Newsbriefs: November 15, 2022

Alliant Professional Liability Insurance

Advocacy Alert: New Rule to Change Conditions for Freelancer Status

On October 13, 2022, the U.S. Department of Labor published a notice of proposed rulemaking that puts forward a restrictive interpretation of the “economic realities” test, which is used to determine an individual’s status as an employee or independent contractor for the purposes of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

The new proposed economic realities test would include the following six factors:
  1. Opportunity for profit or loss depending on managerial skill
  2. Investments by the worker and the employer
  3. Degree of permanence of the work relationship
  4. Nature and degree of control
  5. Extent to which the work performed is an integral part of the employer’s business
  6. Skill and initiative
Why This Matters to Translators and Interpreters
Factor 3, which may restrict freelancers from working with repeat clients, could be problematic for language professionals, as could Factor 5, which is very similar to the infamous “B” condition of the ABC test and would prevent businesses from contracting with freelancers to perform work that is considered an integral part of the hiring entity’s business (i.e., a language services company could not contract with freelance translators and interpreters).

The proposed regulations, if finalized, would expand the coverage of the FLSA by treating as “employees” a large number of individuals who, under current law, are classified as independent contractors. This could be detrimental to many translators and interpreters working as independent contractors.

Read ATA’s Statement on the Proposed Rule for Independent Contractor Classification

Call to Action!
The Department of Labor needs to hear from you! Written feedback from independent contractors has been requested by the Department of Labor. Click to learn how easy it is to make your voice heard! The deadline to comment is December 13, 2022.

Industry News

In the Documentary In Flow of Words, War-Crime Interpreters Tell Their Own Stories

The New Yorker (11/02/22) Chatta, Sarah

Eliane Esther Bots’ In Flow of Words, which won best short documentary at the Netherlands Film Festival this year, follows the interpreters who spoke the words of victims and perpetrators alike at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

Bots lives in The Hague, where the Tribunal took place for most of her life. She never thought about the work of interpreters until a chance encounter with one of them, a woman named Alma, who was haunted by the stories she interpreted. Bots watched hours of the Tribunal’s archival footage and compared the proceedings to theater. “Everyone has a role,” she said.

In the Tribunal’s intricate legal proceedings, which took place from 1993 to 2017, the interpreters had a critical, but functional, responsibility: if they did their job well, they were almost invisible.

Throughout the film, the interpreters reveal what was demanded of them (e.g., neutrality, the use of the first person) and how the work affected them. In an impromptu scene early in the film, Alma compared the role to that of a vase: “The only purpose of a vase is to hold a flower. And our sole purpose here is to provide interpretation, to facilitate a conversation and nothing else.”

The Tribunal investigated war crimes committed in a territory that now encompasses seven countries, and virtually the only people with the skills to move fluidly between the court’s languages—English, French, Bosnian/Serbian/Croatian, Albanian, and Macedonian—were those who lived where the violence had occurred. Many of the interpreters had been victims themselves.

Besmir, who said he lost his childhood to the Yugoslav wars, recalled his first interpreting job with the Tribunal: at 19, he accompanied archeologists and excavators during the discovery of a mass grave near Srebrenica. As an interpreter, Besmir would take on the perspective of whomever he was interpreting for—victim or perpetrator. But the work would take its toll. After interpreting an account of a young boy’s murder, Besmir went home and started drinking. He stayed drunk for a month.

“Everything that comes out of your mouth is important. Suddenly your thoughts are my thoughts,” said an interpreter named Nenad. The connection between interpreters and their subjects lasts long after their work is done.

Alma said she cannot shake the memory of a painting of the Pliva Waterfall in central Bosnia that she saw in the home of an elderly couple she once visited on a fact-finding mission. The painting hung in the couple’s living room near photographs of their sons who had been taken to a concentration camp and disappeared. “I realized that after eight years, they still believed their children were alive—and that was just heartbreaking,” Alma said. “I didn’t go to a psychologist because I thought that feeling would go away, but it doesn’t really go away.”


Federal Officials Say Company Fired Deaf Employee after She Requested an Interpreter for Meetings

The Sacramento Bee (11/11/22) List, Madeleine

According to federal officials, a Colorado company discriminated against a deaf employee when it fired her in May 2018 after she requested an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter for meetings.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced on November 10th that parts manufacturer Pneuline Supply would be required to pay the employee $44,250 and “provide other relief” to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit.

