Newsbriefs: November 2, 2022

The ATA Podcast

The State of the Association

The pandemic years changed the business world—and the translation and interpreting industry—in ways we never imagined. As we head into 2023, it’s time to take stock of where ATA stands in support of members and the community at large in the new normal. Listen in as ATA President Madalena Sánchez Zampaulo sits down with Host Matt Baird to outline the work done by the ATA Board, committees, and volunteers in 2022. From the online certification exam to finances to a changing of the guard at ATA Headquarters, Episode 79 covers what you need to know right here, right now. Click to listen!

Show Notes:
ATA63 Annual Conference Wrap Up Video and PhotosATA Member Center and BenefitsGet InvolvedATA Student ResourcesATA Advocacy and OutreachFree Guide to Starting Out as a TranslatorATA FinancesATA Professional DevelopmentInside Specialization PodcastsATA Certification Exam Audio Production: Derek Platts

What is The ATA Podcast?
It’s a quick way to learn more about ATA—the people, events, and programs. Episodes are presented as short interviews with podcast Host Matt Baird. Easy to listen to, The ATA Podcast offers you a behind-the-scenes view of how ATA works.

How to subscribe
Subscribe to The ATA Podcast and get the next episode sent to you as soon as it’s published! The subscription is free. Not sure how to subscribe? This article from Hubspot will walk you through it step-by-step, screenshots included.

Be sure to leave a comment
Listener comments and suggestions are a big help. Did you like the episode? What would make it better? Do you have an idea for an interview? Let us know. Email ATA Podcast Host Matt Baird with your feedback.

Middlebury Institute

Industry News

Ottawa Investigating Parliament Hill Interpreter Injury

CBC (Canada) (10/27/22) Robertson, Dylan

In Ottawa, Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) says it’s investigating the circumstances that led to a Parliament Hill interpreter requiring an ambulance last month, adding that it’s the third hospitalization in recent years.

At a Senate Environment Committee meeting on October 20th, two witnesses were providing testimony during a video conference with poor sound quality. During questions from senators, a buzz could be heard as the first witness spoke, similar to a smartphone vibrating on a table. As the second witness answered questions from senators, there was sudden loud feedback.

“Feedback occurred in the sound system and an interpreter suffered acoustic shock. The interpreter subsequently received emergency care,” a spokesperson for the Translation Bureau, which is part of PSPC, said. “The Translation Bureau is extremely concerned by this accident,” the spokesperson added.

The Canadian Association of Professional Employees said the Senate Environment Committee meeting should have been halted at the time of the injury. Instead, a Translation Bureau supervisor took over as the original interpreter was escorted from the room, where she collapsed.

According to the Senate’s January 2021 instruction sheet, “each participant is required to use a wired headset with an attached boom microphone to ensure optimal sound quality for simultaneous interpreting.” The instructions also state that earbuds should not be used. Despite these instructions, the injury occurred at a meeting where one witness wore earbuds while the other had headphones with no microphone wand.

“When interpreters indicate that sound quality is preventing them from interpreting, witnesses are told that they are unable to continue,” said Senate Spokesperson Alison Korn. She said that was the case during the meeting in October, yet the official recording shows the testimony continued in full.

The House of Commons audiovisual team maintains some Senate equipment, including in the room where the incident occurred. They inspected the room after the incident and “concluded that the consoles were performing normally and offered interpreters hearing protection,” said House Spokesperson Amélie Crosson.

The spokesperson for the Translation Bureau said it “will also conduct an internal investigation and share its findings with key stakeholders when they are available.”

Crosson said the House audiovisual team does recurring checks to make sure all systems meet international safety regulations. “The House of Commons, working with its partners, has taken efforts to ensure that any sound issues are addressed proactively or as they are identified, to enhance the remote participant experience, improve the quality of hybrid proceedings, and protect interpreters.”


U.S. Department of Justice Resolves Language Access Investigation of North Carolina Courts

U.S. Department of Justice (DC) (10/25/22)

The U.S. Department of Justice announced an agreement with the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts (NCAOC) that resolves a civil rights investigation and commits to improved access to state court for people with limited English proficiency (LEP).

This agreement resolves Justice Department findings that NCAOC failed to provide LEP court users with meaningful language access to court proceedings and other important court services in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits recipients of federal financial assistance from discriminating on the basis of race, color, or national origin. The department found that the lack of language services resulted in longer incarcerations, conflicts of interests in criminal proceedings, and barriers to important civil protections in domestic violence and child custody proceedings.

