Choose from 12 languages!

ATA57 offers sessions that focus on 12 languages, plus sessions of other specializations that are related to these languages. Select a language below to see what sessions are offered.

ATA-certified translators may earn one CEP for each hour attended, up to a maximum of 10 CEPs.
Certified interpreters may earn continuing education credit. Learn more

Select your desired language:
Arabic Chinese Dutch
French German Italian
Japanese Korean Nordic Languages
Portuguese Slavic Languages Spanish

Click on the speaker name to view bio.

Running an Arabic Translation Business: Challenges and Solutions
Ousama Fatima | Heather Knight Wiersema
(Friday, 3:30pm-4:30pm; All Levels; Presented in: English and Arabic)

A-5 Exploring Transliterated Arabic Terms in Foreign Languages Through Basic Concepts of Islam
Abdelmalek Abdelmalek
(Saturday, 3:30pm-4:30pm; All Levels; Presented in: English)

Although only 20% or less of all Muslims are Arabs, Muslims worldwide have a high regard for the Arabic language. Thus, non-Arab Muslims pepper their writing and speech with Arabic terms. The speaker has seen transliterated Arabic in Danish, Norwegian, German, French, and English documents. The speaker will offer a glossary of such terms and discuss the meaning of the most commonly used terms and the context in which they might appear. The speaker will also explore ways to identify such terms and search for their meaning.

Write Arabic Right
Timothy Gregory, CT
(Saturday, 2:00pm-3:00pm; All Levels; Presented in: English and Arabic)

A-1 Form versus Meaning: English>Arabic Translation Issues
Elias Shakkour, CT
(Friday, 2:00pm-3:00pm; Advanced; Presented in: English)

As two languages that exhibit marked differences in almost every aspect, English and Arabic are excellent examples of the lack of one-to-one correspondence between lexical items and syntactic structures in different languages. A form-based one-to-one approach–as opposed to a meaning-based one-to-many approach–often leads to unidiomatic or overly literal translations. The speaker–an ATA-certified Arabic>English translator with native competence in both languages–will present examples of widespread English>Arabic translation issues and challenges. Attendees will get a chance to work through some of these issues and come up with appropriate translations.

Translating American Slang into Modern Standard Arabic
Heather Knight Wiersema
(Saturday, 11:15am-12:15pm; All Levels; Presented in: English and Arabic)

Related Sessions

T-13 Reading Beyond the Lines: The Translator’s Quest for Extra-Textual Information


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Chinese>English Translation: Identifying Problems, Suggesting Solutions
Shihua Brazill
(Saturday, 11:15am-12:15pm; All Levels; Presented in: English and Chinese)

Chinese to English translation problems happen frequently. This session will examine some practical methods to improve translation quality regarding Chinese to English, with “Chinglish” (ungrammatically difficult-to-understand translations of Chinese into English language) as a focus. Translation is used for cross-cultural communication; if people from different countries and different languages cannot communicate well with each other, then it can cause catastrophic problems. This session will also include some real-life exercises to practice the concepts learned. All experience levels are welcome.

C-2 The UN Interpreter, Part II
Feng Chen
(Saturday, 10:00am-11:00am; All Levels; Presented in: English)

CHANGE: Moved from Thursday, 3:30pm-4:30pm to Saturday, 10:00am-11:00am

See abstract for C-1: The UN Interpreter, Part I.

C-4 I Swear
Pency Tsai
(Thursday, 3:30pm-4:30pm; Beginner; Presented in: English and Mandarin)

CHANGE: Moved from Saturday, 10:00am-11:00am to Thursday, 3:30pm-4:00pm

You will encounter curse words at some point during your career. They are natural, perfectly normal, and, in some case, poetic. Oftentimes, they are the most apt choice in society’s arsenal of words at our disposal. Often overlooked when heard, curse words convey a meaning and emphasis that is not apparent until one delves deeper into such language. This session will examine the beauty of such words and why it’s critical to sift through all the choices available to provide quality interpreting or translation. The speaker will also discuss when swearing isn’t swearing.

C-1 The UN Interpreter, Part I
Feng Chen
(Saturday, 8:30am-9:30am; All Levels; Presented in: English)

CHANGE: Moved from Thursday, 2:00pm-3:00pm to Saturday, 8:30am-9:30am

As the world’s largest organization with universal membership, the United Nations debates a full spectrum of subjects and poses exacting demands on interpreters in terms of accuracy, speed, versatility, and sensitivity. The speaker will reveal the inner workings of this intriguing world stage, focusing on the essential qualities required of a top-notch interpreter, the training process, and the opportunities available (including those for translators) in all working languages of the organization.

C-3 Sense and Sensibility: Translating a President’s Words
Evelyn Yang Garland, CT | Michelle LeSourd
(Thursday, 2:00pm-3:00pm; All Levels; Presented in: English)

CHANGE: Moved from Saturday, 8:30am-9:30am to Thursday, 2:00pm-3:00pm

A good translation must convey both the logic and feeling of the source text. This is especially true for highly nuanced political text. The speakers will discuss examples from their own experiences translating a book of essays and speeches by Chinese President Xi Jinping. The speakers will discuss common issues that come up when translating nuanced Chinese text into English. Attendees will expand their pool of solutions for delivering translations in which sense and sensibility both prevail.

