been 12 years now,” said PCIO President Jaswinder Bedi, who has worked as a freelance Punjabi interpreter since 2010.

Freelance interpreters are paid $30 per hour and are not considered government employees. As such, they do not qualify for benefits like health coverage or pensions. Interpreters say the current rate does not reflect the importance or depth of their work and have written to the Ministry of the Attorney General expressing their concerns.

“The Ministry does not give us anything, no benefits. They keep us as independent contractors,” said Dave Duhre, a court interpreter. “Right now, it’s one-sided.”

A letter sent to the Ministry from PCIO in December read: “It’s unfortunate that while Canada is growing and its standard of living is improving, and while income in most sectors is rising, court interpreter compensation has sadly not kept pace.”

Bedi said the wages offered do not take into consideration that freelance interpreters are accredited and must pass an exam before gaining partial or full accreditation. “We are professionals, highly qualified people, and must be very proficient in two, three, or four languages. It’s not an easy task,” he said.

In a letter to PCIO members, the Ministry stated that it is researching current policies but has not decided on wages.

“The Ministry is in the process of analyzing the information collected from a variety of sources, as well as input received from court interpreters and other justice stakeholders,” the letter read. “Once this analysis is complete, the Ministry will determine next steps.”

Michelle Johal, a defense lawyer who often works at the Brampton courthouse, said she would be “unable” to do her job if clients or witnesses couldn’t access interpreters.

“The right to the assistance of an interpreter is not merely an administrative requirement. It is a constitutionally guaranteed right found in Section 14 of the Charter. Courts have an obligation to ensure that this right is accorded to any person who requires it,” she said.


Nigerian Language Advocates Seek Inclusion of African Languages in Tech Devices

Voice of America (NY) (01/26/22) Obiezu, Timothy

Voice-activated virtual assistant technologies such as Siri and Alexa are becoming increasingly common around the world, but in Africa, with its many languages, most people are at a digital disadvantage. To address the problem, researchers are creating translation tools to recognize and promote Indigenous languages such as Yoruba.

Oluwafemi Awosanya, who teaches Yoruba, said he often struggles to transfer his class modules to an online student site he created because there is no speech recognition technology for that language. As a result, Awosanya spends several hours manually editing and correcting his notes before uploading them to his blog.

Awosanya said that despite technological advances in Africa, languages like Yoruba, one of the most commonly spoken in Nigeria, remain neglected. “It limits knowledge. There are things you want to educate the children on, things you want to exhibit in the classes,” he said.

The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs estimates that around 2,000 distinct languages are spoken in Africa. Researchers say around two-thirds of the native speakers miss out on emerging technologies due to language limitations in the tech world.

Nigerian writer and language proponent Kola Tubosun said this issue endangers Africa’s technological future. To help promote language and inclusivity, he created an online Yoruba dictionary and a text-to-speech English-to-Yoruba translation engine.

“There are lots of obstacles,” Tubosun said. “Some languages are not written down and some don’t have scripts. Some languages have scripts but don’t have many people speaking or writing them in educational settings or using them in daily conversations.”

“If a language doesn’t exist in the technology space, it’s almost as if it doesn’t exist at all,” Tubosun said. “If you spend all your time online every day and the only language you encounter is English, Spanish, Mandarin, or whatever else, then it tends to define the way you interact with the world. And over time you tend to lose either the interest in your own language or your competency in that language.”

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.”

Friedman said the end result is a space that captures visitors’ attention. The museum includes immersive galleries that explore language in novel and entertaining ways. One gallery contains a 12-foot high-wattage globe where visitors can choose various languages and learn a few culturally specific words and phrases. On the second floor, a quiet space offers audio of poems with the words screened on the walls. Visitors are also invited to solve puzzles, listen to poetry, and paint pictures with words.

Friedman sees the museum as a way to educate people about how words are used around the world.

“I want people to be aware of the words that people use around them and also be aware of the ones that they use themselves,” she said. “Because they have a choice. You can use your words to hurt others, to wound, or you can use them to heal and to create friendship and understanding and empathy. And obviously it’s important to me that you use your words to do the latter.”

