Newsbriefs: September 1, 2022

Five Smart Reasons to Join an ATA Division

To succeed in today’s competitive economy, you need specialized knowledge and an inside track. Being a member of one of ATA’s 22 Divisions gives you all that and more!
  • Make Contacts that Count: Expand your network—and opportunities for new clients—through Division listservs, social media channels, and virtual meet-ups.
  • Know the News: Stay current with language- and specialty-specific resources that keep you on top of emerging trends and industry news.
  • Increase Your Visibility: Build your reputation in the T&I community by serving on Division committees, collaborating on Division projects, or serving in Division leadership positions.
  • Find the Answers You Need: Learn tried-and-true solutions to daily challenges from Division webinars, podcasts, blogs, and newsletters.
  • Be Part of a Community: Find a professional home with members who share your interests and challenges.
Upcoming Division Annual Meetings
ATA Divisions will hold their Annual Meetings virtually on October 1-3. This is your chance to catch up with Division news and events while connecting with colleagues. Watch your inbox for information on how to access your group’s meeting date, time, and Zoom access link.
Masterword Wellness Connection

Industry News

All Hooting Aside: Did a Vocal Evolution Give Rise to Language?

The New York Times (NY) (08/11/22) Whang, Oliver

The findings of a new study in the journal Science suggest that the loss of certain muscles in the human larynx may have to led to the emergence and evolution of human language.

A team of scientists based mainly in Japan used imaging technology to study the physiology of the throats of 43 species of primates, from baboons and orangutans to macaques and chimpanzees, as well as humans. All the species but one had a similar anatomical structure: an extra set of protruding muscles, called vocal membranes or vocal lips, just above the vocal cords. The exception was Homo sapiens.

The researchers also found that the presence of vocal lips destabilized the other primates’ voices, rendering their tone and timbre more chaotic and unpredictable. The study found that animals with vocal lips have a more grating, less controlled baseline of communication. Humans, lacking the extra membranes, can exchange softer, more stable sounds.

That many primates have vocal lips has long been known, but their role in communication has not been entirely clear. In 1984, Sugio Hayama, a biologist at Kyoto University, videotaped the inside of a chimpanzee’s throat to study its reflexes under anesthesia. The video also happened to capture a moment when the chimp awoke and began hollering, softly at first, then with more power.

Decades later, Takeshi Nishimura, a former student of Hayama and now a biologist at Kyoto University and the principal investigator of the recent research, studied the footage with renewed interest. He found that the chimp’s vocal lips and vocal cords were vibrating together, which added a layer of mechanical complexity to the chimp’s voice that made it difficult to fine-tune.

Nishimura and his colleagues wondered whether vocal lips played a significant role in primate communication, so they set out to study the throats of as many primate species as they could. The presence of an extra membrane in all the animals was surprising and vindicating.

“People have been talking about evolutionary changes in our throats and oral cavity for many years, but this is the first time we took a close look at the larynx in a large selection of monkeys and apes,” said William Tecumseh Fitch, a biologist at the University of Vienna and one of the authors of the study.

Harold Gouzoules, a psychologist at Emory University who wrote an accompanying commentary to the study, recommended a healthy skepticism in extrapolating from the anatomical finding the origins of complex speech and language. “Establishing causality here is essentially impossible,” he said. “Language is clearly more than the sum of its parts,” he said. “It’s just not likely that we’re ever going to have a completely satisfactory explanation.”


Washington State Superintendent Plans to Expand Dual Language Education across State

NBC (NY) (08/25/22) LeCompte, Michael

Washington State Superintendent Chris Reykdal plans to expand access to dual language educational programs to all Washington students.

“As our global economy changes and our world becomes increasingly international, dual language education must become a core opportunity for our students,” Reykdal said.

In dual language educational programs, students learn content partly in English and partly in a partner language, providing students with the opportunities to build biliteracy and bilingualism while learning content.

Currently, 35,000 students in Washington learn in dual language programs.

According to a news release from the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Reykdal’s plan would provide all K-8 students access to a dual language program by 2040. The state legislature would invest $18.9 million over the 2023-25 school years to expand programs and build a dual language workforce.

Under Reykdal’s plan, the workforce would be expanded by doubling the number of residency preparation programs for bilingual educators, and by providing stipends for teachers working in dual language programs.

