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A PublicAtion of the Midwest AssociAtion of trAnslAtors & interPreters

                          fAll 2009 - issue 22

  From the
  President’s Desk
   Dear MATI Members,

   I hope this edition of inforMATIon finds you enjoying the cool Midwest
   autumn weather. It seems like so much has happened since the last
   issue. We held a successful annual conference in Indianapolis. We were
   fortunate to have Dierk Seeburg from the ATA Language Technology
   division, Karin Ruschke and Alejandro Maldonado from NCIHC, and
   Alp Berker, a local freelance translator from Indianapolis to present at
   the conference. We had one of the best turnouts ever and afterward,
   many of us enjoyed dinner at the BARcelona tapas restaurant, which
   has become our favorite hangout place in Indianapolis. From October
   27 to October 31, I represented MATI in attending the 50th annual
   ATA conference in New York City. A dozen or so MATI members were
   also in attendance and we enjoyed each other’s company when we
   gathered for drinks on Thursday night at the Marriott Marquis. Frankly
   speaking, I’m still recovering from the conference. Spending nearly a
   week in NYC will do that to you! We will provide an article on the ATA
   conference in the next issue of inforMATIon
   Best Regards,

   di wu
   President - MAti (Midwest Association of translators & interpreters)
                  A PublicAtion of the Midwest AssociAtion of trAnslAtors & interPreters


                                                                                                                  2| fAll 2009 - issue 22
                                     From the
6th Annual MAti

                                     Dear MATI Colleagues and Friends,
submission guidelines
                                     Thank you to all who were able to attend MATI’s 6th Annual Conference
                                     in Indianapolis and special thanks to Montserrat Zuckerman for
                                     submitting a detailed and insightful synopsis of September’s conference
                                     for the current issue of inforMATIon. I very much look forward reading
                                     accounts of the New York ATA conference in the upcoming winter issue
                                     and encourage those of you who were there to share your stories and
                                     experiences with the rest of us through this newsletter.

                                     If you are not currently ATA certified and would like to be, mark your
                                     calendars, because coming up on March 20, there will be an ATA
                                     Certification Exam Sitting in Fort Wayne, IN. Please note that in order to
                                     sit for the exam, you must have been an ATA member for at least four
                                     weeks prior to the date of the exam. Further information can be found
                                     on the ATA website at:

                                     Please remember that anyone and everyone can submit articles and
                                     announcements for inforMATIon and are welcome at anytime to do so.
                                     We would love to hear from you!
                                     Best wishes,

                                     Alexis Pollitz
         A PublicAtion of the Midwest AssociAtion of trAnslAtors & interPreters

6th Annual Conference
by Montserrat Zuckerman


                      Ati’s 6th Annual conference took place this past september on a

                                                                                                     | fAll 2009 - issue 22
                      beautiful early fall day. the meeting attracted close to forty interpreters
                      and translators, specialists and generalists from as far as wisconsin,
                      illinois and northern indiana. dierk seeburg flew from Phoenix, Karin
         ruschke from chicago and Alejandro Maldonado from Minneapolis; local presenter
         Alp berker drove himself from carmel, indiana. President di wu welcomed attendees
         and presenters and thanked former MAti President and iuPui professor, enrica
         Ardemagni, and iuPui for its generous donation of the use of the facilities.

         dierk seeburg started our day with the        According to dierk, quality is a function
         first of his two presentations: Quality       of resources (people, tools, information),
         Assurance in the translation industry:        what we charge for our work, and time
         tips and tricks, which he opened by           [Q=f(r,c,t)] (can you tell dierk trained
         asking the question: why is QA important      as a scientist?). Awareness of these
         and why should we pay particular              parameters helps us to balance between
         attention to it in the present economic       the possible and the reasonable and by
         climate? he went on to argue that by          establishing and following a process from
         emphasizing quality we will not only          receipt of the translation project to its
         be able to better survive the economic        delivery, we can more effectively apply QA
         downturn and stiff competition from           measurements.
         abroad, but will place ourselves in a more
         advantageous position when the economy        Quality is based on good resources; for
         improves.                                     our purposes: good translators, good
                                                       tools, good information.

