Newsbriefs: June 16, 2022

University of Texas Rio Grande Valley T&I Graduate Program

ATA Wins FIT’s Best Website Prize!

The International Federation of Translators (FIT) has announced ATA’s website as the winner of its Best Website Prize!

In making the announcement at the FIT World Congress in Varadero, Cuba, on June 1, the international jury noted:

“The straightforward, informative, well-structured website appeals to clients and colleagues alike and contains ample information, using professional visuals. The concise language, the clear call to action button, and the full text search enhances the overall user experience for all visitors, whether on a desktop or mobile device. From a client perspective, the jury believes with its ‘client assistance’ section best promotes the professional image of the translator, terminologist, and interpreter in terms of quality, presentation, and relevance.”

Congratulations to ATA’s Website Committee and ATA’s Website Manager and Graphic Designer Teresa Kelly!

ATA School Outreach Contest


Industry News

In Canada, Increased Reports of Hearing Injuries among Parliamentary Interpreters Since Shift to Virtual Work

CBC (Canada) (06/06/22) Kupfer, Matthew

A chronic staff shortage related to hearing injuries among federal interpreters in Ottawa has led to cancellations of House of Commons and Senate committee meetings, slowing the work of Parliament.

Interpreters have reported an increase in hearing injuries, including headaches, nausea, acoustic shock, and tinnitus, since Parliamentary work shifted to virtual formats during the pandemic.

In a recent report presented to the Board of Internal Economy of the House of Commons, the Canadian Association of Professional Employees (CAPE) said that in April 2022 about 10 of the approximately 60 interpreters were either unavailable or only partly available to interpret because of injuries caused by poor audio quality.

CAPE Vice President André Picotte said interpreters are asking to be reassigned from simultaneous interpreting assignments to other tasks. Many interpreters are also opting to leave the Public Service and Procurement Canada’s Translation Bureau, which provides language services to the Canadian government. According to Picotte, over the past three years, 12 interpreters have retired while the Bureau has only hired nine.

Member of Parliament Claude DeBellefeuille said five committee meetings were recently cancelled in one day alone because of the lack of available interpreters. DeBellefeuille said the work of interpreters is essential so that French-speaking Members of Parliament can represent their constituents and contribute to lawmaking. “Interpreters are our eyes and ears, we need them.”

Lucie Séguin, president and chief executive officer of the Translation Bureau, said the Bureau has been studying hearing health, working to upgrade audio systems, and providing advice on better headsets. She said interpreter hours have also been reduced to protect their health and safety.

Claude Carignan, leader of the Conservative Party in the Senate of Canada, said the situation is urgent and requires the government to provide better conditions to recruit and retain interpreters. “We have to care for these people so that we can function. It’s not normal that Parliament’s work is affected.”

Parliamentary Secretary Steven MacKinnon said his office is working closely with House of Commons administration to ensure interpreting services are available.


Missouri School Lacked Interpreters and Cultural Support for Afghan Student Who Committed Suicide

Kansas City Star (MO) (05/27/22) Gellman, Matti

Officials in Missouri are investigating whether a lack of language services and cultural support contributed to the suicide of Rezwan Kohistani, who was a freshman at Webb City High School in Webb City, Missouri, where he and his family had resettled after fleeing Afghanistan.

Kohistani spoke Dari, which no one at the high school could speak, so he resorted to Google Translate to try and communicate. Unconfirmed reports have surfaced that Kohistani was bullied. His death has raised issues about the decision to place his family in a rural town of about 13,000 people with a small Muslim population.

Tony Rossetti, superintendent of the Webb City School District, said the high school lacked interpreters and guidance to support Kohistani. In the wake of Kohistani’s suicide, Rossetti said, “To be honest we don’t know 100% whether the experience Kohistani had at our high school had any influence on what happened. We’re hoping the investigation provides some answers to the family and to us.”

State and national Muslim advocacy groups said they were “saddened and disturbed” by Kohistani’s death. They urged local law enforcement to conduct a “thorough, transparent, and comprehensive” investigation.

“This tragedy is unfortunately indicative of a larger problem,” said Yasir Ali, chair of the Missouri chapter of the Council on American-Islam Relations. “Thousands of newly arrived Afghan refugees are being left with insufficient support from resettlement agencies and caseworkers,” Ali said. “Too many refugees are not being provided with the tools they need to learn English, get jobs, and adjust to life in their new home. Our government must do more to ensure that newly arrived Afghans receive the assistance they need.”

Ali said the incident highlights a broader crisis concerning the resettlement of Afghan refugees in the U.S.

