Newsbriefs: February 15, 2023

ATA School Outreach Contest

Proposed Changes to ATA Membership Categories

ATA was founded in 1959 to serve professional translators and interpreters. In the ensuing 64 years, the Association’s membership categories and membership eligibility requirements have evolved, and the current membership structure no longer reflects ATA’s vision to represent its professional members. They do not give all members a full voice in the Association’s governance.

ATA’s membership structure should serve all of its members through an appropriate selection of membership types and benefits.

In August 2021, ATA members were invited to comment on proposed changes to ATA’s membership categories and benefits. Based on the comments received, the Governance and Communications Committee has revised the proposed ATA membership matrix to address your concerns and suggestions.

We invite you to read the answers to the most common questions and the rationale for the proposed changes.

The proposed changes to ATA’s membership categories aim to remove unnecessary barriers to participation in ATA for individual members to serve all members through an appropriate selection of membership categories and benefits. The ATA Board believes these proposed changes will be beneficial for the Association.

Call for Comments
ATA’s Governance and Communications Committee invites you to comment on the proposed membership structure by answering the following questions:
  • Which one of these membership types suits your needs?
    • What would you like to see changed or included?
  • Which parts of this proposal would you support, and which would you not?
    • Please explain why.
  • Is there anything you would add?
    • Please explain.
How to Submit Your Comments
We kindly ask that you email your comments to the Governance and Communications Committee by February 28, 2023.

Payment Practices


Industry News

Interpreter’s Alleged Use of Unauthorized Individuals Sparks Major Review at Canada’s Refugee Board

Toronto Star (Canada) (02/07/23) Keung, Nicholas

Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) has identified almost 200 cases involving a contracted interpreter who is facing fraud-related charges for allegedly dispatching unauthorized individuals to do the work on his behalf at virtual hearings.

The interpreter, Gerard Byamungu, was arrested in January and charged with fraud and breach of trust. According to police, Byamungu was accused of receiving payment for fraudulent interpreting and translation services provided to the IRB by the unauthorized individuals. The offenses were allegedly committed during online remote IRB hearings between June and December 2022.

“The type of misconduct being alleged is unprecedented at the IRB and is simply unacceptable,” said IRB Spokesperson Anna Pape. Pape said Byamungu had been scheduled for about 310 hearings since November 2014, adding that a review of the recordings identified 193 cases where an unauthorized interpreter may have been present.

“I have won cases. I have lost cases. Knowing now that there was this gaping hole in the integrity of the system is incredibly alarming,” said Joel Sandaluk, a Toronto lawyer who was recently informed that two of his cases could be reopened as a result. “The bigger concern is that the IRB doesn’t know who was interpreting these hearings, and that the person is under no obligation to keep that matter private and secret.”

The IRB said that in addition to an internal investigation, a third-party audit was conducted to review the quality of the interpreting services provided. So far, no quality concerns have been identified.

Officials have contacted all affected parties to provide them with an opportunity to have their cases reopened. In some cases, the IRB has shared the information with the Canada Border Services Agency, the legal counsel of record, and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. The IRB has also implemented additional measures to verify the identities of interpreters, including issuing new identification cards.


Colorado Court Interpreters Walk Out as Pay Dispute Continues

The Denver Post (CO) (02/09/23) Bradbury, Shelly

A contingent of frustrated Colorado court interpreters walked off the job across the state last week as they await a potential $10 hourly wage increase from the Colorado Judicial Department.

The interpreters canceled their scheduled appearances and did not show up to interpret court hearings, creating a noticeable impact in some jurisdictions. According to the Colorado Judicial Department, about a dozen interpreters alerted the department that they were participating in the walkout or offering solidarity for the effort.

Last year, a large group of interpreters threatened a two-day work stoppage over pay rates but called off that effort after entering negotiations for higher pay with the Colorado Judicial Department. At that time, the Judicial Department had proposed a $10 per hour rate increase for interpreters. That request is still pending and could be approved by lawmakers as soon as this month, said Rob McCallum, a spokesperson for the Judicial Department.