                                                       Translator/editor check:
                                                       does s/he have the necessary preparation
                                                       for the task at hand?
                                                       R basic: does the translator have
                                                       comprehensive knowledge of and
                                                       writing ability in both the source and
                                                       target languages, familiarity with the
                                                       culture, customs and social settings of
                                                       the speakers of the source and target
                                                       R More specific: 1) does the translator
                                                       keep abreast of the culture, register used
                                                       by speakers depending on their social
                                                       stratification through listening to native
          dierK seeburg
                                                       language radio, watching tV, reading
A PublicAtion of the Midwest AssociAtion of trAnslAtors & interPreters

websites, newspapers, etc.; 2) does the       this check can be done to the text as a
translator have the necessary intuition       whole and also sentence by sentence.
to pick up common expressions and             dierk recommends that at this stage
nuances in both languages, as well as         the translator should consult with co-
the receptiveness to acquire “passive         translators and team members, keeping
knowledge”. As dierk made a point of          a log of errors, inconsistencies and

emphasizing the term, i looked it up in       ambiguities, as well as notifying the
google and came up some interesting           person in charge of the text as soon

                                                                                            | fAll 2009 - issue 22
analysis as to its meaning and who            as they are identified. he pointed out
is using it (nAsA, engineering firms,         that the appropriate way to translate a
attorneys).                                   marketing text is to transcreate it, using
                                              the literary devices of rhyme, assonance,
information check: does the translator        alliteration, etc., a technique applicable
have at her/his disposal and know how to      also to idioms and other untranslatable

use various information sources in both       text.
languages: dictionaries, thesauri, style
guides, encyclopedias, discussion boards,     Phase 2. Fine-tuning the translated text:
websites specific to the field or industry    R resolve problems with untranslatable
related to the text, etc.?                    text (e.g.: idioms and regionalisms.)
                                              R resolve disagreements between team
Tools check:                                  members regarding translation.
R software needed for particular project?     R check that trade names have not been
how does the client want the translated       translated.
text delivered: original format, other?       R links: check that they not include text
R cAt (computer Assisted translation)         or punctuation marks that are not part of
tools: are they compatible for use with the   the link.
source text file? dierk highly recommends     R graphics: Are they in the right place in
the use of cAt tools to increase efficiency   the translated text? Are they appropriate
and consistency.                              in the translation?
                                              R spreadsheets: has the text been saved
to increase efficiency, dierk recommends      in the appropriate cell and tab?
a two-phase approach to translation:          R Proper and geographic names: Are they
                                              translated appropriately?
Phase 1. Evaluation and rough translation     R check spelling!
of the source text:                           R check localized items: dates, time,
when the translator evaluates the text        currency, measurements.
to be translated, s/he asks the following     R check alphabetical order.
questions:                                    R terminology check: false cognates,
R do i understand the topic, the context      offensive, discriminatory or inappropriate
in which it is presented, the imagery,        terminology. is terminology used
puns, metaphors, similes used by the          appropriate to the context (finance
author(s)?                                    vs. hospitality, e.g.)? have idiomatic
R does the source text make sense?            expressions and regionalisms been
R does the translation make sense?            transposed adequately?
R does a back-translation of the              R Pay attention to anglicisms and avoid.
translated text make sense?                   R check consistency regarding gender.
A PublicAtion of the Midwest AssociAtion of trAnslAtors & interPreters

for quality assurance checks per se,         and integrated translation environments
dierk recommends primary and secondary       (ite).
checks. As a primary quality assurance
check, he recommends: checking your          dierk dedicated the majority of this
own work, consulting with colleagues         presentation to familiarizing the audience
through listserves and networking with       with the different tools and what each can

colleagues, checking that the translation    do, with examples of the commercial and
meets industry standards, when               open source tools that are available to the