According to court documents, Pneuline Supply hired the employee as an assembler in 2017 and provided a certified ASL interpreter for her during the first few weeks. Later that year, the company also hired the woman’s daughter to interpret even though she wasn’t a certified ASL interpreter.

The employee began to file grievances with Pneuline Supply’s human resources department and requested that an official ASL interpreter be provided. The employee told the court she was often excluded from work-related discussions.

According to court documents, Pneuline Supply repeatedly denied the employee’s request, and, in May 2018, told her that “emailing and/or writing out on paper any question or comments you have is always an option available to you.” The employee, who is fluent in ASL, is not fluent in English, although fluent English was not a requirement for the job.

At the end of May 2018, court documents state that Pneuline Supply discharged the employee “because of her hearing disability, or because of the need to reasonably accommodate her hearing disability.”

According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Pneuline Supply will be required to “review and update its disability discrimination and reasonable accommodation policies, post an anti-discrimination notice, and train its managers and human resources staff in Americans with Disabilities Act compliance.”

“The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits employers from firing or refusing to hire employees simply because they may need to provide them a reasonable accommodation in the future,” Regional Attorney Mary Jo O’Neill, who works in the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s Phoenix District Office, said in a statement. “Employers also may not use a complaint about discrimination as an opportunity to fire them. That is unlawful retaliation.”


Anthony Burgess’ Translation of Molière’s The Miser Comes to Light for First Time

The Guardian (11/06/22) Alberge, Dalya

Beyond his satirical novel A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess’ masterpieces include his translation of the play Cyrano de Bergerac, Edmond Rostand’s tragic-romantic farce. Now, 29 years after his death, Burgess’ complete translation of another French classic, The Miser, Molière’s comic satire on greed, has come to light for the first time and is being described as a significant literary discovery.

Miser! Miser! is a complete translation of L’Avare (The Miser) of 1668—one of Molière’s best-known plays—that Burgess wrote in the early 1990s. It has never been performed or published. To the astonishment of academics, there’s even a previously unheard recording of Burgess reading the entire play. Both have emerged from the archives of the International Anthony Burgess Foundation, an educational charity in Manchester, where he was born in 1917.

“The Molière translation and audio recording are all new material from the archives, none of which has appeared in any public forum,” said Andrew Biswell, director of the International Anthony Burgess Foundation and a professor of English at Manchester Metropolitan University. “The discovery of Miser! Miser! is a major literary event, which is made even more fascinating by having the opportunity to hear Burgess himself reading it aloud.”

Biswell said Miser! Miser! is unusual as a translation because the original play is written in prose, whereas much of Burgess’ version is written in verse. “It’s not consistently rhymed all the way through. It tends to be the more aristocratic characters who speak in verse. The servants speak in prose.”

Biswell described Burgess as a gifted linguist and a brilliant translator. “Although he is best known as the creator of a new slang based on Russian in A Clockwork Orange, translating work for the theater was always an important part of his creative work,” Biswell said. “In a literary career spanning nearly 40 years, he translated a variety of stage plays from French, Russian, and Ancient Greek.”

The play will be published in May by independent publisher Salamander Street. “I hope that we will soon see a professional stage production of this splendidly actable version of Molière’s comedy,” Biswell said.


New Jersey Expands Language Access Legislation to Include 15 Languages

Slator (11/10/22) Txabarriaga, Rocío

New Jersey’s Bill S2459, which expands the state’s language access services, has taken effect. With a requirement for translating and interpreting services in 15 languages, the language access mandate is the largest program of its kind in the U.S.

The program will be implemented on a rolling basis, ensuring coverage for the 10 most commonly spoken languages within a calendar year, and for an additional five within two calendar years. Applications, notices of rights, or privacy protections must be translated or sight-translated by an interpreter in all 15 languages immediately.

Advocates of the new program include domestic violence organizations, immigration assistance agencies, pro-bono lawyers, and the American Civil Liberties Union. Representatives from those organizations have testified in favor of the bill since it was proposed in March 2022 by Senator Teresa Ruiz.

To finance the program, legislators will use funds from the federal American Rescue Plan and New Jersey’s current budget of USD $500,000 for language access.

In response to critics of the law, some of whom say the funds would be better spent on English-teaching programs, Senator Ruiz countered that she was “not trying to create a burden. There’s an opportunity as a government to do better.”

The law’s implementation is similar to that of the recently launched New York Office of Language Access. Each state government will have to publish a language access plan within 90 days of the bill’s effective date and appoint a language access coordinator, among other requirements.