“You bring them from one place and send them to a place where few other people of the same culture, ethnicity, and religion belong,” he said. “They need support. They need to be in areas where there are larger communities, in this case Afghan families and Muslim families.”

Rebekah Thomas, director of the office of the International Institute of St. Louis, said the Joplin area was ideal for the Kohistanis’ resettlement, offering quality English-language and job readiness programs, among other benefits. He added that interpreters are hard to find around Joplin.

“We’re trying to figure out how to address the specific needs of each of these different, new learners that we have and trying to get feedback to adjust,” Rossetti said. “There’s some struggling times here.”


U.S. Presidential Commission Recommends Translating Federal Websites into Hindi, Gujarati, and Punjabi, among Other Asian Languages

ABP Live (India) (05/27/22)

A U.S. Presidential Commission has recommended that the content of key government websites, such as the White House and other federal agencies, be translated into languages spoken by Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, including Hindi, Gujarati, and Punjabi.

A series of recommendations in this regard were recently approved by the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders. In addition to having key documents, digital content, and website forms available in multiple languages spoken in the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities, it was also recommended that federal agencies ensure that emergency/disaster prevention, planning, response, mitigation, and recovery programs are inclusive of and reflect the experiences of limited-English-proficiency populations.

A proactive approach for multilingual access to information on the websites of federal government agencies will help meet the U.S. government guidelines that are already in place, such as U.S. Department of Justice Executive Order 13166, Improving Access to Services for People with Limited English Proficiency.

The set of recommendations now move to the White House for President Biden’s approval.


Ryanair Criticized for Requiring South Africans to Take Afrikaans Language Test to Prove Nationality

The Washington Post (DC) (06/08/22) Diller, Nathan

Ryanair, Europe’s largest airline, is facing accusations of racism for requiring passengers who are South African nationals to prove their citizenship by taking a written test in Afrikaans, a derivative of the Dutch language developed by European colonists. Passengers who cannot complete the test will not be permitted to travel and will be issued a refund.

Officials at the Dublin-based airline stated they are using the test to avoid transporting passengers to the U.K. on fake passports. “The South African government has already warned passengers (and airlines) of the risk of syndicates selling fake passports, which has substantially increased cases of fraudulent South African passports being used to enter the U.K.,” the airline stated. “In order to minimize the risk of fake passport usage, Ryanair requires passengers on a South African passport to fill out a simple questionnaire in the Afrikaans language.”

The testing policy has caused anger among travelers. South African language authorities have also denounced the questionnaire. Some have criticized the policy as racist, saying that the nation officially recognizes 11 languages and that many in the country don’t speak Afrikaans.

“Our view is that the decision is quite reckless and reminiscent of the apartheid systemic subjugation of speakers of other languages, mainly Black people. And in essence our concern is that it creates racial as well as linguistic discrimination,” said Lance Schulz, chief executive officer of the Pan South African Language Board, which was established in 1995 by the Parliament of South Africa to promote multilingualism and protect language rights in South Africa.

Andries Coetzee, a professor of linguistics and director of the African Studies Center at the University of Michigan, said Afrikaans has strong ties to South Africa’s colonial history and an apartheid regime that institutionalized White supremacy.

Coetzee said the majority of South Africans don’t speak Afrikaans, “so it makes absolutely no sense to use that as a measurement of whether you are South African or not.” In a 2011 census conducted by Statistics South Africa, 13.5% of the population said Afrikaans was their first language, trailing IsiZulu (22.7%) and IsiXhosa (16%) in that year’s data.

In 1925, the South African government made Afrikaans an official language, Coetzee said, and it became the language of politics to a large extent, a status that was reinforced after apartheid became the “official political system of the country” in 1948. While the language was at one time required in schools, Coetzee said the majority of students who study the language now are those who speak it at home or those of European descent who speak English at home.

“If you are a Black citizen of South Africa who came of age and went to school after 1994, chances are you don’t know Afrikaans because you don’t have to know Afrikaans,” Coetzee said. He called Ryanair’s policy “colonial, discriminatory, and just unjustified.”

Anne-Maria Makhulu, an associate professor of cultural anthropology and African and African American studies at Duke University, said, “I think there is language politics here, and language politics is insensitive to what underlies it, which is race politics.”

Makhulu added that the fact that Zulu is more widely spoken in the country also highlights the implications of the test. “There’s a latent assumption there about what represents South African authenticity.”


Audiences Love Foreign TV/Film and So Do Streamers. There’s Just One Little Challenge

Vulture (NY) (05/31/22) Motamayor, Rafael

As audiences embrace subtitles, translated series have become more common, particularly on streaming services. From the Netflix hit Squid Game to Tokyo Vice on HBO Max to Pachinko and Tehran on Apple TV+, more international shows are breaking through on mainstream U.S. platforms, requiring streamers to navigate an array of global nuances as they localize new titles.

