Congratulations to the Newly Elected Officers and Directors
ATA held its regularly scheduled elections on Thursday, October 26, at the Annual Meeting of Voting Members during ATA’s 64th Annual Conference.
Officers elected, each to a two-year term:
President-Elect: Geoff Koby
Secretary: Eve Bodeux
Treasurer: Robin Bonthrone
Directors elected, each to a three-year term:
The ATA Board appointed Jessie Liu to a one-year director term to fill the position vacated by the election of Eve Bodeux to secretary.
** The four proposed Bylaws amendments passed.
Thanks to all ATA Voting members who participated in this year’s election!
ATA Board of Directors (From left) Standing: Directors Analia Bogdan, Jessie Liu, Yasmin Alkashef, Manako Ihaya, Ben Karl, Andy Benzo, Christina Green, Meghan McCallum, and Robert Sette. Seated: Secretary Eve Bodeux, President-Elect Geoff Koby, President Veronika Demichelis, and Treasurer Robin Bonthrone.
Deaf Community Leader among Those Killed in Maine Shootings
WBUR (MA) (10/31/23) Sharp, David
A respected American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter is among the dead following a mass shooting on October 25 in Lewiston, Maine. Joshua Seal was killed inside Schemengees Bar and Grille, which was hosting a community event for members of the deaf community.
Authorities say a man, whom police identified as Robert Card, walked into the bar and opened fire, killing Seal and several others. The gunman also killed several people at a nearby bowling alley just minutes before. In all, 18 people lost their lives. Authorities said Card was found dead last Friday and is believed to have taken his own life.
Seal was a husband, father of four, and an advocate for the deaf community. At the time of his death, he served as director of interpreting services for Pine Tree Society, an organization that helps people with disabilities. He also co-founded the Pine Tree Camp Dirigo Experience, which brings together deaf youngsters from across the state to help them communicate and trust each other through various activities.
“The ripple effects of his loss will be felt by countless Maine people,” read a statement issued by Pine Tree Society. “He made communication and understanding possible in countless situations as an interpreter, mentor, and tireless advocate.”
Seal, a certified interpreter, gained attention during the pandemic as one of the lead ASL interpreters for the daily COVID briefings led by Governor Janet Mills and Nirav Shah, who served as director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention at the time.
“At first he was pretty nervous about that,” said his wife Elizabeth Seal, who is president of Maine Hands & Voices, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting families with children who are deaf or hard of hearing. “And then he said, ‘You know what, I gotta roll up my sleeves and do this.'”
“Josh was the literal voice (and face) of the COVID response for the deaf community in Maine and beyond,” Shah said. “He was a consummate professional who helped all of us navigate through a tough period. I marveled at his ability to interpret what we were saying at light speed—even my (awful) attempts at humor during dark days. He never missed a beat. He will be forever missed and always remembered as part of Maine’s history.”
“I want the world to remember him and his passion, his love, his patience, his kindness, his motivation, his zeal for life, his ability to get things done, and his humor,” said his wife. “Josh always had ideas. He was a big planner, dreamer, and thinker. He was always plotting out the next thing,” she said. “Whenever he thought of a project, I would cheer him on and tell him to ‘make it happen,’ and he would.”
Majority of Panel Resign over Boston School Plan for English Language Learners
WBUR (MA) (10/31/23) Larkin, Max
Eight members of a Boston Public Schools (BPS) task force on English learners resigned this week in protest over what they call a plan to move students from specialized “strands” into general-education classrooms in the coming years.
In a public statement, those departing from the 14-member task force said the plan ignores substantial scientific research on language learning, which “clearly points to the use of students’ native language for instruction, alongside support for learning English, as the standard for best practice.”
They also argued that the district is missing a unique opportunity to develop a more effective model for inclusive, multilingual learning in its schools.
“They have given up trying—that’s what’s disappointing,” said resigning member Miren Uriarte.
The school district disputes that characterization. In a statement, BPS spokesperson Max Baker wrote that, under the “long-overdue” changes, “multilingual students will still have access to native language services…while also engaging in learning alongside their peers.”
In an October 12 letter to the chairs of the task force, BPS Senior Deputy Superintendent for Academics Linda Chen wrote that separate “language-specific” classrooms can leave English learners feeling “isolated,” and that state and federal authorities are pushing the district to include English learners more fully in classes with “their English-speaking peers.”
That implication worries Uriarte, who studied bilingual education at the University of Massachusetts Boston, although she does agree that increased exposure to English, with less time in language-specific classrooms, may work well for the youngest students. “But I’m thinking of a ninth grader coming into Boston for the first time and having to learn science, history, and social sciences in English. How long do you think that child is going to remain in school?”
