Time is Running Out
There's no time to lose. Make a note of these dates and then get busy!
18 Days Left to Nominate an ATA Board Candidate
Help shape ATA's future by making a nomination for the ATA Board of Directors. Any ATA member can make a nomination. Deadline: March 2
18 Days Left to Submit an ATA Conference Proposal
Expand your referral network by making a presentation at the ATA61 Conference in Boston. There is no better way to gain visibility and establish your expertise. Deadline: March 2
22 Days Left to Join the ATA Mentoring Program
Set a goal for your business in 2020, then get matched with an experienced translator or interpreter to help you achieve it. Advice, encouragement, lessons learned, career guidance—a mentor can help you get to where you want to be. Deadline: March 6
Volunteer Translators Work to Ensure Smooth Delivery of Overseas Medical Aid to Wuhan
Global Times (China) (02/06/20) Qiongfang, Du
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus epidemic in Wuhan in China's Hubei Province, medical supplies and equipment continue to be donated from around the world. Because much of the documentation associated with these supplies (e.g., information on regulatory and medical product standards) is printed in various languages, the Chinese government says it has accepted the help of over a thousand volunteers to translate this material to ensure that supplies reach hospitals quickly and that data is shared as accurately and efficiently as possible.
Volunteers, including professional translators, university professors, and students, are working around the clock to translate documents for medical personnel. "When our country is facing an imminent crisis, each of us wants to make an effort. The more donated medical supplies can be used, the more frontline doctors can be protected," says Chen Sitong, a postgraduate student majoring in law and translation at the Guangdong University of Foreign Studies. "We hope our efforts can help contain the epidemic so our friends and relatives in Wuhan can soon resume their normal lives and work," Sitong adds.
Tang Zhou, an official with the Wuhan Municipal Administration for Market Regulation responsible for the supervision of medical equipment, oversees the volunteer effort. After the outbreak of the epidemic, Tang was assigned to the Wuhan emergency support group of the Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia Prevention and Control Department, a new department responsible for collecting product quality standards for domestic and overseas medical supplies.
According to Tang, volunteers are categorized according to language and experience. Professional translators with medical experience translate the documentation, which is then reviewed by university instructors assisted by students to ensure a precise translation. Most of the volunteers are English-, Japanese-, and Korean- into Chinese translators, since European countries such as Germany, France, and even Russia use European standards that are printed in English. Tang says volunteer support has helped ease the workload.
"We treat every document with equal seriousness and caution to guarantee the safety of the doctors," says Sun Lin, a junior English-language major from Beijing Foreign Studies University who helps proofread. "It's gratifying that veteran translators from various translators' associations have also extended their support," says Pan Yuling, a part-time translator from Japan.
Interpreting for Bong Joon Ho at the Oscars: Aspiring Director Sharon Choi
The New York Times (NY) (02/10/20) Coleman, Nancy
Parasite, the South Korean thriller directed by Bong Joon Ho, has made history as the first non-English language film to win best picture at the Oscars. The film, which is one of only 10 foreign-language films ever to be nominated for best picture, also won for best international feature film, original screenplay, and director. Joining Ho onstage for all four acceptance speeches was a face that has become familiar to those who have followed the director's rise to the red carpet—his interpreter Sharon Choi.
Choi, a filmmaker herself, has been interpreting for Ho since May. (Ho does speak English and will occasionally shift into the language for brief remarks, but he generally seems to prefer to have Choi interpret.) "I'm just a huge fan of this film and all the filmmakers, so it's been great," Choi says.
For someone who has appeared on several awards stages and live television broadcasts, though, Choi doesn't seem to cherish being in the spotlight. But she has ended up there anyway, thanks to the visibility that comes with critical success and awards domination. After winning the Palme d’Or, the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival, Parasite also nabbed best foreign film at the Golden Globes, the Writers Guild Award for original screenplay, and best ensemble at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.
Ho has been quick to praise Choi during appearances. "She's perfect, and we all depend on her," he said in English during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter at the Golden Globes last month. "And she's also a great filmmaker," he added.
When she's interpreting—usually on camera, or to crowds of Hollywood royalty, or both—Choi's voice never seems to waver. Her calm presence under the onstage pressure has also caught the attention of online admirers, and many have praised Choi for her nuanced and careful interpretation and delivery of Ho's remarks. "I know she has a huge fandom," Ho, with Choi by his side, told reporters during a red carpet interview with E! at the Oscars. "This is very embarrassing to interpret," Choi said during the interview, "but he says that thanks to me, this campaign has been a smooth journey."