Interpreters said they’ve been frustrated by the lengthy budget process and lack of communication from the Colorado Judicial Department and the Office of Language Access, which certifies interpreters who work in the courts. “They haven’t delivered, and they really haven’t kept us in the loop about what is going on,” one interpreter said. “It’s a compound thing at this point. There hasn’t been any sort of straightforward answer, and that’s what is making people nervous that we might not actually be a priority.”

Deya Gonzalez, program manager for the Office of Language Access, acknowledged the discontent and said the office has been “critically understaffed” for more than six months. “The legislative process is a multistep process that requires a timeline for submissions and deadlines, and although it takes time, we are optimistic that the rate increase will be approved,” Gonzalez said. “I understand and share the frustration with this timeline, but the Office of Language Access has met required deadlines and we will update the contract interpreter community as soon we have updates to share.”

McCallum said Judicial Department officials had “believed we were on a mutual track to a long-term resolution” after the negotiations about the $10 wage increase last year. “We remain committed to an open dialogue and are hopeful a solution will be found without any potentially harmful actions that could effectively deny access to justice to Coloradans in need of interpreting services when they appear for their day in court.”


NSW Government in Australia has Awarded over 400 Scholarships to Budding Interpreters

NSW Government (Australia) (02/13/23)

The government of New South Wales (NSW) in Australia has awarded over 400 scholarships to aspiring interpreters through the state’s Multicultural NSW Interpreting Scholarship Program.

Facilitated by several educational institutions, including the University of NSW and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, the program has enabled the state’s multilingual youth to secure scholarships to continue their interpreting studies. Those who complete the program have access to employment, mentoring, and professional development opportunities with Multicultural NSW.

Minister for Multiculturalism Mark Coure said the Interpreting Scholarship Program empowers people to use their language skills as a career to help their communities access government information and services. “The government is committed to supporting our multicultural state. To do that, we need to increase our interpreting ranks, especially with people who speak languages from new and emerging communities that weren’t prevalent a decade or so ago.”

The program’s most recent graduates include university-trained interpreters speaking Amharic, Dari, Hazaragi, Kannada, Karen, Mongolian, Swahili, and Tamil.

NSW Federation of Community Language Schools President Lucia Johns said the program is further evidence of the value of multilingual study. “Language is one of NSW’s greatest cultural, social, and business assets, so it cannot be ignored and must be fostered and developed,” Johns said. “By teaching students at community language schools throughout the state we are protecting and guaranteeing our future linguistic skills.”

Elfa Moraitakis, chief executive officer of SydWest Multicultural Services, said the initiative is a great investment in the state’s multicultural future. “I’m very pleased to see this level of investment given to increasing the opportunities for young people to use these skills as a profession,” Moraitakis said. “By recognizing the importance of speaking another language, it gives our youth a sense of pride and belonging. It’s a skill not easily obtained, and a great thing to see that it’s being appreciated and valued.”

“The NSW government understands that a strong and robust language service is key to a future without barriers for diverse communities, and it ensures that no one is restricted in accessing information or services because of the language they speak,” Coure said.


Sacramento City Council Members Push for Services in More Languages

KCRA (CA) (02/02/23) De La Cruz, Maricela

Sacramento, California, is on its way to becoming the 13th state jurisdiction to offer language access services. This comes after the city auditor’s office and the city manager ordered a language access gap analysis of city services.

The survey revealed that over 50% of English respondents and 33% of Spanish respondents were unaware that the city offered free translation and interpreting services.

“I want to make sure that our limited-English-proficient (LEP) speakers in our city are able to access city services no matter what English proficiency they have,” said District 8 Council Member Mai Vang.

“If folks who do speak English don’t even know the full array of city services, what does that mean for folks who cannot communicate in that language?” asked Carissa Gutiérrez, executive director of Sacramento’s Latino Center of Arts and Culture. “The city is responsible for a lot, and for the city to do its job well, it really needs to be able to reach our communities as well.”

About 70% of those surveyed said they didn’t feel comfortable requesting assistance from city services. Vang and Gutiérrez said that children often had to interpret for family members. “For many of our families, this is the representation they’re getting—I think the city can do better,” Gutiérrez said.

