Newsbriefs: May 16, 2022

ATA 2022 Elections: 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.

Candidates proposed by ATA’s Nominating and Leadership Development Committee are:

Director (three positions, three-year terms; one position, one-year term)
  • Yasmin O. AlKashef
  • 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
Additional Nominations
Additional nominations, supported by a written petition signed by no fewer than 60 voting members and the nominee’s written acceptance statement, must be received by the Nominating and Leadership Development Committee by June 1. Acceptance statements and petitions should be submitted to Nominating and Leadership Development Committee Chair Ted Wozniak.

Follow ATA Elections updates on our website

Become an ATA Voting Member
Did you know that you do not need to be ATA-certified to vote? Any ATA Associate Member who can demonstrate that they are professionally engaged in translation, interpreting, or closely related fields may apply for Voting Membership. How? Just complete and submit the ATA Active Membership Review application. It’s fast, free, and easy!

Industry News

Why English Learners See this Mandatory Exam as an “Unjust” Barrier to Graduation

PBS NewsHour (VA) (05/02/22) Chavez, Roby

After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, it’s standardized testing time again for public school students in Louisiana. But for many who didn’t learn English as a primary language, it’s also an anxiety-inducing reminder that a single test could impact their futures.

Louisiana is one of 11 states that require high school seniors to pass a standardized test to graduate. The Louisiana Educational Assessment Program (LEAP) tests students on core concepts, including English, math, history, and biology. The problem is that most of the test components are in English.

The LEAP has proven to be a test few English learner (EL) students can pass, especially for most newly arrived students, and state data illuminates the disparity. The 2019 state graduation rate shows that 80% of all students in Louisiana earned a diploma, but only 41% of ELs graduated. According to the Office of English Language Acquisition, the federal office that supports ELs, Louisiana had the second-worst high school graduation rate (31%) in the country for ELs for the 2017-2018 school year. For comparison, the median graduation rate for the nation’s estimated five million ELs for the same school year was about 68%.

Education advocates say many ELs drop out in their junior year because the test can be an overwhelming obstacle.

“If there is a very limited chance that you’ll graduate, why persist? You see peers dropping out. You see them making it through four years with great grades but not graduating; they’re asking what’s the point,” said Cheruba Chavez, an educational diagnostician for New Orleans Public Schools and a member of EXCELL, a coalition of educators and community organizations that is pushing the state to expand pathways to graduation for ELs. “As they see it, you can just as easily drop out and work and take care of the family…if the possibility is slim that you’ll graduate.”

The Louisiana Department of Education said it has been examining the issue for years and acknowledges the disparity in the state and across the nation.

“EL students face a dual challenge in having to develop both academic English proficiency and content knowledge in the different subject areas,” State Department of Education Spokesperson Matt Johnson said, adding that “language is the roadblock to ELs successfully passing these assessments.”

EXCELL has proposed a plan urging the state’s Department of Education to consider alternative pathways for ELs. It calls for ELs who have been in America for less than seven years to take the LEAP and English proficiency tests and meet all other graduation requirements. But, if a student fails a core subject on the LEAP test, that student would have an opportunity to show their understanding of the material in another way, such as through a portfolio.

Supporters of the proposed changes believe this would mean students could focus on learning more English instead of repeating courses just for the test. The proposal for expanded options also has the support of the Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB), the governing body for New Orleans Public Schools. In October, the board passed a resolution supporting the change, but it doesn’t have the power to override state achievement standards.

“OPSB is outraged by the differential in graduation rates for ELs in Orleans Parish, with only 34% of this population meeting all graduation requirements,” the resolution stated. “OPSB believes that this disparity is not indicative of the academic capabilities of ELs, but rather the unjust barriers rooted in racism and Euro-centric notions of achievement.”


Court Interpreting in Australia Gets Boost from Updated National Standards

Tribunal Inquiry (Australia) (05/02/22) Stanowicz, Krzysztof

The Australian Judicial Council on Cultural Diversity (JCCD) published the second edition of its Recommended National Standards for Working with Interpreters in Courts and Tribunals.

