Newsbriefs: July 1, 2021

Hunter Master of Arts in Translation and Interpreting

Take the ATA Compensation Survey

ATA is working with Dynamic Benchmarking, LLC, an independent firm specializing in association-related research, to conduct an industry-wide survey of compensation for translation and interpreting services. Dynamic Benchmarking is collecting the survey responses, thus ensuring your anonymity.

Why do this survey?
There is a need for a comprehensive picture of the market for translation and interpreting services. The survey results will be an invaluable resource for everyone in the field. Your participation is essential to collecting sufficient data.

Is that the only reason to take the survey?
No. If you complete the survey, you will receive a copy of the results formatted to allow filtering by language and specialty. You will be able to easily compare your compensation for the years 2019 and 2020 to that of your colleagues.

Who can take the survey?
Translators, interpreters, and company owners working in the U.S. You do not need to be an ATA member to take the survey.

How do I take the survey?
ATA members were sent an email invitation with login information and an access link to the survey. Non-members can take the survey by registering at

I didn’t get the email.
You will receive a second email invitation with an access link and login information in the next few days. In the meantime, check your spam folder. Some members have reported that the Dynamic Benchmarking email was flagged as spam.

But I want to take the survey now.
Great! Go to Enter the email address that you have on file with ATA as your Username. Submit to request your password. This will re-generate the original email invitation. Watch for the email, and don’t forget to check your spam folder.

Does my ATA password work?
No, you must create a unique password for access to your Dynamic Benchmarking account.

How long do I have to take the survey?
The survey must be completed by July 23.

When will we have results?
Survey results are scheduled to be released later this summer.

I have questions.
Send questions to

What else?
Thank you for your time and your ongoing support of ATA!

Middlebury Institute of International Studies

Industry News

U.S. to Evacuate Afghan Interpreters before Military Withdrawal Complete

Reuters (NY) (06/24/21) Zengerle, Patricia; Ali, Idrees; Stewart, Phil

The U.S. is set to evacuate thousands of vulnerable Afghan interpreters and their families before the U.S. military completes its withdrawal from Afghanistan. The White House has said they will be relocated outside Afghanistan so they can finalize their visa application process in safety.

“Those who helped us are not going to be left behind…They’re welcome here just like anyone else who risked their lives to help us,” U.S. President Joe Biden said.

U.S. officials did not disclose where the Afghans would be transported or how many would be involved, but said the group consisted entirely of Afghans who have already started the visa process.

“There’s no way to expedite their visas in-country…on a timely basis that would save their lives,” said U.S. Congressman Mike McCaul, who serves on the House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs and is a leading advocate of evacuating U.S.-affiliated Afghans.

Countries that “could be on the table” to receive them include the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, and Kuwait, McCaul said.

Fighting between U.S.-backed Afghan forces and the Taliban has escalated in recent weeks, with the militants gaining control of territory. The Pentagon now estimates the Taliban control 81 of the country’s 419 district centers.

Political talks between the government and the Taliban have largely stalled and it’s unclear how Afghan security forces will perform after U.S. troops depart. The Taliban have assured Afghans who worked with foreign forces of their safety.

But as the clock ticks down, Afghans who have applied for visas increasingly fear that the insurgents will target them and their families in retribution for helping foreign forces during America’s longest war.

Samey Honaryar, a former Afghan interpreter who was granted asylum in the U.S. after his life was threatened, said that time was running short for his compatriots.

“Please evacuate them,” he said. “They were good people, they helped you.”

The U.S. military has completed more than half of its withdrawal from Afghanistan and is set to finish in the coming weeks. Officials say between 600 and 700 U.S. troops are likely to remain to help provide security for diplomats at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul.

There is little time to process applications for special immigrant visas already filed, or the thousands of others who have formally expressed interest.

Although the U.S. Department of State has increased staffing, U.S. officials say there is a limit to how fast a 14-step, multiple-agency process that includes security vetting can move without changes in legislation. If all goes well, officials say a visa could normally be processed in nine to 12 months.