California, Hawaii, and New York are among the states that now require vital documents to be translated into their 10 most frequently spoken languages.

In New Jersey, the languages listed by the government as being most commonly spoken are Spanish, Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese), Korean, Portuguese, Gujarati, Arabic, Polish, Haitian, Russian, Hindi, Tagalog, Italian, Vietnamese, Urdu, and French.

According to U.S. Census figures, more than 150 languages are spoken in New Jersey. The fastest-growing community in the state is the Asian American and Pacific Islanders group, which has grown by 44% since 2010.


In Canada, Classes Are Reawakening Indigenous Languages in Manitoba

CBC (11/13/22) Kemp, Chelsea

Waywayseecappo First Nation member Julia Brandon says she is on a mission to help others in southwestern Manitoba, Canada “find their spiritual selves” by rediscovering their language.

Brandon teaches Anishinaabe as part of a program for “Sixties Scoop” survivors in Brandon, Manitoba, with the goal of helping them reclaim and strengthen their Indigenous identities and culture. The Brandon Friendship Centre’s Reclaim and Reconnect program will offer weekly classes in Anishinaabe, Cree, Dakota, and Michif until the end of June.

Brandon says many people are hesitant to speak their language after the trauma of residential schools and the “Sixties Scoop”—a decades-long period during which thousands of Indigenous children were taken from their homes and placed with non-Indigenous families.

“It’s sad for me to know that our people don’t want to learn the language, or they just don’t want to use their native language because of the system.”

Brandon herself is a survivor of the “Sixties Scoop.” She learned Anishinaabe as a child, but lost the language after being placed in a residential school. She returned to Waywayseecappo in 1994, where she once again began to speak her language, seeking out elders to strengthen her Anishinaabe. “I just was drawn to them because they spoke the language I wanted to find myself.”

Brandon said it took time for her to gain the confidence to speak the language aloud, but she became more comfortable with encouragement from her parents. Teaching Anishinaabe to others was a natural progression. She said her classroom is a safe place free of judgment, where people are bound by the shared goal of strengthening their language.

“People say they’ve lost the language. To me, it’s not lost. It’s gone to sleep,” said Diana Morrisseau, a Cree language teacher participating in the program. “When you hear other people talk, you make that reconnection.”

Her goal is to create a relaxed learning environment, which she describes as moving away from a colonial model. “We’re trying to get away from that colonization piece,” Morrisseau said. “Decolonizing it, you get a more human experience with the language. You converse with the people and build your connections.”

Morrisseau said as people build their language skills, they can go out and teach in their communities, becoming part of what she says is a movement toward language revitalization. “They’re taking initiative—promoting and trying to revitalize languages that have been lost.”

“Our culture and our teachings are within our language, so there’s always going to be that aspect of the culture I’m missing when I don’t know my language,” said Julia Stoneman, one of the program’s coordinators. “We’re trying to bring that worldview back to us.”

Middlebury Institute


ATA News

Attention ATA63 Attendees

If you attended ATA63 in Los Angeles, you can become a part of the conference planning team for ATA64 by letting us know what worked at this year’s conference and what we can do better next time.

Your feedback is important!

If you haven’t completed the ATA63 Session Surveys and the Overall Conference Survey, please do as soon as you can. You can access the surveys through the desktop version of the conference app until December 1.

Win big when you complete the conference surveys by December 1!

There is an additional incentive as well! We will select five winners at random out of those who complete the Session Surveys. Each will receive a free ATA webinar of their choice. For the Overall Conference Survey, one name will be selected at random, and that winner will receive a complimentary registration for next year’s ATA 64th Annual Conference in Miami (October 25-28, 2023)!

Questions? Contact

Once again, thank you for attending ATA63 and taking the time to help us plan another great conference next year!


Back to Business Basics: Productivity Hacks for Freelancers

Presenter: Dorothee Racette
Date: November 17, 2022
Time: 12:00 noon U.S. ET
Duration: 45 minutes
Language: English
Level: Beginner
CE Point(s): None

Discover practical approaches for increasing the productivity—and profitability—of your freelance translation and interpreting business!

The success of a small business depends on setting the right pace for long-term growth, which means striking the right balance between addressing current tasks and working on effective outreach. Current inflation worries make it even more relevant to work as efficiently as possible.

You will learn how to:
  1. Eliminate distractions
  2. Improve your time planning
  3. Streamline your business outreach
Register now!
Free to ATA members, but you must sign up by 10:00 a.m. ET on November 17. Click to learn more and register.