In response, NCAOC has worked extensively with the Justice Department to expand language assistance services and improve access for LEP court users in North Carolina. For instance, NCAOC has adopted standards for language access services in the North Carolina Court System and expanded interpreter coverage to all proceedings. Under the terms of this agreement, NCAOC has agreed to take additional steps to ensure meaningful language access for LEP court users.

“To promote public trust and confidence in the judiciary, state courts need effective language access policies and procedures that remove barriers to justice for LEP individuals,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “This agreement builds upon the court’s past efforts to improve access for LEP individuals and will ensure meaningful and effective language access services in North Carolina’s courts going forward.”

As set forth in the agreement, NCAOC will continue to provide LEP court users with interpreter services at no cost in all court proceedings and free language assistance services in court operations. NCAOC will reconvene the Language Access Stakeholder Committee, which will help it assess and improve existing court language access policies and procedures. NCAOC will also translate vital information, including the interpreter request form and the notice of interpreter services, into non-English languages.


As Smoke Chokes Portland, Air Quality Alerts Lack Multilingual Reach

The Oregonian (OR) (10/20/33) Wozniacka, Gosnia

In Oregon, the smoke from wildfires infiltrating Portland and other cities has exposed gaps in the state’s alert systems designed to reach residents with up-to-date conditions. Many rely on private phone apps, internet searches, or simply word of mouth. That appears especially true for non-English-speaking people who often are at heightened risk for adverse effects.

Many non-English speakers live in lower-income neighborhoods with a history of air pollution from nearby highways and industry, said Oriana Magnera, the energy, climate, and transportation manager at Verde. The Portland-based nonprofit works on environmental issues with Latinx residents and communities of color. “When you have a wildfire, you’re just adding bad air quality on top of the poor air quality that already exists,” she said.

Government agencies responsible for the alerts acknowledge they’re in the early stages of developing better ways to reach non-English speakers. “It’s something we need to do more of and we’re working on that,” said Harry Esteve, communications manager for the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.

“There are few resources on air quality in Spanish and there is a lack of information from the government,” said Ivonne Rivero, a Spanish interpreter and community engagement liaison for Multnomah County. “If you’re not proficient in English, you likely won’t get the information.”

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has Spanish-speaking staff members who translate air quality advisories into Spanish, available on a dedicated Spanish-language blog, Esteve said. But those translations aren’t available on the agency’s app.

The advisories aren’t daily alerts, but forecasts that encompass a period of several days. DEQ also posts advisories in Spanish on Twitter and Facebook. It occasionally translates documents such as fact sheets or public notices when a significant non-English-speaking population is exposed to contaminants.

But the state agency doesn’t have an overarching language access strategy, Esteve said, though it’s working on it. The agency recently hired a community engagement specialist to develop a plan on getting the word out to non-English-speaking and other communities on air quality monitoring.

Aside from improving its language access strategy, community groups are calling for the state to partner with local organizations and involve community members.

“We realized there’s a disconnect,” said Elizabeth Lopez-Hernandez, the climate and health equity program coordinator at Familias en Acción, a Portland-based nonprofit dedicated to promoting health in the Latinx community. “Government agencies need to do much more outreach—and not just one training, but continuous outreach,” Lopez-Hernandez said. “It’s frustrating that it’s hard to find Spanish-language experts willing to come and disseminate this information.”


Ahead of Elections, Asian American and Pacific Islander Organizations Try to Break Down Language Barriers

Texas Tribune (TX) (10/18/22) Nguyen, Alex

Organizations are attempting to help Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) in Texas participate in the political process ahead of the midterm elections by removing language barriers.

According to a report by the nonpartisan organization Asian Texans for Justice, more than half of the AAPI community in Texas believe lawmakers and the government have not done enough to help them access resources like information about elections and government policies in their own languages. According to the nonprofit AAPI Data, more than 80% of adult Asian Texans speak a language other than English at home and close to 35% don’t speak English very well. At the national level, more than 10% of the adult Asian population who speak a non-English language at home said language has been a barrier in voting in previous elections.

