Newsbriefs: September 16, 2020

Celebrate International Translation Day with ATA

ATA 2020 Election: Get to Know the Candidates

The slate is set, the candidates are ready, and the opportunity to learn more about who’s running for the Board is right here in front of you!

Listen to the candidates talk about the work they do, why they are running, and where they stand on opening ATA’s certification exam to non-members. It’s all in Episode 48 of The ATA Podcast.
Read the individual candidate statements to find out what skills they will bring to the Board and what they hope to accomplish, if elected.

Even if you are not a Voting member, check out what this year’s candidates envision for ATA’s future. Just click a name to meet the candidate! Director (three positions, three-year terms)

What’s on the ballot? ATA Voting members will elect three directors, each for a three-year term. In addition to electing Board directors, two proposed Bylaws amendments are on the ballot. How are candidates selected for the slate? Learn who is eligible to hold ATA office, what the Nominating and Leadership Development Committee looks for in a potential candidate, how the Committee members are chosen, and more. Listen to Episode 33 of The ATA Podcast. When is the election? ATA will hold its regularly scheduled election on October 22 during the upcoming virtual ATA61 Annual Conference. The election kicks off with a final chance for the candidates to address the membership from 9:00 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. EDT. The Annual Meeting of Voting Members and Election begins at 12:00 p.m. Who can vote? ATA Active or Corresponding membership—that is, Voting Membership—is available to Associate members who either pass the ATA certification exam, go through Active Membership Review, or obtain the ATA Credentialed Interpreter designation. Voting membership must be established by September 21. Attention Voting Members! ATA has partnered with Survey & Ballot Systems (SBS) to administer the 2020 election. Voting members will receive proxy ballots and instructions by email later this week. To ensure receipt of the ballot and voting instructions, please add as an approved sender in your email settings. Voting members who do not receive this election email by September 21 should contact



Industry News

Interpreter Breaks Ground with First Accredited Sign Language Class at the University of British Columbia CBC (Canada) (09/13/20) Mussett, Ben Nigel Howard’s enthusiastic facial expressions and hand motions have become a popular feature of British Columbia’s COVID-19 updates. Now, students at the University of British Columbia (UBC) will get a chance to learn from the deaf interpreter by enrolling in the university’s first accredited American Sign Language (ASL) course that students can take for credit. Howard previously led a pilot course at UBC, though it couldn’t be taken for credit. The former United Nations interpreter hopes the class will dispel some common misconceptions about sign language, particularly the notion that it’s solely a tool for people who can’t hear. “It’s not. It’s a language in its own right,” Howard said. “This fall, it will be taught just like any other language.” Howard’s work as the ASL interpreter for Bonnie Henry, British Columbia’s Provincial Medical Health Officer, and Adrian Dix, British Columbia’s Health Minister, has served as an important resource for non-hearing people. While closed captioning is useful, Howard said it can’t convey tone. In addition, ASL is widely seen as the first language among the non-hearing community. English comes second. “Seeing a sign language interpreter present on the television has been a very new experience for many of our community members,” Howard said. “For the deaf community, they feel like: ‘Finally we’re included at the same time. It’s not that we get a transcript later. We’re not an afterthought.'” Meanwhile, for some, Howard’s captivating signing has just been a welcome distraction from the daily dose of grim news. Support for Howard’s work has grown into something of a cult following. Some have even begun selling t-shirts and posters featuring his likeness. A Facebook fan club dedicated to Howard now totals nearly four thousand members. The course at UBC will offer students an introduction to the language, with an emphasis on grammar, vocabulary, and contextual use, as well as ASL’s connection to deaf culture. Howard, who serves as treasurer of the World Association of Sign Language Interpreters, hopes non-deaf people will begin to recognize the value of ASL. “Learning American Sign Language gives you much more of an awareness of the role of body language and facial expression in any language,” he said.

