Newsbriefs: November 15, 2021

Hunter Master of Arts in Translation and Interpreting

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Industry News

BIPOC or POC? Equity or Equality? The Debate over Language on the Left

The New York Times (NY) (11/01/21) Harmon, Amy

For those pushing for changes in society on race and other issues, words matter. They can also muddle.

Americans have always wrestled with language when it comes to describing race, with phrases and vocabulary changing to meet the struggles and values of the moment. But scholars and activists say there is currently heightened attention to this language, especially in the wake of protests for social justice in 2020, as some on the left try to advance changes in the culture through words.

“You can’t change what you can’t name,” said Cathy Albisa, vice president of institutional and sectoral change at the racial justice nonprofit Race Forward.

Unsurprisingly, the language itself has become contested, especially by conservatives who have leveraged discomfort with the new vocabulary to energize their base of white voters, referring to it as “wokespeak.” One conservative think tank circulated a list of words—including “microaggressions” and “Black Lives Matter”—that it said could alert parents that what has been labeled “Critical Race Theory” is being taught in their children’s schools.

The new language extends beyond race, adding phrases and introducing ideas that are new to many Americans. Gender-neutral terms like “Latinx,” for people of Latin American descent, “they/them” pronouns that refer to a single person, and “birthing parent” or “pregnant people” instead of “mother,” to be inclusive of trans people, are also gaining traction.

Some activists defend the focus on language, saying that the way people use words is not mere symbolism but is necessary to achieve justice.

“Saying something like, ‘Black people are less likely to get a loan from the bank,’ instead of saying, ‘Banks are less likely to give loans to Black people,’ might feel like it’s just me wording it differently,” said Rashad Robinson, president of the racial justice organization Color of Change. “But ‘Black people are less likely to get a loan from the bank’ makes people ask themselves, ‘What’s wrong with Black people? Let’s get them financial literacy programs.’ The other way is saying, ‘What’s wrong with the banks?'”

“When you’ve been on the margin, being able to claim a language and a narrative and a set of words to express yourself is incredibly important,” Robinson added.

Language change, linguists say, has long been a tool in shaping social perceptions of identity. “Queer,” once a pejorative for gay, has been reclaimed as a self-affirming term, especially by a younger generation of the LGBTQIA+ community. “African American,” which became prevalent in the 1980s after the Reverend Jesse Jackson objected that “black” reduced the complexity of race to a skin color, is now being superseded by “Black,” with a capital “B,” to underline a shared political identity among disparate groups.

In a reflection of its surging popularity, “BIPOC” (pronounced “bye-pock,” which stands for Black, Indigenous and People of Color) received its first Merriam-Webster dictionary entry this year, though a number of linguists said they were not sure how the term emerged.

One reason BIPOC has engendered both backlash and bewilderment, said Nicole Holliday, a linguist at the University of Pennsylvania, is because it seems to be an example of “top-down language reform.” Widely shared over social media last year, its champions have said it is intended to emphasize the severity of racial injustice on Black and Indigenous people. But few Black or Indigenous people use it, language scholars say.

The acronym, which was widely adopted only in the past year or so, is often misread as meaning “bisexual people of color.” Asian and Latino Americans are often left to wonder whether they are covered by the “POC” part of the acronym.

What makes this linguistic moment so fraught, language scholars say, is that the words are often a proxy for the debate over some of the nation’s most pressing cultural questions.

“Some of these terms will endure, and some will not,” said Viet Thanh Nguyen, a professor of English, American Studies, and ethnicity at the University of Southern California. “But in the period where terms are new, we are still undergoing a political struggle whose resolution is not yet determined, so the words themselves become the site of conflict.”


This Bill May Require Major U.S. Airports to Overhaul Multilingual Communications

Slator (Switzerland) (11/01/21) Albarino, Seyma

The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security has approved a bill that would require the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to translate signs, websites, and other communication materials at major American airports. The bill now goes to the full House for consideration.

Congresswoman Dina Titus (Nevada) first introduced the TSA Reaching Across Nationalities, Societies, and Languages to Advance Traveler Education (TRANSLATE) Act in July 2019.