In Washington, schools with dual language programs choose partner languages that will be taught alongside English. Currently, 102 programs offer Spanish, three offer Chinese-Mandarin, two offer Vietnamese, and five offer tribal languages.

“When young people become bilingual during the early grades, they have more cognitive flexibility and they perform better in school,” Reykdal said.


Pilot Program Provides Pennsylvania Agency with Trained Interpreters

WDIY (PA) (08/25/22) McGroggan, Shamus

The mayor of Allentown, Pennsylvania, has announced a new interpreter pilot program to improve communication between health workers and residents.

Allentown Mayor Matt Tuerk, other city officials, and representatives of Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) met at Mack Southside Fire Station to show off an ongoing joint pilot program that provides the Allentown Health Bureau and Allentown EMS with trained language interpreters.

The services will allow city health workers and emergency responders to better communicate with residents and patients for whom English is not their preferred language via video remote interpreting technology.

Health workers will be able to connect to LVHN’s trained interpreters or be routed to a vendor that can provide interpreting services in Spanish, Arabic, Mandarin, American Sign Language, and other languages.

The technology is available 24-7 and is accessible on iPads, which were purchased through the Health Care Trust of Anne Constance and Carl Robert Anderson at LVHN. Allentown EMS received five iPads and the Allentown Health Bureau was given two.

City officials said that while its EMS paramedics and Health Bureau staff are trained in their fields, few are bilingual or multilingual. By comparison, nearly half of Allentown residents speak languages other than English.

Health officials said the new interpreter program will improve access to essential services and amenities, support efforts to provide culturally appropriate care, improve confidentiality, and allow for more natural interactions, among other benefits.


Israeli App Helps Deaf Community Engage and Cope in War and Peace

Fox News (NY) (08/20/22) Filing, Yonat

With war and conflict being so much a part of everyday life in Gaza, an Israeli company has developed a free, real-time and on-demand sign language interpreting app for members of the deaf community to use on their smartphones. With a team of interpreters available and speaking and signing in various sign languages, the video call service is available anywhere, anytime.

Sign Now, the company that developed the app, conducted its first pilot tests with Gaza residents last month. Tomer Levy, Sign Now’s founder and chief executive officer, said 20 Gazans used the app during the pilot tests, communicating with Arab-speaking interpreters. They were able to get updates on the situation in and outside of Gaza, communicate with doctors, and, most importantly, share their feelings with colleagues.

“We don’t get involved in politics. We’re here to lead a social revolution,” Levy said. “Our goal is to help the hard of hearing to integrate in the best possible way in today’s world.”


Elves and Hobbits among Us: Linguistic Anthropologist Explores the Languages of Middle-earth

Tulane News (LA) (08/24/22) Dorje, Jill

As Amazon prepares to transport viewers back to Middle-earth in its highly anticipated Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power series, a prequel to J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic novel, students at Tulane University are getting a lesson in the origins of the mythical invented languages of elves and hobbits.

Linguist Marc Zender, associate professor in the Department of Anthropology, provides a fascinating look into the deeply linguistic and anthropological nature of Tolkien’s writing in the Tulane Interdisciplinary Experience Seminar course, Tolkien as Translator: Language, Culture, and Society in Middle-earth.

Tolkien was an Oxford professor of Anglo-Saxon language, history, and literature who created anywhere from 15 to 20 languages for his master work, including a detailed Elvish proto language, several distinct Elvish languages, Dwarvish, The Black Speech, and The Common Speech. Zender’s class is a way to introduce students to the concepts of historical linguistics, including how and why languages are related.

In the prologue and the appendices to The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien claimed to be translating ancient documents that are thousands of years old. Zender guides his students to approach the novel from the perspective of this fictional “frame” as a means to examine the nature of Tolkien’s languages, which are inspired by numerous real-world languages, exploring the patterns of cultural and linguistic relationships reflected in them.

“We study this from different angles,” Zender said. “What do translators have to do when they translate a word from one language to another? And, of course, we realize there’s more than just translating the languages word for word—there’s ideas and concepts that are specific to certain cultures. And so how do you go about translating those?”

Zender hopes to instill a sense of wonder and curiosity in his students—the kind of inspiration that started him on his own academic journey. “For me, working in linguistics and anthropology, studying ancient civilizations through their writing systems—that all began with reading The Lord of the Rings when I was a kid. Tolkien introduced me to runes, which made me follow up and learn about real-world runes. His whole fiction of The Lord of the Rings being a real translated ancient document from all these languages, and the way he handled that fascinated me and made me want to learn more.”