Related Sessions

TI-1 Language Services Industry in China: Opportunities and Challenges


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D-1 Double Dutch Translation Slam
Percy Balemans | Carol Stennes, CT | Neil Gouw | Claire Singleton
(Thursday, 11:15am-12:15pm; All Levels; Presented in: English and Dutch)

Four translators. Two texts. You’ll never guess what happens next. The speakers asked two English>Dutch translators and two Dutch>English translators to translate the same text. During this session, each team will discuss their translations with the audience.

D-2 Going Dutch
Dorine Oz-Vermeulen | Cindi Sheridan-Heller | Leo van Zanten
(Friday, 3:30pm-4:30pm; All Levels; Presented in: English and Dutch)

To celebrate the establishment of the Dutch Language Division, ATA’s 20th division, the speakers decided to give attendees a chance to Go Dutch. They will explain the use of the word Dutch in the English language. They will also cover common expressions that are not what they appear, how these could be (mis)understood, and what the actual meaning is. The speakers, all members of the new division, will provide attendees with a unique experience into the world of Dutch. No previous knowledge of Dutch is required to attend.


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F-5 Translating Sherpa: The Memoir of Ang Tharkay
Corinne McKay, CT
(Friday, 2:00pm-3:00pm; All Levels; Presented in: English with French examples)

In this session, the speaker will describe her experience translating the memoir of Ang Tharkay, the sirdar (head Sherpa) for the 1950 French expedition to climb Annapurna. This memoir is fascinating from both the linguistic and substantive points of view, and stands as one of the only Himalayan memoirs of this era to be told in a Sherpa’s own words. We’ll discuss the challenges of translating an “as told to ...” book. Attendees will also be able to try their hand at translating a few of the book’s tricky passages. The speaker will also discuss strategies for finding work translating nonfiction books.

More Free Online French Resources
Gay Rawson
(Friday, 10:00am-11:00am; All Levels; Presented in: English)

Back for round two! Last year, participants who attended a similar session proposed many useful additions. This session will showcase the revised website, featuring their tips and suggestions. It will also focus on more specialized dictionaries and databases (for fields such as finance, law, business, etc.), as well as a few very specific subspecialty areas such as viticulture. There will also be an emphasis on tools to improve or maintain one’s French proficiency. These tools range from podcasts to social media platforms and more. Attendees will leave with a handout explaining the different sites and access to the website.

F-1 44 Tips for Amazing English>French Translations, Part I
Luc Labelle
(Thursday, 2:00pm-3:00pm; Advanced; Presented in: French)

Are your French translations dull or dry compared to the original English texts? This session will offer 44 strategies, from the general to the highly specific, that will help you craft texts that are both faithful to the original and enjoyable to read. This session will use concrete examples (and counterexamples) from texts translated for national and international organizations, as well as anecdotes gathered over years of experience. These tips will include rules that are often neglected or forgotten. Some of these are unwritten rules while others are bold departures from traditional teachings.

Translating Contracts for French Translators
Thomas West, CT
(Friday, 10:00am-11:00am; Advanced; Presented in: English and French)

F-8 French>English Translation Slam
Eve Lindemuth Bodeux | Andie Ho | Jenn Mercer
(Saturday, 2:00pm-3:00pm; All Levels; Presented in: English)

Join the jury as talented French>English translators put their translation skills to the test. Whose wording will reign supreme? It’s all in good fun as we discuss fine gradations of meaning, the risks and benefits of various translation styles, and applaud clever phrasing.

F-4 Preparing for ATA’s French>English Certification Exam
Ellen Sowchek, CT | Michèle Hansen, CT
(Friday, 11:15am-12:15pm; Advanced; Presented in: English and French)

This session will offer valuable insight into ATA’s French>English certification exam from experienced French>English graders. The speakers will review the exam process before delving into a sample text. How do graders approach a candidate’s translation? How are error point values determined? Why are some renditions considered acceptable, while others would be marked as errors? How do you know if you’re ready to take the exam? These questions and many more will be answered as attendees work with the speakers to translate and grade a sample passage during hands-on discussion.

F-9 The Language of Medicine in Five Easy Pieces
Françoise Herrmann
(Saturday, 3:30pm-4:30pm; All Levels; Presented in: English)

This session will cover five important and characteristic aspects of the language of medicine that linguists will appreciate. Attendees will walk away with roadmaps for exercises. They will also learn a few good explanations of what it is that medical translators do.

F-7 Turning Abstract French into Hands-On English
Grant Hamilton
(Saturday, 11:15am-12:15pm; All Levels; Presented in: English)

This session is designed to get you thinking in new ways to solve translation challenges. You’ll take away more than just specific ideas or turns of phrase, you’ll gain new insight into what makes English tick. We’ll be taking French sentences and paragraphs written in a typically abstract way and practice putting some oomph back into their English versions. You will then use this newfound approach to dazzle your clients with sparkling, idiomatic translations.

F-6 Breaking the Mold: Throwing Out Translation for an Intimate Look at Source Material
Angela Benoit
(Saturday, 10:00am-11:00am; All Levels; Presented in: English and French)

This speaker will analyze and discuss a series of hand-selected “source-to-source comparisons” in both English and French. The goal is to rewire the way we think as translators and combat “translationese.” Both French>English and English>French translators will benefit from this session.

