Newsbriefs: January 18, 2022

ATA 63rd Annual Conference

ATA 63rd Annual Conference: Call for Speakers

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

Contribute to the Profession and Gain Recognition as an Industry Leader
The ATA Annual Conference attracts approximately 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!

Start Here!
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!

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 the ATA 63rd Annual Conference in Los Angeles, California!

Submission Limit
Please limit the number of submissions to three proposals. Additional submissions will be disregarded.

Industry News

Los Angeles County Foster Care System to Increase Services in Indigenous Languages

Los Angeles Times (CA) (01/12/22) Cosgrove, Jaclyn

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a motion directing the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) to develop a plan to improve its language services for Indigenous families and to strengthen its Asian Pacific and Native American programs.

Under the motion, DCFS would be required to increase interpreting services, particularly for Indigenous languages, and to provide training so workers can better identify Indigenous families. The motion also recommends that the department study the feasibility of increasing bilingual pay for its workers and provide recommendations to reduce language and cultural barriers.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors called for the motion after reviewing the results of an initial investigation conducted by the Los Angeles County Office of Child Protection regarding the circumstances of a four-year-old boy who was allegedly tortured and beaten by his foster mother, leaving the boy in a coma. Those results suggested that language or cultural barriers may have played a role in social workers’ decision to place the boy in foster care.

The boy’s birth mother is a Guatemalan immigrant who primarily speaks Akateko, a Mayan language. Her family claimed that she wasn’t provided with an interpreter and that social workers failed to effectively communicate with her before taking Andres and his two-year-old brother away from her.

The four-year-old, Andres F., was hospitalized October 28 with life-threatening injuries. His foster mother, Gabriela Casarez, has pleaded not guilty to two counts of child abuse and one count of assault leading to coma or paralysis.

The Los Angeles County Office of Child Protection will conduct an additional investigation this month into Andres’ case. The investigation will focus on the handling of the case by DCFS and other county agencies, including the experience level of social workers and how they addressed language and cultural barriers.

Advocates say that other Indigenous children have been placed into foster care because of miscommunications and discrimination within the child welfare system.

According to data collected by the Comunidades Indigenas en Liderazgo (CIELO), a nonprofit organization that works jointly with Indigenous communities residing in Los Angeles, the county is home to more than 30 Indigenous groups from Mexico and Central America who speak at least 17 languages.

“CIELO knows first-hand that vital services are too often denied because of language barriers and the inability to recognize the unique needs of these communities,” said Odilia Romero, co-founder and executive director of CIELO, who worked with the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on the motion.

“These are communities integral to the fabric of our county, but they often endure unacceptable language barriers that make it hard to navigate systems,” said Hilda Solis and Janice Hahn, the members of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors who coauthored the motion. “One of the greatest challenges the Indigenous communities face is demographic invisibility, given how often they are simply labeled as ‘Latino/Mexican,’ which makes justifying language services even harder. This extends to our child welfare system.”


Detroit Police Reach Out to the Spanish-Speaking Community through Social Media

Detroit Free Press (MI) (01/04/22) Moran, Darcie

The Detroit Police Department (DPD) announced the launch of a Spanish-language Facebook page and Twitter account as part of an effort to improve communications with the Spanish-speaking community.

Second Deputy Chief for Media Relations Rudy Harper said a newscast called DPD TV and on-camera English and Spanish briefings are also planned. “We have an open-door policy with DPD,” he said. “We want to meet our residents, and we can only be successful with the help of our community.”

Harper said the goal of the Spanish-language social media pages, which have been live since late December, is to ensure that Detroit’s Spanish-speaking community feels included. Posts consist of the latest crime updates, safety alerts, and precinct news.

“My primary goal is that the Detroit Police Department be a leader for diversity, equity, and inclusion at all levels,” said Detroit Chief of Police James White. “It’s more important than ever and we will embrace it.”

Detroit 4th Precinct Commander John Serda said he is grateful that the department is taking multiple approaches to connect with residents—young people and Spanish speakers on social media alike.

“I think for the Hispanic community, it’s especially important because when you have citizens who are first-generation—the ones who do have language barriers—they come from a place where law enforcement is feared,” Serda said. “It takes a lot for them to reach out to us, but we have to reach out to them to let them know that we’re not immigration, we’re not Border Patrol. We’re local law enforcement, but we’re so much more—we’re a resource.”


Pennsylvania Court Rules Out License Suspensions for DUI Test Refusals if Police Don’t Solve Language Barriers First

Patriot-News (PA) (01/05/22) Thompson, Charles

Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania Judge Patricia McCullough has ruled that the state can no longer continue to suspend drivers’ licenses for refusal to submit to drunk driving tests when there’s an “insurmountable” language barrier supported by substantial evidence.