Administration officials say changes in legislation could accelerate the process, but its plans have been upended by the pandemic, which has repeatedly forced the U.S. Embassy in Kabul to postpone visa interviews.

U.S. Representative Seth Moulton, a former U.S. Marine who introduced legislation to help Afghans who worked for the U.S., said he welcomed word of the planned evacuations.

“This is a good day in this story, but it is far from the final chapter.”


Pentagon Linguist Sentenced to 23 Years for Exposing U.S. Sources in Iraq to Hezbollah in Rare Terrorism Espionage Case

The Washington Post (DC) (06/23/21) Hsu, Spencer

A linguist for a U.S. Special Operations Task Force in Iraq has been sentenced to 23 years in prison after admitting she turned over the names of informants and other classified data to a Lebanese man with ties to the militant group Hezbollah.

Mariam Taha Thompson pleaded guilty on March 26 to delivering national defense information to aid a foreign government. Prosecutors alleged that she passed the information to a man with whom she fell in love, believing it would assist Lebanese Hezbollah, designated by the U.S. as a terrorist group.

Prosecutors said Thompson, who was born in Lebanon and became a U.S. citizen in 1993, risked the lives of U.S. sources and troops because she hoped the man would marry her.

According to court filings, the FBI arrested Thompson on Feb. 27, 2020, at a U.S. military facility in Irbil, Iraq, which is home to an elite U.S. Special Operations counterterrorism effort and where she worked.

Prosecutors said Thompson turned over information after U.S. forces launched airstrikes at Kataib Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed foreign terrorist organization, culminating in a drone strike that killed its founder as well as Iranian military leader Qasem Soleimani.

Thompson’s unindicted co-conspirator asked her for information on who was helping the U.S. targeting effort. The linguist, who had a top-secret government security clearance, began accessing classified information in Pentagon computer systems. Thompson ultimately began accessing dozens of files and used several techniques to turn over classified national defense information, including the identities of at least eight clandestine human assets, 10 U.S. targets, and multiple tactics, techniques, and procedures.

“There is no question in my mind that the offense to which the defendant admitted endangered U.S. military personnel and human assets’ work with the United States and accordingly posed a significant threat to national security,” said U.S. District Judge John Bates. “This was an actual risk situation, not a hypothetical situation, and therefore it is extremely serious.”

“Thompson’s sentence should stand as a clear warning to all clearance holders that violations of their oath to this country will not be taken lightly, especially when they put lives at risk,” John Demers, assistant attorney general for the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Security Division, said in a statement.


New Mexico Ranked #1 in Nation for Language Access in the Justice System (NM) (06/15/21)

New Mexico’s court system has received the top ranking in the U.S. for providing language access services, including interpreters, to assist people with limited English proficiency, low literacy, and deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals.

In the National Center for Access to Justice’s (NCAJ) latest Justice Index rankings, New Mexico scored 89.31 out of 100 for its language access services and practices. Connecticut ranked second with a score of 80.5.

“Without language access services, many individuals would be unable to tell their story in courtrooms or file court documents across the state,” said Michael Vigil, chief justice of the New Mexico Supreme Court.

New Mexico’s Administrative Office of the Courts’ (AOC) Language Access Services (LAS) program coordinates and funds interpreting and translation services, including on-demand video remote interpreting. The program also recruits, trains, and qualifies interpreters. It offers a wide range of other services, including online American Sign Language classes for court employees, translations of web content, and training for court staff to serve as LAS specialists who provide out-of-courtroom assistance to people in their native language.

“New Mexico is leading the way in language access services, and I commend AOC’s Language Access Services program on reaching the #1 ranking awarded by the National Center for Access to Justice,” said Vigil.

AOC Director Artie Pepin said the LAS program “is always innovating to extend the reach of courts to communities in need.” He pointed to the creation of “Clara,” a multilingual, interactive avatar in a touchless courthouse kiosk that can answer user-generated questions to help visitors with such things as directions to courtrooms, forms, and allow them to get the assistance of a live operator who can connect them to court staff. Clara appears on the Judiciary’s LAS webpage offering assistance in multiple languages. LAS also provides real-time translation of domestic relations, family, and other forms filed by court users in a language other than English.