Middlebury Institute

ATA News

Become an ATA Voting Member

With a direct voice in ATA, you can help shape the future of the association and your profession.

Who can become a Voting member?
Any ATA Associate Member who can demonstrate that they are professionally engaged in translation, interpreting, or closely related fields may apply for Voting membership.

How do you become a Voting member?
Complete and submit the ATA Active Membership Review application. No additional paperwork required. It’s fast, easy, and free!

Watch the tutorial!
This ATA member video tutorial shows you how to apply for Voting membership! Just follow the steps outlined in the video to get your application done today.

Date of Record
To vote in ATA’s 2022 Elections, you must be approved for Voting membership status by September 22, 2022.


International Translation Day Is September 30

Be sure to mark your calendar and prepare to celebrate International Translation Day 2022 with ATA. Watch for details coming soon!

How did we celebrate International Translation Day in the past?
  • International Translation Day 2018—Social Media Blitz
    ATA called on members to shake it up and celebrate ITD 2018 with a special social media blitz featuring six infographics designed to answer common questions about translation and interpreting. Translators and interpreters everywhere shared with family, clients, and all those friends who keep asking, “Can you really make a living doing that?” [more]

  • International Translation Day 2019—A Day in the Life
    What do translators and interpreters really do? What’s a day like for a translator or interpreter? Why are translators and interpreters important to business, medicine, law, and more? ATA released a short “day in the life” animation on ITD 2019 showing how translators and interpreters’ work makes things happen—our most watched video on ATA’s Facebook and YouTube platforms that year. [more]

  • International Translation Day 2020—It Wouldn’t Be Possible Without T&I
    ITD 2020 was all about showing the world’s 3.5 billion smartphone users how translators, interpreters, localizers, transcreation experts, proofreaders, editors, and more helped turn a concept into the cell phones we depend on every day. In addition to an animated video, Podcast Host Matt Baird interviewed ATA Past President Nick Hartmann for a look back at his career and the translation and interpreting industry for what became ATA’s most downloaded podcast! [more]

  • International Translation Day 2021—A Weeklong Celebration
    From Instagram “bingo” to Facebook “mad libs,” ATA invited translators and interpreters everywhere to share their work experiences. We learned how Kate translated lyrics of 18th-century French arias and Maria interpreted at a “body farm.” We met Lucy who specializes in human rights translation and Shaima who translates in the public diplomacy sector. All in all, ITD 2021 was a blast! [more]
What are we up to for ITD 2022? Stay tuned to find out!


Three Ways ATA63 Can Increase Your Business!

Professional Contacts
“The ATA Conference Job Fair has become an indispensable recruitment tool. The translators we meet there are inevitably more serious, more experienced, and more reliable than the standard pool of translators sending us CVs online. They have been ‘pre-filtered,’ if you will, by the effort and expense of attending a well-recognized conference.” Sara H.

Critical Information
“Many of my major clients had indicated that I would be a less desirable contractor if I could not work with more up-to-date CAT tools. I visited the Trados booth in the Exhibit Hall at ATA58 and had a personal walk-through of Trados, plus time to play around with the system. I would not have been confident enough to make a purchase decision without that hands-on demo. After installing the new software, a client, who was ready to find another vendor, once again became a steady source of work. The system easily paid for itself within two weeks’ time.” Matthew S.

Direct Clients
“At ATA48 in San Francisco, I met an owner of a boutique agency based in Frankfurt who was looking for financial translators. We had lunch, discussed terms. I have since earned more than $150,000 from this client. I spent $2,500 to attend the conference. That’s a return on my investment of more than 5,900%, or 50.6% per year.” Ted W.

ATA63 Conference Quick Clicks
Conference Home Page
ATA63 Schedule
Advanced Skills and Training Day
Conference Sessions
Distinguished Speakers
Continuing Education Credit
Networking Events
Division Events
Job Fair
Exhibit Hall
Book, Podcast, and Blog Fair
Tool Support Stations
Buddies Welcome Newbies
Hotel Reservations
Conference/Roommate Blog
ATA63 Wiki

Early registration discounts are your best deal! Don’t miss them!
Register by September 16 for the lowest rates. And don’t forget the $75 first-time attendee discount. Register now!