Training for Translators


ATA News

Inside Specialization: International Trade Translation

Amanda Williams will be the first to tell you that her entry into international trade translation was through the “school of hard knocks”—and she loved every minute of it! Tune in to this episode of Inside Specialization to hear Amanda explain her job to guest host Andie Ho. From port contracts and technology to customs, inventory, logistics, and warehouse automation, it’s way more than bills of lading. It’s the knowledge beyond the words on the page that will take you places in this specialty. You can never stop learning.


Boost Your Career by Presenting at ATA63

The American Translators Association is now accepting presentation proposals for ATA’s 63rd Annual Conference in Los Angeles, California (October 12-15, 2022).

If you’ve never written a proposal to present at an ATA Annual Conference, then this is the place to start! Watch How to Submit a Successful ATA Annual Conference Proposal to learn more about developing and submitting a proposal for this event. Free!

Proposals must be received by March 1, 2022. Click here to learn more and submit!

You do not need to be an ATA member to submit a proposal. If you know someone who could make a great presentation, encourage them to submit their proposal for ATA 63!


ATA Elections 2022: Call for Nominations

The Nominating and Leadership Development Committee is pleased to announce the call for nominations for the following positions:
  • Director (three positions open), three-year term
  • Director (one position open), one-year term
Elections will be held at the Annual Meeting of Voting Members at the ATA Annual Conference.

Who Is Eligible to Be Nominated?
Under ATA’s Bylaws, all Active members of ATA are eligible to run for elected office. Active members are those who have passed an ATA certification exam or who are established as having achieved professional status through Active Membership Review or through ATA’s Credentialed Interpreter recognition process.

Active members must be citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. Other membership categories are not eligible to serve as officers or directors. However, any member may submit a nomination.

Members of the Nominating and Leadership Development Committee are not eligible to run for elected office.

Procedure for Adding Nominees to the Slate of Candidates
If a nominee is not added to the slate of candidates by the Nominating and Leadership Development Committee, an individual may still petition to be added by submitting the nomination in writing along with the signatures of at least 60 Voting members endorsing the nomination.

Petitions must be received by the Nominating and Leadership Development Committee no later than 30 calendar days after the first publication by the Board of Directors of the slate of candidates proposed by the Committee.

Submitting Your Nomination
Any ATA member may submit a nomination. Self-nominations are also permitted.

Nominations should be submitted as early as possible so that the Nominating and Leadership Development Committee can fully consider proposed candidates. The deadline for submission is March 1, 2022.

Before submitting a nomination:
  • Contact the nominee first, explaining your intention and the fact that a nomination does not guarantee a formal invitation to run for office.
  • Keep in mind that ATA officers and directors serve on a volunteer basis. Please do not nominate colleagues who express serious concerns about service, or who have conflicting priorities.
Submit now!
ATA’s success depends on the leadership of its officers and directors. That leadership begins with nominations like yours. Click to submit your nomination.

Deadline to Submit
March 1, 2022

Become an ATA Voting Member
It’s easier than you think! ATA Associate Members who can demonstrate that they are professionally engaged in translation, interpreting, or closely related fields may apply for Voting Membership. How? Click Become a Voting Member to find out!

Questions? Need More Information


Next ATA Board of Directors Meeting

The ATA Board of Directors will meet this weekend in Los Angeles, California. Check out the agenda, get to know the Directors, and review the Board Meeting Summary from the October 30-31, 2021 meeting. All ATA members are welcome and encouraged to attend.

Do you have feedback for the Board?
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 or email You’ll find email addresses here.

Want to know more about ATA Board meetings? Listen to Episode 3 of The ATA Podcast for a behind-the-scenes look at how ATA conducts Association business.


The ATA Mastermind Program: Don’t Go It Alone!

Translators and interpreters often go into business understanding that finding and retaining clients will be hard work. What many fail to see, however, is the difficulty in running a business alone and not always knowing what to do next. This is where ATA can help!

ATA’s Mastermind Program offers mentoring designed to help you learn and develop professionally. You will work together in small peer groups to share knowledge on specific topics and work collaboratively to achieve your learning goals.

What can you expect?
  • Peer-based mentoring through brainstorming, education, and support
  • Self-directed activities chosen by the members of each group
  • Challenges to set goals and be accountable
  • Meeting regularly to learn from each other
Want to Learn More?
Read What are ATA’s Mastermind Groups? in the Next Level blog and watch the Introducing ATA’s Mastermind Program webinar.