“Much of what TSA communicates to travelers and transportation workers is through signs, announcements, and videos that are all in English,” Titus said in September 2019. “Let’s be clear: You shouldn’t have to worry about missing a plane at an airport in the United States just because you don’t speak English.”

The House of Representatives passed the first iteration of the bill, H.R. 3691, in a September 2019 vote, but it stalled in the Senate. Titus and her original cosponsor, Congressman Van Taylor (Texas), reintroduced the bill as H.R. 5574 in October 2021.

This time around, Titus suggested that translating airport materials may help bolster U.S. tourism, an industry gutted by pandemic travel restrictions. Passenger numbers have picked up and may soon rise even more now that the travel ban has been eased and more international travelers are allowed to enter the U.S.

“As travel numbers increase and airports get busier, I’m glad to see this measure pass out of committee,” Titus said. “This will make airport travel easier for diverse communities like Las Vegas, international visitors, and those with vision or hearing impairments.”

Notably, the translation requirement for TSA materials would apply not only to languages spoken by travelers, but also to languages spoken by airport workers in Category X and Category I airports—the nation’s largest and busiest airports, based on the volume of passenger traffic. The TRANSLATE Act is also far-reaching in the many forms of media it requires to be translated: signage, videos, audio messages, websites, press releases, and social media postings.


As the Number of Multilingual Students Rise, Finding Teachers for Them Becomes a Priority

The Washington Post (DC) (11/07/21) Sánchez, Vanessa

To address the rising need for teachers of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), one Maryland program was recently awarded a $2.7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to support teachers who are already working with ESOL students and to expand the number of educators in the state who are certified to serve them.

The program, ELEVATE, is a Towson University College of Education initiative to train teachers through partnerships with six schools in the Anne Arundel County public school district in Maryland that were selected because of their high number of ESOL students.

The U.S. Department of Education reported a shortage of ESOL teachers in all grade levels (pre-K-12) in Maryland and the District of Columbia as of the 2021-2022 school year—and a shortage in Virginia as of the 2019-2020 school year. Nationwide, 32 states reported ESOL teacher shortages this school year.

Students learning English struggled to participate on equal terms in the classroom even before the pandemic started, but virtual learning prompted by the pandemic has exacerbated the issue. According to a Maryland Department of Education report in August, 88,838 students—10.8% of the student population—are English-language learners.

“The more that we can give teachers specific skills to support the specific needs of this population, the better outcomes we will see,” said Patricia Rice Doran, principal researcher at ELEVATE.

The Towson program is filling in gaps that exist both when university students are preparing to become teachers and after they are already working at a school. Towson professors found that many teachers, once they began their careers, didn’t receive instruction on how to teach English learners and the benefits of bilingual education and home language. And in college, students didn’t have classes in their curriculum to explore how to support multilingual learners.

Lynnett Hernandez, an undergraduate student at Towson majoring in early-childhood and special education, is also completing coursework to obtain an ESOL certification. Hernandez, who is Salvadoran American, said her upbringing in a bilingual household inspired her to help multilingual students become successful.

Over the semester, she has learned teaching strategies and worked on ways to develop strong relationships with families, including providing socio-emotional support for those who have experienced learning loss and challenges at home.

“We really learned that we never know how much knowledge or potential a child can hold until we can fully accommodate and break down language barriers in the classroom,” Hernandez said.

On-Screen Sign Language Interpreters Coming to Forza Horizon 5

The Verge (NY) (11/07/21) Lyons, Kim

Playground Games, developers of the popular Forza Horizon 5 racing simulation game, announced they will add on-screen sign language interpreters as part of a new update to help enhance gameplay.

The sign language interpreters would appear in a picture-in-picture display during the game’s cut-scenes (segments predominantly used for cinematic narrative development, such as showing characters talking or having a narrator explain something).

“We’re constantly listening to the community to make Forza Horizon 5 an inclusive experience for everyone to enjoy,” said Mike Brown, creative director for Playground Games, which is part of Xbox Game Studios. “With this in mind, the team is excited to share that we are working on American Sign Language (ASL) and British Sign Language (BSL) support for cinematics in Forza Horizon 5.”

Players will be able to choose between ASL or BSL interpreters, who will appear any time an in-game cinematic plays. The developer solicited input from ASL and BSL experts to depict interpreters accurately.