Lily Trieu, interim executive director of Asian Texans for Justice, said language gaps can also deter the AAPI community from engaging in the election process. “My mom told me, ‘I’m not politically motivated not because I don’t care—but because I don’t speak English well and I don’t have access to information that makes me feel informed. I don’t vote because I don’t know who is the better candidate,'” Trieu said. “If she could get access to information in Vietnamese and could then decipher which candidate is her preferred candidate, she would happily engage.”

Asian Texans for Justice and other AAPI organizations are trying to patch the language gaps for the midterm elections—even as several Texas counties are stepping up their own efforts to support the rapidly growing population.

“We have many different languages within the South Asian community, so we’re trying to create a network of people who we can rely on to answer questions,” said Chanda Parbhoo, a progressive organizer and founder of South Asian Americans for Voter Education + Engagement + Empowerment.

Nabila Mansoor, president of Asian American Democrats of Texas and executive director of Rise AAPI, said Rise AAPI has been working with partners to train volunteer deputy registrars in various languages such as Hindi and Urdu.

Woori Juntos, a progressive organization serving mainly the Korean community, which is one of the largest Asian ethnic groups in Texas, will continue to provide interpreting and translation not only in Korean but also Vietnamese, Mandarin, and Spanish. Asian Texans for Justice has also translated voting guides—including Q&As with candidates in the greater Houston, Central Texas, and Dallas-Fort Worth areas—into Vietnamese and Chinese.

General organizations like the Texas Civil Rights Project are also stepping up. According to Hani Mirza, legal director of the Texas Civil Rights Project’s voting rights program, it is advertising its election protection hotline on ethnic radio stations in several languages.

Ultimately, many organizers say broadening language accessibility is about politicians and candidates meeting AAPI voters where they are—beyond just translating voting materials. They recommend that politicians and candidates hire linguistically diverse staff or partner with local organizations to engage with the community organically, including visiting AAPI-dense areas, staffing booths at cultural events, or establishing a presence in ethnic media.

“The most valuable thing you can spend is your time,” said Mark Sampelo, who works on various Filipino American initiatives and community events. “It’s a lot easier for folks to say ‘Wow, they’re coming, this is important.'”


Hong Kong Disneyland Unveils Pilot Program to Bring Sign Language to Live Musicals

South China Morning Post (Hong Kong) (10/27/22) Ng, Sue

Hong Kong Disneyland has unveiled a one-year pilot program to integrate sign language into its signature live musicals in an effort to make its shows more accessible.

Starting on November 5, Disneyland will incorporate “immersive theatrical interpretation” into one of its regular musicals, Mickey and the Wondrous Book, which presents various Disney tales on stage. The show is the park’s second live musical with theatrical interpretation under the new program and the next step toward promoting diversity and inclusion in the park.

Angela Lam, associate show director at Hong Kong Disneyland, said the park was always eager to take the initiative and create an accessible environment for everyone. “Disneyland strives to create a diverse entertainment experience for our guests, and we always welcome people with disabilities,” Lam said. “Currently, we have free sign language interpreting services at some theater shows and attractions, available upon request.”

Lam said it had taken three months for the park and interpreters from the Arts with the Disabled Association Hong Kong (ADAHK) to design the accessible performance. “We held a number of meetings to discuss how to match the music, narration, and storyline with sign language to present a perfect show for our deaf and disabled audiences, as well as give the general audience a new experience,” she said.

During the performance, two professional sign language interpreters from ADAHK will sign the story from the front of the stage. Shows with theatrical interpretation will be offered twice a month.

Andy Lee, a sign language instructor who will participate in the performance, said that preparing for the show involved a lot of hard work. “We have spent a lot of time learning about the songs and stories and watched many Disney films to understand the characters’ demeanor and to interpret the lines and performances precisely,” Lee said. “This is a new attempt to incorporate performing arts interpretation into a theater show,” he added. “We hope that in the future, there will be more performances with sign language for the deaf to enjoy.”

Ida Lam, chair of ADAHK, was excited to learn about Disneyland’s new program. “We are happy to see a major theme park in Hong Kong take the initiative to include sign language in performances, allowing those with hearing impairments to enjoy the show.” Lam said the program meant more than giving the hearing-impaired a chance to experience art, adding that it also helps them connect with society. “Through theatrical interpretation, they can enjoy the show in the theater, surrounded by an audience, laughing and crying simultaneously without feeling left out.”