F-2 44 Tips for Amazing English>French Translations, Part II
Luc Labelle
(Thursday, 3:30pm-4:30pm; Advanced; Presented in: French)

See abstract for F-1: 44 Tips for Amazing English>French Translations, Part I.

Related Sessions

ST-3 Translating Poincaré: French, Mathematical-Physics, and Chaos

TI-2 You’re Not Fluent Yet! Speaking the Language of Sustainable Development


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G-4 Die Fremde hier (Preserving Foreignness in Translation)
Philip Boehm
(Friday, 3:30pm-4:30pm; All Levels; Presented in: English)

“Übrigens war auch der Regen zu ertragen, es ist eben die Fremde hier, eine kleine Fremde zwar nur, aber es tut dem Herzen wohl.” This is what Kafka wrote his translator, Milena Jesenská. Literary texts often contain different layers of foreignness, some large, some small. How do you translate, say, English phrases embedded in a German original? Do you leave the French alone, but render the Russian? And how do you avoid sticking your footnote in your mouth? The speaker will examine several examples and attempted solutions and finish the session with a participatory challenge.

G-6 German Immersion Strategies for Expatriates and Other Deutsch-Fans
Marion Rhodes
(Saturday, 2:00pm-3:00pm; Intermediate; Presented in: English and German)

Modern German language is being shaped by immigration and pop culture, and keeping up with its evolution can be a challenge for people living in non-German-speaking countries. For translators, staying on top of these developments is crucial, especially for those working in fields such as marketing, public relations, or advertising. They need to be aware of linguistic trends to communicate with target audiences at eye level and establish emotional connections. In this session, attendees will learn tips and strategies from a German expatriate on how to stay immersed in the German language when you’re living outside a German-speaking country.

German Orthography: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Dagmar Jenner | Judy Jenner
(Thursday, 2:00pm-3:00pm; Intermediate; Presented in: German)

G-3 Bottom, Bless Thee! Thou Art Translated (Translating for the Stage)
Philip Boehm
(Friday, 2:00pm-3:00pm; All Levels; Presented in: English)

There are many puckish imps lurking inside playscripts, eager to lead unwary translators through various brakes and briers, or even worse (“I see their knavery: this is to make an ass of me.”). First, attendees will hear an overview of some common traps and examine a few specific solutions involving 19th-, 20th-, and 21st-century plays. Finally, attendees will put theory to the test by rendering and performing a few sample dialogues.

G-5 Next Level Editing: Strategies for Creating Successful German>English Translations
Geoffrey Cox
(Saturday, 11:15am-12:15pm; All Levels; Presented in: English)

Editing plays a valuable role in each step of the translation process, whether you are editing your own translations, editing the work of other translators, or even post-editing machine translations. Good editing helps move translations closer to something that is not only faithful to the original, but also faithful to the target language and culture. The speaker will discuss different strategies for transforming translations into independently viable texts, as he invites attendees to step away from the computer screen and segmented files and take their translations to the next level.

G-2 Much Ado about Gluten: Celiac Disease, Gluten Sensitivity, and the Gluten-Free Diet Explained
Ulrike Walter-Lipow, CT
(Thursday, 3:30pm-4:30pm; Advanced; Presented in: English and German)

Given the recent hype about eating gluten-free and the question of whether it’s a fad or a life-saving necessity, it’s easy to be confused. It doesn’t help that reliable information is hard to find when researching terminology. This session will explain the current medical/scientific understanding of celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, and gluten/wheat allergy. It will present diagnostic guidelines for the U.S. and Germany, and will compare regulatory gluten/allergen labeling requirements for foods in the U.S. and EU (Germany), making it relevant for translators focusing on medicine, nutrition, and food. Terminology and reliable resources in English and German will be provided.

G-7 Alle Menschen werden Brüder? The Challenges of Gender Neutrality in German Translations
Silvia Fosslien, CT | Margot Lück-Zastoupil
(Saturday, 3:30pm-4:30pm; All Levels; Presented in: German)

Using the male form of nouns and pronouns in contexts that refer to both genders or to persons of unknown gender often seems to be the most pragmatic and accepted route to take when translating into German. But does it have to be that way? Are there workable alternatives? The speakers will give a brief overview of existing guidelines for linguistic inclusivity in German and then use practical translation examples to explore the limits and possibilities of achieving a higher degree of gender sensitivity. Attendees will be encouraged to contribute their own examples, experiences, and perspectives.

Related Sessions

AST-11 Finding the Voice in Literary Translation

ST-2 Beyond Navigation: Established and Emerging Satellite Applications


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IT-3 What Italian Grammar Doesn’t Say
Francesco Urzì
(Friday, 2:00pm-3:00pm; Advanced; Presented in: Italian)

The Italian language is changing fast. Some language features are not yet covered by grammatical rules, but are nevertheless well established in modern usage and must be regarded as genuine and freely available linguistic resources for the translator. Attendees will learn how to use “factorization” (i.e., when a prefix is shared by two different words), how to shorten a sentence by using “relational adjectives” (like “consulenziale”), and “relational adjectival compounds” (such as “politico-programmatico”). The speaker will also discuss how to properly manage verbs that govern two prepositions within the same clause, as well as how to manage the information structure of the text correctly.

