By Farah Arjang
I had not attended the ATA annual conference since the 50th in New York City because fall is the conference season, when I am busy as a conference interpreter. Fortunately, this year I was able to attend and noticed a drastic change as compared to previous conferences.
I cannot rave enough about the Conference App, which smoothed navigating through the chaotic days of the conference. It assisted the attendees in retrieving the sessions and put detailed information about the conference at their fingertips.
I signed up for the Buddies Welcome Newbies program, which pairs up more experienced ATA conference attendees with first-time conferees. I paired up with three Newbies, three young Chinese women who were spending their first few months of graduate school in the US. The conference and the whole culture and country were new to them, which made our partnership a richer experience. We were able to connect beyond the ATA conference, and their questions gave me the opportunity to think in new ways.As an Interpreters Division (ID) Leadership Council member, I was excited to participate at the ID annual meeting. It was very well attended and Marsel de Souza, the then Assistant Administrator, had prepared an informative presentation for the attendees. He submitted the results of the ID members’ survey of 2015 and the work that the Interpreters Division has done in this regard.
- In response to the survey question “How can the Interpreters Division raise the standards of the interpreting community?” the ID posted a credentialing opportunities table on the ID website
- Regarding “interaction with other stakeholders,” Marsel pointed out the ASTM F2089-15 Standard Practice for Language Interpreting and the close working relationship with the ATA Interpreter Policy Advisory Committee.
- Marsel mentioned that the featured topic in 2016 was “Ethics,” and the Interpreters Division featured this topic with a panel discussion and two presentations by guest speaker Robyn Dean.
Click here for more information about the Interpreters Division agendas and reports.
More than 1,800 attendees involved in translation and interpreting were present and engaged in more than 170 sessions at this conference in San Francisco. The exhibition hall, tool support stations, ATA certification exams, division dinners, Job Fair, happy hours, and networking opportunities were just some of the announced activities. There were many other unannounced events. The conference was a presentation by the cream of the crop. Wilhelm Weber, Chief Interpreter for 13 Olympic Games, was the Keynote speaker at the closing session, and he shared his experience from the past and his dreams for the future.
The ATA 57th Annual Conference officially ended on Saturday November 5, 2016 with the Keynote and Closing Session followed by the Closing Reception and Dance Party.
Farah Arjang Vezvaee is a professional, English<>Farsi language pair freelance translator and interpreter. She has been working in the industry for more than 25 years as a linguist, supervisor and manager, and runs a language center specializing in Farsi/Dari. In her years of working in the translation community, Ms. Arjang has had the opportunity to serve many international organizations including the Olympic Committee and the World Bank, to name a couple. She has also served the Department of State, US Supreme Court and the Congress on the national level. Ms. Arjang has been a member of ATA for more than 15 years and currently serves as the Vice President of NCATA, the DC, MD, and VA chapter of ATA and is a member of the ATA Interpreter Division’s Leadership Council.