For Cambodian and Vietnamese Immigrants in California, Multiple Barriers Prevent Access to Culturally Sensitive Health Care The Los Angeles Times (CA) (09/10/20) Constante, Agnes Cambodian and Vietnamese immigrants in California continue to struggle with social inequities, including access to culturally sensitive health care. According to a report by the nonprofits Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Orange County and Orange County Asian and Pacific Islander Community Alliance, there are more than 2.5 million Southeast Asian Americans living in the United States. Orange County alone is home to approximately 195,000 Vietnamese and 7,000 Cambodian residents. Another report from the civil rights nonprofit Southeast Asia Resource Action Center found that about 90% of Southeast Asian Americans speak a language other than English at home, while 45% have limited English proficiency. Xiomara Armas, chair of the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters, said language access in health care is a critical component of patient safety. “Everything in health care relies on communication,” she said. “Medical providers cannot do their job if they cannot communicate with their patients. And on the other side, the limited-English-proficiency patients cannot have the care they are expecting if they cannot clearly communicate with their health care provider.” Federal and state law requires providers to have “qualified” medical interpreters available for limited-English-proficient patients. “There’s a stark difference in the quality of interpreting and translation services provided by certified and noncertified interpreters,” said Tyler Nguyen, a court interpreter in Sacramento and a certified Vietnamese medical interpreter who previously worked in Orange County. He said the training he underwent allowed him to interpret more efficiently and improved his familiarity with medical terminology. Cindy Sicheang Phou, program coordinator and former health navigator at the Santa Ana-based nonprofit Cambodian Family Community Center, said the lack of providers with an understanding of patients’ culture is another significant barrier to health care access. Phou said this is where bilingual and bicultural health navigators play an essential part. Health navigators are members of the health care team who help individuals overcome barriers to quality care. They build effective working relationships with their patients to support, educate, and assist them in navigating the complex health care system. These individuals are usually trusted members of the community they serve and have an unusually close understanding of the patients served, often due to shared experiences. “It’s crucial for providers serving the Cambodian community to understand its experiences and culture, including the trauma that many refugees have endured and the importance of holistic care—which may include practices such as temple visits for healing—and the idea of obligation and duty to family,” Phou said. “Providers need to understand that it’s hard to work with our community sometimes because we have been through a lot,” Phou said. She also noted that providing sensitive care goes beyond cultural and linguistic nuances. “Each patient is not a case,” she said. “It’s a relationship.” Vattana Peong, executive director of the Cambodian Family Community Center, agreed with Phou that bilingual and bicultural health navigators have proven to be an indispensable piece in ensuring culturally sensitive health care access for the Cambodian community. But with only 10 at the agency, each of whom handles a case load of anywhere between 10 to 15 clients, demand for their help is high. “For now, it’s the health navigators filling the gap in health care access for the Cambodian community, and it’s a solution that has been working effectively,” Peong said. “We hope to help fix the problems in the system, but of the community members we’re assisting, almost 35% are 65 and older, and they cannot wait for another 10 to 15 years,” he said. “Their health is getting weaker and weaker. We cannot wait for that long.”