Proceedings in Australian courts are conducted in English. However, with over 300 languages spoken in Australian households and one in four Australians born overseas, it’s not uncommon for people in the courts to require the assistance of an interpreter.

Justice Melissa Perry, chair of the JCCD sub-committee that developed the standards, described the standards as the “first comprehensive set of their kind in this field.”

“In a country as multilingual as Australia, these standards are critical to the fair administration of justice in courts and tribunals,” said Mark Painting, chief executive officer of the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI).

The standards were devised by JCCD specialist panels that included members of the judiciary, interpreting bodies, Australia’s Migration Council, and academia. They are designed to guarantee procedural fairness for people with limited English proficiency and outline 26 recommendations for key parties involved in the interpreting process, including courts and tribunals, judicial officers, legal practitioners, and interpreters.

The standards cover topics such as training judicial officers and tribunal staff on working with interpreters, hiring interpreters, the use of simultaneous interpreting equipment, and establishing an “interpreter’s portal” to upload booking and briefing materials and centralize feedback.

The second edition includes major revisions such as updated references to Australia’s certification system for interpreters, an emphasis on the importance of hiring certified or qualified interpreters, and greater emphasis on the interpreter’s independence from the party for whom they are working or interpreting.

Although the standards are not prescriptive, many recommendations and guiding principles have already been implemented in courts and tribunals across the country.

Perry said that feedback from interpreting professionals in Australia and internationally has been very positive. She said the JCCD hopes “the second edition encourages greater implementation of its principles in courts and tribunals and by the legal profession, and that they will continue to build the very strong bridge necessary between the legal profession, judiciary, and interpreters.”


Coalition of Idaho Nonprofits Launches Bilingual Voter Guide

Boise State Public Radio (ID) (05/10/22) Cohen, Rachel

A coalition of Idaho nonprofits that worked to boost Latino participation in the 2020 census is now turning its attention to voter education ahead of the May 17 primary election.

Contamos Idaho (“We Count Idaho”) is made up of several organizations, including the Idaho Commission on Hispanic Affairs, Protecting Our Dreams and Empowering Resilience (PODER) of Idaho, and the Conservation Voters for Idaho.

“People are experiencing real barriers when they try to vote, and a lot of it is based on information that may or may not be available in a way that they can use,” said Antonio Hernandez, a civic engagement coordinator for Conservation Voters for Idaho.

One of the most common questions Hernandez gets in his outreach work is where people should go to vote. In response, Contamos Idaho launched a new bilingual website with basic voting information, such as how to check your voter registration and how to vote by mail.

Idaho’s Latino community is growing, making up about 13% of the state’s population. But, according to a report from the Idaho Commission on Hispanic Affairs, registration and voting rates tend to be lower among Idaho Latinos, especially in off-year elections.

“For Idaho to have a healthy democracy, that means we include all our voters,” Hernandez said. “It’s supposed to be a government for the people, by the people, so the more people that can vote, turn out. We think it’s overall better for Idaho.”


Tornado Sparks Conversation about Emergency Weather Alerts in Spanish

Butler County Times-Gazette (KS) (05/09/22) Hack, Celia

A tornado in Sedgwick County, Kansas, on April 29 left some residents with little time to respond, while some didn’t receive the warnings in a language they could understand.

Sedgwick County District 2 Commissioner Sarah Lopez said one of the first homes hit belonged to a primarily Spanish-speaking household. “They didn’t have time to prepare and be ready for it as well as others, and they lost everything.”

The incident has sparked conversations regarding how Sedgwick County and other local governments communicate Wichita weather emergency alerts in Spanish and other languages, especially as the Hispanic/Latino population increases.

“We have a diverse constituency. They don’t all speak English,” said Sedgwick County District 5 Commissioner Jim Howell. “We have to be able to provide public safety information in other languages. It’s a need.”