Payment Practices

ATA News

Update on ATA Advocacy in Nevada

In August 2022, ATA wrote to Nevada’s Court Administration Office of the Eighth Judicial District Court to support freelance interpreters seeking fair compensation in Clark County courts. At the time, the county’s compensation schedule for interpreting services was lower than pre-2010 rates and had only been nominally updated since July 2014. Read ATA’s letter to the Nevada Court Administrative Office.

Nevada Certified Court Interpreter Deborah Silvera has notified ATA that the group’s advocacy was successful:

“We have just received official notice that the vendor hourly rate will now be raised to $50/hour starting on January 2023. This is an additional $3/per hour from the initial increase we received in August and is great news considering that this adjustment came in the middle of a budget year, something that is very difficult and rare to achieve. This is just the start of our effort to achieve fair compensation for all interpreters in Nevada—we now will concentrate, among other things, on ensuring that rates are increased every year according to the cost of living.

I just want to say that this could not have been achieved without the help and support of organizations such as ATA. We are extremely grateful for your support!”

Be sure to use the link below to follow ATA Advocacy and Outreach!

ATA Webinar: Psychoeducational and Speech Evaluations

Presenter: Ana Soler
Date: November 9, 2022
Time: 12:00 noon U.S. ET
Duration: 60 minutes
Language: English
Level: All
CE Point(s): 1 ATA-approved

Attend this webinar to learn how to better collaborate with school districts when providing interpreting services in special education settings.

Interpreters collaborating with educators must take the necessary steps to prepare for the complex vocabulary and protocols that involve psychoeducational and speech evaluations. Throughout the process of assessment and eligibility for special education, it is imperative that interpreting is accurate, unbiased, and complete to ensure that standardized tests provide a valid and true picture of a student’s abilities, strengths, and areas of concern.

You will learn how to:
  1. Understand the common psychoeducational and speech pathology assessments
  2. Prepare for interpreting in special education settings
  3. Learn protocols specific to psychoeducational and speech evaluations in special education
  4. Avoid the negative effects of interpreter bias on the outcome of evaluations
This webinar was organized in collaboration with ATA’s Medical Division.

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

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.

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: All
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.

Free to ATA Members!
Back to Business Basics webinars are offered monthly and are absolutely free to ATA members, as is the back library of presentations. Look for Entrepreneurial Habits for Freelancers, Choosing and Building a Specialization, and How to Prepare Translation Project Quotes, among others. Click to take advantage of this great member benefit!

Two New ATA Honorary Members Announced

Corinne McKay and Walter Bacak, Jr. were named ATA’s newest Honorary Members during ATA’s 63rd Annual Conference!

ATA Honorary Membership is a unique category of membership recognizing individuals who have given outstanding service to the translation and interpreting professions, as well as to the Association. It is conferred by a vote of two-thirds of the Board of Directors. The total number of living honorary members cannot exceed 20 at any one time, and not more than two may be elected in any one year.

ATA Past President Corinne McKay needs almost no introduction. Her work throughout the years has touched the lives of thousands of translators and interpreters all over the world. Not only has she served ATA for many years, including as a board member and president, but Corinne has literally written the book on how to do this job. Her book How to Succeed as a Freelance Translator, as well as her other books, courses, and more than 15 years’ worth of blog posts and podcast episodes, have been in the hands (and earbuds) of so many translators and interpreters. Her advice and support have played a role in the launch of countless careers. Congratulations to Corinne!

Although he served as ATA’s Executive Director for 28 years, Walter Bacak, Jr.—unofficially known as Mooch—may need a little more of an introduction. Often working in the background, he led the association through its conferences, board meetings, budgets, and membership campaigns, supporting 15 ATA presidents in the process. He also represented ATA to national and international sister organizations and educated associations outside the industry on the role played by translators and interpreters. ATA accomplished so much during his tenure. Congratulations to Mooch!

