Newsbriefs: February 2, 2023

ATA School Outreach Contest


Introducing ATA’s New Executive Director

Ninety days after her introduction at ATA63, ATA’s new executive director, Kelli Baxter, sat down with Podcast Host Matt Baird for a quick check on how it’s going. Listen in to Episode 81 for Kelli’s first impressions of ATA and its members, a snapshot of where she’s been in her career, and why she thinks the future is about making the T&I industry more visible. Listeners will also learn about plans for the Association going forward and the possibilities Kelli sees in the inevitability of change.

Click to listen to Episode 81 of The ATA Podcast!

Show Notes
Join ATA or Renew Your Membership for 2023Call for Nominations 2023ATA64 Call for ProposalsATA Mastermind Program Application DeadlineLearn How to Volunteer for ATA CommitteesExecutive Director Column in The ATA ChronicleEmail ATA’s Executive Director

What is The ATA Podcast?
It’s a quick way to learn more about ATA—the people, events, and programs. Episodes are presented as short interviews with podcast Host Matt Baird. Easy to listen to, The ATA Podcast offers you a behind-the-scenes view of how ATA works.

How to subscribe
Subscribe to The ATA Podcast and get the next episode sent to you as soon as it’s published! The subscription is free. Not sure how to subscribe? This article from Hubspot will walk you through it step-by-step, screenshots included.

Be sure to leave a comment
Listener comments and suggestions are a big help. Did you like the episode? What would make it better? Do you have an idea for an interview? Let us know. Email ATA Podcast Host Matt Baird with your feedback.


Industry News

Brussels Interpreters Unionize for Fair Pay, Better Working Conditions

EurActiv (Belgium) (01/25/23) Ellena, Silvia

Freelance interpreters in Belgium are organizing to demand fair pay and improved working conditions from language services providers. The move comes in response to new guidelines from the European Commission allowing individual self-employed workers to organize and negotiate collectively.

Previously, the European Union’s rules regarding competition prevented self-employed workers from organizing. This meant that they were not in a position to push for better working conditions collectively, as this would have been considered colluding, anti-competitive behavior.

The revised guidelines set new rules for freelancers that are “comparable to workers.” The European Commission now defines freelancers as “solo, self-employed people who are economically dependent on a single counterparty, working side-by-side with regular employees under the direction of a company, or working through digital labor platforms.” These criteria apply to the majority of interpreters working in Belgium. The new guidelines also help put pressure on language services providers.

Most of the work of self-employed interpreters goes through language services providers or other third-party companies, which means interpreters rarely sign a direct contract with clients. Not only do these intermediary companies recoup most of the fees paid by clients, but some have also been accused of not respecting the due dates for interpreters’ invoices. Interpreters argue this undermines their working conditions and protections in the long run.

“It is very rare that you have a direct contract between the self-employed and the customer. In most cases, there is an intermediary,” said Martin Willems, a representative from the trade union CSC United Freelancers. Willems added that salaries for interpreters have not risen despite rampant levels of inflation. He attributed this to the fixed price contacts to which interpreters are committed.

According to Willems, unionizing is critical to balance the varying degrees of economic strength and bargaining power between self-employed interpreters and intermediaries. Willems said this makes it possible “to have collective agreements on working conditions.”

“Most of the interpreters have framework contracts with a fixed price, but without a mechanism to adapt to the evolution of the prices,” Willems said. “An automatic adaptation to the evolution of prices is a central point to discuss with intermediaries.”

“We take interpreters’ demands extremely seriously and are working with the official representative bodies to see how we can address this issue together,” said Peter Van Den Steene, chief executive officer of interpreting services provider Presence.

Christophe da Silva, who works for interpreting provider Mister Light, said the company supports the demand for fair remuneration and has already increased the rates by up to 10% compared to the basic price at the end of last year.

“We know this is probably not enough, but this is a first step,” da Silva said. However, he added that it was not always possible to negotiate better working conditions as “clients do not always agree with all these conditions or do not accept the situation.”


Court Interpreters in Massachusetts Plan February Walkout Over Stagnant Wages (MA) (01/27/23) Matthews, Tom

Per diem court interpreters in Massachusetts say they haven’t had a cost-of-living adjustment in 17 years. After hearing what they say is silence from court officials, interpreters plan to walk out from February 6 through February 10.