Boston Activists File Civil Rights Complaint Over Redevelopment Project, Citing Language Accessibility
The Boston Globe (MA) (02/03/20) Logan, Tim
As the redevelopment of Boston's Suffolk Downs nears a key city vote this month, community groups are appealing to federal agencies to delay the project, citing insufficient outreach to non-English-speaking residents.
The nonprofit group Lawyers for Civil Rights has filed a civil rights complaint with the Department of Housing and Urban Development, saying the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA ) has not done enough to engage non-English speakers during planning and community meetings for the project. The complaint—filed on behalf of the environmental group GreenRoots Inc. and tenant advocates City Life/Vida Urbana—says BPDA violated civil rights law in its planning of the 10.5 million-square-foot project, which is tentatively scheduled for a public hearing and likely BPDA board approval this month. Specifically, they say the agency failed to make enough documents available in Spanish and other languages spoken by many residents of East Boston—where city figures estimate that 46% of residents have limited English proficiency—and that it provided insufficient interpreting at public meetings.
"BPDA was well aware that a significant percentage of East Boston residents speak primarily Spanish or Arabic," says Ivan Espinoza-Madrigal, executive director of Lawyers for Civil Rights. "By failing to hire interpreters versed in the language of planning or zoning, or to translate key documents, BPDA is effectively excluding immigrant residents of East Boston from the development process."
HYM Investment Group, the project's developer, has held more than 300 community meetings, some in Spanish, and has produced a Spanish-language website about the project. Managing Director Tom O'Brien says his firm has "gone above and beyond" in public outreach efforts and plans to create a truly diverse community at Suffolk Downs that would bring 10,000 new homes and millions of square feet of office space to one of the city's most diverse and immigrant-heavy neighborhoods. "At a time when we are facing a housing crisis, it's unfortunate that anyone would want to hold up progress on the creation of much-needed housing," O'Brien says.
BPDA Spokesperson Bonnie McGilpin states that the agency has translated several key documents into Spanish, held two Spanish-only public meetings, and has provided interpreters at all community meetings on the project. "BPDA has prioritized creating a public process for the Suffolk Downs proposal that is inclusive for all," McGilpin says. However, community groups state that translations in many places were "scattered, unprofessional, unreliable, and incomplete." They also say that interpreters were often ignorant of the technical language used by planners and sometimes had insufficient equipment to interpret effectively at meetings.
"Spanish-speaking residents and their families have turned out for public meetings expecting to be able to hear the developer's presentations, but language access has been anemic at best," says Lisa Owens, executive director of City Life/Vida Urbana. "How are community members supposed to make their affordable-housing needs known and participate in local planning if those processes are set up to exclude them?"
English-Only Education Repeal Advances in Arizona
AZMirror (AZ) (01/18/20) Gómez, Laura
The Arizona House Education Committee advanced a proposal to ask voters in November to repeal the state's English-only instruction law.
For the second consecutive year, Representative John Fillmore is sponsoring the English-only repeal measure—House Concurrent Resolution 2001 (HCR2001)—which has bipartisan support and backing from the Arizona Department of Education, Arizona School Boards Association, and many education advocacy groups. Fillmore says his proposal is about giving an equal footing to students who are being held back by language learning standards established in 2000. "This is a simple bill that says all the kids should have an equal chance to learn," Fillmore states.
HCR2001 would repeal Arizona's English-only model, officially known as Structured English Immersion (SEI). The framework for the state's SEI model was mainly established by Proposition 203 in 2000. As a result of this law, all English learners—children who have a home language other than English—can't be taught in their home language and are placed in English-only classrooms. HCR2001 requires that English learners "receive the highest quality of education and have access to high-quality, innovative research-based language programs."
Educators also favor repealing SEI because it would allow for more inclusive dual-immersion programs, which mix native English speakers and students learning English in the same classroom. Education reform advocates say that research shows English-only models—especially those that group students by language proficiency instead of grade level like Arizona's—are less effective in academic achievement than dual-immersion and other bilingual approaches. Last year, a poll also showed voters would favor repealing the English-only law.
In the last legislative session, the English-only repeal proposal was approved in the House of Representatives and in the Senate Education Committee, but lawmakers adjourned before it received a formal vote by the entire Senate.
Police to Use Video Remote Sign Language Interpreters in Amherst, New York
NPR (DC) (02/06/20) Dinki, Tom
Police officers in Amherst, New York, will start using video remote sign language interpreters to better communicate with the deaf and hard-of-hearing community.
