Newsbriefs: June 15, 2021

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The ATA Podcast: ATA Advocacy

Educating government officials and the public about the role of translators, interpreters, and language access in our society is a central part of ATA’s mission to be “The Voice of Interpreters and Translators.” These efforts are led in part by ATA’s Advocacy Committee, which works on behalf of ATA members—and all language professionals for that matter—to specifically tackle policy and legislative language issues.

In Episode 58, Host Matt Baird speaks with ATA Board Director and Advocacy Committee Chair Lorena Ortiz Schneider about the committee’s most recent campaigns. These included reaching out to Congress to request independent contractor classification for translators and interpreters, as well as petitioning the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for early access to vaccinations and safe working conditions for in-person interpreters during the pandemic. Listen now and learn how you can participate and help make a difference!

Show Notes: ATA Advocacy CommitteeATA’s Virtual Advocacy Trip to Capitol HillAdvocacy Call to Action in PennsylvaniaATA Asks Senate to Amend PRO ActContact ATA’s Advocacy CommitteeJoint National Committee for LanguagesATA Advocacy and OutreachATA Podcast Episode 19: 2017 Advocacy Day Wrap-UpStepping Out on Capitol Hill: ATA’s First Advocacy Day in Washington, DCJoin ATA Today! Special Mid-Year Membership Offer5 Reasons to Join ATAATA Members Only Free Webinar for JuneATA’s Virtual Brainstorm Networking Event

Time is running out—add your voice to the latest advocacy effort!
When their attempts to negotiate a new compensation schedule with the Administrative Office of the Pennsylvania Courts (AOPC) failed, interpreters organized the Tri-State Language Access Coalition (TSLAC) and were successful in gaining some concessions in a revised schedule.

But there were also some significant setbacks, including a reduction in covered travel time and a 50% pay cut for remote interpreting.

Deadline to respond is June 21.
AOPC has given the translation and interpreting community until June 21 to comment on the proposed compensation package. Please add your voice by sending comments to with a copy to

Want to learn more?

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Hunter Master of Arts in Translation and Interpreting

Industry News

Hundreds More Afghans and Their Families to be Allowed to Settle in U.K.

BBC News (United Kingdom) (05/31/21) Beale, Jonathan

Plans to rapidly relocate hundreds more Afghans who worked for the British military and U.K. government, mostly as interpreters, have been announced.

Including family members, more than 3,000 Afghans are expected to be allowed to settle in the U.K., joining 1,300 who have already done so.

The decision comes amid fears for their safety as international troops prepare to leave the country.

Secretary of State for Defence of the United Kingdom Ben Wallace said it was “only right” to accelerate plans. He added that those being relocated might otherwise “be at risk of reprisals” from the Taliban.

The issue has been a concern since British forces ended combat operations in Helmand in 2014, with troops who served there being among the most vocal in their support for measures to protect Afghans who assisted them during their deployment.

Earlier plans applied strict criteria on who could apply for entry to the U.K., including length of service and precise roles. (For example, interpreters who worked with British troops on the frontline in Helmand for more than a year were favored.)

But under new government policy, any current or former locally employed staff who are assessed to be under serious threat will be offered priority relocation to the U.K., regardless of their employment status, rank or role, or length of time served.

The government said this was being done to reflect the fact that the security situation in Afghanistan has changed, acknowledging the potential risk to local staff who have worked for the U.K. government and military over the past 20 years.

In a statement, the government said: “Following the decision to begin the withdrawal of military forces from Afghanistan, the prime minister has agreed with the Ministry of Defence, Home Office and Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to rapidly accelerate applications through the policy.”


U.S. Department of Justice Settles with Pennsylvania City over Language Barriers to Spanish-Speaking Residents

The Hill (DC) (06/01/21) Choi, Joseph

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has reached a settlement with a Pennsylvania police department after launching a civil rights investigation into potential barriers for Spanish-speaking residents.

The Hazelton City Police Department will be required to update its operating procedures to include “appropriate language assistance” for non-English speakers and also print forms and notices in both English and Spanish, the DOJ said in a statement.

The department will also assess the language skills of bilingual officers and train staff on how and when to access interpreters and translators.

The DOJ initially launched its investigation after a resident reported having to rely on his young son and a co-worker to communicate with police officers on two separate occasions.

According to the DOJ, the investigation was carried out under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which “prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin by recipients of federal assistance.”

“Timely and accurate communication between limited-English-proficient residents and police officers is essential to public safety,” said Kristen Clarke, assistant attorney general in the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division.

“The changes required by this agreement will benefit crime victims and witnesses, but also help police officers do their jobs,” Clarke said.

