ATA Interpreters Division

[ATA 58th Annual Conference banner] [light bulb standing out] [Where is Our PRIDE? By Giovanna Contreras] [Language Access Services - "welcome" and many hands]


2017-06-21. Spanish/English court interpreter job opening in federal court in Phoenix, Arizona. Learn more.

2017-06-20. Job Analysis Survey for the Medical Interpreter. The National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters (NBCMI) is conducting a survey. Learn more:

2017-06-09. Court Interpreter training coming to Wisconsin Rapids. Organized by the Director of State Courts Office, training sessions will take place on June 24-25. Learn more:

2017-04-27. ATA webinar on June 9—More Tools and Toys for ‘Terps. There’s an app for everything, right? Take this time to explore apps and technology that interpreters can use to train and hone their craft. Learn more:

2017-03-04. ATA webinar on March 9—Translating for the Courts. Observe like a detective, be faithful like a court interpreter, and decide like a judge. These are the three basic skills every translator needs to be successful in court translation. Why? Join us to find out! Learn more:

2017-02-10. ATA Joins Coalition in Open Letter to U.S. President. A coalition of 14 organizations representing translators and interpreters around the world called on the U.S. President to lift the current ban on immigration. Read now.

2017-02-05. ATA webinar—Specialization: why and how, and what’s the big deal? Translators and interpreters are often told they should specialize. But why? Examine the concrete benefits of specializing, get an inside look at a specialized translation practice, and then learn how to develop your own plan for becoming an expert in your field. Learn more:

2017-02-03. Job announcement: English/French Bilingual Interpreter at NATO headquarters. Read more on the AIIC website

2017-01-31. ATA Statement Regarding President Trump’s Executive Order on Immigration. “As the voice of over 10,000 interpreters and translators in the United States and abroad, the American Translators Association is very concerned about President Trump’s recent Executive Order to suspend issuing visas to nationals from certain countries in the Middle East and northern Africa.” Read more


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[Wooded forest]

The Trials and Tribulations of a Community Interpreter: Conference Interpreting, here we go! – Part 2

Here it is! Part 2 of “The Bird’s” venture into conference interpreting.

We would love to hear from you on your own experiences delving into other venues of interpreting, so don’t forget to leave your comment.


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ATA Annual Conference: Join Us for ATA58 in Washington DC!

Plan now to attend in Washington DC, October 25-28, 2017, along with over 1,800 translation and interpreting professionals from more than 60 countries.

ATA 58th Annual Conference (ATA58) is the place where dedicated professionals come together to expand their knowledge and their network. Don’t miss out!

The conference website is

Don’t forget to check what your colleagues are talking about the upcoming conference on Twitter with the conference hashtag #ATA58!


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[Wooded forest]

The Trials and Tribulations of a Community Interpreter: Conference Interpreting, here we go! – Part 1

Enjoy part 1 of this candid story by Pency Tsai about broadening your horizons and dipping into other forms of interpreting outside your tried-and-true. It is a courageous and inspiring tale. Thanks for the Chinese Language Division for letting us share this article, which appeared in their Newsletter a couple of years ago.


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[couple in a bench]

Couples Counseling: Reimagining the Freelancer–Company Relationship, Part 2

I hope you enjoyed reading the first part of “Couples Counseling.” Some of you have asked when part two is coming out.

Well, here it is!


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[couple in a bench]

Couples Counseling: Reimagining the Freelancer–Company Relationship, Part I

For those of you who missed it, my friend and colleague Steve Lank and his colleague Robert Sette, presented at ATA57. The topic was the relationship between freelancer and language company, which is often fraught with issues. However, it was such a delightful, lively, balanced session, one from which many, if not most, walked away with several “a-ha” moments on how to improve that relationship.

So I asked him to write this article, a part 1 of 2, where he proposes several ways to approach the relationships with our freelancers or the agencies we work with. His analogies to real life relationships between friends, significant others, children, parents, bosses, colleagues, etc., bring to light that in the interpreting profession, things aren’t all that different. If we want to work together in harmony, being mindful of the value each party brings to this endeavor we call our art, we may do well to put some of these similarities into practice and thus improve our working relationships.

After reading his article, I was reminded of something Rodney King said during the riots that were sparked by his brutal arrest 15 years ago: Can’t we all just get along? I think Steve’s article does a lot to bring freelance interpreters and agencies just a little bit closer to that possibility. Let’s work it out!

As always, enjoy!


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Hiring an Interpreter? Five Points to Consider

Ever think about what you need to consider when asked to interpret at a medical appointment, a Workers’ Compensation hearing, in court or related events, at a business meeting or at a conference?

Read this step-by-step guide by Gio Lester, a very accomplished professional, who will help you speak eloquently and knowledgeably to your client. Do your part to help edify the interpreting profession and educate your clients, who are often hard pressed to distinguish the difference between a translator and an interpreter!

You will be able to articulate gracefully what it is you do and why hiring you, a professional, is worth their pennies!

As always, enjoy!


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Member feedback for ATA Board of Directors meeting

You may have already received the following email from a member of the ATA Board of Directors. Just in case you missed it, and because we are convinced that your feedback may help increase visibility for the interpreting profession within ATA, here it is:

Hello ID colleagues!

The ATA Board is meeting April 22-23 at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Alexandria, Virginia. If you live in or will be visiting the Washington, DC area, we invite you to come to the meeting in person; it is open to all members.

Otherwise, we welcome your feedback by e-mail. Please let us know what ATA programs, services, and events are most important to you, and what ideas you have for us to better meet your needs. You can send your feedback to any Boardmember, and our contact information is on the ATA website:

After you send us your feedback, we post it on a large flip chart in the Board meeting room, then all of the comments are logged in a spreadsheet that headquarters maintains. Over time, this helps us identify topics that multiple members have brought to the Board’s attention.

Thanks very much for your thoughts and for your support of ATA!

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["Trust me, I'm a certified interpreter"]

What does it mean to be certified?

To be or not to be—a certified linguist, that is. The meaning of certification in our profession today has taken on a host of meanings, and this is not always a good thing.

With end users of interpreting and translation becoming more aware of the importance of certification in specific settings, it is useful to review the meanings of terms like certified, qualified, licensed, registered, etc.

This overview, provided by the Federal Coordination and Compliance Section of the Department of Justice, succinctly reviews what it means to be a certified linguist, and which questions are relevant to ask interpreters and Language Service Providers (LSPs) when entering into new business relationships.

For more information on certification, check out The Savvy Newcomer’s recent post on the issue here: Helen Eby and Daniela Guanipa do an excellent job at fleshing this subject out.

Aleyna Maria Tusa, Contributing Editor

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