The pilot program is a collaboration between the Amherst Police Department and Erie County Central Police Services. If all goes well, county officials hope to roll it out to other police departments across the county.
"We know communication is the biggest step toward making our community more inclusive," says Erie County Commissioner of Central Police Services James Jancewicz.
Officers will connect with American Sign Language interpreters who work remotely across the country via an app provided by Deaf Access Services, a nonprofit providing video remote interpreting. Two patrol supervisors will have devices connected to the app at all times. If an officer encounters a deaf or hard-of-hearing person in the field, the supervisor will use the app. There will also be a tablet connected with the app at the police department for walk-in reports and complaints.
Amherst police had typically used visor cards or even just pen and paper to communicate with deaf and hard-of-hearing citizens. A deaf person's family member would often interpret for them. "But this new program shows respect to the individual and gives them the opportunity to communicate to the best of their ability, rather than in an ad hoc manner," says Amherst Police Chief John Askey. "That's what this is about: showing respect to the deaf and hard-of-hearing community and better connecting with them and providing better service."
Amherst police are far from the only department across the country to use video remote sign language interpreting. Both the New York City and San Francisco Police Departments have used similar apps over the past year.
The Americans with Disabilities Act mandates that those with disabilities get the same law enforcement services as everyone else, but deaf activists have called for reforms in recent years after some high-profile police shootings of deaf people across the country. Deaf Access Services Community Engagement Specialist David Wantuck, who helped train Amherst's approximately 160 police officers on the app, says the deaf community appreciates the department's effort. "This gives us the ability to bridge the gaps we have had for years," Wantuck says. "We hope to see that all across Erie County and with all other police and emergency response teams."
Aboriginal Language Reborn in Translation of Shakespeare Play
Australian Broadcasting Corp. News (Australia) (01/25/20) Turner, Rebecca
The translation of Shakepeare's Macbeth into the Aboriginal language of Noongar has prompted talk of a revival for the endangered West Australian dialect.
The play, Hecate, translated and directed by Kylie Bracknell, is being performed by an all-Noongar cast at the Perth Festival, with the goal of celebrating the language with Noongar people and promoting it to new audiences. The Noongar have been speaking the language for thousands of years, but its use declined following colonialization. Yet local interest in the language has slowly gained more prominence in recent years, and is now being taught in some schools. There's even a Noongarpedia, the first Wikipedia site in an Aboriginal Australian language.
Bracknell says the Shakespeare project was driven by her determination to preserve her family's language and an important element of West Australian culture and history. "We're trying to hold onto something that could be missing forever in a short space of time," she says. Bracknell's project was encouraged by Kyle Morrison, former artistic director of the Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company. Bracknell and her husband spent many years on the translation.
Bracknell says the production won't feature English translations, just "90 minutes of pure Noongar language." The actors themselves had to learn the language to perform the play. "They have to learn their language to know their character so they can share it," Bracknell explains. "They have to overcome a lot of the emotion that is bestowed upon them from generations of disconnect from their own language."
Is the ATA Mentoring Program for You?
Need to move your business forward? Have questions about clients, technology, or management? Check out the ATA Mentoring Program.
My mentor showed me what he did to succeed in a competitive, but high value, segment of the market. Even though I had been running my own successful translation business for nearly four years, there was a lot to learn from how someone else handled the challenge of finding new clients. Ben K.
Applications from interested mentees and mentors will be accepted through March 6. Watch this free ATA Mentoring Program webinar to learn how the program works.
When I made the switch to working for myself, I felt a bit like a fish out of water. There was so much to learn—how to attract direct clients, get my foot in the door at agencies, juggle a large number of jobs with different expectations. I wanted advice from someone who had been in my shoes. Jessica H.
This is your only opportunity to enroll in the 2020 program. Don't miss it! Submit your application now.
ATA Board Meeting Summary: February 8-9
The ATA Board of Directors met February 8-9 in Charleston, South Carolina. A summary of the meeting’s actions, discussions, and ongoing committee work is online in the Members Only area of the ATA website.
Read the February 2019 Board Meeting Summary now.
The Board of Directors meets four times a year to establish policy, develop goals and objectives, and oversee ATA finances. The next ATA Board of Directors meeting will be held April 18-19 in Alexandria, Virginia.
Standing from left: Directors Alaina Brandt, Meghan Konkol, Elena Langdon, Jamie Hartz, Geoff Koby, Eve Bodeux, Melinda Gonzalez-Hibner, Tony Guerra, and Cristina Helmerichs.