The survey results have led to a series of recommendations for city employees. These include periodically tracking changes to the city’s LEP population and offering more language access services in Spanish, the most frequently encountered LEP language. Also recommended are applying additional language services resources toward programs that serve a higher proportion of LEP individuals, increasing marketing to LEP individuals on the availability of language access services, and providing employee training on identifying situations that would benefit from an interpreter.

Vang and fellow Sacramento City Council Member Eric Guerra are also composing an ordinance to make language access services permanent within Sacramento.


European Commission Announces 27 Winners of Its Young Translator Contest

European Commission (Belgium) (02/09/23)

The European Commission has announced the 27 winners of its 16th Juvenes Translatores translation contest for secondary schools.

The contest is open to secondary schools in all European Union (EU) countries. This year, 2,883 participants put their language skills to the test, choosing to translate a text between any two of the EU’s 24 official languages. Of the 552 language combinations available, students from 681 schools used 141 combinations, including Spanish into Slovenian and Polish into Danish.

The students participating in the contest enjoyed the opportunity to discover translation. As students from a school in Spain school put it: “Our English teacher is a former translator and we’ve all enjoyed every bit of the preparation process, practicing with texts from past years and learning about the challenges of translation in the EU institutions. We’ve even planned a visit to a university that runs a degree in translation to learn more about this world.”

The European Commission’s translators selected 27 winners, one for each EU country, as well as 287 students who received special mentions for their outstanding translations. The award ceremony for the winners will take place in Brussels at the end of March.

The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Translation has organized the Juvenes Translatores (Latin for “young translators”) contest every year since 2007. Over the years, the contest has been a life-changing experience for many of its entrants and winners. Some have decided to study translation at the university level, and some have joined the European Commission’s translation department as a trainee or a full-time translator.


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ATA News

Go Virtual or In Person for ATA’s School Outreach Contest

The ATA School Outreach Contest is on, and the prize is a free registration to ATA’s 64th Annual Conference!

How to Enter the Contest
Share your career story with any educational level or age group of students, then submit a summary of your experience along with a photo of your presentation—a screenshot works just fine if you presented virtually. Check out these tips for taking the winning shot!

How to Prepare a Presentation
ATA volunteers have created resources, handouts, and presentations for you to use, covering elementary school to graduate-level students. It’s all on ATA’s website, ready for you to download and revise to make the presentation your own. Check out ATA School Presentation Materials.

Want to See How It’s Done?
We’ve put a virtual presentation together for you to give you a few ideas. Watch ATA Presents Careers in Translation and Interpreting and get inspired!

And don’t miss Episode 53 of The ATA Podcast to hear first-hand how ATA members have shared their passion for language with students!


Inside Specialization: Medical Translation

If helping other people is important to your job satisfaction, then medical translation should be at the top of your list of potential specializations. But wait…don’t you have to be a medical professional to enter this field?

No, not necessarily, says ATA member and medical translator Danielle Maxson. Danielle recently sat down with ATA member and podcast host María Baker for Episode 82 of Inside Specialization. Listen in as she explains how her personal story led to a career in medical translation, how she prepared for the change from teacher to interpreter to translator, and where she found the resources to train for the job. You’ll also learn the types of documents that need translation, the typical clients, and the impact of machine translation on this segment of the industry.

BONUS! Danielle explores how back translation became part of her medical translation business—a excellent lesson in making the most of diversification!

Be sure to let us know what you think! Send comments, questions, or requests about this podcast to


Last Call! Trados Studio 101 Workshop

Presenter: Nora Díaz
Dates: February 18 and February 25, 2023
Time: 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. U.S. ET
Duration: 3 hours each
Language: English
Level: All
CE Point(s): 6 ATA-approved

Limited to 30 attendees.

Whether you are just getting started with this popular CAT tool or are an existing user who wants to brush up on your skills, this workshop’s systematic, incremental approach to learning will increase your productivity for a faster translation workflow.