Localization, or the process of readying a title produced in one country to be viewed in another, is a minefield of logistical challenges and cultural sensitivities that include commissioning translations for audio dubs, closed captions, and subtitles, juggling bilingual casts and crews, and adjusting to colloquial terms and cultural traditions across languages.

When Netflix’s Squid Game became a global sensation, it didn’t take long for complaints to pour in about how clumsily the show’s original Korean dialogue had been translated. Lines were mangled, character traits were flubbed, and honorifics were mishandled. The show unintentionally served as an example of how localization can go wrong. That’s why improving the quality of translated content has become a priority for Netflix, HBO Max, Disney+, and other streamers tapping into their international resources for the next big hit.

After content is localized or produced, it all comes down to the audience, who are vocal about what does and doesn’t work for them. When subtitles or dubs are done right, they can introduce viewers to stories they would not have seen otherwise. Done wrong, they’re a disjointed mess.

Getting it right was on the minds of Tokyo Vice’s production team from day one. Executive Producer Alan Poul wanted Japanese audiences to be just as invested in the show as U.S. audiences—capable of enjoying the show without having to point out mistakes. He recalls having to take a production hiatus during the pandemic right around the time the Squid Game backlash came to a head online. “I watched that, and my head exploded,” Poul says. “It didn’t seem to hurt Americans’ enjoyment of the show, but it was suddenly amateur hour. I was like, ‘This is why we’re spending all this effort: because we don’t want to look like that.'”

“There’s a lot of vernacular in Tokyo Vice, and also the ways in which people choose to express themselves emotionally,” Poul added. “You can’t just translate the words directly.”

Reflecting on the backlash that followed Squid Game, Sophia Klippvik, a marketing manager and Korean translator at localization firm LinQ Media, understands viewers’ impatience with mistranslations and cultural malapropisms. (LinQ Media is one of several localization companies whose work Netflix and other streamers outsource to provide subtitles.)

“People want a window into this world and to feel like they understand, and shows like this can teach you about the language and culture,” Klippvik said. “When it’s not fully or well translated for any reason, it’s frustrating as there’s not much you can do as a viewer.”


Indian Novel Tomb of Sand Wins International Booker Prize

Associated Press (DC) (05/26/22) Lawless, Jill

Indian author Geetanjali Shree and American translator Daisy Rockwell won the International Booker Prize for the novel Tomb of Sand. Shree will share the $63,000 monetary prize with Rockwell.

Originally written in Hindi, Tomb of Sand is the first novel in any Indian language to win the prestigious award, which recognizes fiction from around the world that has been translated into English.

The novel chronicles an 80-year-old widow who dares to cast off convention and confront the ghosts of her experiences during the subcontinent’s tumultuous 1947 partition into India and Pakistan.

Frank Wynne, a translator who chaired the judging panel, praised the novel for being “extraordinarily exuberant and incredibly playful” even as it dealt with traumatic events.

“It manages to take issues of great seriousness—bereavement, loss, death—and conjure up an extraordinary choir, almost a cacophony, of voices,” Wynne said. “It’s extraordinarily fun and it’s extraordinarily funny.”

The finalists for the prize included Polish Nobel literature laureate Olga Tokarczuk, Argentinian Claudia Piñeiro, and South Korean author Bora Chung.



ATA News

ATA 2022 Elections: Final Slate of Candidates

ATA will hold its regularly scheduled elections at the Association’s upcoming 63rd Annual Conference in Los Angeles, California (October 12-15, 2022). Four directors will be elected: three vacancies, each for a three-year term, and one director with a remaining one-year term.

The slate of candidates for the 2022 elections has been finalized.

Director (three positions, three-year terms; one position, one-year term)
  • Yasmin O. AlKashef
  • Andy Benzo
  • Mihai Bledea
  • Robin Bonthrone
  • Céline Browning
  • Amine El Fajri
  • Christina Green
  • Miao (Maggie) Hong
  • Ben Karl
  • Hana Kawashima Ransom
  • Caroline Kyung Ha Kim
  • Edna Santizo
Candidate photos and statements will appear on ATA’s website and in the September/October issue of The ATA Chronicle.

Not a voting member yet?
Find out how to become one through Active Membership Review. The review offers five ways to qualify for Voting membership—and none require ATA certification! The process is fast, free, and online. Click to learn more.