Forza Horizon 5 will have several other accessibility features available, including a high contrast mode, a color blindness mode, customizable subtitles, a screen reader narrator who reads text aloud, and the ability to disable moving backgrounds.

“We want everyone in the world to be able to experience our game,” Brown said. “With more than an estimated 400 million gamers with disabilities across the globe, it is vital that all players be able to tailor their gameplay in a way that works best for them.”


25,000 Students Take Up Challenge to Speak Only Irish for 24 Hours

Independent (Ireland) (11/08/21) Mulgrew, Seoirse

Thousands of students across Ireland took part in a challenge to speak Irish for 24 hours.

Over 25,000 students in 270 schools from 32 counties participated in Conradh na Gaeilge’s #Gaeilge24 challenge on November 8. The goal of Gaeilge24 is to encourage young people to speak only Irish for 24 hours in every aspect of their lives.

Students were asked to speak Irish not only at school and with their teachers, but at home, at the shops and with local businesses, friends, and in their local sports clubs. Each student who participated received a certificate.

Niall Comer, president of Conradh na Gaeilge, said this challenge provides young people the opportunity to promote the Irish language in their day-to-day lives.

“A positive attitude toward the language is encouraged in young people in a fun and relevant way through Gaeilge24,” Comer said.

The Irish language community around the world was also invited to take part in the challenge online by using the #Gaeilge24 hashtag on social media.

Aodhán Ó Deá, Conradh na Gaeilge’s director of development, said this year’s challenge focused on well-being. “Taking care of yourself, especially young people, from exercise to mindfulness, is very important to be at your healthiest,” he said.

“We sent thousands of support packs to schools north and south, and we at Conradh na Gaeilge are excited that the Irish language was used by over 25,000 students as part of Gaeilge24 throughout the island.”


ATA News

Two Webinars to Advance Your Trados Skills!

Increase your productivity with Trados Studio by expanding your knowledge beyond the basics. Attend either or both of these webinars to tackle intermediate-level skills and gain a deeper understanding of what this CAT tool can do for you.

Missed the first webinar in this series? Watch it on demand! Go to Beginner Tips and Tricks for Trados Studio.

Install the Trial Version Before the Webinar
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ATA Members Get 35% Off Trados Studio
ATA members are eligible for a 35% discount on a new or upgraded Trados Studio 2021 Freelance or Trados Studio 2021 Freelance Plus license. Learn more!

Intermediate Tips and Tricks for Trados Studio
Presenter: Nora Díaz
Date: November 17, 2021
Time: 12 noon U.S. ET
Duration: 90 minutes
Language: English
Level: Intermediate
CE Point(s): 1 ATA-approved

Are you taking advantage of all that Trados Studio has to offer? Dig deep, learn more with this intermediate-level tips-and-tricks training webinar.

You will learn how to:
  1. Identify and modify file type options
  2. Work with a translation memory’s language resources
  3. Use apps to extend Trados Studio’s functionality
  4. Use machine translation for pre-translation and interactive translation
  5. Set up verification options
Register now! ATA Member $65 | Non-Member $90

Working with Termbases in Trados Studio
Presenter: Nora Díaz
Date: December 2, 2021
Time: 12 noon U.S. ET
Duration: 90 minutes
Language: English
Level: Intermediate
CE Point(s): 1 ATA-approved

Terminology management is a critical element in your translation workflow. Attend this webinar to explore how termbases are created, used, and maintained in both Trados Studio and Multiterm.

You will learn how to:
  1. Modify file type options
  2. Work with a translation memory’s language resources
  3. Use apps to extend Trados Studio’s functionality
  4. Employ machine translation for interactive- and pre-translation
  5. Set up verification options
Register now! ATA Member $65 | Non-Member $90

Schedule your online learning!
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Free ATA Member Orientation Session: November 18

ATA’s last free one-hour member orientation session for 2021 will be offered at 2:00 p.m. ET on Thursday, November 18.

Join ATA members Ben Karl and Tony Guerra for answers to everything you’ve wanted to know about your ATA membership, from how to set up your online ATA Directory listing, participate in ATA divisions, and register for the ATA certification exam to where to find business resources, member discounts, and social media networking. Remember to bring your questions, too, for a great Q&A session closeout.

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

Free, but registration is required.

