New England Translators Association
 A Professional Resource for Translators and Interpreters


Keynote speaker: Professor Christopher Larkosh

The Queerness of Translation

What’s so queer about translation? This presentation proposes the idea of an inherent relationship between queerness—that indistinct and continually shifting linguistic, cultural, and theoretical signifier of gender identity and nonnormative sexuality—and the ethics of translation. Here the figure of the queer translator is conceptualized as a complex and multifaceted self, with a body in action, sexual desires, personal passions, and political engagements that extend far beyond the act of translation.

The speaker will use the example of James S. Holmes, a founding father of the academic field of translation studies, but also a “pink poet,” one of the 20th century’s most renowned translators of Dutch poetry into English, and gay, leather and HIV/AIDS activist in Amsterdam. The presentation will draw not only upon the multifaceted linguistic activity of Holmes himself in the historical context of images from 1970s and 80s visual culture and media, but also theoretical texts by queer thinkers and others who have challenged the often unspoken prohibition of speaking of oneself in academic discourse. The speaker will also show how these embodied acts of becoming part of the narrative that each translates or transmits also become a kind of ethical imperative, one that benefits not only “one’s self” (or “selves”), but perhaps countless others as well. What kinds of examples does Holmes’ work suggest for us as translators and interpreters in New England today, as facilitators of access to information, services, and other forms of societal inclusion regardless of gender identification? And what challenges arise when gender inclusion may require a shift in our own vocabulary and grammar, not to mention a reconsideration of more fundamental (or queer) questions of translational ethics?

Christopher Larkosh is an associate professor in the Department of Portuguese at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. His research as a comparatist also engages languages and national cultures beyond the Lusophone world (Argentina, Quebec, Italy, Turkey, India, Japan). His first published work in English connecting queer theory to translation studies dates from 1996, and continues in the 2011 collection, Re-Engendering Translation: Transcultural Practice, Gender/Sexuality and the Politics of Alterity (St. Jerome/Routledge) among other articles and collections. He is the director of Tagus Press, a university publisher of books for the global Lusophone diaspora.

In his life outside of academia, he is a US-Italian dual national and polyglot, who views the multilingual, translational, and migratory nature of his own life, whether explicitly sexual or otherwise, as perhaps its most salient cultural feature, whether as a freelance translator from Italian and Spanish; a literary translator from Portuguese, French, and German; a journalist and newscaster at Polish Radio Warsaw in the early years of post-Communist transition; or an international LGBTQ+ activist in the US, Japan, Poland, Argentina, and Italy.

Palliative Care and End of Life: Challenging Conversations

Palliative care and end-of-life conversations between clinicians, patients, and their families often include challenging vocabulary as well as potential for cultural “bumps” and misunderstandings. Terms used in US hospitals and clinics, such as "hospice," often don't have exact equivalents in other languages, creating a challenge for accurate interpretation. During this hour-long workshop, we will review terms commonly used by palliative care clinicians, explore their meanings in English and their cultural components, and share equivalents in participants’ target languages. Vocabulary specific to palliative care social workers’ assessments and supportive encounters will be reviewed. In addition, styles of communication such as “ask-tell-ask” will be shared to give interpreters insight into the somewhat unique style of
palliative care specialists.

Jessica Goldhirsch, LCSW, MSW, MPH, is a clinical social worker with the Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Adult Palliative Care Consult Service. She is also a freelance introductory and advanced medical interpreter trainer with over 15 years of experience designing and delivering workshops. Ms. Goldhirsch has presented throughout the US and internationally for IMIA US and IMIA Japan. Ms. Goldhirsch has served on the boards of the Forum on the Coordination of Interpreter Services and the Massachusetts Medical Interpreters Association. She is a member of NCIHC and NASW.
Linguists Who Code: The Value of a Technically Savvy Localization Pro

The traditional requirements to break into the localization industry are straightforward: Linguists must be fully fluent in both source and target languages; project managers, QA specialists, and publishing professionals should have a background in foreign languages. The value of these skills is clear: Localization projects are translated into dozens of languages, and it is important for the entire team to be able to identify where linguistic issues will arise. However, recent shifts in the nature of localization projects from print-based to web-based formats have made the ability to identify where technical issues will arise equally valuable.