IT-2 How to Use Fewer Words While Saying the Same Thing
Francesco Urzì
(Thursday, 3:30pm-4:30pm; Advanced; Presented in: Italian)

The analysis of EU institutional corpora allows us to identify a certain number of linguistic situations that are responsible for “heaviness” in the target language. Attendees will learn how to exploit the morphemic richness of the Italian language and make the most of grammatical syntax (e.g., articles, pronouns, possessives, and clitic pronouns). Attendees will leave with a clearer idea of how to achieve better textual cohesion and readability that will ultimately speed up the translation process.

IT-1 ATA’s Certification Exam: A Mountain You Can Climb
Amy Taylor, CT | Francesca Marchei, CT | Giovanna Massari, CT | Jonathan Hine, CT | Roberto Crivello, CT
(Thursday, 2:00pm-3:00pm; All Levels; Presented in: English and Italian)

What does it take to pass ATA’s certification exam? The speakers (representing Italian>English and English>Italian translators) will offer tips on how to prepare for the exam and avoid common pitfalls. They will explain error categories and provide examples of what works from a grader’s point of view. Attendees should read the information on certification on ATA’s website (, and come prepared to ask questions and to participate. The session will be in English and Italian.


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J-5 Preparing for ATA’s Japanese to/from English Certification Exam
Akiko Sasaki-Summers, CT | Connie Prener, CT | David Newby, CT | Izumi Suzuki, CT | Miyako Okamoto, CT | Miyo M. Tat, CT | Satoko Nielsen, CT
(Friday, 2:00pm-3:00pm; All Levels; Presented in: English and Japanese)

This session will provide an overview of ATA’s certification process, including recent and upcoming changes, as well as an opportunity to gain hands-on experience with the translation of a sample passage. Attendees will complete translations of a Japanese or English passage and receive feedback from graders using the grading tools and standards for the exam. To fully benefit from this session, participants will need to translate a sample passage in advance.

J-2 From Murakami to Sōseki: Checking Your Translations with Authors, Both Living and Dead, Part II
Jay Rubin
(Thursday, 2:00pm-3:00pm; All Levels; Presented in: English)

See abstract for J-1: From Murakami to Sōseki: Checking Your Translations with Authors, Both Living and Dead, Part I.

J-8 Leveling Up: How to Raise the Quality of Your Audiovisual Translations
Sarah Lindholm
(Saturday, 2:00pm-3:00pm; All Levels; Presented in: English)

Let’s talk about quality! Audiovisual materials–whether anime, safety videos, or recorded interviews–present unique challenges. A professional quality reviewer will discuss the specific quality problems that arise in translation from Japanese, a high-context language, to English, a low-context language, as well as the increased importance of directional verbs and passives in this medium. She will also examine real-life examples of quality failures and dissect what went wrong, what could have prevented it, and what steps have proven successful (or not) in helping the translators she oversees improve their work.

J-4 Financial Translation: Accounting Standards
Marceline Therrien
(Friday, 11:15am-12:15pm; Intermediate; Presented in: English)

GAAP? JGAAP? IFRS? Is it all Greek to you? This session will examine the accounting standards that shape financial statements in the U.S. and Japan. Who writes them? How are they decided? Why does this matter for translators? These standards are evolving constantly, creating new terminology in both source and target languages. The speaker will explore the resources available to help attendees find the most generally accepted translation for the standardized terms used in financial statements.

J-7 Sight Translation Techniques to Improve Translation Speed and Fluency
Tanya Pound
(Saturday, 11:15am-12:15pm; All Levels; Presented in: English and Japanese)

Sight translation can seem very daunting to many at first glance, but there are techniques to help improve your comprehension and output speed. These same techniques also improve the fluency and fluidity of the translation. Japanese>English sight translation can be particularly challenging for those unfamiliar with the process due to the vast difference in the syntax of the two languages. This session will break down the process into easy-to-understand steps that will help improve both the speed and fluency with which you translate.

J-9 The Challenges of Japanese>English Game Translation
Philip Soldini, CT
(Saturday, 3:30pm-4:30pm; Beginner; Presented in: English)

Attendees will split into small groups and work together to tackle challenges common to Japanese>English game translation, including tight character restrictions, dialogue involving puns, and characters with wacky speaking quirks. Each group will have an opportunity to discuss their approach for overcoming the various challenges, and the speaker will share his strategies as well. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to translate games, this is your chance to get a feel for it while getting to know fellow translators specializing in this area.

J-6 Deposition Strategies
Andrew Migita-Meehan
(Saturday, 10:00am-11:00am; All Levels; Presented in: English and Japanese)

This session will explore deposition interpreting for complex litigation, as both lead and check interpreter in various settings. Topics will include site translation, note-taking, professionalism, and ethics, as well as how to work with attorneys, lead and check interpreters, and court reporters. This interactive session will encourage audience participation.