Wireless emergency alerts about tornadoes and flash flood warnings in Sedgwick County are sent through an automated system used by the county. In 2019, new updates to the system meant these messages could be sent in Spanish. But, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Sedgwick County is responsible for actually translating these messages into Spanish.

In the wake of the recent tornado, Sedgwick County Emergency Management Director Julie Stimson said the county hopes to ensure these messages can be delivered in Spanish.

“We’re working with the National Weather Service on that to see how that happens,” Stimson said. “The capability is there, we just need to make sure that we all understand how we’re using it.”

The county also usually shares information about inclement weather on social media pages and via press releases. Lopez said there is currently no set policy about translating this information into Spanish or other languages, although they are starting to translate some educational content and warning materials into Spanish, including resources for people affected by the recent tornado.

Lopez also hopes to organize a county-run team committed to Latino community emergency response and potentially other groups as well.

Some local government agencies, including the Wichita Police Department (WPD) and Wichita Public Schools USD 259, created staff positions to focus on providing information to constituents in other languages. The WPD created a position for a Spanish-language public information officer in 2015.

“The reason that’s so important is because the current population, the estimates that I’ve looked at, were about 82-83,000 Hispanic and Latinos here in Wichita,” said Officer Paul Cruz, the Spanish-language public information officer with the WPD.

Cruz runs a Facebook page dedicated to providing information in Spanish about the WPD and public safety. This year, the WPD is also launching a Facebook page in Vietnamese. Cruz said he’s heard from some Hispanic community members that the Facebook page is their primary source of news.

“I think that just speaks to the reality that there’s just a huge gap,” Cruz said.

USD 259 also has a public information officer dedicated to providing information to Spanish-speaking families and Spanish media entities. The district has about 13,300 families with Spanish as their primary language spoken at home.

Maria Kury, a Spanish communications specialist, created a Spanish-language Facebook page for USD 259. She also helps translate content that goes out districtwide. Susan Arensman, news and media relations manager at USD 259, said the position was created in October 2020. She said the pandemic made it clear how essential it was to be able to communicate with parents.

The future of positions like Cruz’s and Kury’s will come down to how many resources each agency is willing to dedicate, Cruz said.

“Honestly, it comes down to whether or not the city/county are willing to create bilingual/multicultural positions within each department,” Cruz said.




ATA News

Oregon’s Translation Advisory Council

In 2021, the Oregon legislature voted and passed a state law requiring the Secretary of State to produce translated versions of voters’ pamphlets and create a Translation Advisory Council. The Secretary will consult with the Council to validate translations to ensure they are culturally appropriate for those who depend on them for voting. The Council may also assist in the development of a multilingual elections glossary, review of webpages, or check of public service announcement copy, among other duties.

The Secretary of State is asking interested ATA members to apply to serve on the Council. Applications are being accepted until 5:00 PM (PDT) June 1, 2022 from individuals who live in Oregon, are eligible to vote, have experience in one of the communities served by translations (at-large members), and especially those with translation experience (translator members) in one of these 12 languages:
  • Arabic
  • Chinese
  • French
  • German
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Mien
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • Tagalog
  • Thai
  • Vietnamese
Additional information is available on the Translation Advisory Council website and by email at or telephone at 503-986-2312.


Upcoming ATA Webinars

ATA TEKTalks: Is Smartcat the Right Tool for You?
Presenter: Jean-Luc Saillard
Date: May 17, 2022
Time: 12:00 noon U.S. ET
Duration: 45 minutes
Language: English
Level: All
CE Point(s): None

Smartcat is a powerful, intuitive, scalable, and cloud-based translation and localization platform that combines CAT, TMS, and other translation technologies. But is it the right tool for you? Attend our second quarterly ATA TEKTalks webinar for an interview with Smartcat’s Head of Customer Success Jean-Luc Saillard.