This presentation will discuss the shift in localization projects and the skills professionals will need to accommodate this change, deliver suggestions as to which technical skills are most valuable for a new-age localization professional, and cover how this knowledge will enable localization professionals to provide higher-quality translations.

Keely Byron began her career in the localization industry before she had ever heard the word “localization.” While living in Seville, Spain, she worked as a freelance translator and became exposed to the world of computer-aided translation. This exposure prompted her to seek further education within the localization industry. In 2015 she completed a professional certification in localization through the University of Washington. Since then, she has worked as a localization project manager and transitioned into her current role as a localization engineer. Today, she works to streamline the localization process on every level by developing and introducing new technologies.

Translating Palestinian Documentary Al Nakba in the West: The Linguistic Confrontation

In 2014, in the process of creating the Palestine Remix, an interactive web platform for language learning and translation offering over 30 documentaries on Palestine, Al Jazeera Media Network gathered a group of translators from western countries with the aim to subtitle/dub the documentaries and present them to those western countries. The central word of those films is Al Nakba, or “the catastrophe”: a unified Arabic term for the events of 1948 when many Palestinians were displaced due to the creation of the state of Israel. This paper investigates the correlation between the translators’ subtitling/dubbing styles of the documentary Al Nakba and the perception of the Palestinian cause in the West. The aim of the research is to determine if there is a significant correlation between the translation style of the Al Nakba documentary and the viewers’ perception of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Alma Milisic is an instructor of translation in the department of English Language and Literature, International Burch University, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Alma has worked as a freelancer with the Al Jazeera Media Network on the Palestine Remix project, a web platform that includes dozens of documentaries on Palestine, where she translated films and social media content into Bosnian, Turkish, and Spanish. Alma speaks seven languages (Bosnian, Spanish, English, Italian, Portuguese, Turkish, and Arabic) and often uses her knowledge of languages as a platform for translation research.

Translation Practices in International Advertising: A Case Study of Quebec

This session will explore techniques used for translating and adapting advertisements for the francophone/Quebec market. Challenges faced by translators include the cultural references and play on words (e.g., puns, rhyme, and alliteration) featured in advertising, differences in humor, as well as respecting the tone and spirit of the original concept. A recent study of Quebec advertising, supplemented by interviews with advertising agency and media executives, reveals how global brands are tailoring their messages to Quebecers, recognizing their unique sociocultural characteristics. Linguistic and sociocultural strategies used in this market include brand and product name translation; calques; French proverbs, puns, and idioms; Québécois words and expressions (e.g., salle de montre, laveuses et sécheuses) ; as well as references to the Quebec “star system,” local humor, and made-in-Quebec appeals. This study also provides evidence that Quebec stands in stark contrast to other markets around the globe in its steadfast resolution to avoid “Frenglish” in advertising.

Elizabeth Martin is a professor of French at California State University, San Bernardino, where she teaches courses in business French, French advertising, commercial and technical French translation, and Francophone business cultures.
Her main areas of research are global marketing and localization strategies used to market products to audiences of various Francophone cultures, language policy with respect to advertising, and French-American cultural differences in business. Her publications include a book on English and global imagery in French advertising (Marketing Identities through Language, Palgrave Macmillan), plus numerous articles, book chapters, and reviews on topics in sociolinguistics and languages for the professions.

Computer Tricks for Translators

Learn how to translate more efficiently and faster with your computer. Many of the tools and features I will show are included in most computers and software programs and do not require an additional investment of money. Even though this workshop is especially targeted to users of Windows, the concepts can be applied to Mac OS as well. Learn how to take advantage of built-in dictionaries and thesauri, how to quickly lay out windows side-by-side, how to launch several searches simultaneously in your favorite websites, how to leverage voice-to-text and text-to-voice applications, how to open your most-often-used programs, folders, and applications with one or two keystrokes, and other useful tricks. Time allowing, I will also present a quick overview of translation memory and terminology management programs for translators who are not familiar with these technologies.

Eduardo Berinstein is certified as a translator by the American Translators Association and as an interpreter by the US Federal Courts. He has served as director of interpreting services at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and at Children’s
Hospital, where he started the multilingual interpreter service. He taught at Bentley College, Cambridge College, and the Medical Interpreting Training Institute offered in Tucson by the National Center for Interpretation. Since 2006, he has been teaching an Introduction to Communication and Translation class at Boston University.