According to Massachusetts Trial Court Office of Language Access (OLA) Spokesperson Jennifer Donahue, the OLA uses roughly 157 interpreters, 65 of which are full-time staff interpreters and 92 of which are per diem interpreters. Per-diem interpreters are paid daily and do not receive the benefits that a full-time employee would.

A petition sent to Governor Maura Healey stated that per diem interpreters are advocating for an increase of the judicial budget to “allow us to be fairly compensated for our work so that we can afford the increases in living costs.”

“We are totally out of sync with the present-day economy, and not as a result of our actions or choices,” the petition reads. Many highly qualified interpreters have left the field and continue to do so because they do not earn enough.”

Genevieve Howe, a per diem court interpreter who has worked in Massachusetts for more than 10 years, says per diem court interpreters deserve a 50% increase in pay to reflect an appropriate cost-of-living adjustment. “This is why we came to believe that we needed to use our collective power in protest and plan a walkout,” Howe said. “As far as I know, interpreters in Massachusetts have never waged a walkout.”

According to Donahue, a new compensation rate for per diem interpreters is expected to be announced within the next 30 days. “Any increase in the new rates that are based on the credential status of each interpreter will be retroactive to January 1, 2023,” Donahue said.

Howe said the response from the OLA is a positive sign but believes per diem interpreters should move forward with the walkout as it is unclear what the new rates will be. Howe is hopeful that February’s walkout will get the attention of the right people who rely on court interpreters—judges, lawyers, and clerks—who are all inconvenienced by a shortage of interpreters. And low compensation is partly responsible for that shortage, she said.

“As much as we love the judges, we need to get their attention and enlist them in advocating for us that we need a rate increase,” Howe said.


Supreme Court Considers Questions about Students’ Accessibility Rights

United Press International (DC) (01/18/23) Sager, Monica; Sarkar, Susanti

The U.S. Supreme Court heard a case on January 18 concerning whether Miguel Perez, a 23-year-old deaf student, should be financially compensated for not having accessibility support in his public school. The case highlights how students with disabilities could face harm by possibly negligent school systems for lack of accessibility. The ruling could also influence the way education navigates civil pursuits in the future.

Perez attended Sturgis Public Schools in Michigan from age nine to 20. He was assigned a classroom aide, whom filings indicated was not trained properly and was not versed in sign language. Although Perez made the honor roll each semester, the school informed his parents just months before graduation that he was only eligible for a “certification of completion,” not a diploma.

Perez and his family filed a complaint with the Michigan Department of Education in 2017, claiming he was denied an adequate education and that Sturgis Public Schools broke federal and state disability statutes. The judge dismissed some claims but held a hearing on whether Perez was denied assistance under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

IDEA also sets procedures for settling disputes between parents and schools concerning the education of their students with disabilities. Sturgis offered to settle the Perez family’s complaint by placing Miguel in the Michigan School for the Deaf and paying for his postsecondary compensatory education and sign language services.

After the family accepted the deal, Perez sued Sturgis Public Schools in federal court under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for undisclosed financial damages. The district claimed Perez could not bring the suit forward as he had already gone through all administrative proceedings under IDEA.

Perez’s attorney, Roman Martinez, said his situation violates Congress’ intentions with IDEA. “For 12 years, Sturgis neglected Miguel, denied him an education, and lied to his parents about the progress he was allegedly making in school,” he said. “Congress doesn’t punish kids for saying yes to favorable IDEA settlements.”

Sturgis’ lawyer, Shay Dvoretzky, argued that since Perez accepted the settlement that Sturgis offered, as an IDEA plaintiff, he could not sue.

Supreme Court Justices Amy Coney Barrett and Ketanji Brown Jackson pointed out the flaws with Dvoretzky’s argument. Jackson raised a scenario about a hypothetical 18-year-old who was denied proper assistance but did not want to continue her education. If following Dvoretzky’s argument, this student would be unable to sue on an ADA claim to support herself, but also would, no matter what, need to go through an IDEA hearing. “You are envisioning a world, it seems maybe a very narrow world, in which an ADA claim could be pursued after your vision of exhaustion occurs,” Barrett said.

Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan said rather than the school district, “it’s the parents who have the greater incentive to get the education fixed for their child.”