J-1 From Murakami to Sōseki: Checking Your Translations with Authors, Both Living and Dead, Part I
Jay Rubin
(Thursday, 11:15am-12:15pm; All Levels; Presented in: English)

This session draws from the speaker’s experience of having translated the fiction and nonfiction of Japan’s best-known living author, Haruki Murakami, as well as the novels of Sōseki Natsume. The speaker’s translations of Murakami have been helped immeasurably by direct contact with the author. However, translating Sōseki has proven much more challenging, since the author died in 1916. The speaker will examine the challenges of translating these and other authors. He will also discuss negotiating the shoals of the translation industry, including publishers, literary agents, editors, and copyright problems.

Views of a Patent Attorney: The Intellectual Property Trend and Its Impact on Translation
Momoko Okuda
(Friday, 10:00am-11:00am; Intermediate; Presented in: English and Japanese)

Readability Matters: Insist on the Human Touch to Stay Competitive
Naoko Uchida, CT
(Friday, 10:00am-11:00am; All Levels; Presented in: Japanese)

In the Linguistic Quality Assurance phase of a localization project, Readability error (also called Style or Preferential error by some) is counted when the translation is not wrong but awkward. These errors often become a subject of rebuttal because a decision to call something awkward may be subjective. Discouraged by the prospect of having to defend one’s judgment, many reviewers tend to become lenient toward readability errors. The purpose of this presentation is to provide an insight into the issues surrounding readability errors, which may be a contributing factor behind the surge in demand for transcreation and linguistic quality edit.


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K-2 Korean Grammar: Observing the Rules
Jacki Noh
(Friday, 11:15am-12:15pm; All Levels; Presented in: Korean)

The demand for Korean>English translation has increased in recent years. As professionals in the translation industry, we know it’s imperative to put all our efforts into demonstrating linguistic accuracy. Let’s ask ourselves: Have we been strictly observing the latest grammatical rules and conventions? This session will cover some of the most common and confusing grammatical mistakes observed in both oral and written communication. Topics will include incorrect and inappropriate word choices, spelling errors, and spacing errors citing the most up-to-date Korean grammar books.

K-1 Pragmatic Issues in Korean>English Translation
Paul B. Gallagher, CT | Elena Chang
(Friday, 10:00am-11:00am; Intermediate; Presented in: English and Korean)

The unusually large gap between the Korean and English cultures challenges the translator to adapt or localize rather than translate faithfully. For example, a common respectful greeting means literally, “You’ve come,” and a Korean may end a conversation by saying “Then.” Based on realistic examples, the speaker will explore appropriate American English equivalents for Korean courtesy phrases, imagery and proverbs, and rhetorical organization. Participation is encouraged!

K-4 Korean Diplomatic Translation, Part II
Ray Valido
(Saturday, 10:00am-11:00am; All Levels; Presented in: English)

See abstract for K-3: Korean Diplomatic Translation, Part I.

K-3 Korean Diplomatic Translation, Part I
Ray Valido
(Saturday, 8:30am-9:30am; All Levels; Presented in: English)

Translating documents for the White House, the Secretary of State, and other federal agencies can be both exciting and challenging. This session will provide a view into the world of diplomatic translation at the State Department, as well as a bit of history about the country’s longest-running translation office. The speaker will explore the different types of Korean-language projects handled by the Office of Language Services at the U.S. Department of State. A brief overview will be given on projects such as treaty comparisons and diplomatic correspondence. The speaker will also discuss the current translation needs of the office and the skills that are sought out in potential Korean translators.


Nordic Languages
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N-1 Scandinanvian>English Medical Abbreviations
Thor Truelson
(Thursday, 11:15am-12:15pm; Advanced; Presented in: English)

This will be an interactive session focusing on medical abbreviations and acronyms from Swedish, Danish, and Norwegian into English. Many common abbreviations (as well as some less common ones) will be presented to debate and discuss as a group.


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P-4 Dad Is Cool and Mom Rocks: A Wild Ride Translating a Husband-and-Wife Book Series on Parenting
Rafa Lombardino, CT | Marcos Piangers
(Friday, 10:00am-11:00am; All Levels; Presented in: English and Portuguese)

Dad is Cool and Mom Rocks is a collection of short stories about parenting written by Brazilian journalist and radio personality Marcos Piangers and his wife, Ana Cardoso, who is also a journalist and women's rights activist. The speaker will read from the books and discuss how the Portuguese>English translation was challenging in some areas (dynamic writing style, colorful descriptions, a few local expressions) but extremely rewarding in others. While these stories are about raising two young daughters in Brazil, the events narrated by the author translated easily into English with minor language adjustments, proving that parenting is indeed a universal experience.

P-5 Having One’s Cake and Eating It Too: Building a Team So Everyone Gets to Taste the Frosting
Kim Olson, CT
(Friday, 11:15am-12:15pm; All Levels; Presented in: English)

Offered a plum assignment only to learn it includes a ridiculous number of words and an unreasonable deadline, we sigh, again explaining what’s really involved in producing quality translation. When faced with a seemingly impossible request from the São Paulo Research Foundation, the speaker’s desire to make it work led her to assemble a well-oiled team, wow the client, and secure steady, fascinating work for several Portuguese translators. Hear an independent contractor’s perspective on managing a translation project. Learn how she dealt with identifying team members, setting deadlines, compiling terminology, handling the finances, and delivering the “cake.”

