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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.

How Language Classes Are Moving Past the Gender Binary

September 20, 2021

Languages that contain only “he” and “she” pronouns pose problems for communicating about gender identity. Here’s how some language teachers are helping. Tal Janner-Klausner teaches Hebrew. The language presents a frustration that Janner-Klausner, who is nonbinary and uses they/them pronouns in English, feels compelled to discuss with their students. Hebrew—as well as French, Spanish, Italian,…

Leicestershire Police Clamping Down on Interpreter Fraud

September 20, 2021

The chief of police in Leicestershire, England, warned that people trying to pass themselves off as interpreters “will be dealt with.” Chief Constable of Leicestershire Police Simon Cole issued the warning after a woman was caught presenting a fake document when attempting to register as an interpreter. The woman later admitted to fraud by representation…

Third Circuit Court Says Speakers of English Dialects Have Right to Interpreter

September 20, 2021

The Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that immigration judges must ascertain whether those facing deportation who speak English dialects also understand American English or require interpreters. The ruling concerned the case of a citizen of Cameroon who speaks “Pidgin” English. The three-judge panel unanimously deemed it unfair for an immigration judge to…

After Interpreter Issues, Three Guantánamo Detainees Charged in 2002 Bali Bombings

September 20, 2021

Following a one-day delay due to issues with one of the court interpreters, three men who had been detained by the U.S. for 18 years were formally accused of war crimes as part of a global Al Qaeda conspiracy that began in Afghanistan in 1996 and resulted in the Bali nightclub bombings in 2002. The…

White House Chief of Staff Commits to Evacuating Afghan Interpreter Who Helped Rescue Biden in 2008

September 20, 2021

White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain committed to evacuate from Afghanistan the Afghan interpreter who helped rescue then-Senator Joe Biden and two other senators from a snowstorm in 2008. In a Wall Street Journal report published earlier this month, the interpreter—identified only as Mohammed while in hiding—pleaded to be transported out of the country…

Federal Case Involving Linguist Recruiters Dismissed

July 19, 2021

A federal judge in Virginia has dismissed indictments against six linguistic recruiters accused of participating in a scheme to defraud the U.S. Army by providing unqualified interpreters under a $703 million contract, finding the nine-year delay before the indictment had violated their due process rights. U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema said in court that she…

Biden Defends Afghan Pullout, Sets Evacuation for Interpreters

July 19, 2021

President Biden defended the U.S. military pullout from Afghanistan, claiming the U.S. met goals outlined 20 years ago, while pledging that his administration would evacuate thousands of Afghan interpreters from the country in August. “I’m very encouraged by President Biden’s efforts to get our Afghan allies out of harm’s way, but I remain deeply concerned…

California Fines Los Angeles County Superior Court for Safety Violations during Pandemic

July 19, 2021

After COVID-19 outbreaks and the deaths of several court interpreters who worked in Los Angeles County courthouses, California’s Division of Occupational Health and Safety (Cal/OSHA) plans to fine the local court system more than $25,000 for multiple violations. In a notice to the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Cal/OSHA identified at least three health and…

In Virginia, Language a Barrier for Latino Victims of Violence Seeking Help

June 18, 2021

In Virginia, language continues to be a barrier for Latino victims of violence in need of assistance. A Richmond nonprofit is seeking to change that. The Latinos in Virginia Empowerment Center (LIVE Center), a nonprofit established in 2008 to link Spanish speakers with available resources, has launched the state’s first interpreter bank in the Richmond…

U.S. Department of Justice Settles with Pennsylvania City over Language Barriers to Spanish-Speaking Residents

June 18, 2021

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has reached a settlement with a Pennsylvania police department after launching a civil rights investigation into potential barriers for Spanish-speaking residents. The Hazelton City Police Department will be required to update its operating procedures to include “appropriate language assistance” for non-English speakers and also print forms and notices in…

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