You Sure about That? Three Problems in the Translation of Legal Terminology

Legal interpreters and translators have to find their way through a bewildering maze of polysemous terms, disparate legal systems (“simple legal system” is an oxymoron), and wildly divergent opinions. Opinions, yes, because language is not math. Or maths. Nevertheless, by adopting a scientific approach and by taking advantage of modern technology, it might just be possible to make it out of the labyrinth without becoming the Minotaur’s next meal. The three problems to be addressed:
1. bad research
2. false friends
3. phrases with a specific local meaning

The presentation will be given in English. Although the practical examples will be English <> Portuguese, the challenges and concepts to be discussed apply to any language pair (and to any subject matter, really) and a knowledge of Portuguese (or law) is not necessary.

Steve Sanford has been a court and conference interpreter for 20 years, and is currently a full-time employee of the Trial Court of Massachusetts. He has been an instructor in Boston University’s interpreting program since 2005. In 2010 he was one of the Portuguese Language Division’s Distinguished Speakers at the American Translators Association conference. The Interpreter's Gym, his SoundCloud page, provides audio files for interpreters to practice with, free of charge. In addition to interpreting for everything from murder trials to small-claims cases, Steve has trained and mentored new court interpreters and helped translate court forms.

"I Need a Repetition," or, How to Develop Your Short-Term Memory Skills

Consecutive interpreting skills consist of a complex set of subskills and abilities. Good short-term memory is one of the prerequisites to successful interpreting in general, and consecutive mode in particular. This practical, engaging, and hands-on workshop will help participants better understand how short-term memory works. The presenter will demonstrate ways to improve short-term memory. Attendees will learn practical tips and exercises that every healthcare interpreter can use to develop their short-term memory between assignments.

Margarita Bekker, CoreCHI™, is lead Russian interpreter, education and training, at Stanford University Medical Center, and chair of the Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters. Since 2012, she has been a curriculum developer and instructor of healthcare interpreting courses (Russian) for the master-level distance learning program at Glendon School of Translation at York University, Toronto, Canada. Margarita is a certified Bridging the Gap trainer. She was a Russian language coach at the City College of San Francisco HCI program. Margarita is a former president of CHIA and received its Interpreter of the Year award in 2016.

International Freelance Translators for Social Justice: Producing a Translation of the
Ayotzinapa Report in Record Time with Limited Means

This panel presents the approach taken by a team of translators as they worked to produce an English translation of the Ayotzinapa Report, a report written in Spanish about the disappearance and murders of 43 student teachers from a rural area in Mexico. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights commissioned the report in agreement with the state of Mexico and representatives of the victims. The Ford Foundation provided financial resources to produce an English-language version. First, the coordinator will explain the background, management, and ethical aspects of
the project. Then, participating translators will discuss text-specific issues such as glossary preparation, terminology, and consistency among multiple translators, as well as text processing and use of Trados. The panel will end with Q&A time and interaction with attendees.

Jaime Fatás-Cabeza is the director of the degree program in translation and interpretation at the University of Arizona. He is accredited as a federal court interpreter, healthcare interpreter (CCHI), and ATA translator. A former Netan, Jaime has been a staff interpreter with the Trial Court of Massachusetts, and supervisor of interpreting services at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Works translated include several academic and technical books. He collaborated in the second edition of Fundamentals of Court Interpretation and recently authored an instructor’s manual
for medical Spanish. He is a member of the board of directors of NCIHC and a commissioner with CCHI.

Not Just a Labor of Love: The Rewards of Literary Translation 

Widely published literary translator Michael Goldman will discuss the trajectory for success when a translator is working for the love of a literary project. He will weave inspiring personal stories—such as his transition from carpenter to translator, and his contacting a Danish author on her deathbed—with excerpts from several of his recent books, both poetry and prose. He will also discuss ways literary translation can bring in supplementary income. There will be time for questions.

Literary translator Michael Goldman taught himself fluent Danish 30 years ago while working on a farm in Denmark. Over 100 of Goldman’s translations of five prominent Danish authors have been published in dozens of literary journals such as The Harvard Review, Rattle, and The Massachusetts Review. His translated books include Farming Dreams by Knud Sørensen, Stories about Tacit by Cecil Bødker, Fragments of a Mirror by Knud Sønderby, and Average Neuroses by
Marianne K. Hansen. The Midwest Book Review calls his audiobook series, Poetry for the Rest of Us, “superb choices for connoisseurs of multicultural poetry.”