What is ATA’s Back to Business Basics Webinar Series?
Sometimes it’s the simple things that trip you up or hold you back in business. That’s the point behind ATA’s Back to Business Basics webinars—a series of 45-minute webinars offering practical advice on common translation and interpreting business problems. Click to review the series archive and take advantage of this ATA member benefit.


How to Use Technology to Prepare for Interpreting Assignments

Presenter: Josh Goldsmith
Date: November 28, 2022
Time: 11:00 a.m. ET
Duration: 2 hours
Language: English
Level: All
CE Point(s): 2 ATA-approved; 2.0 CCHI-approved; IMIA pending

Are you sometimes thrown into a meeting at the last moment without much time to prepare? Do you struggle to find the right terminology for your interpreting assignments? Do you wish you knew how to use technology to prepare faster and more accurately?

In this hands-on webinar, you’ll review the best tools to prepare for an actual interpreting assignment—from receiving slides or a speech from a client to being given a document or translation as background to tracking terms in a way that allows you to quickly find them later.

This webinar will include exercises where you’ll learn to use some of the best free and low-cost terminology and transcription tools for interpreters.

You will learn how to:
  1. Highlight, annotate, and extract terminology from a PDF on a tablet or computer
  2. Build and search for terms in an online glossary—and share it with a colleague
  3. Extract terminology from parallel documents
  4. Automatically extract terminology from long documents
  5. Use automatic transcription tools to quickly prepare from audio or video materials
Register now! ATA Member $90 | Non-Member $120

If you have already registered for this webinar, please check your inbox for to find your invitation to join. Email if you cannot find it.


Latest Issue of Translatio Available

Expand your horizons! Translatio, the quarterly newsletter of the International Federation of Translators (FIT), is a fast read and a great way to see what translators, interpreters, and terminologists are doing around the world.

This issue features professional development activities offered by various FIT member organizations, including the Ordre des traducteurs, terminologues et interprètes agréés du Québec (OTTIAQ), the Association of Sworn Court Interpreters and Legal Translators of Slovenia (SCIT), the Polish Society of Sworn and Specialised Translators (TEPIS), FIT LatAm, and the Translators Association of China (TAC).

The issue also covers the first in-person meeting of the recently elected FIT Executive Committee, in Dublin, Ireland. ATA Past President Ted Wozniak attended as the new FIT Treasurer. In addition, look for news of the launch of the European Council of Associations of Literary Translators’ (CEATL) Companion for Literary Translators’ Associations, a new platform and resource tool for emerging and existing literary translators’ associations, and the grand opening of the Intercontinental Centre for Professional Interpreter Training (CIFIP), the only center of its kind in Mexico and Latin America.

Call for Volunteers
Translatio is looking for native speakers of English, French, and Spanish to review articles and their translations. The time commitment is flexible, and resources, such as style, writing, and translation guides, are available to assist volunteers in their reviews. Interested in learning more? Get in touch at
MultiLingual Media


Manage Your Translation Business Wisely with a 90-Day Plan

Presenter: Fernando Cuñado
Date: December 1, 2022
Time: 11:00 a.m. ET
Duration: 2 hours
Language: English
Level: All
CE Point(s): 2 ATA-approved

Learn how to take your translation and interpreting business to the next level with clear goals and a 90-day plan for effective management!

Being a translator is harder than it looks. It’s not just the translating or interpreting—you also have to manage a complex business with any number of moving parts and systems that must work together. You need a plan to ensure you give time and attention when and where it’s needed to guarantee that things run smoothly.

Attend this webinar to learn a universal method—used successfully by translators and interpreters all over the world—that can take your business to the next level

You will learn how to:
  1. Discover key areas of your business that must be taken care of for success
  2. Gain clarity about your goals and the best way to move towards them
  3. Develop a strategic plan for your specific needs
  4. Set your priorities and tasks to make your goals a reality
  5. Adapt business methods used by successful translators and interpreters
Register now! ATA Member $90 | Non-Member $120

If you have already registered for this webinar, please check your inbox for to find your invitation to join. Email if you cannot find it.


Free ATA Member Orientation Session December 8

Join members Lorena Ortiz Schneider, Tony Guerra, and Jessie Liu on December 8 at 6:00 p.m. ET to get answers on all things related to ATA membership—from how to set up an online Directory listing and how to participate in ATA divisions to where to find ATA on social media and how to contact ATA Headquarters staff for assistance. Remember to bring your questions, too, for a great Q&A session closeout.

