By Rafa Lombardino and Melissa Harkin
It’s that time of the year again: the ATA Annual Conference is right around the corner (October 23-26, 2019) and we will get together in Palm Springs, in sunny California, to catch up with friends and colleagues, meet new ones, network, exchange knowledge, connect with potential clients, and leave inspired and full of ideas on how to up our game as translators and interpreters.
To give you a taste of what’s to come, here’s a list of PLD-sponsored speakers and talks, plus a few others you may be interested in.
You’ll find the full schedule of conference sessions here.
- Peace Brokers, Peace Breakers: The Role of Interpreters in War and Peace, by PLD Distinguished Speaker Ewandro Magalhães (Saturday, 11:15 am, Mesquite E)
“Language is a powerful enabler. If well managed, it can lead to understanding and peace. It’s also an element of divide and alienation, and history has no shortage of examples where miscommunication led to conflict or catastrophe. In this time of ubiquitous connectivity and instant communication, with ordinary people and governments constantly wary of manipulation, ensuring that the message is delivered as intended mean the difference between war and peace. Attend this session to gain a better understanding of how language mediation can trigger or prevent diplomatic or armed conflict.”
- Transcending the Toxic Legacy of Saint Jerome, by PLD Distinguished Speaker Ewandro Magalhães (Friday, 2 pm, Mesquite F)
“In his famous letter to Roman Senator Pammachius, Saint Jerome—the theologian we celebrate as the patron saint of translators—defends himself from the affronts of Tyrannius Rufinus, another theologian, who accused him of “carelessness” in translating an important text into Latin. “The Letter to Pammachius” established the first best practices in translation and became the Magna Carta of translators. It also sheds light on the criticism, spite, resentment, and other inimical feelings often shared by translators and interpreters. The speaker will review specific strategies to escape Jerome’s belligerent legacy. He will also share advice on how to restore some collegiality among translators.”
- How to Make Sure Your Project Has All Its Ducks in a Row, by João Vicente de Paulo Junior (Saturday, 2 pm, Oasis 4)
“Why didn’t I think of that when I accepted this project?!” All translators (whether experienced or newbie) have asked themselves this question at some point. Whether you’re dealing with direct clients or translation companies, overseeing certain details (e.g., When will payment be made? Do I have all the files I need?) may cost you dearly. Based on his experience, the speaker will discuss the most important details, including the ones you always fail to remember, when negotiating a translation project.
- Computer-Assisted Interpreting Tools, by Cris Siva (Friday, 10 am, Madera)
“Welcome to a brave new world in interpreting! Computer-assisted interpreting makes use of software designed to support and facilitate some aspects of the interpreting task with the goal of increasing quality and productivity. This session will explore tools that need to be in your toolbox: corpus-driven interpreter preparation, feedback tools for deliberate practice/teaching, speech analysis tools that reveal analysis, and jitter/voice breaks and excitation patterns. This session will appeal to both interpreters and teachers of interpreting.”
- The Business of Translation, by Renato Beninatto and Tucker Johnson (Saturday, 8:30 am, Primrose D)
“The only difference between a translator and a chief executive officer is a state of mind. For entrepreneurial linguists wanting to take their businesses to the next level, there is little standing in the way. The barriers to entry are low and the potential rewards are high. In this session, attendees will learn how to start and grow translation companies. Attendees will learn how the speakers went from freelance translators to the founders and executives of multiple companies. You can do it, too!”
- Translating Brazilian Court Documents, by Timothy Friese (Thursday, 11:15 am, Primrose E)
“Legal translators are routinely faced with lengthy and complicated court documents and filings that require special skills to translate successfully. In this session, we’ll start with a terminological review of basic false friends that every translator in this field needs to know, as well as more subtle points of terminology that experienced translators may need to brush up on. Then, we’ll move on to the particular stylistic challenges of translating these documents and a functional analysis of different document sections and types, with comparison between drafting standards in the U.S. and Brazil.”
- Problems and Solutions in Literary Translation: From Obedience to Freedom, by Karen Sotelino and Jayme Costa-Pinto (Thursday, 2 pm, Mesquite E)
“The translation of literary works has long been the topic of discussions surrounding when to translate and when to favor local equivalents. Those issues are especially relevant when confronted with culturally charged, “untranslatable” passages. Walter Benjamin, the philosopher, cultural critic, and essayist, described cultural differences as the element in translation that does not lend itself to translation. This session will show that while Benjamin can be painfully correct, there is much to be gained by understanding that the original words and their translated versions are being constantly transformed—not necessarily in a subservient manner—to produce a new, translated reality.”
- Comparative Law for Portuguese Translators: The Brazilian Civil Code, by Melissa Harkin and Timothy Friese (Saturday, 10 am, Sierra)
“The Brazilian Civil Code may be the single most important piece of legislation for Portuguese translators, covering issues of marriage, adoption, inheritance, property ownership, corporate law, and much more. The speakers will present key terminology, critique existing translations of certain articles, compare the Civil Code with U.S. legislation, and examine reference sources to help translators navigate this field.”
- Leveling the Playing Field through Education and Health Care, by Marie Spivey (Friday, 3:30 pm, Primrose C)
“The speaker will discuss methods of forming interorganizational arrangements of community-based organizations. Doing so will enable these communities to strategically learn more culturally sensitive and linguistically appropriate ways of engaging and supporting the populations they serve. It will also help them improve their response to demographic changes, improve the quality of services and care, and meet legislative, regulatory, and accreditation mandates. Advancing such skills will lead to a well-informed and well-trained culturally and linguistically prepared workforce that contributes positively to an organization’s service delivery.”
- The Challenges and Traps of Translating in the Realm of Sustainable Development, by Melissa Harkin (Saturday, 2 pm, Mesquite E)
“The speaker will discuss the challenges and traps a translator may encounter when translating sustainable development content to and from English and Portuguese. Given the multidimensional concepts and multidisciplinary aspects of these types of documents, the speaker will share possible solutions and alternatives to avoid misreading and mistranslations.”
- Translating the “Universal Language” of Legal Latin, by Timothy Friese (Saturday, 3:30 pm, Sierra)
“Latin is often called a universal language, but just how universal is it? How do we handle situations where different legal traditions have developed divergent understandings of the same Latin terms? What are the best practices for translating to and from languages with or without a tradition of using legal Latin? This session will draw on examples using Arabic, Hebrew, Portuguese, and Spanish to illustrate some of the special tricks of working with this “universal language.”
- Regular Expressions for Dummies, by Reginaldo Francisco (Friday, 2 pm, Madera)
“A regular expression is a special text string used to represent a search pattern. Regular expressions are a very powerful resource and open a full range of possibilities in different programs, including some computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools. Although fully mastering regular expressions can be very complex, understanding some basics allows you to find several uses for them. During this session, we’ll discuss the concept of regular expressions and, through practical examples, test some simple ways to use them. Attend this session if you want to learn how to leverage regular expressions for smarter searches and filtering in your CAT tool.”
- Pedagogical Tools for Teaching Translation and Interpreting Online, by Elena Langdon, Cristiano Mazzei, and Laurence Jay-Rayon Ibrahim Aibo (Friday, 3:30 pm, Mesquite G)
“In this session, experienced instructors will discuss methodologies developed for teaching translation and interpreting online in a multilingual environment. How do you engage students in a virtual environment? What kind of assignments are more suitable for online learning? How do instructors maintain a strong online presence? What are the best practices to create an online community? What are the most effective types of student interactions? How can discussion forums be a space for reflecting on the translation process? How does a fully online instruction format prepare future professionals for increasingly virtual translation environments and the growth of remote interpreting?”