“These and many other initiatives demonstrate the dedication and depth of talent LAS brings to its work providing broader access to courts throughout New Mexico,” Pepin said.

Bill to Amend Official Languages Act Highlights Bilingualism in Courts

The Lawyer’s Daily (Canada) (06/15/21) Jerome, Amanda

If passed, a new bill to revise Canada’s Official Languages Act would promote substantive equality between French and English, the country’s official languages, and uphold the rights of linguistic minorities.

The Act for the Substantive Equality of French and English and the Strengthening of the Official Languages Act (Bill C-32) was proposed in June by Mélanie Joly, minister of economic development and official languages, and supported by Jean-Yves Duclos, president of the Treasury Board, and David Lametti, minister of justice and attorney general of Canada.

According to Bill C-32, proposed amendments to the Official Languages Act would include recognizing “that the French language requires a special approach, including in Quebec, in order to foster substantive equality between the two official languages and continue to protect the rights of linguistic minorities.”

Other proposed amendments include focusing on the importance of learning French and English throughout a student’s school career across Canada. The bill also proposes that the Supreme Court of Canada, just like the federal courts, be required to ensure that judges can directly understand the official language chosen by the parties without the assistance of an interpreter.

“Canadians need to be able to interact with the legal system in the official language of their choice,” Lametti said.

“This bill affects many facets of the federal linguistic framework,” Lametti said. “It aims to improve access to justice in both official languages and has a major impact on how we administer our legal system and our courts.”

Bill C-32 would amend the Official Languages Act to create “a commitment to financially support a body independent of the government of Canada that would be responsible for administering a program, such as the Court Challenges Program, whose purpose would be to provide funding for test cases of national importance relating to language rights to be brought before the courts.”

The amended Act would also “state clearly that final decisions of federal courts that establish a precedent in a given area of law would be made available to the public in both official languages simultaneously.”

Joly called it a “historic day” and said the government is “taking an important step for language rights in this country.”

“By working together, we can make progress toward true equality of English and French,” Joly said. “Because the French language needs additional support, our government firmly intends to play its part in strengthening it, while protecting the rights and vitality of official-language minority communities.”


Sweden’s King Honors Polish Translator

The First News (Poland) (06/21/21)

The Swedish Embassy in Warsaw announced that Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf has honored Polish translator, writer, and journalist Barbara Gawryluk with the Royal Order of the Polar Star.

The embassy said Gawryluk was presented with the distinction for her “numerous services in promoting and sharing Swedish literature and culture in Poland.” The Royal Order of the Polar Star is awarded to foreign citizens for their service to Sweden.

Gawryluk is a translator of children’s books and has translated some 50 books by Swedish authors of children’s and youth literature from Swedish into Polish.

As a journalist for Radio Kraków, Gawryluk has also promoted Swedish culture and literature for years by introducing the profiles of Swedish writers and representatives of culture to audiences.


Book Details Life of Japanese Translator of Anne of Green Gables

CBC News (Canada) (06/13/12) Fernando, Tom

The story of the writer who translated Anne of Green Gables into Japanese in 1952 is now accessible in English with the publication by Nimbus Publishing Limited of Anne’s Cradle: The Life and Works of Hanako Muraoka, Japanese Translator of Anne of Green Gables.

Anne’s Cradle was originally written in Japanese by Eri Muraoka, Muraoka’s granddaughter. Cathy Hirano authored the English translation.

“In some ways, [Muraoka’s] life was a little bit similar, I think, to Anne Shirley of Anne of Green Gables,” Hirano said. “She wasn’t an orphan, but her family was extremely poor, and they didn’t have enough money to raise their children.”

Hirano added that Muraoka’s father broke convention in early 1900s Japan by insisting that she receive an education. Muraoka attended a Christian boarding school and was taught by Canadian missionaries, including one from Prince Edward Island. Hirano said Muraoka learned much about classic literature during this period.