Under Massachusetts state law, English learners are those students deemed “not currently able to perform ordinary classroom work in English.” During the last school year, students bearing that label made up nearly a third of Boston’s overall enrollment.
Their academic and linguistic growth has been slow in Boston and beyond. Part of BPS’s argument for the change is the fact that about a quarter of its English learners have been classified as such for at least six years, and that—in Baker’s phrase—”the status quo is not working for our multilingual learners.”
Uriarte doesn’t deny the need for change but promotes a very different approach. In a 2011 study, she and her co-authors found that at Boston’s best-performing schools, “large proportions of the staff…could speak English learners’ native languages.” They recommended that the district hire educators who specialize in teaching English and are themselves bilingual or multilingual. To her and others, the district’s new “inclusion plan” seems to go in the opposite direction.
Researcher Rosann Tung, who also resigned, worked on that 2011 study. “We know that the best way for children to learn English and academic content is with the use of the native language,” Tung said. “Many, many researchers and meta-studies have shown this. To me, it’s hard to understand why BPS is going against best practices.”
The accomplishments of seven Latina journalists who have served as pioneers in Spanish-language broadcast television are being honored in an exhibit at the National Museum of American History, part of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.
“¡De última hora! Latinas Report Breaking News” is a bilingual experience. The exhibit includes names that may not be familiar to many TV viewers, but who are household names in Spanish-language and bilingual families. It highlights the work of María Elena Salinas, Blanca Rosa Vílchez, Dunia Elvir, Marilys Llanos, Gilda Mirós, Lori Montenegro, and Ilia Calderón–former and current TV journalists.
Melinda Machado, director of the museum’s Office of Communications and Marketing and co-curator of the exhibit, said the women featured “serve as the face, the trusted source, and voice for Spanish-speaking communities in the U.S.” She said their stories embody those of many hundreds of women who work in broadcasting.
Although exhibit organizers didn’t have a particular target audience in mind, Machado said they “wanted to reach across audiences.” She said one of the exhibit’s goals is to highlight the difference between Spanish-language and mainstream news.
Machado said Spanish-speaking communities see themselves represented in Spanish-language TV news, which is one reason people trust the information much more than they trust English-language news. “Trust is a singular difference between mainstream and Spanish-language TV news,” she said.
According to a Nielsen study, “Attitudes on Representation in Media,” 72% of Latinx say it’s very important to watch content in their own language and 69% of Hispanic adults say local TV news is a reliable source of information.
“Latina journalists inform and advocate for their community,” said Machado, who sees that as positive. She attended journalism school and said she learned that objectivity in journalism can be ambiguous. “If you really look across history, it is sort of its own myth,” she says.
“I’m a native of the border community of Nogales, Arizona, and I grew up watching Spanish-language news with my grandparents,” said Carlos Parra, a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Arizona who served as a consultant for the exhibit. Parra said his parents watched mainstream news, but for him watching Spanish-language TV has always felt more like home.
Parra said the Latino community in the U.S. is not monocultural. “Univision and Telemundo appeal to a pan ethnic Latino identity that transcends cultural differences between nationalities,” he said. “This is our news, and they are talking about us.”
“There is a lack of texture and context in English-TV news covering Spanish-speaking communities,” Parra said.
While Parra is thrilled that the contributions of Latina journalists in Spanish-language TV news are getting recognized, he said that as a consumer and researcher of the medium, the networks need to evolve and produce programming to attract younger, more recent Spanish-speaking immigrants as well as less Spanish-proficient Latinas/Latinos, who are often three or four generations removed from the immigrant experience. “Is there room on Spanish-language TV for Spanglish? Or even for occasional English-language programming that’s Latino specific?” Parra thinks it can be done.
LULAC Working to Assist Spanish-Speaking Voters in Iowa Despite State Attorney General’s Appeal
We Are Iowa (IA) (10/18/23) Leone, Laryssa
In June, the League of Latin American Citizens (LULAC) won a court case securing the right to have voting materials, including ballots, translated into Spanish for Spanish-speaking Iowa voters in time for the November 7 election. However, Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird has appealed the ruling.
“We are appealing the district court’s decision to protect election integrity and to uphold our English Language Reaffirmation Act here in Iowa,” Bird said in August. The Iowa English Language Reaffirmation Act, which was signed into law in 2002, designates English as the state’s official language for all documents, including voter registration, ballots, and more.
LULAC representative Joe Enriquez Henry said Bird’s appeal has forced the organization to take matters in their own hands. “We’re going to be working on printing that material, and we’re going to go to the federal site to print up the voter registration forms,” he said. “In addition, we’re going to have to print up instructions that are germane to here in Iowa for election day.”