Training will follow a demonstration-and-practice model with assignments and discussions to ensure that participants master basic Trados Studio functionality. Participants will also receive sample files to use during the individual practice segments of each workshop session

Register now! ATA Member $250 | Non-Member $340


B2BB: Finding Your First T&I Clients

Presenter: Corinne McKay
Date: February 24, 2023
Time: 12:00 noon U.S. ET
Duration: 45 minutes
Language: English
Level: Beginner
CE Point(s): None

You know you can do this job, but no one wants to hire you without experience.

Finding your first translation or interpreting clients is both a challenge and an opportunity. You are often faced with a “chicken and egg” situation—you need experience to get the job, but no one will hire you without the experience.

Join this webinar to learn how to get your foot in the door! While there are any number of possibilities for where to look for work, this webinar will discuss three potential options: looking at the local market, applying to clients that base their hiring on an in-house translation test, and establishing yourself as the go-to person in a niche market.

You will learn how to:
  1. Understand the challenges and opportunities of starting an independent business
  2. Master three ways to find your first clients
  3. Recognize the value of the local market
  4. Choose at least one marketing technique you can use immediately
Register now!
Free to ATA members, but you must sign up by 10:00 a.m. ET on February 24. Click to learn more and register.

What is ATA’s Back to Business Basics Webinar Series?
Sometimes it’s the simple things that trip you up or hold you back in business. That’s the point behind ATA’s Back to Business Basics webinars—a series of 45-minute webinars offering practical advice on common translation and interpreting business problems. Click to review the series archive and take advantage of this ATA member benefit


ATA TEKTalks: Is Phrase the Right Tool for You?

Presenter: Andrea Tabacchi
Date: February 28, 2023
Time: 12:00 noon U.S. ET
Duration: 45 minutes
Language: English
Level: All
CE Point(s): None

Phrase TMS (formerly Memsource) is a complete localization solution that allows you to truly scale your localization projects by bringing together an enterprise-level translation management system, state-of-the-art MT technology, and a dedicated software localization solution in one unified suite.
Attend our first quarterly ATA TEKTalks webinar in 2023 for an interview with the Phrase’s Chief Customer Officer Andrea Tabacchi. This introduction to the suite will offer freelance translators, in-house linguists, company owners, and students an overview of how the unified, secure online platform can increase translation productivity and bring in new business.

Register now! Free to ATA members.

What is ATA TEKTalks?
It’s a quarterly webinar series from ATA’s Language Technology Division offering translators the chance to learn about language technology software one platform at a time. Each webinar features an interview with a company representative who explains what their program can do and how it fits into a translation workflow. You’ll walk away understanding the pros and cons of the software and whether it’s a good investment for you.


Successful Advocacy for T&I: The Sequel

Presenter: Ben Karl, Nicolás Arízaga, Cristina Helmerichs, Bill Rivers, Jennifer Santiagos
Date: March 1, 2023
Time: 12:00 noon U.S. ET
Duration: 60 minutes
Language: English
Level: All
CE Point(s): None

Improve your advocacy! As we look towards advocacy in the coming year, it’s time to sharpen our advocacy skills. In the U.S., new regulations have been proposed that affect the translation and interpreting industry and those we serve, including language access in health care, worker classification changes, and more. Inflation and other economic factors are causing a strain on language professionals’ earnings.

We need to be ready to advocate, and this webinar takes you beyond the basics! (Click here to check out ATA’s 2022 free advocacy webinar!)

Register now! Free webinar for ATA members and non-members. Click here to sign up.

This event is hosted by ATA’s Advocacy Committee.


ATA Elections 2023: Call for Nominations

The Nominating and Leadership Development Committee is currently accepting nominations to fill the following positions:
  • Officers: president-elect, secretary, and treasurer positions (each a two-year term)
  • Directors: three director positions (each a three-year term)
Elections will be held at the Annual Meeting of Voting Members during ATA’s 64th Annual Conference in Miami, October 25-28, 2023!

Nominations must be received by March 15, 2023.

ATA’s success depends on the leadership of its officers and directors. That leadership begins with nominations like yours. Click here to start.


Time to Renew Is Running Out!

We want to thank you for your membership during the past year. Your support has not been taken for granted—we’ve worked harder than ever to increase the value of your membership

Forgot to renew?
It’s not too late! Renew now to ensure your uninterrupted access to the best marketing and networking in the language services industry.