“I think she really fell in love with the English language,” Hirano said.

With World War II looming, many of Muraoka’s Canadian missionary friends were forced to leave Japan, one of whom was Loretta Leonard Shaw from Saint John, New Brunswick.

“It was that good friend who gave her the copy of L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables before she left,” Hirano said.

Hirano added that the book “kept hope alive in [Muraoka’s] heart that someday there would be peace again. She would see her friends again. They would not have to fight one another.”

During the war, Muraoka translated the novel in secret, as English was considered “the enemy language.”

“She didn’t know when the war would end,” Hirano said. “She didn’t know if anyone would publish the book. But she just felt, ‘I have to.'”

After the war ended, Muraoka published her translation of Anne of Green Gables, which became a bestseller. She went on to translate all the sequels.

Hirano said Eri Muraoka was very curious to learn more about her grandmother’s life. Eri’s mother had originally planned to write a book about Muraoka, but after her death Eri took on the project.

“She just really wanted to know, ‘What made my grandmother do this? What made her translate Anne of Green Gables at the risk of her life during the war?'” Hirano said.

“[Translating Anne’s Cradle] has been extremely moving for me both as a translator and a Canadian,” Hirano said. She noted that Muraoka wasn’t just a writer and translator, but also an activist for women’s rights and “for good children’s literature, because in the publishing industry it wasn’t considered important.”

“All I do is translate,” Hirano said. “She was a real activist.”


Alliant Professional Liability Insurance

ATA News

The ATA Halftime Show

Did you hear about ATA’s new e-book Guide to Starting Out as a Translator? Will the ATA62 conference be virtual this year? Is it true that ATA’s certification exam can now be taken online? How does the new ATA website help members get more out of their membership? Why is it never too late to attend an ATA membership orientation session? Why did the number of ATA webinars double this year? And what is the Back to Business Basics series? How is ATA doing financially?

Listen to Episode 60 of The ATA Podcast!

It’s the annual Halftime Show where President Ted Wozniak and President-Elect Madalena Sánchez Zampaulo tell ATA Podcast Host Matt Baird what the association has been doing in the first six months of 2021 and where it’s going in the last six months of the year. Don’t miss this episode!

Show Notes
ATA Compensation SurveyCertification ExamATA62 Annual ConferenceATA WebinarsATA Back to Business Basics SeriesATA Professional Development: Podcast Episode 54Guide to Starting Out as a Translator5 Reasons to Join ATA in 2021Inside Specialization SeriesNext Member Orientation SessionATA WebsiteATA Advocacy: Podcast Episode 58Treasurer’s Report FY2019-2020From the President Column: Membership Categories


B2BB: Getting and Incorporating Feedback

Presenter: Ben Karl
Date: July 8, 2021
Time: 12 noon U.S. EDT
Duration: 45 minutes
Language: English
Level: All
CE Points: None

Yes, you can ask for feedback—and you should!

All too often independent contractors work in a bubble. Many are not used to soliciting feedback, and more than a few are afraid to ask. And then what if the feedback is negative?

This Back to Business Basics webinar is here to tell you to get over it! Feedback is one of the most important tools you have to grow your business and get better at what you do. Attend this webinar to learn how to ask for both informal and formal feedback and what to do with it when you have it.

Click to learn more and register for this ATA Back to Business Basics webinar. Free, but space is limited.


It’s Not Too Late to Enter the ATA School Outreach Contest

Did you share your translation or interpreting career with students this year? Did you capture the moment with a photo or screenshot? Then you’re all set to enter ATA’s School Outreach Contest for a chance to win a free registration to ATA’s 62nd Annual Conference.

The contest deadline is July 19, 2021.

For even more information about the contest, sharing your career, and how ATA’s socially distanced school outreach program has worked in 2021, listen to Episode 53 of The ATA Podcast with Meghan Konkol, the program’s coordinator, and Molly Yurick, deputy chair of ATA’s Public Relations Committee. You’ll learn about the program’s mission and goals through their personal experiences, including Podcast Host Matt Baird’s own take on how he simplified his presentation approach with great success.