The case stems from a longstanding Pennsylvania law that enforces an automatic one-year license suspension any time a person suspected of driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs refuses chemical testing that’s being sought to confirm their level of impairment.

McCullough said that the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation or police departments must develop ways to ensure that all drivers understand the consequences of refusing tests regardless of the languages they speak.

McCullough said that the court recognizes that it’s not possible for police departments to have officers who speak many different languages on duty at all times. She said the court also understands that providing interpreters on demand might not be possible in all cases.

“However, because we may not disregard the need to provide motorists with the ability to make a knowing and conscious choice to submit to a chemical test, it would be prudent to develop a solution to the problem,” McCullough said. “Our duty is simply to uphold the determination of the trial court where its finding of an insurmountable language barrier is supported by substantial evidence.”


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.”

However, the current plan has met with much opposition from language associations, teaching unions, and headmasters at state and independent schools, who say it will not increase students’ interest in the study of languages. There is also concern that the plan could lead to an exodus of language teachers from the profession.

Simon Hyde, general secretary of the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference, a professional association representing the world’s independent schools, said its members feared the narrow focus on grammar and vocabulary would discourage students from studying languages.

“This model will not give students the confidence in their language, both at the examination level and as a life skill, to take forward into further studies, careers, and personal endeavors,” Hyde said.

The Association for Language Learning stated that it was “very disappointed” the DFE had not opted to work collaboratively with subject associations, exam boards, and headmasters on a further review of GCSE content and development.

“There seem to be very few people, language experts included, who agree with the DFE’s view that this reform is the way to inject new life into the existing modern foreign languages GCSE,” said Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders.

“An approach is needed which encourages a love of learning of these subjects,” Barton said. “Requiring students to grind their way through a list of words is a fundamentally flawed approach that will not enthuse students, and we urge the new ministerial team at the DFE to take a step back and rethink this reform.”

ATA News

Welcome to ATA!

Whether you’ve just joined or just renewed, we want to welcome you to the association for 2022! We’re delighted to have you. Here’s a short welcome message from ATA President Madalena Sánchez Zampaulo.

Resource Cheat Sheet
We’d be hard pressed to fit all of ATA’s resources on a single page, but check out this quick list for many of the basics you’ll find on ATA’s website.

Haven’t Renewed Yet?
First, thank you for your membership and support in 2021. Second, this is the time to click here and renew now. We look forward to welcoming you back!


I Didn’t Know ATA Did That!

Start your new year off right with this free one-hour ATA member orientation event on January 20 at 12 noon ET!

Join ATA President-Elect Veronika Demichelis and Director Jamie Hartz for answers to everything you’ve wanted to know about your ATA membership, from how to set up your online ATA Directory listing, participate in ATA divisions, and register for the ATA certification exam to where to find business resources, member discounts, and social media networking. Remember to bring your questions, too, for a lively Q&A session closeout.

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

Free, but registration is required.

Note: This live event is an interactive experience with networking and sharing via Zoom’s chat feature. It will not be recorded. The next orientation session is scheduled for April 12, 2022 at 6:00 p.m. ET.


ATA Webinar: Working with Terminology in memoQ

Presenter: Anna Mohácsi-Gorove
Date: January 19, 2022
Time: 12 noon U.S. ET
Duration: 60 minutes
Language: English
Level: Intermediate, Advanced
CE Point(s): 1 ATA-approved

A key feature of translation memory software is efficiently maintaining accuracy and consistency of terminology. memoQ is more than up to the task!

Attend this webinar to learn how to build and manage powerful termbases in memoQ. Trainer Anna Mohácsi-Gorove will guide you through creating entries, extracting terms, and using best practices in projects to increase productivity.

Register now! ATA Member $45 | Non-Member $60

ATA Members Get 35% Off memoQ
ATA members are eligible for a 35% discount on a new license for memoQ translator pro. Click to take the deal!


Is the ATA Mentoring Program for You?

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.

The ATA Mentoring Program offers a unique matching service to a limited number of mentees and mentors. ATA members interested in participating must submit an application by March 31. The program runs from April through September.

“When I made the switch to working for myself, I felt a bit like a fish out of water. There was so much to learn—how to attract direct clients, get my foot in the door at agencies, juggle a large number of jobs with different expectations. I wanted advice from someone who had been in my shoes. My ATA mentor turned out to be just what I was looking for.” Jessica H.

Want to know more? Watch this free Mentoring Program conference session to learn how the program works, or read ATA Board Director and past mentoring program participant Ben Karl’s The Benefits of Mentoring to discover more about the mentoring experience.

“My mentor encouraged me to trust my instincts when it came to marketing and networking, regardless of what the “how-to” articles say. And she reminded me to be patient with my business. There is no short-cut to getting clients. Really, she helped me in so many ways. It’s hard to sum it all up!” Molly Y.