Note: ATA’s member orientation is an interactive experience with networking and sharing via the chat feature. It will not be recorded. The next orientation session is scheduled for January 20, 2022.


The Results Are In!

The results for ATA’s Compensation Survey are being emailed this week! Please watch your inbox for a message from Dynamic Benchmarking. If you completed both the 2019 and 2020 parts of the survey, you will receive a unique email for each.

The survey’s benchmarking tool allows you to create custom filters so you can organize the data to meet your needs. The email also includes quick access report links so that you can compare your answers on a question-by-question basis or download reports directly from the email.

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Submit Your ATA62 Overall Conference Survey for a Chance to Win

ATA Annual Conference attendees have helped shape the conference over the years with their survey suggestions and feedback. If you attended this year’s conference, whether virtually or in person, please continue the tradition and take the time to complete your overall ATA62 conference survey. Surveys submitted by December 1 will automatically be entered to win a free registration for the ATA63 Annual Conference in Los Angeles, California (October 12-15, 2022). You can access and submit the survey on the virtual portal—look for the link at the top of the home page above the header.


Free ATA Members-Only Webinar for November

ATA offers members one free webinar every month. Here’s the freebie for November.

The Hard Side of Project Management: Software, Timelines, and Gantt Charts
Managing projects efficiently is essential to maximizing business. Using visual representation to track workflow is a great technique for doing just that. Watch this ATA webinar to learn three visual strategies to help organize time and workflow: timelines, Gantt charts, and the time-management matrix. Presenter Carina Balbo explains each strategy in turn, showing how it works and discussing some of the tools and software—both free and paid—to use in the process.

This webinar was organized with the assistance of ATA’s Translation Company Division.

What will you learn?
  1. How to organize tasks visually
  2. How to keep track of project workflow
  3. How to create a TM matrix, timeline, or Gantt chart
  4. What tools are available in the market
  5. How to use Asana and Dropbox to manage projects


Scammers Don’t Take Time Off for the Holidays

The number of ways scammers try to separate you from your money typically increases in December. Make it your business to learn how scams work—watch ATA’s free webinar Don’t Fall for It! Scams Targeting Language Professionals.


In the November/December Issue of The ATA Chronicle

Member Opinion: Promoting Inclusion in Translation and Interpreting
The translation and interpreting industry, like all industries, is not immune to bias based on the deep-seated, preconceived ideas we all carry, many subconsciously. The tense social climate we’re living in today forces us to reassess how inclusive our industry really is and what we can do to change. (Cathy-Eitel Nzume)

Getting the Most from Your ATA Language Services Directory Profile
To enable potential clients to make the most effective use of the Language Services Directory, ATA members should strive to keep their profiles up to date. Members should also take advantage of all the directory options that allow an individual to highlight their services. (Eve Lindemuth Bodeux)

LinkedIn Groups: How They Can Help You Meet the Right Clients
LinkedIn Groups are often overlooked, but they can truly be a gold mine for freelancers for growing their networks and conducting market research. If you really want to meet your clients where they are, making a plan to join and engage in LinkedIn Groups is an excellent way to add to your LinkedIn marketing strategy and get in front of the right people. (Madalena Sánchez Zampaulo)

Cognitive Debriefing: A Challenging but Rewarding Project
What is cognitive debriefing and does this area have potential for translators? What skills are required to take advantage of this market niche? A translator shares his experiences working on cognitive debriefing projects, both as a recruiter and interviewer, including tips for success. (Pham Hoa Hiep)

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.

November 15, 2021

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In This Issue

Missed a Webinar?
Advanced Trados Skills
Member Orientation
The Results Are In
Win a Conf Registration
Free Member Webinar
The ATA Chronicle

ATA Members Only

Free ATA Webinar!
The Hard Side of Project Management: Software, Timelines, and Gantt Charts
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ATA Webinars

Intermediate Tips and Tricks for Trados Studio
Nov 17 @ 12 noon ET
Registration open

Member Orientation
Nov 18 @ 2 pm ET
Free for ATA Members
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Working with Termbases in Trados Studio
Dec 2 @ 12 noon ET
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Accounting and Taxes
Dec 9 @ 12 noon ET
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ATA63 Annual Conference
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October 12-15, 2022

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