P-3 What Mamma Never Taught You in Brazilian Portuguese: A Workshop on Slang and Other Unpublishable Words
Cristina Silva, CT
(Thursday, 3:30pm-4:30pm; All Levels; Presented in: English and Portuguese)

Slang is everywhere, even in the most serious situations, such as courts, corporate presentations, and even at the doctor’s office. When dealing with humor, a translator’s/interpreter’s task can either be a stroll in the world of very low register or all about fun and giggles. The speaker will start by providing a foundation on neuro-psycho-social theory and then encourage attendees to walk out of their comfort zone and engage in role-playing and translation/transcreation. The session will conclude with a look at a few resources in print and showcase materials from English>Portuguese and Portuguese>English.

Portuguese Translation in the U.S.
Clarissa Surek-Clark, CT
(Thursday, 2:00pm-3:00pm; All Levels; Presented in: English and Portuguese)

P-1 Place and Space in Translation: Machado, Noll, and O. Henry Find Their Way in English and Portuguese
Jayme Costa-Pinto | Adam Morris | Karen Sotelino
(Thursday, 11:15am-12:15pm; Advanced; Presented in: English and Portuguese)

Literary translators often face the challenge of dealing with spatial descriptions that rely on readers’ historical and geographical knowledge. This session will analyze the literary role of physical surroundings in translated works by O. Henry, Machado de Assis, and João Gilberto Noll. Going beyond the domestication-foreignization paradigm, attendees will explore various techniques, including: expanding the semantic field in the original to evoke similar effects in the target reader’s imagination; modifying the original character placement in order to translate unfamiliar places and spaces; and re-examining the effects of point-of-view as an historically specific literary feature.

P-7 Literary Translation in Action: A Close Reading
Daniel Hahn
(Saturday, 10:00am-11:00am; All Levels; Presented in: English)

Translators of literary texts are translators of culture, of voice, of attitudes and idiom, texture, rhythm, of register and commas. Every text in translation is a composite of a million tiny micro-detailed decisions, deliberate or otherwise. For this session, some unapologetically geeky close reading (yes, commas!) will shed light on the myriad levels on which literary translation operates, remaking an Angolan/Portuguese/Brazilian text as an English one that is absolutely identical to the original except for all the words. Although the speaker will use a sample source text in Portuguese, attendees of all languages can benefit from this session.

P-6 Being a Translator: The Rise of a Powerful New Professional
Daniel Hahn
(Saturday, 8:30am-9:30am; All Levels; Presented in: English)

The role of the English-speaking literary translator today has expanded well beyond merely (merely!) translating literature, to become much more active as a player right across the book world. Translating is one thing, but “being a translator” today means being a scout, an activist, a performer, an ambassador, a publisher, a blogger, a marketer, a mentor, a lobbyist, a schoolteacher, a critic, and even a conference speaker. The demands are considerable, but so are the rewards. The increased professionalization, versatility, and dynamism of the literary translator has been crucial in increasing interest in international literature at every level, as well as fostering an improved appreciation of the translator’s own role.


Slavic Languages
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SL-1 Turn It Around: Improving Readability in Russian>English Translations
John Riedl, CT | Jennifer Guernsey
(Thursday, 11:15am-12:15pm; All Levels; Presented in: English)

Source-language interference plagues even the best translators. It can be difficult to pinpoint exactly what makes a sentence sound “foreign.” Often, rearranging the order and changing the grammatical role of various elements in the sentence, up to and including complete inversion (“turning it around”), is the key. In this session, the speakers will show how to “turn it around,” with examples from their own work, and then take attendees through relevant practice exercises. These techniques are applicable to a wide variety of texts and even other language pairs. Knowledge of Russian is helpful, but not required.

SL-2 Textual Cohesion in Russian and English
Laurence Bogoslaw, CT
(Friday, 2:00pm-3:00pm; All Levels; Presented in: English)

Mona Baker defines cohesion as “the network of lexical, grammatical, and other relations which provide links between various parts of a text.” Textual cohesion has proven useful in editing and assessing translations because it accounts for why a given translation can be correct in terminology and mechanics, but nevertheless “get it wrong” from the standpoint of the text’s overall design (argument, intention). The speaker will discuss examples of source and target texts in both English and Russian, showing how cohesive devices such as conjunctions and verb forms (tenses, moods, participles) can make all the difference in the overall message.

SL-5 Finding Functional Equivalents for Legal Terms in Polish and English
Magdalena Perdek
(Saturday, 10:00am-11:00am; Advanced; Presented in: English and Polish)

The speaker will discuss key problems in translating Polish legal texts (e.g., contracts, court letters, and judgments) into English. Different legal systems in Poland and the U.S. or U.K. generate terminological problems in equivalence, which is why it’s important to analyze and compare the two contexts and legal cultures in greater detail. One way to achieve functional equivalence is to compare legal texts in both languages to find key similarities and differences on the textual, lexical, and discursive levels. The speaker will compare such texts and look for the best possible solutions.