Still waiting for your renewal notice 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 our online renewal. Check your email inbox for the February 10 message “Did you know the ATA membership renewal period ends February 28?” or click here to renew now!

Already Renewed?
Don’t forget to grab your membership card! Click View/Print Your Membership Card and log in to download it now.

Questions? Need additional information?
Your satisfaction is important to us! If you have questions or concerns about your ATA member benefits or services, email or call +1 (703) 683-6100, extension 3001.


ATA’s 64th Annual Conference: Call for Speakers

The American Translators Association is now accepting presentation proposals for ATA’s 64th Annual Conference in Miami, Florida (October 25-28).

Proposals must be received by March 1, 2023.

Why present at ATA64?
AT64 will attract 1,500 attendees, bringing together translators, interpreters, educators, project managers, and company owners. Making a presentation to such a diverse audience is an excellent way to build your reputation and résumé, widen your networking circle, and position yourself as an expert in your field!
Unlike any other translation event, the annual ATA conference is where I find the professional community my soul craves. One particularly meaningful way this community is embodied for me is by presenting and attending presentations. I’ll be the first to admit that not every presentation I’ve given over the years has been outstanding, but the way the ATA community has taken my and others’ thoughts to the next level has been extraordinary. Jost Z.

Speaking at an ATA Annual Conference is also a great way to open doors to new career paths you hadn’t considered. It’s an opportunity to show what you can do and meet the people who can help you do it!
At ATA’s 58th Annual Conference, I gave a presentation on project management. It was my first time presenting professionally, and somebody in the audience who saw that presentation ended up giving me a full-time job teaching. Alaina B.

How to submit a proposal
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 presentation proposal for this event-—it’s free. You do not need to be an ATA member to submit.

Click here to submit a presentation proposal.

New for ATA64
  • MicroTalks
    Engaging and dynamic talks in a 15-minute format, addressing various topics of interest for translators, interpreters, and language services providers.
  • 30- or 60-Minute Presentations
    Regular conference sessions can now be presented in a 30- or 60-minute format.
  • New Session Topics
    Choose from an updated list of conference topics: from conference interpreting to diversity, equity, and inclusion in T&I, localization, educational translation and interpreting, the business of translation and interpreting—and more!
  • Professional Forums
    An interactive opportunity for translators and interpreters working in a specific language combination or field of expertise to discuss important issues in a collaborative setting (60-minute forums).
  • Committee Forums
    An opportunity to learn about various activities, initiatives, and resources developed by ATA committees, meet committee members, and potentially offer your time and talents as a volunteer (15-minute forums).
Book Your Room Today
A limited number of rooms at the Hyatt Regency Miami have been reserved at a discount for attendees. ATA rates are available until September 29, 2023, or as space allows.

Located by Brickell, one of the trendiest neighborhoods in Miami, the Hyatt is steps from the Miami Riverwalk, Bayfront Park, the Brickell City Centre, and Bayside Market Place. Hotel guests receive complimentary in-room wireless internet and 24-hour access to a fully-equipped StayFit™ gym. Learn more and book now!


ATA Mentoring Programs

No matter where you are in your career, the advice and encouragement from working professionals with on-the-job experience is priceless. But finding the right mentor is not always easy. ATA offers mentoring options so you can choose one-on-one support, coaching in small groups, or both!

Mastermind Program: Deadline to Apply Is February 28
You might hear “mastermind” and automatically think of a master class where a highly experienced instructor shares their knowledge with students. This is not ATA’s Mastermind Program!

Instead, think of a small group of 6-7 colleagues—people of approximately the same level of professional experience—working together on designated business issues or learning goals. It’s a combination of brainstorm networking, accountability, and everyone’s willingness to grow and learn together. Read What are ATA’s Mastermind Groups? in the Next Level blog and watch the Introducing ATA’s Mastermind Program webinar to learn more and register.

Mentoring Program: Deadline to Apply Is March 31
ATA’s Mentoring Program offers a unique one-to-one matching service for a limited number of mentees and mentors. Matches are made based on business goals defined by the mentee, but both sides of the partnership benefit from the rewards of collaborating and sharing knowledge.

