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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.

Australian Government Used Google Translate for COVID-19 Messaging

December 1, 2020

Documents have revealed Australia’s Department of Home Affairs used Google Translate rather than official translators to communicate with multicultural communities at the beginning of the pandemic. While the Department had hired translators to write official pandemic fact sheets, Google Translate was initially used for health messaging on parts of its website. Critics have stated that…

Amazon Bungles Its Launch in Sweden

November 16, 2020

Amazon’s launch of a Swedish retail site, its first in a Nordic country, has caused embarrassment at the e-commerce company after a series of errors led to confusing, nonsensical, and occasionally vulgar product listings. Amazon mixed up the Argentine and Swedish flags, labelled frying pans as items for women, allowed the sale of a swastika-emblazoned…

In Many Asian Languages, ‘LGBTQ’ Doesn’t Translate

November 16, 2020

The struggle to find the right vocabulary to describe same-sex attraction or nonbinary identities is shared by many Americans whose families speak Asian or Middle Eastern languages at home. Many have said they are often at a loss to find terminology that is both accurate and affirming in their ancestral languages because the vocabulary is…

How Advocates Connected Spanish Speakers to Health Care During the Pandemic

November 16, 2020

Advocates in the New Orleans area are helping the city’s Spanish-speaking population surmount barriers to access health care during the pandemic. “The pandemic exacerbated the social and logistical barriers the Hispanic community faces when it comes to health care access,” said Claudia Medina, director of International and Language Services at Ochsner Health. After the lockdown…

Iraqis Who Served Alongside U.S. Military Fear Retaliation from Iran’s Allies in Iraq

November 16, 2020

Iraqi interpreters who worked closely with the U.S. military in their country have grown increasingly alarmed that they could be targeted for attack, fearing their personal identifying information has been obtained by Iranian-backed militias. Iraqi authorities require the U.S. military to provide interpreters’ personal information—including names, addresses, and license plate numbers—to secure permission for the…

Cherokee Nation Supports Durbin Feeling Native American Language Act

November 16, 2020

Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. announced his support of the Durbin Feeling Native American Language Act of 2020, a bipartisan measure proposed by Senators Tom Udall and Lisa Murkowski on the 30th anniversary of the Native American Language Act (NALA). The bill would direct President Trump to review federal agencies’ compliance with NALA…

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