How to Ace the New ATA Computerized Certification Exam
ATA-certified translators get more work and make more money! In this presentation led by ATA graders, you will learn how to prepare for the certification exam, especially in its new computerized format. We will explain what type of passages you will encounter in the test, what graders are looking for, what constitutes an error and how points are assigned, what the most common errors have been over the years and how to avoid them. This presentation will bring you closer to achieving ATA certification.
Rudy Heller and Diego Mansilla, both long-time translators, are graders in the E>S workgroup of the American Translators Association certification exam. They have attended grader workshops and Certification Committee meetings, and are familiar with the latest developments in the program, particularly the computerized option. In addition to their experience in professional translation, Rudy is a federally certified court interpreter, and Diego teaches advanced translation at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

A “Justice-Seeking Interpreting Ethics” for a More Just Ordering of the World: Are
Linguistic and Cognitive Skills Sufficient?

Interpreters are often called upon to mediate between figures of authority who speak the dominant language and persons with limited proficiency in that language. Thissocial reality necessarily entails a power differential. It may also imply fundamental differences in the goals, aspirations, and needs of the parties for whom the interpreter is mediating. Often the LEP person comes to the interaction with experiences and a background that the other party may hardly be able to imagine. In many instances the interaction is adversarial, as in a courtroom or immigration hearing, or may become so, as in a visit to a doctor who has an allotted 15-minute slot. The interpreter, who is employed by one party or the other, is pulled in different directions.

This panel will examine the tension between the public professional view of the interpreter’s role as an impartial linguistic conduit and the interpreter’s own sense of moral or ethical duty to intervene where a literal interpretation does not do justice to the complex reality being communicated. It will consider the implications of this contradictory expectation and how it might be resolved by the parties involved.

Deirdre Giblin, staff asylum attorney, Community Legal Services and Counseling Center
Moira Inghilleri, associate professor, UMass Amherst, director of Translation and Interpreting
Studies Program
Ester Serra Luque, director, Community Support Partnership, Transition House
Lissie Wahl-Kleiser, medical anthropology research fellow, Department of Global Health and Social
Medicine, Harvard Medical School; medical interpreter
Kenneth Kronenberg, moderator

Translation Contracts 101

Translation contracts are complex legal documents in which there is often much more at stake than originally meets the eye. In this session, Paula Arturo will discuss what translators need to know about contracts in general, including NDAs, and certain clauses in particular, to decode translation contracts before signing them or to draft more solid terms and conditions of their own.

Paula Arturo is a lawyer, translator, and law professor. She is a codirector of Translating Lawyers, a boutique firm specializing in legal translation by lawyers for lawyers. Throughout her 15-year career, she has translated several highly technical law books and publications in major international journals for high-profile authors, including several Nobel Prize laureates and renowned jurists. She is currently a member of the American Translators Association’s Ethics Committee, the ATA Literary Division’s Leadership Council, and the Public Policies Forum of the Supreme Court of Argentina.


Endnote Speaker: Barry Slaughter Olsen

Technology and Interpreting: The Good Ol' Days Weren't Always Good and Tomorrow Ain't as Bad as It Seems

Interpreting and technology are becoming only more intertwined. Thanks to growing demand and breakthrough technology to deliver the service in new ways, interpreting, which was once a cottage industry, now garners the attention of everyone from corporate executives to Silicon Valley startups. But what does that mean for individual interpreters and the profession in general? How will it affect the way you work? Or how you find work? Where are things headed? Should you be worried or excited? Join Professor Olsen as he takes a look back at interpreting’s relationship with technology over the last 100 years and draws conclusions on what this means for interpreters now and what it may mean for our profession’s future. 

Barry Slaughter Olsen is a veteran conference interpreter and technophile with over two decades of experience interpreting, training interpreters, and organizing language services. He is an associate professor at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MIIS), the founder and copresident of InterpretAmerica, and general manager of multilingual operations at ZipDX. He is a member of the International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC). For updates on interpreting, training, and technology, follow him on Twitter: @ProfessorOlsen.


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