Corinne and Mooch join current Honorary Members Celia Bohannon, Lillian Clementi, Nicholas Hartmann, Muriel M. Jérôme-O’Keeffe, Peter W. Krawutschke, Freek Lankhof, Ann Macfarlane, Rosemary G. Malia, Patricia E. Newman, Glenn H. Nordin, Jiri Stejskal, and Jost O. Zetzsche.
MultiLingual Media

Submit Your ATA63 Surveys for a Chance to Win

Your ideas and suggestions have helped shape the ATA Annual Conference over the years. So, please take the time to complete your ATA63 overall and session conference surveys and tell us what you think. Surveys submitted by December 1 will automatically be entered to win a free registration for the ATA64 Annual Conference in Miami, Florida (October 25-28, 2023) or an ATA Webinar. Look for the survey on the ATA63 Conference app. iPhones users please use the web version of the app to complete the conference surveys: Questions? Contact

Watch the ATA63 Wrap-Up
If you missed the Closing Session on Saturday, then you missed the ATA63 video recap. Here it is again! Relive the moments or see what you missed. Click to watch! And don’t forget to check out the conference photos!

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; CCHI and 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? 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 getting a document or translation to tracking terms in way that allows you to find them quickly 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.

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 Members-Only Webinar for November

Intermediate Tips and Tricks for Trados Studio
Take your knowledge of Trados Studio to the next level and boost your efficiency! Learning how to use your computer-assisted translation (CAT) tool efficiently can help you save time and focus on the creative part of your translation workflow. This is your opportunity to discover tips and tricks to help you work smarter.

In this hands-on webinar, you’ll explore useful features that will take you a step closer to becoming a power user of one of the most popular CAT tools in the market.

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
Special Notes
If you do not already have Trados Studio, download and install the 30-day trial version of the software in advance of the webinar.

ATA Members Get 35% off Trados Studio
ATA members are eligible for a 35% discount on a new or upgraded Trados Studio Freelance and Trados Studio Freelance Plus license. Discount expires December 31, 2022. Click to find out more!

About the Presenter
Nora Díaz earned a BA in linguistics and translation in 1990. Since then, she has worked as an English>Spanish translator and interpreter in a variety of fields specializing in scientific and technical translation. As a technology enthusiast interested in enhancing productivity, she enjoys exploring tools that facilitate the work of translators and sharing her findings with others through her blog Nora Díaz on Translation, Teaching and Other Stuff, recorded videos, and webinars.

Continuing Education Credit
Each free members-only webinar is approved for one ATA continuing education point (Category B), unless otherwise stated. After watching the webinar, complete and print the Independent Study Verification form. It will serve as your certificate of continuing education if your CE record is selected for audit at the time of your ATA recertification.

Scammers Don’t Take Time Off for the Holidays

The number of ways scammers will try to separate you from your money is an ever-present concern for freelance translators and interpreters. Make it your business to learn how scams work—watch ATA’s free webinar Don’t Fall for It! Scams Targeting Language Professionals.

Additional ATA Scam Resources

The Fake Check Scam
There may be flashier and more sophisticated schemes out there, but pre-payment with a fake check is a tried-and-true scam that is still fooling freelancers. The Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Advice site has a great article on How To Spot, Avoid, and Report Fake Check Scams. You’ll want to pay particular attention to Fake Checks and Your Bank.

CV Theft
CV theft is another scam that frequently targets translators and interpreters. Check out Carola Berger’s oldie but goodie Password Protection for Your CV/Resume with Adobe Acrobat or Word or go to the Translation Scammers Directory and read Protect Yourself from the CV Scam.

Text Messages or “Smishing”
Job offers by text can be quite convincing. Not long ago, members of ATA’s Business Practices List reported messages where a well-known business was cited as the employer and a hiring manager mentioned by name. Even an hourly rate and job requirements were included. Cybersecurity firms report significant increases in scamming by text as more people worked from home during the pandemic.

What to do if you’re a victim
There are a number of ways to report scams, most of them as easy as filling out an online form. Your complaint will help authorities around the world spot trends and coordinate efforts to combat fraud.


News summaries © copyright 2022 Smithbucklin

November 2, 2022

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Previous Poll Results

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54% = Marketing
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In This Issue

State of Association
Advocacy Success in NV
Webinar: Special Ed
B2BB: Productivity Hacks
Honorary Members
ATA63 Surveys
Webinar: Interpreting
Free Member Webinar

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

Psychoeducational and Speech Evaluations in Special Education
Nov 9 @ 12:00 pm. ET
Registration open

How to Use Technology to Prepare for Interpreting Assignments
Nov 28 @ 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

Calendar of Events

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ATA63 Conf Survey
Deadline: Dec 1, 2022
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Virtual Language Advocacy Days 2023
Feb 8-10, 2023
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Oct 25-28, 2023
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