A federal district court and panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit sided with Sturgis Public Schools in previous decisions. Yet U.S. Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar told the high court that other federal appellate courts ruled differently in similar cases.

The Supreme Court will consider if IDEA proceedings were fully pursued when Perez sought financial remuneration, which cannot be awarded by an officer. A ruling is expected by June.


Lost for Words: Fears of “Catastrophic” Language Loss Due to Rising Sea Levels

The Guardian (United Kingdom) (01/16/23) McVeigh, Karen

If nothing is done to address climate change, conservative estimates from linguists suggest that half of all the 7,000 languages currently spoken will be extinct by the end of the century as coastal communities are forced to migrate.

“Languages are already vulnerable and endangered,” said Anastasia Riehl, director of the Strathy Language Unit at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. According to Riehl, some of the main factors that put languages at risk include globalization and migration, as communities move to regions where their language is not spoken or valued.

“It seems particularly cruel that most of the world’s languages are in parts of the world that are growing inhospitable to people. Many small linguistic communities are on islands and coastlines vulnerable to hurricanes and sea level rise,” Riehl said. “Others live on lands where rising temperatures threaten traditional farming and fishing practices, prompting migration. When climate change comes in, it disrupts communities even more. It has a multiplier effect—the final nail in the coffin.”

“We are heading for a catastrophic language and cultural loss into the next century,” said Gregory Anderson, director of the Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages, a nonprofit based in the U.S. that documents and records endangered languages.

In response to the crisis, the United Nations launched the International Decade of Indigenous Languages in December. Preserving languages of Indigenous communities is “not only important for them, but for all humanity,” said UN General Assembly President Csaba Korösi, urging countries to allow access to education in Indigenous languages. “With each Indigenous language that goes extinct, so too goes the thought, culture, tradition, and knowledge it bears.”



MultiLingual Media


ATA News

ATA Committee Open House

ATA Committees provide a variety of benefits and resources for members, help advance our profession, advocate on members’ behalf, and more. The future of our Association is in the hands of our members and volunteers—and you can play an active role in making it happen!

This is your invitation to get involve, get connected, and give back!
Join this interactive session at noon on February 14 to learn about the projects and initiatives our various ATA Committees are working on, hear from committee chairs who are currently looking for new team members, and find out how you can offer your time and talents as a volunteer.

Why do this?
Using your skills to benefit others not only showcases your abilities but helps you expand your own referral network while contributing to the advancement of the profession as a whole. So, take a chance on getting involved and make the most of your ATA membership!


ATA Virtual Brainstorm Networking Event

Let us show you what ATA networking is all about! This event is not usually open to non-members, but we’re making an exception on February 9. So, invite a non-member friend and have fun together!

Find solutions! Make connections!
Join your colleagues for this free, fun, and fast-paced hour of solving common business challenges in small teams. Attend this virtual event on February 9 at 8:00 p.m. ET to meet new people, learn new skills, and expand your support network while sharing your own experiences. Don’t miss it!

FREE! Learn more and register now!

Registration is open to both ATA members and non-members alike. Due to the interactive nature of this event, it will not be recorded.

This event is hosted by ATA’s Business Practices Education Committee.


Next ATA Board of Directors Meeting

The ATA Board of Directors will meet virtually on February 11, 2023. All ATA members are invited to attend. Email your name and membership number to with the subject line Request to Attend the ATA Board Meeting. The Board meeting agenda will be posted when available.

Board of Directors
The ATA Board of Directors meets four times a year to establish policy, develop goals and objectives, and oversee Association finances. Get to know ATA’s Board of Directors.

Board Meeting Summaries
Following each meeting, a brief summary is posted on the ATA website. Board Meeting Summaries are a great way to keep up with ATA news and activities—from the latest financial reports to plans for the Annual Conference to advocacy and public relations campaigns. Read the latest Board Meeting Summary from the October Meeting.

Board Meeting Minutes
Board Meeting Minutes are posted in the members-only area of ATA’s website following their approval at the subsequent quarter’s meeting. Click to read previous Board Meeting Minutes.

ATA Committees
Committee volunteers make things happen! Take the opportunity to learn more about ATA Committee goals during the upcoming ATA Committee Open House and consider how you could volunteer your skills and talents at the committee level. Sign up for the ATA Committee Open House.

Do you have feedback for the ATA 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.