Note: Due to the interactive nature of this event, it will not be recorded. The next ATA Member Orientation session will be in 2023.

Free, but registration is required.

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!


New! English-into-Romanian Certification Approved

After years of work by ATA member volunteers, the Board of Directors has approved the establishment of English-into-Romanian certification. Testing in the new language combination will begin this spring; practice tests are available now.

What does it take to add a new language combination?
Dedicated volunteers, organizational skills, and a commitment to seeing the goal through. Read “Establishing the English>Arabic Certification Exam” (The ATA Chronicle, September/October 2018).

Why is there no ATA Certification exam in my language combination?
It’s a fair question. The answer comes down to demand, teamwork, training, passage selection, and grading standards—plus hundreds of volunteer hours in between. ATA Certification Committee Chair David Stephenson explains it all to Podcast Host Matt Baird in Episode 22 of The ATA Podcast. For additional details, read “Procedure for Establishing a New Language Combination.”


How Do I Contact ATA?

We’re here to answer your questions! Call us at +1-703-683-6100 or email We also have a general contact us form for requesting information. Want to reach a Board Director or Committee Chair? Go to the About Us tab on the website’s top menu bar and click Board of Directors in the dropdown menu. Looking for a Division Administrator? Go to Divisions under Member Center.


Coming Up in the November/December Issue of The ATA Chronicle

ATA Strategy Committee Update
The language services market is constantly evolving, growing, and adapting to changes in technology and economic forces. ATA and its members are affected by these changes. The Board needs data and analyses to make informed decisions about the industry, the Association, and individual members’ livelihoods. Here are some of the initiatives the Strategy Committee has been working on to help the Board in their task. (John Milan)

How Case Studies Can Help You Market Your T&I Services
While testimonials are powerful, case studies allow you to tell the story of your clients’ successes as a result of working with you. When well-written, case studies can be very useful in marketing to potential clients. (Madalena Sánchez Zampaulo)

Interpreting Is a Performance Art
In addition to all the linguistic aspects, our work as interpreters involves performance. Thinking of yourself as an actor giving a stellar performance will help improve the quality of your work. (Javier Castillo)

We Need to Talk about…Money!
It can be embarrassing and feel intrusive when someone asks about your rates, particularly if you suspect that you’re not earning enough or you’re not earning what you would like. However, if we are less obscure and cryptic about our own rates, more translators in the profession might start re-evaluating what they charge. (Justine Raymond)

Protect Your Career by Protecting Your Eyes
As translators and interpreters, we need to protect our vision if we want to work productively. Given the nature of our jobs, however, and our dependence on computers for everything, avoiding screen use altogether is simply impossible. How can we strike a balance between using technology to work and avoiding health problems caused by overusing our eyes in the process? (Danielle Maxson)

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

November 15, 2022

How did your business do in the third quarter of 2022 compared to the second quarter?

See the Results!

Previous Poll Results

Have you followed up with potential contacts from ATA63?

71% = Yes
29% = Not yet–thanks for the reminder!

In This Issue

Freelancer Status
ATA63 Attendees
B2BB: Productivity Hacks
Webinar: Interpreting
Webinar: Business
Member Orientation
New Cert Exam
Contact ATA
The ATA Chronicle

ATA Members Only

Free ATA Webinar!
Intermediate Tips and Tricks for Trados Studio
Click to watch!

Get Ready to Renew!

Watch your mailbox next month for your ATA 2023 membership renewal notice.

ATA Webinars

How to Use Technology to Prepare for Interpreting Assignments
Nov 28 @ 11:00 a.m. ET
Registration open

Manage Your Translation Business Wisely with a 90-Day Plan
Dec 1 @ 11:00 a.m. ET
Registration open

Back to Business Basics

Productivity Hacks for Freelancers
Nov 17 @ 12 noon ET
Free to members!
Registration open

ATA Member Orientation

Last member orientation for 2022!
Dec 8 @ 6:00 p.m. ET
Free to members!
Registration open

Calendar of Events

Win a free ATA64 registration!
ATA63 Conf Survey
Deadline: Dec 1, 2022
See conference app

Virtual Language Advocacy Days 2023
Feb 8-10, 2023
Registration open

ATA64 Annual Conference
Oct 25-28, 2023
Miami, Florida
Preview now!

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ATA Webinars Live and On Demand
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ATA Business Practices Next Level Blog
In Praise of Touch Typing

8 T&I Events in Europe that Deserve to Be on Your 2023 Calendar