“Our office is proud to have joined with the Civil Rights Division on this important case,” Acting U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania Bruce Brandler said. “Ensuring that all individuals can communicate with law enforcement officers benefits all involved and is fundamental to our democracy.”


In Virginia, Language a Barrier for Latino Victims of Violence Seeking Help

Richmond Times-Dispatch (VA) (06/01/21) Moreno, Sabrina

In Virginia, language continues to be a barrier for Latino victims of violence in need of assistance. A Richmond nonprofit is seeking to change that.

The Latinos in Virginia Empowerment Center (LIVE Center), a nonprofit established in 2008 to link Spanish speakers with available resources, has launched the state’s first interpreter bank in the Richmond area specifically for monolingual Spanish speakers who are victims of violence.

Each interpreter undergoes intensive trauma-informed training and has in-depth cultural knowledge. The service is free, confidential, and includes in-person services if needed. Other state agencies can also request language access assistance by completing an online application.

“As an interpreter bank, it’s very important for us to level the playing field in terms of the language barrier, which can serve as another power dynamic, especially for victims of violence who are already subject to so many power dynamics—by the state, maybe their partners, their families, or whatever situation they’re in,” said Tomiko Tamashiro Pardo, LIVE Center’s language access coordinator.

Gabriela Telepman, LIVE Center’s community relations coordinator, said there are agencies that want to reach Latino communities but don’t invest in language access, which amplifies the difficulties of navigating the system when not an English speaker.

Telepman said this was a major driver to launch an interpreter bank that offers statewide services and connects a variety of agencies, particularly in more rural areas.

Picking up the phone and seeking help is already a debilitating task, Telepman said. It’s made even worse if the person who answers isn’t equipped to listen, even if those service providers have the resources that are needed.

“A lot of people talk about ‘They were getting mad at me. They’re getting frustrated because I couldn’t speak English’ and that’s something that’s going to prevent people from going back to those service providers,” Telepman said.

But among Richmond’s Latino communities, where word of mouth is a major source of information, LIVE Center has become a trusted go-to for help.

Telepman said she has heard community members recommend the center, saying things like, “Call this advocate. She helped me through my issues. She could help you, too.”

In Oregon, Medical Interpreters Unite

Northwest Labor Press (OR) (05/18/21) McIntosh, Don

Oregon has recognized the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 75 as the legal entity representing Oregon interpreters. AFSCME is the union for as many as 500 medical interpreters who work with Medicaid patients who don’t speak English.

Because the interpreters are independent contractors, they wouldn’t normally have a legal process to unionize, except that Oregon AFSCME helped pass a bill in 2019, HB 2231, that made unionization possible. Under the law, interpreters who are hired through a registry maintained by the Oregon Health Authority can unionize.

About 250 interpreters registered to join Oregon AFSCME, but the exact number in the new bargaining unit isn’t known. Alma Raya, an organizer with Oregon AFSCME, said that’s because the list of roughly 800 names on the registry includes several hundred who are no longer working as interpreters. Raya estimated that 300 to 500 people on the list are actively working.

Efforts to contact interpreters on the list began in January 2020 but slowed because of the pandemic.

Maria Fiallos, who works as a medical interpreter for Spanish speakers, said she and other interpreters started talking about unionizing more than three years ago before HB 2231 was passed. Medical interpreters in Washington State had gained improvements through a similar process.

“The hardest part is yet to come,” Raya said, referring to contract negotiations.


Hitler’s Mein Kampf Gets New French Edition—Proceeds to Benefit Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial Foundation

The New York Times (NY) (06/02/21) Breeden, Aurelien

A new, heavily annotated version of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf has been published in France, aiming to break down his hate-filled, anti-Semitic ideology with expert analysis and a new translation that better conveys the original text’s muddled prose.

Proceeds from sales will go to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial Foundation, a nonprofit established to preserve Auschwitz-Birkenau, a former Nazi concentration camp, in the hopes that its message will help prevent a reoccurrence of the hatred, racism, antisemitism, and xenophobia that led to the Holocaust.

Published by Fayard, a French publishing house, the book, Historicizing Evil: A Critical Edition of Mein Kampf, is nearly 1,000 pages, with twice as much commentary as text. Scholars, researchers, and teachers are the main target audience.

Mein Kampf, or My Struggle, the Nazi leader’s manifesto and memoir, first appeared as two volumes in 1925 and 1927 and was banned in Germany by the Allies in 1945. It was not officially published again there until 2016, when a team of scholars and historians released a nearly 2,000-page edition with thousands of annotations after a 70-year copyright held by the state of Bavaria expired.