Advocacy in Pennsylvania: Update

ATA followed up its March 31 letter to the Administrative Office of the Pennsylvania Courts (AOPC) with additional comments on the agency’s recently published compensation schedule for language services in the state’s courts.

Read ATA’s June 16 letter to AOPC.

The opportunity to respond to the new schedule only became possible after Pennsylvania interpreters organized the Tri-State Language Access Coalition (TSLAC) to advocate against a 50% pay cut for remote interpreting.
Learn how advocacy is working at the state level in Pennsylvania! Follow TSLAC on Facebook and Twitter.


ATA Members-Only Free Webinar for July

Don’t miss this month’s free ATA webinar. This is how your membership works for you!

Inbound Marketing for Freelance Translators
If inbound marketing isn’t part of your online strategy to reach direct clients, it should be. Watch our free members-only webinar for July to learn how inbound marketing works. You’ll discover the platforms and techniques that can attract total strangers to your services and how to turn those strangers into leads—and then into clients and referrals. You’ll also examine the role search engine optimization plays in inbound marketing and ways to work social media into your overall plan.


ATA Webinars: Third Doubleheader of 2021!

Two webinars, one day, and $15 off! Don’t miss this opportunity to expand your skills, gain critical knowledge, and earn continuing education points from three major credentialing organizations.

Does Your English Match Your Suit? How to Reflect a More Professional Image

Presenter: Karen Borgenheimer
Date: August 4, 2021
Time: 12:00 noon U.S. EDT
Duration: 60 minutes
Language: English
Level: All
CE Point(s): ATA-approved 1 CE point; CCHI-approved 1 CE hour; IMIA-approved 0.1 CE unit

Clear and concise communication in English is crucial for successful relationships with clients in the U.S., but interpreters and translators often fall short due to routine errors in written and oral expression.

Attend this webinar to learn how to overcome common pitfalls in the Spanish<>English language pair. You will tackle exercises designed to improve both written and spoken English by removing unnecessary words and confusing verbal clutter. You will also learn easy techniques to conquer problematic pronunciation in English through a series of drills, focusing on proper vocal expression, pronunciation, and articulation.

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

Sight for Simul

Presenter: Katty Kauffman
Date: August 4, 2021
Time: 2:00 p.m. U.S. EDT
Duration: 60 minutes
Language: English and Spanish
Level: All
CE Points: ATA-approved 1 CE point; CCHI-approved 1 CE hour; IMIA-approved 0.1 CE unit

Special Notes: This webinar is presented in English and Spanish.

We have all been there: an attorney or a conference delegate walks in, comes over, hands us a document (a speech, a proffer), and says, “I tend to read very quickly so I brought you a copy.”

We thank the speaker, skim through it, and make some notes. What happens next is key. Do you put it aside, close your eyes, and just focus on the spoken words? Or do you read along, interpreting as you go, and adjust to additions and deletions on the fly?

If you are in the former group, this session is for you! Attend and learn key techniques to translate your sight-reading skills into the simultaneous mode. Come prepared to practice!

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

Register for Both and Save $15!
Attend one at full price or attend both and take $15 off the total registration fee. The discount will appear when you have added the second webinar to your cart.


AFTI Scholarships for the ATA62 Annual Conference

To help defray the costs of attending the ATA62 Annual Conference in person (Minneapolis, October 27-30), the American Foundation for Translation and Interpretation (AFTI) is offering a limited number of $500 scholarships to students and recent graduates of translation or interpreting studies and related fields. The program must be leading to an academic degree or certificate.

To be eligible, individuals must have never attended an ATA Annual Conference in person; attendees of the ATA61 virtual conference are eligible to apply.

Recent graduates must have completed their program within 12 months of the start date of the ATA62 Annual Conference (October 27-30, 2021).