Nigerian Creating Digital Collection of African Stories for Children in Different Languages CNN (NY) (08/21/20) Salaudeen, Aisha When Dominic Onyekachi set out to read his six-year-old niece a story, he didn’t anticipate that the simple task would lead him to create a digital collection of African stories. After searching for a story to read, Onyekachi found that many of his niece’s books had very little African representation. It was then that the 23-year-old Nigerian decided that if he wanted his niece to have stories that reflected her culture, he would need to write them himself. Onyekachi soon realized that the unavailability of children’s books reflecting the African continent was a much bigger problem after visiting the Balogun Ajeniya Market in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial center. Many of the books he found at the market related to Africa were for advanced readers in secondary school. “I spent a whole day checking bookshops and only came out with two books. And when I went online, there were so many complaints about this problem,” Onyekachi said. “And that’s when I really thought about writing books and putting them in a place where many more children can access them.” In May, with the help of two friends, Onyekachi launched Akiddie, an online platform providing access to African storybooks he wrote for children. Akiddie offers stories based on African history and characters for children in different languages. The platform presently features 21 books, including five that are free. Accessing the rest requires a monthly subscription of 600 naira (about $1.55). The books have been translated into Yoruba (spoken in West Africa), Hausa (spoken in Sub-Saharan Africa), and Igbo (spoken in native southeastern Nigeria). Onyekachi said story themes revolve around gender equality, innovation, and financial literacy. “We didn’t want to repeat old or stereotypical ideologies in our books,” he said. In The Flying Girl of Rano, one of the books available on Akiddie, the lead character, Ummi, discovers how to make an airplane glider. As a result of her innovation, she becomes popular in her village, Rano, an ancient kingdom based on Hausa history. Ummi is later forced to team up with Queen Amina of Zaria, a Hausa warrior from the mid-16th century, to fight the new king of Rano who is terrorizing the town. Ummi eventually defeats the king and becomes the ruler of Rano. Onyekachi said he wrote the story to portray parts of the Hausa culture and to inspire young girls to become self-fulfilling. “The story is about leadership and innovation, because Ummi was able to use her gliders to solve a practical problem for her community,” he explained. Onyekachi added that all the books are intended to “share African culture while inspiring children.” The books on the Akiddie platform are written for both beginner and intermediate readers. Currently, the platform has more than 1,200 users, including six schools in Lagos.

Mexico’s English-Language Tourism Website Ridiculed for Mistranslations Associated Press (DC) (08/07/20) Stevenson, Mark Mexico’s official tourism website was ridiculed after complaints surfaced that the English-language pages were riddled with what appeared to be machine translation errors. In a classic case of the auto-translate glitch genre, the site mistranslated the country’s most popular spots from Spanish into English. Entire states like Hidalgo and Guerrero apparently got machine translated as “Noble” and “Warrior.” Even worse, there was systematic and inexplicable reinvention of the names of some fairly well-known tourist towns. The Caribbean resort of Tulum somehow became “Jumpsuit.” The location of the nearby lagoon of Bacalar, on the Caribbean coast, was switched to the Gulf coast state of Tabasco. The snafu came one day after the U.S. Department of State, citing the high number of COVID-19 cases in Mexico, issued a “do not travel” advisory for the country, its highest level of warning. Hours earlier, the resort of Acapulco was forced to pull “anything goes” tourism ads that showed people partying without masks and the words “there are no rules.” The translation errors generated laughter, but also a fair amount of anger. “Stop making Mexico look ridiculous!” former Mexican President Felipe Calderón wrote in his Twitter account. Mexico’s Tourism Department issued a statement apologizing for the apparently out-sourced errors, but then made it sound like something sinister had been involved. “The Tourism Department expresses its most sincere apologies to the public and users for the effects that have occurred on the website VisitMexico,” the statement read. “Moreover, we make it known that these acts aim to damage the image of the website and the department, and so a criminal complaint has been filed and appropriate legal actions will be taken against those responsible.” The department did not explain that claim, but local media reported the dispute might involve a web services supplier that is angry about not being paid.

European Commission Announces Translation Contest for Secondary Schools Across Europe European Commission (Belgium) (09/07/20) The European Commission announced that registration is open for its annual Juvenes Translatores contest for secondary school students from across Europe. The contest is designed to promote language learning in schools and give students an idea of what it’s like to be a translator. Schools from all European Union countries will be able to register online so their students can compete with peers from other EU countries. This year, participating students will have to translate a text on the topic “Navigating in challenging times—together we are stronger.” “Young people in Europe know how important languages are in today’s society. Not only do they help people understand each other’s cultures and standpoints better, they can help you get a job,” said Johannes Hahn, European Commissioner for Budget and Administration. Participants will be able to translate between any two of the EU’s 24 official languages (552 possible language combinations). In last year’s contest, students used a total of 150 different combinations. Registration for schools is open until October 20, 2020. The Commission will invite a total of 705 schools. The number of schools taking part from each country will be equal to the number of seats the country has in the European Parliament, with the schools selected randomly by computer. The schools chosen must then nominate two to five students to participate in the contest. The contest runs until November 26, 2020 for all participating schools. The winners—one per country—will be announced by early February 2021. The Commission’s Directorate-General for Translation has organized the Juvenes Translatores contest every year since 2007.

