Preview of the French track at #ATA61

Virtual conference
Photo Credit: Unsplash

By the FLD team

ATA61 is right around the corner! Below you will find a preview of all the sessions in the French track. Remember that ATA-certified translators can earn one CEP for each hour of conference sessions attended, up to a maximum of 10 CEPs. Plus, all the sessions will be recorded and made available to attendees after the conference, so you won’t miss a thing!

Mastering Cultural Nuances in French: Identifying and Translating Regionalisms

Natalie Pavey, CT

This session will focus on increasing your awareness of regional variations of French and identifying when a construction is characteristic of a specific geographic area. It will also propose strategies for translating region-specific vocabulary, expressions, idioms, and colloquialisms to capture the richness of the French language in your translations. Examples will be used to demonstrate how cultural awareness, local knowledge, and a solid understanding of standard French all come into play when attempting to retain local color in the target language.

Thursday, October 22 from 5:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m. EDT

Who’s Afraid of DeepL?

Dirk Siepmann

Machine translation (MT) tools like DeepL have become a significant concern to the translation industry. Clients either turn away from professional translators, assuming that DeepL will do the job just as well, or they submit a machine-translated text for post-editing, blithely unaware that this may be more time-consuming than translating from scratch. This session will examine the strengths and weaknesses of DeepL and suggest strategies for post-editing. It will demonstrate that fully automated high-quality MT is still out of reach. In what ways does the machine either assist or mislead translators, and when to do without it? Presented with examples from German and French.

Friday, October 23 from 2:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m. EDT

Style is Everything: Tips for Polishing Your French>English Translations

Kate Deimling, CT

This session will examine various aspects of French style and discuss approaches to translating them into well-written English. The goal is to identify problematic features in French while translating, instead of noticing stilted language while proofing the translation. Examples will come from various fields, including academic writing, journalism, international policy, and marketing. French style is more roundabout, whereas in English it’s important not to “bury the lede.” A main topic will be word order, including indications of time and place. The speaker will also discuss how to express emphasis and contrast. There will be an interactive portion for attendee contributions.

Friday, October 23 from 3:30 p.m.–4:30 p.m. EDT

French>English Official Document Translation: From Attestation to Zoologie

Samantha Mowry, CT

The translator of French>English official documents has to contend with dozens of document types (e.g., birth/death/marriage certificates, criminal record reports, academic transcripts/certificates/diplomas at all levels of education, report cards, and more). The challenges are multiplied by the more than 25 countries using French as a language of government and academic instruction. This session will focus on the terminology in this field, including solutions for stock phrases commonly found on civil records and academic documentation, ambiguous course names in specialized fields, and the differences in grading systems. The speaker will include a detailed take-home glossary.

Friday, October 23 from 5:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m. EDT

Inclusive English>French Translation for Human Resources in Francophone Europe and Canada

Laurence Jay-Rayon Ibrahim Aibo

Inclusive writing in human resources (HR) is now being recommended in Francophone Europe and Canada to address gender-based stereotypes and discrimination in the workplace. Translating from English into French, which is a gender-marked language, presents challenges when it comes to recreating an inclusive text. Attendees will learn about current recommendations for inclusive writing in Francophone Europe and Canada and gender-neutral strategies when translating HR materials into French. This session will be relevant to both English>French and French>English translators. Sample challenges and solutions will be discussed, and attendees will receive a handout with examples and resources.

Saturday, October 24 from 2:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m. EDT

Thanks in advance to all of the presenters—we can’t wait! If any of you are interested in turning your presentations into blog posts, you know where to find us!

It still isn’t too late to register for ATA’s first virtual conference! Head over to to reserve your spot and “see” you all next week!