B2BB: Getting Out of a Business Slump

Presenter: Dorothee Racette
Date: September 21, 2022
Time: 12:00 noon U.S. ET
Duration: 45 minutes
Language: English
Level: Beginner
CE Point(s): None

Learn how to power through when your T&I business is slow! Unfortunately, feast and famine cycles are a reality of running a small freelance business. Dry spells can bring unwelcome financial disruptions and interfere with planning. Attend this ATA Back to Business Basics webinar to learn the dos and don’ts of dealing with a business slump to ensure a more predictable workload.

Register now!
Free to ATA members, but you must sign up by 10:00 a.m. ET on September 21. 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.


MultiLingual Media

Upcoming ATA Webinars

Oncology for Medical Interpreters and Translators
Presenter: Yuliya Speroff
Date: September 6
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET
Duration: 2 hours
Level: All
CE Point(s): 2 ATA-approved; NEW! 2.0 CCHI-approved; 0.2 IMIA-approved

Communication in caring for cancer patients is often complicated. Diagnosis and treatment frequently involve multidisciplinary teams where linguists encounter highly specialized vocabulary and explanations of complex concepts and procedures. Getting the language right has never been more important.

Register now! ATA Member $90 | Non-Member $120

How to Get Paid: Ensuring That Your Freelance Clients Pay You for Your Work
Presenter: Corinne McKay
Date: September 8
Time: 12:00 noon ET
Duration: 90 minutes
Level: All
CE Point(s): 1 ATA-approved

You’re in business as a freelancer to make money, but it’s up to you to ensure that clients pay you for your work. In this nuts-and-bolts webinar, we’ll discuss how to verify that a client is credit-worthy before you accept a project, when to require a deposit or full payment in advance, when you need a full written contract, and how to set the stage for a smooth payment process.

Register now! ATA Member $70 | Non-Member $90

Preparing for ATA63: How to Guarantee a Return on Networking
Presenters: Alyce Blum, Keith Bailey
Date: September 15
Time: 12:00 noon ET
Duration: 2 hours
Level: All
CE Point(s): 2 ATA-approved

By setting up a networking game plan—and learning an effective approach to build interest, find common ground, and make yourself memorable—you can increase your “return on networking” and supercharge your ATA63 experience! Join us for this webinar to learn how.

Register now! ATA Member $90 | Non-Member $120


ATA Advises California City Council on Language Access

Following Santa Maria City Council’s decision against adding live interpreting services to its meetings, ATA reminded the mayor and council members in writing of federal and state laws requiring the city to provide meaningful language access. ATA’s letter cited Title VI of the Civil Rights Act and the Dymally-Alatorre Bilingual Services Act, among others, noting that the city risks potentially expensive legal action for its failure to provide qualified interpreting services.

Read ATA’s letter to the City of Santa Maria’s Mayor and City Council.

ATA’s letter also noted that Santa Maria appears to use machine translation for the city’s website and warned that machine translation is unable to produce reliably accurate translations and its use may violate privacy protections.


ATA Board Meeting Summary: August 6-7, 2022

The ATA Board of Directors met August 6-7 in Chicago, Illinois. A summary of the meeting’s actions, discussions, and ongoing committee work is online in the Members Only area of the ATA website. Board Meeting Summaries help members keep up with ATA news and activities—from the latest financial reports to plans for the Annual Conference to committee projects and activities.

Read the latest ATA Board Meeting Summary now!

The next ATA Board of Directors meeting will be held October 15-16 in conjunction with the ATA63 Annual Conference in Los Angeles, California. All ATA members are invited to attend.

ATA Board of Directors 2021-2022 (from left)

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


​​​​​​​Translatio: Call for Articles

The Translatio Editorial Team is calling for articles from FIT members in English, French, or Spanish for its next issue. Articles can be about initiatives underway at your association or organization, International Translation Day, past or upcoming virtual conferences, board elections, etc.

Submissions should be no more than 500 words, and detailed submission guidelines may be found here. Translatio also welcomes submissions of properly credited photos (subjects, association affiliations, and photographer) to accompany your articles.

The deadline for submissions is September 12, 2022. Past issues may be viewed here. Please submit articles to


Free! Sign Your Company Up for the ATA63 Job Fair

Don’t miss this free opportunity to be seen and get found by ATA63 attendees. This popular 90-minute recruitment event will be held on Friday, October 14, 12:15 pm-1:45 pm.