UC Davis Medical Interpreter

ATA News


ATA Bylaws Amendments

In addition to electing Board directors, Voting members will also vote on two proposed Bylaws amendments. ATA’s Bylaws may be altered, amended, or repealed by a two-thirds vote of the Voting members. Each proposal is accompanied by commentary explaining the rationale for the amendment. Please note that material proposed to be deleted is struck through; material proposed to be added is underlined. Read the proposed amendments to the Bylaws

Be an Informed Voter Take time to learn what these changes will mean to the operation and governance of the Association before you vote. Check out the additional information below for each proposed amendment.

Have You Registered for ATA61 Yet?

ATA’s 61st Annual Conference features world-class speakers, first-class education, and six-month access to all 120 sessions on demand. With the early registration rate for members at $299, each session is less than $3. Plus no travel or hotel costs. This deal is a winner! Early registration discounts end September 28. Don’t miss the savings! Virtually Everywhere for Everyone The remote conference platform will make the sessions easily accessible and as interactive as technology allows. Every session will be streamed live: you’ll be able to participate in Q&As, personally follow up with speakers, and switch between session rooms just as if you were attending in person. Listen to Episode 47 of The ATA Podcast to find out more! Strengthen Your Value in a Global Economy Explore new specialties, keep up to date with technology, find key resources, learn how to do what you do better—this is the way forward. Check out the conference sessions now! Just Do It! If you’ve always wanted to attend an ATA Annual Conference, then this is the year to do it. Register now!

Corporate Member Employees Get ATA61 Member Rates!

Do you work for an ATA Corporate member? Then take advantage of the member savings on your ATA61 conference registration. Register today! Rates increase September 28. You only need to login with the Corporate member’s ID and password. From there, complete the registration form with your personal contact information and payment. There’s no limit to the number of employees who can register under their employer’s ATA membership.

It Wouldn’t be Possible without Translators and Interpreters!

Come celebrate International Translation Day 2020 with ATA as we remind the world just how critical translators and interpreters really are! We’ll set the scene to the time before smartphones existed and then tell the story of how translators, interpreters, localizers, transcreation experts, proofreaders, editors, and more helped take an idea from concept to the cell phone you’re likely holding in your hand. Yes, ITD 2020 is all about showing the world’s 3.5 billion smartphone users how our work directly impacts their daily lives. Watch for our animated video on September 30! Then share, share, share with your family, friends, and clients. Look for the video link on all ATA social media platforms—Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and YouTube. Make your voice heard! Share, follow, and promote #InternationalTranslationDay and #ataitd2020 on September 30!


Build Your Brand, Reach Your Audience

Invest your advertising budget where it counts. Whether you want to reach the 2,000 conference attendees or more than 9,500 ATA members, the ATA Annual Conference can make it happen! Sponsorship Nothing beats conference sponsorship for high-profile, high-impact exposure. Multiple promotional packages are available. Choose one to fit your budget and your needs. To select your sponsorship today, visit Exhibiting A virtual booth package not only connects you with attendees before, during, and after the conference, it also promotes your business to the entire ATA membership in The ATA Chronicle. Exhibitors receive a free registration for the full conference and access to all 120 sessions on demand. To select your booth, visit

Free! Sign Your Company Up for the ATA61 Job Fair

Recruit the best and the brightest! Over 2,000 translators and interpreters will attend ATA61, making this year’s Job Fair the perfect opportunity to find the professionals you need. What do agencies receive? Your agency name and website will be listed on the ATA61 Conference website, as well as on the virtual portal. Attendees will be able enter the virtual Job Fair to check out job listings throughout the conference, with the option to contact you with a single click. How to sign up Just complete the Agency Participation Form. Please note that all agency reps who participate in the Job Fair must register for the conference.

Reminder: ATA Election Date of Record

To vote in ATA’s 2020 Election, you must be approved for Voting membership status by September 21, 2020. How can I 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. Just complete the ATA Active Member Review application. It’s fast, easy, and free!