One Last Note
If you would prefer a one-to-one coaching relationship with someone who has more experience, ATA’s Mentoring Program will be a better fit. Click to check it out!

And finally …
Both the ATA Mentoring and ATA Mastermind Programs require two years of experience for participation. If you’re not there yet, we recommend following The ATA Savvy Newcomer for everything you need to know—from getting started to finding clients and more. There’s something here for everyone!


Back to Business Basics: Preparing Translation Quotes

Presenter: Eve Bodeux
Date: February 8, 2022
Time: 7:00 p.m. U.S. ET
Duration: 45 minutes
Language: English
Level: All
CE Point(s): None

A properly prepared quote is an invaluable tool. It establishes a translator as a professional and offers protection to both you and your client by clearly communicating expectations. It can also help you market additional services.

Join this webinar to learn how to prepare and submit a quote that will help ensure your project’s success!

You will learn how to:
  • Decide what information to include in quotes
  • Use quote formats
  • Take various approaches to quoting a project’s costs
  • Assess the best currency to use for quoting international clients
Register now!
Free to ATA members, but you must sign up by 5:00 p.m. ET on February 8. Click here to register.

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


There’s Still Time to Renew Your ATA Membership

If you haven’t renewed yet, then this is the time to click here and renew now before you lose access to the best marketing and networking in the language services industry!

Already renewed?
Don’t forget to grab your membership card! Just log into the Member Center area of the ATA website and click the View/Print Your Membership Card link.


Vicarious Trauma and Language Professionals Webinar

Presenter: Ludmila Golovine
Date: February 15, 2022
Time: 6:00 p.m. U.S. ET
Duration: 2 hours
Language: English
Level: All
CE Point(s): 2 ATA-approved; IMIA/NBCMI 0.2; CCHI approval pending

Research has confirmed that interpreters and translators are vulnerable to vicarious trauma, burnout, compassion fatigue, or secondary stress because of repeatedly working with traumatic information. Not only do language professionals witness the trauma but they end up internalizing and channeling it during the interpreting/translation process, and this can affect their performance and well-being.

Join this interactive webinar to learn about real-life applications and tools that can help you identify and examine triggers leading to vicarious trauma and the practical steps to prevent and mitigate its effects.

You will learn how to:
  1. Define vicarious trauma
  2. Understand why language professionals are at greater risk
  3. Identify the potential impact of vicarious trauma
  4. Cope effectively with stress and anxiety
  5. Maintain performance, remain grounded with self-regulation techniques
Register now! ATA Member Free | Non-Member $25

How to watch the webinar recording later!
Register now and watch this webinar on demand at your convenience! The link to the recording will automatically be added to the ATA Education section in your member record following the live event. Click here to learn how to watch purchased ATA webinars on demand!


Are You a “Savvy” Volunteer?

ATA’s Savvy Newcomer is looking for a few more volunteers for its team. If you’ve got any of the following skills, then Savvy’s editors want to hear from you! Email them at
  • Blog writing (in any language, but mostly English)
  • Blog editing (native English-speaker, no professional experience required)
  • Blogmaster assistance (experience or interest in WordPress)
Good communication skills and responsibility to meet deadlines are required. Time commitment can be as much or as little as you have to offer, but you do need to be available to meet once a month by Zoom and to keep up with email and Slack between meetings.

Not familiar with The Savvy Newcomer?
Wait until you see what you’ve been missing! Check out this “not for newcomers only” blog on ATA’s website for great T&I business advice and how-to’s.


Call for Nominations: ATA’s Lewis Galantière Award

The Lewis Galantière Award is presented biennially for a distinguished book-length literary translation from any language, except German, into English. To be eligible for the award, the book must have been published in the United States between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2021.

The submission deadline is March 1, 2022. Click to learn more about the eligibility requirements and how to submit.

ATA Honors and Awards
ATA and the American Foundation for Translation and Interpretation (AFTI) present annual and biennial awards to encourage, reward, and publicize outstanding work by both seasoned professionals and students. Check out the winners for 2021 in the January/February issue of The ATA Chronicle!


Did You Miss the Latest Issue of Translatio?