How to Participate
Just complete the Agency Participation Form on the ATA63 Job Fair web page. All company representatives participating in the Job Fair must be registered for the conference. Register today!

Participation includes a listing for your company on the conference website and the ATA63 conference app. Plus the chance to meet accomplished translators and interpreters from around the world!


Free ATA Members Only Webinar for September

ATA offers members one free monthly webinar, available on-demand. Don’t miss this month’s freebie!

Time Management for Freelancers: How to Get Things Done!
Poor time management is a major pitfall for many freelancers. Without a system for scheduling and prioritizing, we can end up earning less, feeling like we have no free time, and stressing out in our work and personal lives.

This ATA webinar looks at practical ways to organize your day, prioritize what matters to you, and tame the beasts of modern life, including email and smartphones.

About the Presenters
David Rumsey is an ATA-certified Danish-into-English and Swedish-into-English translator specializing in Scandinavian business, technology, and life sciences. He is a member of the Swedish Professional Translators Association. David has also worked as a project manager for both translation agencies and end clients. He served as ATA president (2015-2017).

Corinne McKay is an ATA-certified French-into-English translator and a Colorado court certified French interpreter. She has a master of conference interpreting degree from Glendon College and is the author of How to Succeed as a Freelance Translator, a business how-to guide with over 12,000 copies sold. She served as ATA president (2017-2019).

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.


Coming Up in the September/October Issue of The ATA Chronicle

ATA 2022 Elections: Candidate Statements
Calling all Voting members! Participating in ATA’s annual elections is your opportunity to help shape the future of the Association. Learn what this year’s candidates for ATA’s Board of Directors have to say. Remember, the Annual Meeting of Voting Members and Election will be held October 13, 2022.

Balancing Act: Caring for Someone with Dementia While Keeping a Practice Afloat
My father had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. My mother was in the early stages of an unspecified dementia. And the brilliant plans I had made so I could work from their senior living facility while caring for them during extended visits were crumbling all around me. Being a caregiver and at the same time a self-employed professional is a balancing act. But in the end, it can be a gift. (Carol Shaw)

“Your Story Is Your Weapon”: Interpreting for Immigrants in the Wake of Trauma
Whether in legal, health care, or community settings, interpreting for immigrants who’ve been forcibly displaced tests emotional resources. An interpreter shares techniques from the ancient art of poetry for building resilience. (Judith Small)

Language Industry Standardization in Argentina: A Brief Overview
In recent years, the term standardization has become increasingly relevant in the language industry, with a growing need for more information on the subject. Here’s an introduction to the main aspects related to standardization and the language industry in Argentina. (Gabriela Escarrá and Dolores R. Guiñazú)

Team Interpreting for Magistrate Courts in Texas
Learn how Texas magistrate judges, court staff, prison personnel, and interpreters are working remotely to ensure that non-English-speaking and limited-English-proficient detainees understand their rights when facing criminal charges. (Sandra Dejeux)

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

September 1, 2022

How many ATA Divisions do you belong to?

See the Results!

Previous Poll Results

How many ATA webinars have you attended in the past year?

56% = 1-2
17% = 3-4
11% = 5 or more
17% = Don’t attend

In This Issue

Join an ATA Division
Voting Membership
3 Reasons to Attend
ITD 2023
B2BB: Business Slump
ATA Advocacy in CA
Board Meeting Summary
Call for Articles
ATA63 Job Fair
Monthly Free Webinar
The ATA Chronicle

ATA Members Only

Free ATA Webinar!
Time Management for Freelancers: How to Get Things Done!
Click to watch!

ATA Webinars

Oncology for Medical Interpreters and Translators
Sep 6 @ 8:00 p.m. ET
Registration open

How to Get Paid
Sep 8 @ 12:00 noon ET
Registration open

How to Guarantee a Return on Networking at ATA63
Sep 15 @ 12:00 noon ET
Registration open

Back to Business Basics

Getting Out of a Business Slump
Sep 21 @ 12 noon ET
Free to members!
Registration open

Calendar of Events

International Translation Day
A World Without Barriers
Sep 30, 2022

ATA63 Annual Conference
Oct 12-15, 2022
Los Angeles, California
Learn more!

ATA Board of Directors Meeting
Oct 15-16, 2022
Los Angeles, California

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

ATA Business Practices Next Level Blog
Courting the Sandman

ATA Webinars Live and On Demand
Continuing education anywhere, anytime!