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

Successful Advocacy for Translators and Interpreters
Presenters: Eve Bodeux, Lucy Gunderson, Bill Rivers, Cristina Helmerichs
Date: May 25, 2022
Time: 12:00 noon U.S. ET
Duration: 60 minutes
Language: English
Level: All
CE Point(s): None

In today’s political and legislative landscape, it is crucial for translators and interpreters to make themselves heard. Laws are being adopted and decisions are being made on local, state, national, and international levels that affect how translators and interpreters earn their livelihood in a very real way. Join us for a quick tutorial on how to make advocacy work.

Register now! Free to ATA members and non-members. Click here to sign up.

Ethically Speaking … Translation Technologies, Ethics, and Translator Education
Presenter: Lynne Bowker
Date: May 31, 2022
Time: 12:00 noon U.S. ET
Duration: 60 minutes
Language: English
Level: All
CE Point(s): 1 ATA-approved

Join us for a timely discussion regarding questions of fairness, justice, and responsibility in relation to tool use and to consider how translation technologies fit within the wider spectrum of cultural, social, political, and professional concerns. Some of the more specific issues to be discussed in this webinar include the ownership, sharing, and commoditization of data and resources; confidentiality and privacy; professional identity, autonomy, workflow, remuneration, and job satisfaction; and risk and responsibility.

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

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


ATA62 Virtual Conference Sessions Available On Demand

On May 1, the ATA62 conference portal closed. All three-day attendees will continue to have unlimited access to the virtual conference sessions through ATA’s website.

ATA62 attendees can find the virtual conference recordings by logging in to the ATA Member Center and scrolling down to the ATA Education section. Then click “Watch your Virtual Conference sessions or print your conference’s certificate.”

Attention ATA-Certified Translators!
The ATA62 Virtual Conference and Advanced Skills and Training (AST) Day courses are approved for Continuing Education Points. Earn one point for each hour viewed, up to a maximum of 5 points.

Couldn’t make it to ATA’s 62nd Annual Conference?
You’re in luck! The ATA62 Virtual Conference is now available on demand at an ATA member-discounted price. Stream the sessions anywhere, anytime. Click to learn more.

See an AST session you’d like to watch?
Thirteen ATA62 AST sessions are now available for online streaming. Purchase one or purchase all—the price is right for ATA members! Click for details.
  • AST-01: Hold On! Should I? Better Not! A Workshop about Strategic Mediation (Giovanna Carriero-Contreras)

  • AST-03: Interpreting for Depositions: Advanced Skills, Ethics, and Best Practices (Judy Jenner)

  • AST-04: Demystifying Artificial Intelligence and Neural Networks for Language Professionals (Jay Marciano)

  • AST-05: Direct Client Marketing for People Who Think They Can’t (Corinne McKay, CT)

  • AST-06: Advanced Strategies for Editing Large-Volume Projects (Itzaris Weyman, CT)

  • AST-08: Supercharge Your Simultaneous Interpreting Skills: Best Practices and Team Interpreting Strategies for Educational Interpreters (Katharine Allen)

  • AST-09: Pharmacological Aspects of Informed Consents in Clinical Trials: Implications for Spanish-Language Interpreters and English>Spanish Translators (Tatiana Cestari, Gabriella Maldonado)

  • AST-10: Automating Translation Tasks to Maximize Efficiency (Nora Díaz)

  • AST-11: The Translator Skill Set for Post-Editing (Gabriela Escarrá, Dolores R. Guiñazú)

  • AST-12: Press Start! An Introduction to Video Game Localization (Marina Ilari, CT)

  • AST-13: Inclusive About Inclusion: A Precision-Based Approach to Bias-Free Language (Romina Marazzato Sparano, CT)

  • AST-14: Multilingual SEO 101: From Keyword Research to Content Optimization (Marion Rhodes, CT)

  • AST-15: Pricing Strategies in a Service Industry (Daniel Sebesta)
Get ready for ATA63!
It’s not too soon to start making plans for ATA’s 63rd Annual Conference in Los Angeles, California. Start by booking your hotel room now. Then, mark your calendar, save the dates—October 12-15, 2022. We’ll see you there!