In addition to offering translation assistance to over 55,000 Spanish-speaking Iowa voters, LULAC is also advocating for bilingual polling workers to be priority hires. “There’s nothing to stop officials from hiring people who are bilingual, who can speak another language, and who can be helpful on a temporary basis,” Enriquez Henry said.
A 2021 law has made it more difficult to assist Iowans once they receive their ballot. “Now we can communicate with people who want to request ballots, we can get information over to them, but unlike before, we cannot pick up the absentee ballot form once it’s sent to them,” Enriquez Henry said. “So, there’s more communication that needs to be done there.”
“We’re looking forward to winning our case in court once it gets to the state Supreme Court,” Enriquez Henry said. “And again, this is America, this is supposed to be the country of democracy. So, we’re going to continue fighting this.”
A Spanish-Language Newsletter for the Fluent and the Curious
The New York Times (NY) (10/17/23) McGinley, Terence
Elda Cantú, an editor in the Mexico City bureau of The New York Times‘ Mexico City bureau, oversees the translation of a few dozen articles each week for The Times’ Spanish-language operation. She is also the lead writer for El Times, a newsletter that publishes an essay in Spanish and a collection of articles that her team translates each week.
“We write El Times for curious and global-minded readers who prefer Spanish because they are native speakers of Spanish, they are trying to learn Spanish, or they want to practice Spanish,” Cantú said. “There are millions of people in the United States who prefer to read their news in Spanish, but there’s also a huge audience living in Latin America, Spain, and beyond. We want to offer readers something that they can’t find anywhere else. That means picking the most relevant stories from around the newsroom, including our best investigations and most thought-provoking opinion pieces, translating them, and putting them in front of people all over the world.”
Cantú said the knowledge that many people are using El Times as a learning tool has been inspiring. “We’ve heard from doctors who have Spanish-speaking patients, and they use the newsletter to get better at Spanish,” she said. “We’ve heard from grandmothers who have Spanish-speaking grandchildren who they want to communicate with. We’ve heard from teachers, and we’ve heard from a Jesuit priest who was using our articles for debate club. It’s really rewarding to hear from someone who’s reading El Times not only to learn the news, but to further their understanding of the language.”
Cantú said she and fellow editors Patricia Nieto and Sabrina Duque select the stories they think should be translated. Sometimes, that means hearing pitches from reporters and their editors. “Once we have our selection, we commission the articles to a small group of freelance translators. Each translation goes through two layers of editing.”
Cantú said it’s important to recognize the linguistic diversity across Spanish-speaking countries, since the language can exhibit distinct variations depending on the region. The choice of words and accents can vary significantly. “We have to take into account certain cultural tweaks. The Spanish spoken in the U.S. is different from the Spanish you would speak in South America or in Mexico.”
The team considers these nuances to cater to Spanish speakers worldwide. Sometimes this means the translators need to make subtle decisions when it comes to Spanish-language choices.
“There are little things like ‘cartel,’ which can carry an accent on the ‘a,’ Cantú said. “Some countries say ‘cartel,’ and other say ‘cártel.’ So if we are writing about the cártel de Sinaloa, we use an accent mark, because that’s the way Mexicans pronounce it. If we are writing about the cartel de Medellín in Colombia, we don’t use an accent. Instead of being neutral, we want to be mindful of the different flavors and inflections of Spanish spoken in different places.”
ATA64 Wrap-Up: In Video and Photos
If you missed the Closing Session on Saturday, then you missed the ATA64 video recap. Here it is again so you can relive those conference memories! Click to watch! And don’t forget to check out the conference photos!
Submit Your Overall ATA64 Conference Survey for a Chance to Win
Your ideas and suggestions have helped shape the ATA Annual Conference over the years. Please take the time to complete your ATA64 overall conference survey and tell us what you think. Surveys submitted by December 1 will automatically be entered to win a free registration for the ATA65 Annual Conference in Portland, Oregon (October 30-November 2, 2024). Look for the surveys on the ATA64 Conference app. Questions? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
ATA64 Continuing Education Points
ATA-certified translators earn 1 CEP for each hour of conference sessions attended, up to a maximum of 10 CEPs. In addition, ATA-certified translators may earn 1 CEP for each hour of AST courses attended, up to a maximum of 5 CEPs per day. Certified and credentialed interpreters may also be eligible for ATA64 continuing education credit! Check out the Continuing Education Credit page on the ATA64 website to learn more.
To receive your CEPs, retain the Certificate of Attendance that you will receive by email after the conference.
Thanks to all ATA64 Sponsors and Exhibitors!
Sponsors and exhibitors played a crucial role in making this a memorable conference. Please take a minute to check out ATA64 Sponsors and Exhibitors and consider returning their support in your business decisions.