This is the only open enrollment period in 2022. Only 30 mentees will be accepted. Don’t miss this chance to get the support you need—it’s an invaluable ATA member benefit. Submit your application today.

“My mentor showed me what he did to succeed in a competitive, but high value, segment of the market. Even though I had been running my own successful translation business for nearly four years, there was a lot to learn from how someone else handled the challenge of finding new clients.” Ben K.

One Last Note
If you think you might prefer peer-based coaching in a small group, the ATA Mastermind Program might 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!


ATA School Outreach Contest

ATA Webinar: Vicarious Trauma and Language Professionals

Presenter: Ludmilla 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

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 and understand why language professionals working in health care, legal, and social services settings are at greater risk
  2. Identify the potential impact of vicarious trauma on work performance and quality of life
  3. Cope effectively with stress and anxiety
  4. Maintain performance and remain centered and 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!

In Person or Virtual! ATA’s School Outreach Contest is Open!

The ATA School Outreach Contest is on, and the prize is a free registration to ATA’s 63rd Annual Conference in Los Angeles, California!

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 can’t present in person.

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 Outreach 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!

Don’t Have a School in Mind?
If you’re interested in speaking to students about translation and interpreting but don’t have a specific school in mind, let us know. We’ll do our best to match you up with a school looking for a presenter.


NEW! ATA Workshop: Keep Your Spanish Sharp

Presenters: Diego Mansilla, Izaskun Orkwis
Dates: February 23-24, 2022
Time: 9:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. U.S. ET
Duration: Two 2-hour sessions
Language: English
Level: Intermediate, Advanced
CE Point(s): ATA-approved 4 CEPs

Get a refresher on Spanish grammar to improve your writing skills!

Even seasoned translators need a refresher on Spanish grammar. Most of us learn it at an early age and rarely revisit the rules. This gap between theory and practice, along with changes to spelling rules made by the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE), will be the focus of this workshop aimed at translators who want to make sure that their Spanish writing is spot-on.

Join this interactive virtual workshop to learn key aspects of Spanish terminology, verbs, rules of agreement, punctuation, and capitalization. Leave with tips that will help you write more confidently in Spanish. The instructors will also share useful sources to help you solidify your understanding of these topics.

You will learn how to:
  1. Apply the changes in Spanish spelling rules made by the RAE in the last few years
  2. Watch out for issues when translating verbs
  3. Avoid common terminology pitfalls
  4. Navigate differences between English and Spanish punctuation and capitalization rules

Register now! ATA Member $180 | Non-Member $240

Special Notes:
  • This virtual workshop will consist of two 2-hour sessions held on two consecutive days.
  • Due to the interactive nature of this event, the workshop is limited to 30 participants.
  • To make the best out of this learning opportunity, attendees are encouraged to have their video and audio on and actively participate in the discussions.


Free! The Impact of MT on the Economics of Translation

Is the current mixed business model—nearly free raw machine translation (MT) on the one hand and paid translation from language services providers on the other—sustainable? Will human translators still be around in 2030? Is this a binary question, or should use cases be brought into the discussion?

The International Federation of Translators, North America Regional Centre (FIT-NA), will offer a free webinar on the subject January 20, 2022, at 1:00 p.m. ET. Experts in MT and human translation will discuss the reality of MT—its uses, challenges, and how and when human translators must stay in the loop.

Click to register now!

  • Dr. Christopher Kurz, Head of Translation Management, Enercon
  • Jay Marciano, Director of MT Outreach & Strategy, Lengoo
  • Dr. Samuel Läubli, Chief Technology Officer, TextShuttle
  • Lucie Séguin, Chief Executive Officer, Bureau of Translation, Government of Canada
  • Dr. Alan Melby, Vice-President, Fédération Internationale des Traducteurs
Dr. Bill Rivers, Principal, WP Rivers & Associates and Chair, FIT-NA


Coming Up 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

January 18, 2022

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In This Issue

ATA63 Call for Speakers
Welcome to ATA!
Member Orientation
ATA Webinar: memoQ
ATA Mentoring Program
ATA Webinar: Trauma
ATA School Outreach
Workshop: Spanish
Impact of MT Discussion
The ATA Chronicle

ATA Members Only

Free ATA Webinar!
Why Can’t I Raise My Rates
Click to watch!

ATA Workshop

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

ATA Webinars

Working with Terminology in memoQ
Jan 19 @ 12 noon ET
Registration open

Vicarious Trauma and Language Professionals
Feb 15 @ 6:00 p.m. ET
Free to ATA Members
Registration open

Calendar of Events

ATA Member Orientation
Jan 20 @ 12 noon ET
Virtual. Free!
Register now!

JNCL-NCLIS Language Advocacy Days
Language at the Intersection
Feb 2-4, 2022
Learn more!

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 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

The ATA Chronicle
The ATA Chronicle November/December 2021

Investing in Language Education for the 21st Century