SL-3 Idioms in Presidential Campaign News Reports: A Minefield for Translation
Svetlana Beloshapkina | Lydia Razran Stone, CT | Vladimir Kovner
(Friday, 3:30pm-4:30pm; All Levels; Presented in: English with Russian examples)

From their standpoint as translators working between Russian and English, the speakers will examine 1,000 idiomatic usages from reports from The Washington Post on the 2016 presidential campaign. They will discuss the paucity of traditional idioms, the frequency of English-specific idiom types (e.g., phrasal verbs), and the ubiquity of sports idioms in this sample. Sources of translation difficulty include polysemy, incomplete references, obscure allusions, puns, usages combining more than one idiom, and the need to consider tone. The speakers will discuss additional difficulties in using and other resources to find context-appropriate translations. Audience participation is encouraged!

SL-6 In the Shadow of Russian: 40 Years of Translating Polish Literature (Susana Greiss Lecture)
Madeline Levine
(Saturday, 11:15am-12:15pm; All Levels; Presented in: English)

In 1977, the speaker’s first book-length translation from Polish, A Memoir of the Warsaw Uprising by Miron Białoszewski, was published by Ardis, a small independent press. Her revised translation, based on the restored and uncensored scholarly edition of the memoir published in Poland in 2014, appeared in 2015 as a New York Review Books Classic. The speaker will discuss her evolution as a translator and re-translator of her own and other translators’ work. She will also discuss U.S. publishers’ evolving openness to Polish literature during the 40 years between her two versions.

SL-4 Fact-Finding Mission Reports, Primary Sources, and More: Translating Human Rights Documents from Russian into English
Lucy Gunderson, CT
(Saturday, 8:30am-9:30am; Advanced; Presented in: English)

In the 1990s and early 2000s, many former Soviet states undertook human rights commitments within the framework of various international and European conventions and covenants. Now, with non-governmental organizations coming under greater state scrutiny and vulnerable groups facing increasing threats, human rights work in this part of the world has never been more vital or compelling. This session will review the region’s most pressing human rights issues, introduce attendees to the kinds of documents they will encounter in this specialization, and discuss specific translation challenges and strategies.

Slavic Languages
Related Sessions

L-6 An Introduction to Russian Proverbs (in English Verse)

L-1 Translating Anna Karenina: Two Approaches


Click on the speaker name to view bio.

S-7 Translating Lexical Items: Finding Consensus, Flipping a Coin, or Getting a New "Coin"
Alberto Veiga
(Friday, 3:30pm-4:30pm; Advanced; Presented in: English and Spanish)

Translators struggle with lexical items that do not have an equivalent. Romance languages such as Spanish have productive strategies for word creation and formation, while corpora tools–the Diccionario Panhispánico de Dudas and the Redes dictionary–provide some relief. But how can we prevent pulling out our last hair when facing the blind spot of untranslatability? Demand exists in the cutting-edge fields of technology, genetics, and medicine, and globalization promotes coining words in business, international law, and insurance. This session includes examples and interactions to find possible solutions and tips for how to avoid becoming bald when making reliable translations.

S-5 Describa el dolor: Interpreting Pain for the Record
Johanna Parker | Angélica Villagrán
(Friday, 11:15am-12:15pm; Advanced; Presented in: English and Spanish)

Descriptions of pain can present linguistic and cultural barriers in interpreted medical encounters. In workers’ compensation cases, interpreting questions and responses about the quality, intensity, and location of pain can be as tricky as they are crucial to the outcome of the case. This session will examine the challenges faced by interpreters, including cultural differences related to the quality and source of pain and finding English and Spanish equivalents for very specific terms describing the sensation of pain. Attendees will participate in skill-building exercises useful for interpreters in all health care settings, but specific to the workers’ compensation context.

S-10 Spanning the Globe to Expand our Knowledge of Household Terminology in Different Varieties of Spanish
Andre Moskowitz, CT
(Saturday, 11:15am-12:15pm; All Levels; Presented in: Spanish)

In this interactive session, attendees will review and become familiar with the terminology in both English and Spanish for a series of common household items. Attendees will be shown images of matches, stoves, swimming pools, buckets, baby bottles, pacifiers, clothespins, faucets, refrigerators, sinks, etc. and be asked to name the items in both U.S. English and different varieties of Spanish. We will also “translate” sentences in which the Mexican Spanish terms for these items appear into other varieties of Spanish, and test our knowledge of these varieties’ distinct terminologies.

S-12 La fiesta de la gramática, Part II
Yilda Ruiz Monroy, CT
(Saturday, 3:30pm-4:30pm; Advanced; Presented in: Spanish)

See abstract for S-11: La fiesta de la gramática, Part I.

S-8 The World After the Financial Crisis: New Terminology and How to Translate It
Silvana Debonis
(Saturday, 8:30am-9:30am; Advanced; Presented in: English and Spanish)

This session will focus on the new economic policy tools, regulations, and financial instruments that were developed after the latest financial crisis. The session will be divided into two parts. The first part will address new concepts, tools, and associated terminology. Terms like quantitative easing (QE, QE1, QE2), tail risks, fat risks, black swans, and tapering will be discussed, along with many other interesting terms and expressions. In the second part, attendees will translate extracts from real financial, economic, and regulatory texts that include the terms and concepts discussed earlier.