How to Apply
You’ll find all the details and the application form on the AFTI website. The deadline to apply is July 31.


Become an ATA Voting Member

It’s easier than you think! ATA Active or Corresponding membership—that is, Voting Membership—is available to Associate members who either pass the ATA certification exam, go through Active Membership Review, or obtain the ATA Credentialed Interpreter designation.

There’s more to Voting membership than ATA elections!
While Voting membership is your chance to participate in ATA elections, it also opens doors to working with other members on committees, often leading to new professional and personal relationships that strengthen your network and help build your business.

Get involved to make the most of your ATA membership! Listen to Episode 15 of The ATA Podcast to learn how ATA volunteerism can work for you.


Coming Up in the July/August Issue of The ATA Chronicle

ATA’s Public Relations Committee: Bringing Positive Attention to T&I Professionals
ATA’s Public Relations Committee focuses on informing and educating the media and public about the roles that translators and interpreters play in society and what it means to be a translator or interpreter. Find out how the committee’s dedicated team of volunteers is working to increase awareness one publication at a time! (Eve Lindemuth Bodeux)

What the Business Practices Committee Is Doing for ATA Members
ATA’s Business Practices Education Committee offers many opportunities for members to get involved, give back to the Association, work with fellow members, and broaden their professional network. (Michael Engley)

Language Access in the Courts: How Technology Saved the Day During a Pandemic
On March 17, 2020, the Superior Court of California, County of Santa Barbara received approval for an emergency order to suspend all non-emergency services—all criminal, civil, family, traffic, small claims, and probate proceedings—until April 3. Little did we know the courthouse would remain closed physically, but operational nonetheless, for more than a year. (Lorena Pike)

Diversify Successfully with Online Language Teaching/Cultural Experience Hosting
Linguistic and cultural skills such as those cultivated by most translators are in high demand in education and are difficult to duplicate. This industry is likely to remain active even after the pandemic, so it’s a stable option for translators looking to diversify. (Carlie Sitzman)

Almond, Eyeless – Can Poetry Be Translated? An Interview with Author Karen Meadows
Poetry, with all its nuance, rhythm, sound, and multiple levels of meaning, is certainly the most difficult language to translate. Is it possible to translate poetry from one language into another without losing meaning? Karen Meadows, author of Almond, Eyeless, attempts to answer the question. (Petra Caroline Rieker)

What’s Cooking: Introduction to Culinary Translation
Here’s an introduction to culinary translation as a specialization, including some of the main challenges encountered and tips on how to develop your skills! (Olivia Singier Texier)

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 2021 SmithBucklin

July 1, 2021

Have you ever given a school outreach presentation, either virtually or in person?

See the Results!

Previous Poll Results

What is your primary Internet marketing tool for business? 3% = Facebook
55% = LinkedIn
0% = Twitter
3% = Instagram
0% = YouTube
38% = Website
0% = Blog

In This Issue

ATA Compensation Survey
ATA Halftime Show
Back to Business Basics
School Outreach
Advocacy Update
Free Member Webinar
Third Webinar Doubleheader
AFTI Scholarships
Voting Membership
The ATA Chronicle

ATA Members Only

Free ATA Webinar!
Inbound Marketing for Freelance Translators
Click to watch!

Back to Business Basics

Getting and Incorporating Feedback
July 8, 2021
12 noon EDT
Free! Register now!

ATA Webinars

ATA Doubleheader!
Register for both webinars and save $15 on the registration cost!

Does Your English Match Your Suit? How to Reflect a More Professional Image
August 4 @ 12 noon EDT
Registration open

Sight for Simul
August 4 @ 2 p.m. EDT
Registration open

Calendar of Events

ATA Member Orientation Session
July 22, 2021 @ 12 noon EDT
Members only! Free registration!

Compensation Survey Deadline
July 23, 2021
Learn more!

Next ATA Board of Directors Meeting
August 7-8, 2021

ATA62 Annual Conference
Minneapolis, Minnesota
October 27-30, 2021
Check out the website!

ATA 62 Annual Conference