Discover More with Virtual Conferences

Attend one of Europe’s largest translation industry events without ever leaving home! The TLC+KT 2020 Conference will be held virtually September 25-27. Attendees may learn how translation services will be provided in the future; how the speed of today’s communication affects the work of translators and agencies; and how the next generation of translators is impacting the way we work today. No matter where you are in the world, you can attend! Register now for the TLC+KT 2020 Conference! SPECIAL OFFER! The TLC+KT 2020 Conference organizer is offering a 10% registration discount to ten ATA members. Contact if you’re interested. First come, first served.

In the September/October Issue of The ATA Chronicle

ATA 2020 Election: Candidate Statements Calling all Voting members! Participating in ATA’s annual election 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 will be held October 22, 2020. Member Opinions: Discussion on Two Proposed Bylaws Amendments Member feedback is very important to the growth of the Association. In this issue, we present opinions, both pro and con, regarding two proposed Bylaws amendments on this year’s ballot for Voting members:1) clarifying the rights and privileges of membership, and 2) having multiple candidates for each elective position of the Association. 5 Strategies to Improve Your Online Presence during and after COVID-19 There are potential clients out there right now searching online for services like yours, with more to follow in the coming months as businesses begin to ramp up activity. You need to be ready for them with a website that will capture their interest and showcase your work to the best advantage. (Madalena Sánchez Zampaulo) Preparing Documents for Translation Preparing documents for translation should never become a luxury we cannot afford or a casualty of tight deadlines or budgets. (Itzaris Weyman) An Introduction to Translation in Market(ing) Research Whether it’s the launch of a new mascara, refrigerator, car, or a revamped corporate image after a crisis, the results of market and market(ing) research are all around us. Here’s a look at the processes and terminology of market and market(ing) research from a translator’s perspective. (Robin Limmeroth) What I’ve Learned from Remote Court Interpreting Remote interpreting is a far better option than delaying everything until it’s safe to go back to the courthouses in person. However, I’ve now become a much bigger fan of in-person interpreting for various reasons. (Corinne McKay) 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.

Visit ATA61 Sponsors and Exhibitors

Platinum Sponsor SDL Trados Studio is an ATA61 Platinum sponsor Gold Sponsor Wordfast is an ATA61 Gold Sponsor Silver Sponsor Alliant is an ATA61 Silver Sponsor Exhibitors

News summaries © copyright 2020 SmithBucklin

September 16, 2020

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Beside ATA, how many other translation and interpreting organizations do you belong to? 11%   0 42%   1 37%   2-3 11%   4 or more

In This Issue

Candidate Statements Bylaws Amendments ATA61 Early Registration Employees & Conf Discount ATA Celebrates ITD2020 Become an ATA61 Sponsor Reserve an ATA61 Booth ATA61 Job Fair ATA Election Date of Record TLC+KT 2020 The ATA Chronicle Visit ATA61 Sponsors Check Out ATA61 Exhibitors

ATA Members Only

Free ATA Webinar! The Basics of Intellectual Property Law for Translators Click to watch!

ATA Webinar Series

Challenges in Human Rights Translation September 16 12 noon EDT Register now! Audio Description: The Visual Made Verbal October 7 12 noon EDT Registration opens soon Diabetes 101: An Intro for Medical Translators and Interpreters November 12 12 noon ET Postediting: How to Make Machine Translation Work for You (in Spanish) December 3 12 noon ET

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Calendar of Events

International Translation Day September 30, 2020 Finding the Words for a World in Crisis ATA61 Annual Conference October 21-24, 2020 Virtual Register now! Board of Directors Meeting October 31-November 1 Virtual

See ATA’s Online Calendar for translation & interpreting events around the world.
ATA58 Virtual Conference

Free for ATA Members Click to watch!

Back to Business Basics

Upcoming free webinars for ATA members! Diversification October 5 Handling the Holidays as a Freelancer November 9 Entrereneurial Habits December 14 Setting Business Goals January 14 Phone and Email Etiquette February 8

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