S-11 La fiesta de la gramática, Part I
Yilda Ruiz Monroy, CT
(Saturday, 2:00pm-3:00pm; Advanced; Presented in: Spanish)

¡La gramática puede ser absolutamente emocionante! ¡Puede ser divertida, encantadora e incluso revitalizadora! Aunque algunos la aborrezcan, la eviten o simplemente traten de pasarla por alto, todos sabemos que es esencial para los periodistas, intérpretes, traductores y demás profesionales del idioma. En realidad, a menudo constituye la diferencia entre un escritor “bueno” y uno “excelente”. La gramática puede ser tu mejor aliada. En este seminario brindaremos sencillos trucos para impedir, detectar y corregir errores gramaticales comunes, y otros no tan comunes. ¡Únete a nosotros en esta fiesta gramatical que, indudablemente, será muy divertida!

S-3 Drill, taladro, broca, or mecha?
Clarisa Moraña
(Thursday, 3:30pm-4:30pm; Intermediate; Presented in: Spanish)

The oil and gas industry is present in almost every Spanish-speaking country. Along with the national oil companies, many international oil and gas firms provide their specialized services with expatriate staff whose lingua franca is English. Their communications, nevertheless, should be in Spanish (e.g., bids, training, safety and health policies, and pamphlets). Depending on the country, one English word may have different translations into Spanish. This session will tackle the regional differences to be considered when working on translations concerning oil and gas in Latin America.

A Day in the Life of a Lab Technician: Glassware, Balances, and Lab Coats, Oh My!
Salvador Virgen, CT
(Saturday, 10:00am-11:00am; Advanced; Presented in: Spanish)

The chemistry laboratory is a strong consumer of translated material and a generator of text to be translated. This session will cover the “instruments of knowledge” the lab technician uses every day: glassware, instruments, safety labels, furniture, etc. It will also cover its uses, differences, and the translation into Spanish. Attention will be given to the lab lingo, which could be obscure for outsiders. The aim is to help the attendants to discover the world behind the analytical certificates, material safety data sheets, analytical methods, specification sheets, and lab reports.

S-1 Creación terminológica: tipología y formación de términos científicos
Bertha Gutiérrez Rodilla
(Thursday, 11:15am-12:15pm; Intermediate; Presented in: Spanish)

El traductor de textos científicos se enfrenta a la complejidad de los tecnicismos empleados en tales textos. Una vía para facilitarle la comprensión de tales tecnicismos es entender cómo se crean. En esta presentación vamos a practicar cómo se forman los términos científicos para facilitar su comprensión y hasta la nueva creación por parte del traductor. A partir de raíces, prefijos y sufijos, se establecerá la tipología de los tecnicismos (neologías de forma, metáforas etimológicas, neologías funcionales), y los elementos de la neología científica. Todo se ilustrará con ejemplos y ejercicios que realizarán los asistentes y corregirán con la presentadora.

S-6 Meet the Newish Kids on the Block: New Words in the 2014 Edition of the Dictionary of the Spanish Royal Academy
Deborah Wexler
(Friday, 2:00pm-3:00pm; All Levels; Presented in: Spanish)

When we translate vocabulary introduced into common usage during the past 30 years, we are often faced either with the option of using a generic translation or the unmediated foreign word. Now we will be able to incorporate into our texts words that will be officially accepted in the entire Spanish-speaking world. This means we will be able to create more vibrant translations. From “tweet - tuit” and “tablet - tableta” to “drone - dron” and “Spanglish - espanglish,” attendees will discover fun, exciting, and bizarre new terms without having to read the entire dictionary.

S-4 Understanding and Translating the Intricacies of Corruption
Mirtha Noemí Federico
(Friday, 10:00am-11:00am; Intermediate; Presented in: English and Spanish)

It goes without saying that corruption is everywhere. It has permeated all walks of life. This session will give attendees an opportunity to grasp the intricacies of complex corruption schemes. Key concepts from the main laws and international conventions related to anti-bribery and accounting provisions will be explained. The leading enforcement agencies will be briefly described and key terms will be explained and translated into Spanish. In addition, major corruption cases currently in the news will be discussed to give examples of complex fraud schemes and selected passages will be translated to illustrate the terms explained.

S-2 De cómo el "collar de Helvecio" se convirtió en la "corbata del suizo": las trampas del texto científico y la figura del traductor
Bertha Gutiérrez Rodilla
(Thursday, 2:00pm-3:00pm; Advanced; Presented in: Spanish)

Generalmente se le achacan a la traducción científica problemas que estarían relacionados con la complejidad y densidad conceptual de los textos especializados. Sin negar lo anterior, en esta presentación nos proponemos mostrar cómo, muchas veces, esas dificultades de la traducción especializada se deben además a lagunas importantes en la formación del traductor y a su imposibilidad para descubrir los factores “implícitos” de los textos. Mediante numerosos ejemplos extraídos de textos científicos actuales y del pasado intentaremos ayudar al traductor científico a mejorar sus estrategias traductivas y a superar las resistencias que los textos le ofrecen para su comprensión y traducción.

Unexpected Meanings in Legal Spanish
Thomas West, CT
(Saturday, 10:00am-11:00am; Advanced; Presented in: English and Spanish)

Related Sessions

AST-16 Preparing for the ATA Spanish>English Certification Exam

AST-8 Preparing for the ATA English>Spanish Certification Exam


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