ATA Membership Diversity Award Announced

The American Foundation for Translation and Interpretation (AFTI) is pleased to announce 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 profession, 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


ATA School Outreach Contest


ATA Advocacy, Impact, and Innovation Awards

ATA has acknowledged outstanding service and professional distinction in the translation and interpreting fields since 1964, when it awarded its first Alexander Gode Medal. By recognizing colleagues who, through their daily work, volunteer activities, and careers, exemplify the qualities that define excellence in our industry, the Association salutes their achievements and honors their substantial impact on our community.

Learn more about all of ATA’s Honors and Awards. Click to listen to Episode 56 of The ATA Podcast.

ATA is now accepting nominations for the following awards:
  • Advocacy Award
    The ATA Advocacy Award recognizes a person or entity that has demonstrated outstanding advocacy for the language professions in general, for the importance of professional translators and interpreters, and/or for the greater societal understanding of the value of professional translators and interpreters. The award is bestowed in even-numbered years. Learn more!
  • Impact Award
    The ATA Impact Award recognizes a person or entity that has demonstrated outstanding leadership having an impact with ATA through work on a specific project or initiative. This award differs from ATA Honorary Membership in that it is presented for a specific project or initiative, rather than for lifetime achievement. The award is bestowed in even-numbered years. Learn more!
  • Innovation Award
    The ATA Innovation Award recognizes a person or entity that has worked in a particularly innovative way to benefit ATA and/or the language professions. The award is bestowed in even-numbered years. Learn more!
Questions? Need more information?
Check out ATA’s Honors and Awards Program online or email


ATA Board Meeting Summary: April 9-10, 2022

The ATA Board of Directors met April 9-10 in Alexandria, Virginia. A summary of the meeting’s actions, discussions, and ongoing committee work is online in the Members Only area of the ATA website. Board Meeting Summaries help members keep up with ATA news and activities—from the latest financial reports to plans for the Annual Conference to committee projects and activities.

Read the latest ATA Board Meeting Summary now!

From left, back row: Directors Robert Sette, Manako Ihaya, Robin Bonthrone, Meghan Konkol, Eve Bodeux, Ben Karl, Lorena Ortiz Schneider, Jamie Hartz, and Cristina Helmerichs. Front row: Secretary Alaina Brandt, President Madalena Sánchez Zampaulo, President-Elect Veronika Demichelis, and Treasurer John Milan.


Coming Up 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

May 16, 2022

How far in advance are you planning for your company’s future?

See the Results!

Previous Poll Results

How did your business do in the first quarter of 2022 compared to the fourth quarter of 2021?

32% = Increased significantly
25% = Increased somewhat
18% = About the same
14% = Decreased somewhat
11% = Decreased significantly

In This Issue

Candidates Announced
Oregon Advisory Council
Upcoming Webinars
ATA62 Virtual Conf
Diversity Award
ATA Awards
Board Mtg Summary
The ATA Chronicle

ATA Workshop

Become a Voice Talent
May 19, 2022
11:30 a.m.- 2:30 p.m. ET

ATA Webinars

ATA TEKTalks: Smartcat
May 17 @ 12:00 noon ET
Registration open

Successful Advocacy for Translators and Interpreters
May 25 @ 12:00 noon ET
Registration open

Ethically Speaking … Translation Technologies, Ethics, and Translator Education
May 31 @ 12:00 noon ET
Registration open

Calendar of Events

ATA Advocacy, Impact, and Innovation Awards: Nominations Open
May 1-31, 2022
Learn more!

FIT World Congress
Jun 1-3, 2022
Varadero, Cuba
Learn more!

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
To be determined
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!

LinkedIn for ATA
Follow ATA on LinkedIn

Alliant Professional Liability Insurance
The ATA Chronicle March/April 2022

ATA Business Practices Next Level Blog
Bilingual Review Files: A Productivity Aid or a Waste of Time?