The latest issue of Translatio, the quarterly newsletter of the International Federation of Translators (FIT), is available for download. Read this issue to learn about FIT’s recent panel presentation on machine translation labeling, sworn translator training in Argentina, and FIT Europe’s call for volunteer reporting on changes in the T&I industry and client perceptions of T&I professions.

This issue also reported on The Guardian article “Where have all the translators gone?” which covered the poorly translated subtitles of the hit TV show Squid Game. See ATA’s subsequent Call for Fair Working Conditions for Translators in the Entertainment Industry.


In the January/February Issue of The ATA Chronicle

Call for Nominations: ATA Directors
Do you know someone who would make a good potential candidate for ATA’s Board of Directors? If so, ATA’s Nominating and Leadership Development Committee would like to hear from you. Any ATA member may make a nomination. Here’s your chance to help shape the future of the Association!

Treasurer’s Report
This annual report reviews ATA’s financial performance and provides a good indication of current trends. (John Milan)

The Orange County Department of Education Multilingual Consortium: A Clearinghouse for Educational Interpreters
California’s Orange County Department of Education has spearheaded efforts to provide continuous professional learning opportunities for bilingual staff in educational settings nationwide. Learn how a robust language services program strategically addressed the challenges and effectively capitalized on the opportunities presented by the pandemic. (Natalia Abarca)

Subtly Sexist Sources: What’s a Woke Translator to Do? 10 Practical Pointers for into-English Translators
Amidst far-reaching societal change, language is evolving. Unfortunately, not all our clients are keeping pace, and their source texts sometimes smack of sexism in the form of worn-out stereotypes, passè gender roles, and problematic language. Translators should feel empowered to stray from the source when necessary and draw on their expertise to educate their clients. Here are 10 takeaways on incorporating gender-neutral writing into your English translations. (Rachel Pierce)

Reflections on Running a Micro-Internship: Making a Difference by Starting Small
Given how few translation training programs exist in the U.S., internships can be a great way for freelance translators to contribute to the next generation of our profession while also getting something in return. (Mary McKee, Jamie Hartz)

Profile of ATA’s 2021 School Outreach Contest Winner: Majlinda Mulla-Everett
When Majlinda Mulla-Everett taught a summer class on interpreting skills to high school students in Portland, Maine, her objective was to make sure they understood the value of being bilingual and that they can turn that skill into something to help the community where they live. (Molly Yurick)

2021 Honors and Awards Recipients
ATA and the American Foundation for Translation and Interpretation present annual and biennial awards to encourage, reward, and publicize outstanding work done by both seasoned professionals and students of our craft. This year’s recipients are…

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


February 1, 2022

Have you ever mentored someone just starting out as a translator or interpreter?

See the Results!

Previous Poll Results

How does your 2021 business revenue compare to 2020?
10% = Same
71% = Better
19% = Worse

In This Issue

ATA Diversity Video
Inside Specialization
ATA63 Call for Speakers
ATA Elections 2022
Next Board Meeting
ATA Mastermind Groups
Translation Quotes
Not Too Late to Renew
Vicarious Trauma
Savvy Volunteer
Galantière Award
The ATA Chronicle

Free to ATA Members

Live Event!
Vicarious Trauma and Language Professionals
Feb 15 @ 6 pm ET
Click to register!

ATA Workshop

Keep Your Spanish Sharp
Feb 23-24, 2022
9:00-11:15 a.m. ET

Back to Business Basics

How to Prepare Top-Notch Translation Project Quotes
Feb 8 @ 7:00 p.m.ET
Free to members!
Registration open

Calendar of Events

ATA Board of Directors Meeting
Feb 5-6, 2022
Los Angeles, California

ATA Mastermind Program
Deadline: Feb 28, 2022
Learn more!

ATA63 Call for Speakers
Deadline: Mar 1, 2022
Learn more!

ATA Call for Nominations
Deadline: Mar 1, 2022
Learn more!

ATA Mentoring Program
Deadline: Mar 31, 2022
Learn more!

FIT World Congress
Jun 1-3, 2022
Varadero, Cuba
Learn more!

ATA63 Annual Conference
Oct 12-15, 2022
Los Angeles, California

ATA63 Annual Conference Call for Speakers
The ATA Chronicle
The ATA Chronicle January/February 2022

ATA Business Practices Next Level Blog