The version published in France is an extended adaptation of that edition, with contributions from over a dozen experts and historians led by Florent Brayard, a French historian specializing in Nazism and the Holocaust, and Andreas Wirsching, the director of the Institute of Contemporary History in Munich, which had worked on the German version.

Each of the 27 chapters is prefaced by an introductory analysis, and Hitler’s writing is meticulously annotated, line by line, with commentary that debunks false statements and provides historical context.

The new edition also aims to better convey the jumbled mess of Hitler’s prose. Olivier Mannoni, the translator, said that he had stuck as closely as possible to the original text—a confusing rant combining anti-Semitic conspiracies, hateful nationalism, and obsessions over sexuality and hygiene.

“An incoherent soup, one could become half-mad translating it,” Mannoni said, noting that the original French translation in 1934 had smoothed over the writing and given a false impression of Hitler as “a cultured man” with “coherent and grammatically correct reasoning.”

“To me, making this text elegant is a crime,” Mannoni added.

Fayard, which first started work on the project a decade ago, said the book was a “fundamental source to understand the history of the 20th century.”

Now that Mein Kampf is in the public domain, freely available online with little to no context, or sold by fringe far-right publishers, Fayard argued that it was urgent to publish a critical version that would deconstruct the text and guard against crude, uncritical translations that still circulate.

“To know where we are going, it is vital that we understand where we are coming from,” Sophie de Closets, the head of Fayard, wrote in a letter to booksellers explaining the reasoning behind the publication.

The book will be made available only by special order in bookstores. The initial print run will be about 10,000 copies, with some free copies set aside for public libraries.


Dungeons & Dragons Expands Product Line with New Translations (TN) (06/10/21) Hoffer, Christian

Later this year, Dungeons & Dragons will release new translations of its core rulebooks—the Player’s Handbook, Monster Manual, and Dungeon’s Master Guide—in French, German, Italian, and Spanish. These products, along with translated versions of the Dungeons & Dragons Essentials Kit, will be released in September in Europe. Spanish editions will also be released in Latin America about one month later.

Wizards of the Coast also announced that they would start a “roughly quarterly cycle” of new releases beginning in 2022, many of which will appear in translation for the first time. Other languages could be added to the line in the future, with Wizards of the Coast specifically noting a Spanish version specific for Latin American residents.

Dungeons & Dragons also announced they were making a “significant long-term investment” in expanding their non-English product line, which includes hiring dedicated team members to work on the products, looking into printing options outside the U.S. and China, completing extensive translation reviews, and collaborating with local market teams to get the new translations into the hands of players.

The new translations coincide with Wizards of the Coast resuming direct control of their localization process. That process started when Wizards of the Coast attempted to terminate their license with the previous localizer, Gale Force 9, resulting in Gale Force 9 suing Wizards of the Coast for breach of contract. Court filings revealed that Wizards of the Coast wanted to take control of the localization process due to issues involving several international editions. However, the two companies reached a settlement earlier this year, with Gale Force 9 stating that they and Wizards of the Coast would continue their relationship.

The first new translations of the Dungeons & Dragons rulebooks will be released in September 2021.


Middlebury Institute of International Studies

ATA News

Inside Specialization: Educational Interpreting and Translation

In this third edition of ATA’s Inside Specialization podcast series, we’re talking about the often-overlooked field of educational interpreting and translation. Katharine Allen and Natalia Abarca describe the broad range and diversity of the specialization, the skills interpreters and translators need to work in the field, and the satisfaction that comes from doing work that makes such a difference in people’s lives. Katharine and Natalia also have plenty of advice for professionals who are interested in getting started in educational interpreting and translation. Plus, you’ll get to share in their excitement about the newly established American Association of Interpreters and Translators in Education. So, listen in to learn about careers in the world of educational interpreting and translation.

Show Notes: American Association of Interpreters and Translators in EducationKatharine AllenNatalia AbarcaATA Career and Education Resources

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.

Last Call for Comments

ATA member comments on the association’s draft remote interpreting position paper will be accepted until June 17.

Read ATA’s earlier position paper on Machine Translation.

Help Set the Record Straight
Last year’s pandemic lockdown created a demand for remote interpreting that the industry was not entirely ready for. In addition, the general public is not well informed about the skills and difficulties involved in providing interpreting services. Don’t miss this opportunity to help ATA establish a baseline understanding for the use of remote interpreting.

All comments will be reviewed for possible incorporation into the final version. The final draft is intended to represent a consensus view of ATA’s position on remote interpreting.

ATA Webinars: Another Doubleheader!

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.