ATA Elections 2023: Call for Nominations

The 2023 Nominating and Leadership Development Committee is pleased to announce the call for nominations from ATA’s membership to fill the positions of president-elect, secretary, and treasurer (each a two-year term), as well as three directors’ 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.


Middlebury Institute

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?
Making a presentation at an ATA Annual Conference is an excellent strategy to establish your expertise. With 1,500 translators, interpreters, educators, company owners, and project managers attending, there is no better way to gain visibility and expand your referral network.

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. Free! You do not need to be an ATA member to submit.

How proposals are selected
Proposals are selected based on the value and originality of the content. Presentations should engage the audience, encourage discussion, and provide information relevant to the translation and interpreting professions. Proposal selection is a competitive, peer-reviewed process.

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!


Why ATA?

There is an association for almost every industry and every profession. What makes ATA stand out from all the rest? Watch The Benefits of ATA Membership to find out.

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 inbox for the January 12 message “There’s still time to renew your ATA membership for 2023!” or click here to renew now!


ATA Webinar: Financial Terminology in Context

Presenter: Silvana Debonis
Date: February 15, 2023
Time: 12:00 noon ET
Duration: 2 hours
Level: All
CE Point(s): 2 ATA-approved

This webinar will be presented in Spanish.

Does business always mean “negocios”? You bet not. Some words we encounter in daily translation work pose real challenges when we want to convey their meaning in the target language. Attend this webinar to build your skills in translating business and economic content through hands-on exercises, terminology review, and examination of how meanings change in context!

You will learn how to:
  1. Review common words that have different meanings in economics and business
  2. Discover new meanings for some common financial words
  3. Examine how translated terms can change meanings depending on the type of text
  4. Explore new financial and business terms
  5. Use descriptive translation to improve flow and accuracy
Register now! ATA Member $90 | Non-Member $120

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


ATA Hands-On Workshop: Trados Studio 101

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

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


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.


Free On-Demand ATA Webinar for Members Only

ATA offers members one free monthly webinar, available on-demand for 30 days. Don’t miss this month’s freebie!

Introduction to Website Localization
You don’t need special powers or magic rings to translate and localize websites. All you need is a mixture of cultural expertise, technical skills, and language mastery to deliver exceptional results and help your clients’ websites shine in other languages.

This webinar guides you through processes carried out in a typical website localization project. You will also learn how to solve some of the most common website translation issues to find your way out of the localization maze.

What will you learn?
  1. What is website localization
  2. What skills are required to translate and localize websites
  3. What are the most common issues in website localization from a translator’s perspective
  4. What tools are used in translating websites
  5. How to specialize as a website translator
About the Presenter
Dorota Pawlak is an English and German into Polish translator specializing in information technology and localization. She holds an MA in translation and an MSc in multilingual computing and localization. Dorota teaches online localization courses and shares her tips for freelancers through her website. She is also a guest lecturer at the KU Leuven University in Antwerp, where she teaches website and mobile app localization.

Continuing Education Credit
Each free members-only webinar is approved for one ATA continuing education point (Category B), unless otherwise stated. After watching the webinar, complete and print the Independent Study Verification form. It will serve as your certificate of continuing education if your CE record is selected for audit at the time of your ATA recertification.


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 2, 2023

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

See the Results!

Previous Poll Results

Who handles your business taxes?

34% = I do
0% = Family member
0% = Employee
61% = Accountant
5% = Tax preparation chain

In This Issue

New Executive Director
Committee Open House
Brainstorm Networking
Board of Directors Mtg
Call for Nominations
ATA64 Proposals
Why ATA?
Webinar: Financial Terms
Workshop: Trados Studio
Mentoring Programs
Members Free Webinar
The ATA Chronicle

ATA Members Only

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

Renew Your ATA Membership for 2023 Now!

Don’t lose the marketing power, continuing education, industry insight, and member discounts you get with your ATA membership. Click here and renew now!

ATA Webinar

Financial Terminology in Context (in Spanish)
Feb 15 @ 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

Virtual Language Advocacy Days 2023
Feb 8-10, 2023
Registration open

Virtual Brainstorm Networking
Feb 9, 2023
Sign up now!

Board of Directors Mtg
Feb 11, 2023
Learn more

ATA Committee Open House
Feb 14, 2023
Registration open

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

February 8 @ 8:00 p.m.

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