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ATA curates articles from around the world as a service for members. ATA members receive these articles in Newsbriefs, an e-newsletter. See full issues of Newsbriefs.

Researchers Claim that AI-Translated Text Are Less “Lexically” Rich than Human Translations

February 17, 2021

In a new study, researchers from Tilburg University in the Netherlands and the University of Maryland attempt to quantify the lexical and grammatical diversity of “machine translationese” (i.e., the fingerprints made by artificial intelligence [AI] translation algorithms). They claim to have found a “quantitatively measurable” difference between the linguistic richness of machine translation systems’ training…

Studies from Japan Find Singing in Some Languages Could Spread COVID-19 More Easily than Others

February 17, 2021

Does singing in different languages create more potentially infectious droplets and aerosols? Researchers in Japan say the answer is yes. At least three separate studies have shown that when it comes to emitting droplets and aerosols, not all languages are equal. Studies were commissioned last December by the Japan Association of Classical Music Presenters (JACMP),…

Revamped White House Website Aims for Inclusivity and Accessibility

February 17, 2021

Shortly after President Joe Biden took office, sharp-eyed internet users noticed several major changes relating to the inclusivity and accessibility of the White House’s official site. Among them are a new feature allowing users to include their pronouns when submitting contact forms and a relaunch of the Spanish-language website. The White House contact form now…

Rutgers University Translation Program Aids Newark’s COVID-19 Contact Tracing Efforts

February 17, 2021

Faculty, students, and alumni of the School of Arts and Sciences-Newark (SASN) at Rutgers University in Newark, New Jersey, have found many ways to be of service during the pandemic, from 3D-printing masks for frontline health care workers to delivering food to the elderly and needy. Recently, the Rutgers University-Newark (RU-N) community has found another…

New York Lawmakers Pitch Bill Requiring State COVID Websites to Offer Translations

February 17, 2021

Two New York lawmakers want to ensure that New Yorkers who do not speak English as their primary language have access to the latest information about COVID-19. New York Senator Brad Hoylman and Assembly Member Yuh-Line Niou introduced legislation this month requiring the state to translate all websites for non-English speakers, especially pages dealing with…

With Indigenous Language Classes on Hold, University of Winnipeg Launches New Ojibway Radio Drama

January 20, 2021

Canada’s University of Winnipeg has created an Ojibway radio drama to fill the gap left when Indigenous community language courses were put on hold due to the pandemic. The new series, Aakoziiwigamig: An Ojibwe Radio Drama, is broadcast on Native Communications Incorporated (NCI FM) radio, with episodes also available at the University of Winnipeg’s Office…

Medical Interpreter Is Voice for Baltimore’s Latino Patients during COVID-19 Treatment

January 20, 2021

Elsa Aguilar Bustos serves as a medical interpreter at Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, helping Latino patients navigate the intricacies of treatment for COVID-19 and other procedures. According to the COVID Tracking Project, Latinos account for 10% of Maryland’s population, but 23% of COVID-19 cases. Baltimore’s Latinos also have been disproportionately affected by the…

Dispute Erupts over Translation Rights to New Nobel Laureate

January 20, 2021

After winning the Nobel Prize in Literature, Louise Glück has found herself at the heart of less-welcome publicity due to a dispute over who should hold the Spanish-language rights to her work. Pre-Textos, a publisher based in Valencia, Spain, which has translated and released seven of Glück’s books, has called on the American poet to…

Boston Planning and Development Agency Adds New Language Access Rules

January 20, 2021

The Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) is rolling out a new set of rules to ensure residents who don’t speak English well or at all can participate in public meetings about proposed developments. Under the new policy, slated to go into effect early this year, BPDA will require that those meetings and relevant materials…

Thousands of Afghan and Iraqi Interpreters Hope Biden will Help Them Resettle in U.S.

January 20, 2021

Afghan and Iraqi interpreters facing reprisals for helping American forces hope President-Elect Joe Biden’s incoming administration will offer them asylum in the United States. Biden will have to contend with a backlog of thousands of visa applications from interpreters who served in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a bureaucratic tangle that refugee advocates…

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