Seated from left: Treasurer John Milan, President-Elect Madalena Sánchez Zampaulo, President Ted Wozniak, and Secretary Karen Tkaczyk.
Upcoming ATA Webinars
Members save 25% on ATA webinars!
Too busy to attend? You can register for one or both of these webinars and links to the recordings will be emailed to you following the live events
Presenter: Katharine Allen
Date: February 27
Time: 12 noon U.S. Eastern Time
Duration: 60 minutes
CE Point(s): 1 ATA-approved
For years, interpreters and translators working in kindergarten–grade 12 schools have been largely invisible. Now the field of educational interpreting is finally getting the recognition it deserves.
Attend this webinar to learn what skills interpreters in this specialty need to have, how to find work in the field as a freelancer or employee, and why our profession needs to step up, make space, and provide concrete resources for educational interpreters. Register now!
Presenter: Liz Essary
Date: March 18
Time: 12 noon U.S. Eastern Daylight Time
Duration: 60 minutes
CE Point(s): 1 ATA-approved
Remote simultaneous interpreting, or RSI, is here to stay. Will you sit on the sidelines or get on board?
Attend this webinar for a big-picture look at RSI and its applications. You'll learn how RSI differs from video remote interpreting (VRI) and over-the-phone interpreting (OPI), the challenges of adding RSI services to your business, and the questions to ask when considering an RSI job. Register now!
ATA School Outreach Contest
Make this the year you enter ATA's School Outreach Contest!
Watch and listen as ATA Member Denise Fisher tells you how she won a free registration to ATA's 60th Annual Conference in Palm Springs
How Do I Contact ATA?
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Want to reach a Board Director, Committee Chair, Division Administrator, or ATA Staff Member? Click About Us/Contact Us for email and phone information.
XXII FIT World Congress Call for Papers
The International Federation of Translators' XXII FIT World Congress will held December 3-5, 2020, in Varadero, Cuba. All language professionals are welcome to join us for the first FIT World Congress to be held in Latin America.
Call for Papers
If you would like to present a paper at the Congress, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org to request the Speaker Proposal Form. Proposals should be received no later than April 30, 2020. The Programme Committee will review proposals and select sessions by June 30, 2020.
The Congress will be held in FIT’s official languages (English and French) plus Spanish. Most presentations and panel discussions will be interpreted.
Did You Remember to Renew?
There's still time to renew your ATA membership
If you haven't renewed yet, then this is the time to stop and do it before you lose access to the best marketing and networking in the language services industry.
Take time to download your ATA membership card. Simply login to the Members Only area of the ATA website and click the Membership Card link in the menu bar.
Thank you for your ATA membership and support in 2019. We look forward to working with you in 2020!
In the January/February Issue of The ATA Chronicle
Call for Nominations: ATA Directors
Do you know someone who would make a good potential candidate for ATA’s Board of Directors? If so, ATA’s Nominating and Leadership Development Committee would like to hear from you. Any ATA member may make a nomination. Here’s your chance to help shape the future of the Association!
Watch Your Back for a Recession
I’m not an economist, but it’s hard to miss the rumblings in the financial press that the U.S. (or even the world) economy may be headed for a recession. As a business owner, the best time to start planning for a downturn is last year, but if you haven’t done that, let’s start planning now! (Corinne McKay)
Dilemmas of an Upwardly Mobile Translator
There’s no doubt that if you’re too busy for a long period, then it’s time to raise your rates. There’s also no doubt that, as a tool, increasing rates can be a fairly blunt instrument. (Simon Berrill)
Three Pedagogical Tools to Take Your Online Translation and Interpreting Courses to the Next Level
Demand for online education continues to grow in the U.S. and is globally “on track to become mainstream by 2025.” In this article, three experienced instructors involved in the design of online translation and interpreting curricula share tips for creating an online community that encourages students’ reflective practice and enables structured student interactions. (Laurence Jay-Rayon Ibrahim Aibo, Elena Langdon, and Cristiano Mazzei)
Profile of ATA 2018–2019 School Outreach Contest Winner: Denise Fisher
When ATA Member Denise Fisher was invited to speak to graduate students in a Japanese interpreting class at the University of Michigan, she had no idea that her experience would eventually lead to a free registration to ATA’s Annual Conference in Palm Springs. (Birgit Vosseler-Brehmer)
2019 ATA Honors and Awards Recipients
ATA and the American Foundation for Translation and Interpretation present annual and biennial awards to encourage, reward, and publicize outstanding work done by both seasoned professionals and students of our craft. This year’s recipients are...
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.
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