The program runs from May 1 through October 31. Watch the ATA Mentoring Experience video or click here to learn more.


Call for Translatio Articles

The Translatio Editorial Team is calling for articles from FIT members in English, French, or Spanish for its next issue.

Submissions should be no more than 500 words, and detailed submission guidelines may be found here. We also encourage your submissions of properly credited photos (subjects, association affiliations, and photographer) to accompany your articles. Click here to check out previous issue of Translatio!

The deadline for submissions is February 24, 2023. Please submit articles to


Update from ATA Headquarters

As we strive to improve your membership experience, we are forging new roots to enhance member benefits. One major undertaking is the overhaul of our membership database to improve the quality of our knowledge management systems.

For a short time you may experience some delays in response to inquiries. Please know this is temporary as we process renewals and other membership requests simultaneously.

The ATA Headquarters staff is committed to growing and improving our processes to further enhance our association in 2023, and we thank you for your support and patience. Should you have questions or concerns, please email


In the January/February Issue of The ATA Chronicle

Call for Nominations: ATA Officers and 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!

What Does “Trans” Mean? Why Does the LGBT Acronym Keep Changing? Why Do I Need to Know this Anyway?
The terminology of the LGBTQIA+ community is ever evolving and identities are expanding, so we need to keep up with all the changes. Just as we wouldn’t do an assignment on climate change without researching how to say solar panels or wind farms in our language pairs, neither should we neglect to know the correct LGBTQIA+ terminology for when, not if, we encounter it in our professional lives.

Interpreting for Infant and Pregnancy Loss
Routine obstetric visits are generally predictable and short. However, when pregnancy complications arise, medical interpreters need to be prepared to interpret accurately and completely for limited-English-proficient patients in this tragic situation.

Protect Yourself: How to Prevent Lawyers from Blaming You for Depositions Gone Wrong
Here are five key tips that, when utilized correctly, will help protect your image as a professional interpreter in front of attorneys and clients.

2022 Honors and Awards Recipients
ATA and the American Foundation for Translation and Interpretation present annual and biennial awards to encourage, reward, and publicize the outstanding work being done by both seasoned professionals and students of our craft.

Profile of ATA’s 2022 School Outreach Contest Winner: Aída Carrazco
When Aída Carrazco, the 2022 ATA School Outreach Contest winner, gave her presentation to her son’s fifth grade class in March 2022, kids were just going back to school after 16 months of studying from home. That meant she faced a unique challenge: students weren’t used to being in the classroom. Aída was determined to make sure she kept their attention by making her presentation extra fun!

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 2023 Smithbucklin

February 15, 2023

Which of ATA’s Client Outreach materials have you used in the past 5 years?

See the Results!

Previous Poll Results

Have you ever volunteered as a mentor? (Check out this issue for ATA Mentoring Program deadlines!)

50% = Yes
50% = No

In This Issue

Proposed Changes
School Outreach
Inside Specialization
Workshop: Trados Studio
B2BB: First Clients
ATA TEKTalks: Phrase
Webinar: Advocacy
Call for Nominations
Time to Renew
ATA64 Conf Proposals
Mentoring Programs
Headquarters Update
The ATA Chronicle

ATA Members Only

Free ATA Webinar!
Introduction to Website Localization
Click to watch!

ATA Webinar

ATA TEKTalks: Is Phrase the Right Tool for You?
Feb 28 @ 12:00 noon. ET
Registration open

Successful Advocacy for T&I: The Sequel
Mar 1 @ 12:00 noon. ET
Registration open

ATA Workshop

Trados Studio 101: Hands-On Workshop
Feb 18 & 25 @ 10:30 a.m.
Registration open

Calendar of Events

ATA64 Annual Conference Proposals
Deadline: Mar 1, 2023
Learn more

​​​​​​​ATA 2023 Elections
Call for Nominations
Deadline: Mar 15, 2023
Learn more

ATA64 Annual Conference
Oct 25-28, 2023
Miami, Florida
Preview now!

ATA Webinars Live and On Demand
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ATA Business Practices Next Level Blog
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