A job contract is a one-time arrangement covering an individual job or assignment. It specifies the details of the work for that job—and only for that job. This template-style form was developed from best practices in the industry and includes standard conditions and terms that should be defined for every job. ATA Members can download the Model Job Contract by accessing the Member Center (look for the contract under ATA Resources). Download Now
The editorial team of Translatio, the quarterly newsletter of the International Federation of Translators (FIT), is seeking articles from members of FIT organizations in English, French, or Spanish for their last issue of the year.
Articles can be about initiatives or achievements at your association or organization, International Translation Day, past or upcoming conferences, board elections, etc. To recap a recent initiative or event for fellow member associations, consider sending high-quality photos with detailed captions in lieu of an article. If possible, please consider providing submissions in more than one language to assist the editorial committee. Articles that do not meet the submission guidelines will not be accepted. Please note that articles may be edited for clarity and style. (Past issues may be viewed here.)
The deadline for submissions is November 24, 2023.
The ATA Podcast provides listeners with a behind-the-scenes look at ATA’s programs, events, and plans. Plus, learn more about the dedicated volunteers who make it all happen!
Episode 94: How ATA Can Benefit Your Career
Matt Baird and Andie Ho co-host this episode to spotlight the importance of joining professional translation and interpreting associations. Their guests, Céline Browning and Marco Díaz, are great examples! Why? Although Céline and Marco have followed completely different career paths, they both have one thing in common: They joined ATA and became active members fairly early in their careers, and they both agree that it had a significant impact on their early success and where they are today. Listen Now
Certified, Notarized, and Apostilled Translations in the U.S. November 7: 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. EST Presenter(s): Marco Hanson and Margaret Hanson
Unravel the intricacies of certified, notarized, and apostilled translations in the U.S. during this webinar, where expert legal translators, who are also certified notary publics, share invaluable insights on handling official documents with precision and professionalism. Register Here
Negotiating Freelance Terms: A Freelancer’s Roadmap to Success November 15: 12:00 p.m. – 12:45 p.m. EST Presenter(s): Andy Benzo
Unlock the keys to a thriving freelance translation career by mastering the art of negotiation. Join this webinar to learn the crucial elements of a contract and legal tips to protect yourself while building rewarding client relationships in the translation world. Register Here
Some Uncomfortable Truths about Machine Interpreting December 5: 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. EST Presenter(s): Jonathan Downie
Join this webinar to explore the future of human interpreting in the age of AI, addressing the fears and opportunities posed by machine interpreting while unveiling essential insights to empower you in an evolving landscape! Register Here
Password Management and General Cybersecurity: Keep Yourself and Your Clients Safe (By Danielle Maxson)
If you follow tech news, you know that it’s not at all difficult to find reports of major companies being hacked and having data stolen. Losing control of your personal information is bad enough, leaving you vulnerable to crimes like identity theft and credit card fraud. But members of the T&I community are also trusted with our clients’ information. We need to protect their secrets as well as our own. In a cyberworld that seems increasingly more dangerous, how can we keep our secrets safe? For language services providers, this is not just an academic question.
Not Getting Any Internships? Create One. That’s What I Did. (By Anees Gharzita)
Are you hoping to complete an internship in the language services industry but aren’t sure where to start? I was in this boat recently, but I doubled down, changed my game plan, and in the end created a dream internship where I learned so much and made an impact in my area of interest.
Got Standards? (By Andy Benzo)
We cannot underestimate the power of standards when it comes to educating clients! Not only are we adhering to international standards, but we are also following the best practices in our profession to guarantee accuracy, consistency, and professionalism.
ATA’s Language Technology Division Members Reflect: Language as a Technology? (By Members of ATA’s Language Technology Division Leadership Council)
Members of the Leadership Council of ATA’s Language Technology Division found some intriguing ideas contained within an article in Bloomberg’s Tech Daily entitled “Language Was the Original Technology, and It’s Under Threat.” Here, they respond with some novel and personal reflections on the subject, most especially on a key takeaway which, not surprisingly, elicited some very different perspectives.
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ATA is a professional association founded in 1959 to advance the translation and interpreting professions and foster the professional development of translators and interpreters. With thousands of members in more than 100 countries, the Association includes translators, interpreters, language services providers, educators, project managers, localization specialists, hospitals, universities, and government agencies.
ATA Newsbriefs provides executive summaries of noteworthy articles about the translation and interpreting professions. It is distributed every month to ATA members as an exclusive membership benefit. The editorial staff monitors nearly 11,000 newspapers, business publications, websites, national and international wire services, summarizing significant articles into easy-to-read newsbriefs.
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