ATA Members Get 35% Off New Trados Studio 2022

RWS has just announced the release of the new Trados Studio 2022 Freelance and Freelance Plus, making this the perfect time to remind you that ATA members receive a 35% discount on new and upgraded licenses. Trados Studio offers translators an extensive platform in which they can edit, review, and manage their translation projects. And with the cloud capabilities included with Studio, you can easily work from anywhere, on any device, and at any time. Click to find out more and request your discount!


2022 AFTI First-Time ATA Conference Attendee Scholarship

The American Foundation for Translation and Interpretation (AFTI) is offering a limited number of $500 scholarships to help students and recent graduates with the cost of attending ATA’s 63rd Annual Conference in Los Angeles (October 12-15, 2022).

Eligibility Requirements
1. Current full-time or part-time student
  • Undergraduate or graduate level
  • Enrolled at a two-year or four-year college or university
  • In a program in: Translation, Interpretation, Translation and interpretation, or in related field (terminology management, translation project management, etc.)
  • Leading to an academic degree or certificate
    Recently graduated from a program satisfying the requirements listed above. Recent graduates must have completed their program within 12 months of the start date of the ATA’s 63rd Annual Conference.
2. Never attended an ATA Conference in person.
3. Never received scholarship funding from AFTI.

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


Member Orientation Session

Are you missing out on member benefits simply because you don’t know they exist?

ATA has been busy rolling out initiatives one after the other over the last two years—from member discounts on CAT tools and the Inside Specialization podcast series to an industry-wide compensation survey, a new blog for established translators and interpreters, and quarterly virtual brainstorm networking sessions. Even long-time members may not be aware of everything ATA has to offer.

Learn how to access ATA benefits and services or just catch up on what’s new by attending this free one-hour member orientation session on July 14 at 11:00 a.m. ET. And be sure to bring your questions for a terrific Q&A session!

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.


ATA Membership Diversity Award

The American Foundation for Translation and Interpretation (AFTI) has announced a limited number of fully-paid ATA memberships to individuals joining ATA for the first time who are Black, Indigenous, or people of color. This is an annual award funded by a generous gift from ATA member Lucy Gunderson, CT.

A limited number of awards will be available each year. Applications will be accepted until all awards are made.

Award recipients will be selected based on answers to the essay questions on the application form. The selection committee will give preference to students and newcomers to the translation and interpreting professions, including people changing careers. The award will be distributed across as many language pairs as possible in any given year. At least one award per year must go to a U.S. citizen by birth.

Learn more!
You’ll find all the details and the application form on the AFTI website. Be sure to share with your family, friends, and colleagues through your social media networks! #atadiversityaward


Upcoming ATA Webinars

The Well-Rounded Subtitler: Conventions Meet Technology
Presenters: Angélica Ramírez, Nora Diaz
Date: June 23, 2022
Time: 12:00 noon U.S. ET
Duration: 2 hours
Language: English
Level: All
CE Point(s): 2 ATA-approved

To work successfully in the ever-growing subtitling market, translators must have both a solid understanding of the standard conventions and requirements of subtitling and be proficient in the tools and technology available to enhance their productivity. Attend this webinar for a demonstration of supplementary technology, such as speech recognition and CAT tool integration, that can help subtitlers make better use of their time while producing consistent high-quality subtitles.

Register now! ATA Member $90 | Non-Member $120

Strategic Interpreting: Negotiation and Collaboration in the Health Care Encounter
Presenter: Andrea Henry
Date: July 7, 2022
Time: 12:00 noon U.S. ET
Duration: 90 minutes
Language: English
Level: All
CE Point(s): 1 ATA-approved

Experienced interpreters will agree that there is no flow if we just “message in/message out.” We can—and should—interpret better than machine translation algorithms. In health care settings, we can not only do better but also improve patient outcomes while increasing our perceived value as interpreters.

Join this webinar to learn techniques to enhance communication, trust, and compliance with the plan of care by using scripts and visual aids. You’ll also examine creative options to better interpret technical terms and sophisticated concepts. And finally, you’ll discover how emotional intelligence and self-awareness can help you make more effective decisions.

Register now! ATA Member $70 | Non-Member $90

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


Building Language Access Infrastructure in Health Care

The National Council on Interpreting in Health Care (NCIHC) will kick off its 2022-2023 On the Road tour June 21 at 12 noon ET with the webinar Building Language Access Infrastructure in Health Care: Legal, Regulatory, and Patient Experience Perspectives. Free to both NCIHC members and non-members!

Join this 60-minute live event to explore legal and regulatory requirements regarding language access in health care, as well as implications for the patient experience and safety. A panel of three distinguished subject matter experts will present insights and guidance on the programs and services health care organizations need to provide meaningful access to linguistically diverse populations.