Practical Strategies to Capture Notes Virtually When Providing Remote Interpreting

Presenter: Armando Ezquerra Hasbun
Date: June 30, 2021
Time: 11 a.m. U.S. EDT
Duration: 60 minutes
Language: English
Level: All
CE Points: ATA-approved 1; CCHI-approved 1; IMIA-approved pending

The pandemic forced many of us to jump into remote interpreting before we were ready. The learning curve was steep, and it was not a time to rock the boat with anything else new. But now that we’ve had time to adapt, why not look around to see what other technology is available to help us in our work? Attend this webinar to review basic and advanced programs for bypassing the traditional handwritten note-taking strategies.

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

Interpreting Insults from Spanish into Your Target Language
Presenter: Darinka Mangino
Date: June 30, 2021
Time: 1 p.m. U.S. EDT
Duration: 90 minutes
Language: Spanish
Level: All
CE Points: ATA-approved 1; CCHI-approved 1; IMIA-approved pending

Special Notes: This webinar is presented in Spanish. It is 90-minutes in length rather than the standard 60 minutes.

Even seasoned interpreters have a hard time making the right choice when dealing with colloquial expressions and content that has been considered unsayable in polite conversation in the past. Attend this webinar to prepare for handling expletives that cultural changes have now made commonplace.

Register now! ATA Member $65 | Non-Member $90

REMEMBER, register for both and save $15!


University of Massachusetts Certificate in Translation and Interpreting

Don’t Miss ATA’s Virtual Brainstorm Networking Event

Find solutions! Make connections! ATA’s Business Practices Education Committee is hosting its second virtual brainstorm networking event on Tuesday, June 29, at 5:00 p.m. EDT.

Join your colleagues for this fun, fast-paced hour of solving common business challenges in small teams. You’ll meet new people, learn business management skills you didn’t know you needed, and expand your support network, all while sharing your own experiences. Don’t miss it! Limited to ATA members. Sign up is free.

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.

In the May/June Issue of The ATA Chronicle

ATA’s Virtual Advocacy Trip to Capitol Hill
Every year, ATA lends its voice as one of the advocates from the language professions to meet with Congress and request legislation and funding in support of language education and industry priorities. This year, the Association had the opportunity to do so twice! (Caitilin Walsh)

ATA Member Orientation: A Bird’s-Eye View of All ATA Has to Offer
As an association with members around the globe and a wide variety of interest groups, programs, and events, ATA might seem like somewhat of a puzzle to members. That’s why ATA’s Membership Committee began to consider how it could offer an easy-to-digest snapshot of everything ATA offers so members could choose where to get involved and avoid feeling lost. Our answer: the ATA Member Orientation sessions! (Jamie Hartz, Meghan Konkol)

A Sense of Hope: Interpreters/Translators Share Their Vaccination Journey
As the vaccination distribution program kicks into high gear in the U.S., we asked interpreters and translators what getting vaccinated means to them both personally and professionally. We also asked them if the advocacy efforts of translator and interpreter organizations had an impact on their eligibility for early vaccination.

6 Ways to Stop Self-Sabotaging Your Online Marketing Efforts
We’ve all been guilty of self-sabotage at some point during our entrepreneurial journey. We often make online marketing much harder than it really is. The stories we tell ourselves about why we can’t do something can cause us to stall our marketing efforts, whether we realize it at first or not. The key is to make your marketing feel like you. (Madalena Sánchez Zampaulo)

Getting Started with Terminology Management
Terminology management makes or breaks the success of globalization and localization efforts in terms of both budgets and sales. Despite its strategic value, however, many are unaware that terminology is key to producing solid, well-performing products. And once they are aware, many don’t know where to start. If you find yourself needing a little help in this area as well, then read on for some guidelines for getting started with terminology management. (Alaina Brandt)

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

June 15, 2021

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See the Results!

Previous Poll Results

Are you planning to attend the ATA62 Annual Conference in October?

34% = Yes, in Minneapolis
19% = Yes, virtually
24% = No
23% = Undecided

In This Issue

ATA Podcast: Advocacy
Inside Specialization
Back to Business Basics
Last Call for Comments
Webinar Doubleheader
Brainstorm Networking
AFTI Scholarships
The ATA Chronicle

ATA Members Only

Free ATA Webinar!
Setting Up a Termbase: What Does It Take? 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!

Practical Strategies to Capture Notes Virtually When Providing Remote Interpreting
June 30 @ 11 a.m.
Registration open

Interpreting Insults from Spanish into Your Target Language
June 30 @ 1 p.m.
Registration open

Calendar of Events

ATA Virtual Brainstorm Networking Event
June 29, 2021
Members only! Free registration!

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

ATA offers U.S. military 50% off on a new ATA membership

Attention U.S. Military! Join ATA and take 50% off your membership dues!

ATA School Outreach Program