The webinar recording will be made available free of charge to hospitals and to the public as part of an NCIHC resource kit for building language access infrastructure in health care organizations.

The NCIHC “On the Road” Tour!
NCIHC will host a series of regional language access workshops throughout 2022-2023. These virtual events will connect interpreters, advocates, patients, and hospital administrators from risk management, compliance, and patient care departments to discuss building infrastructure in areas where public investment and oversight in language access is critical.

Call to Action
Help NCIHC build better language access systems! Bring this webinar to the attention of hospital administrators in the community where you live and work. Registration is free and open to all.


Is Smartling the Right Tool for You?

Presenter: Christopher Wyant
Date: July 19, 2022
Time: 12:00 noon U.S. ET
Duration: 45 minutes
Language: English
Level: All
CE Point(s): None

Smartling is a cloud-based translation management system with streamlined project management features. But is it the right tool for you? Find out in the third ATA TEKTalks webinar with the company’s Localization Program Manager Christopher Wyant. You’ll learn how the program connects businesses, translation companies, and translators to deliver multilingual content across a client’s devices and platforms. You’ll also get an overview of the company’s approach to simplifying the localization process and streamlining translation projects to optimize time, energy, and cost.

Register now! ATA Member Free | Non-Member $25

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

Missed the first two ATA TEKTalks in the series?
Free to ATA members! Check out Is Wordfast the Right Tool for You? and Is Smartcat the Right Tool for You?


In the May/June Issue of The ATA Chronicle

Words Matter, Identity Matters: Translating the Vocabulary of Diversity
Words matter. Identity matters. For translators who are not members of marginalized communities, the first step is to recognize our own privilege, to acknowledge our own limitations, and to broaden our perspective regarding communities of color, women, and LGBTQ+ persons. (Ray Valido)

Hard of Hearing Children and Dual Language Learning: Guidelines for Interpreters
Interpreters play a key role for hard of hearing future multilinguals as they receive services from audiologists and speech-language pathologists. As interpreters, we bring our creativity into the session to find solutions, working as a team with the provider to ensure the best possible intervention for the patient. How can interpreters complement and aid other professionals in their tasks? How do we help families along this journey without making it our own? Here’s some advice that stems from my experience and that of other professionals in the field. (María Baker)

Lots of Resources for LOTS Interpreters
Interpreters of languages other than Spanish (LOTS) don’t have the luxury of ready-made interpreting practice recordings/materials, complete with glossary keys for complicated terminology. They must be creative. Read on to discover lots of LOTS resources and come away better prepared to meet your professional goals. (Athena Matilsky)

Forming a Peer Study Group to Prepare for ATA’s Certification Exam
Peer-based study groups are an effective way to prepare for ATA’s certification exam. Learn how one recent group was organized and administered, including recommended best practices for future groups. (Jason Knapp)

T&I Stakeholders Talk Interconnections
Interconnections are key to shaping legislation and policy, facilitating technology and its integration, and crafting education and training in ways that benefit the translation and interpreting industry as well as the greater language enterprise. (Rusty Shughart)

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

June 16, 2022

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In This Issue

Best Website Award
ATA 2022 Elections
Trados Studio 2022
AFTI Scholarship
Member Orientation
Diversity Award
School Outreach
Upcoming ATA Webinars
NCIHC On the Road
The ATA Chronicle

ATA Members Only

Free ATA Webinar!
Pricing Strategies for Translators and Interpreters
Click to watch!

ATA Webinars

The Well-Rounded Subtitler: Conventions Meet Technology
Jun 23 @ 12:00 noon ET
Registration open

Strategic Interpreting: Negotiation and Collaboration in the Health Care Encounter
Jul 7 @ 12:00 noon ET
Registration open

ATA Member Orientation
Jul 14 @ 11:00 a.m. ET
Free to ATA Members!
Registration open

ATA TEKTalks: Smartling
July 19 @ 12:00 noon ET
Registration open

Calendar of Events

School Outreach Contest Deadline
Jul 22, 2022
Learn more!

Student Translation Award Submissions Deadline
Jul 31, 2022
Learn more!

ATA Board of Directors Meeting
Aug 6-7, 2022
Chicago, Illinois
Learn more!

International Translation Day
Sep 30, 2022
See last year’s celebration!

ATA63 Annual Conference
Oct 12-15, 2022
Los Angeles, California
Learn more!

ATA Webinars Live and On Demand
Continuing education anywhere, anytime!

ATA Chronicle
The ATA Chronicle May/June 2022

ATA Membership Orientation Session