                                                                                            | fAll 2009 - issue 22
appropriate, and evaluating whether it is    translator.
                                             ultimately, the goal of the presentation
All translations should also go through a    was to help the potential buyer evaluate
secondary quality assurance check, which     her/his needs and choose the appropriate
includes:                                    tool based on those. however, dierk

checking that the file is in the format      managed to impart a lot of technical
needed for delivery; checking content by     information and make it understandable
doing a side by side reading of source       enough to get us started acquiring the
and target (he calls this a “stereoscopic”   kind of passive knowledge that we need
reading), which is ideal for checking for    to search for these tools and have a
completeness, correct terminology and        handle on the questions we need to ask of
that the source text is truly reflected in   ourselves and the tool vendors.
the translation; checking for style, which
asks whether register and terminology        dierk elaborated a bit on machine
are consistent and appropriate, whether      translation (Mt) to remind us of and try
the translation is too literal or whether    to dispel the knee-jerk dislike translators
it has been over-translated, assesses        express toward it. he pointed out that
cohesiveness, coherence, and identifies      when we use cAt tools for translation
possible ambiguities. this secondary         management (tM) we are availing
quality assurance check also includes        ourselves of the technology of Mt and are
a final look at syntax, punctuation and      therefore using Mt. for me, it brought to
spelling.                                    my attention that as translators we need
                                             to stay abreast of what is happening in
dierk’s afternoon presentation, computer-    the field of Mt, its use in technical and
Assisted translation (cAt) tools, started    other fields where the consistency of
with a review of the field, including a      material lends itself to the accumulation
short glossary of acronyms commonly          of translations that can then be recycled
used by tech savvy translators, a brief      on a large scale. dierk effectively argued
history of the use of this technology        that while Mt will not replace the
by translators, a definition of the term     individual translator it can do wonders
cAt tool and a listing of the types of       to open up information gathered in the
tools that are considered cAt tools,         internet and by institutions, which is of
including term extraction tools, term        such volume that it realistically cannot
management tools, concordancers, word        be translated by individuals. You may
count tools, localization tools, machine     have heard of google’s efforts in this
translation programs, look up tools,         regard and use Microsoft’s Mt tools when
translation Management systems (tMs)         you use word. And there are many other
                                             companies engaged in these efforts.
A PublicAtion of the Midwest AssociAtion of trAnslAtors & interPreters

one final recommendation from dierk              the wide range of opportunities available
was to look up ltd news, which is                and the government’s requirements.
the newsletter of the AtA language               this is a very worthwhile and complete
technology division. You can find it
at the link: http://www.ata-divisions.
org/ltd/. the website is a gold mine of

well-organized technology information for
translators, written in plain english. You

                                                                                                 | fAll 2009 - issue 22
can access the link to ltd news in the
section labeled “Pages”.

our next speakers, Karin ruschke and
Alejandro Maldonado, have been at the
forefront of the efforts to provide national

certification for medical interpreters
through their work with the national
council on interpreting in health care
(ncihc) and with the national council
on health care interpreter certification                                  KArin ruschKe
(ncc). they gave two presentations at
the conference: speak up, the ncc is
listening! A Preliminary report from   , the
the front line and the next step in              website of the certification commission
the Professionalization of healthcare            for healthcare interpreters. by the way,
interpreting: A forum on setting                 the formation of the commission was only
standards for healthcare interpreting            publicly announced on september 15,
Programs. Karin gave a brief report on           2009, three days after our conference!
the efforts of the ncc to work through a
national certification process to develop        Alp berker gave a superb and well-
standards for the training of medical            organized two-part presentation on
interpreters. together with Alejandro,           his experiences building a freelance
they organized the audience into a focus         translation business, aptly titled working
group charged with answering questions           with the us government and with
regarding, among other things, aspects           european translation Agencies. with
of the job of the interpreter that are not       regard to the first part, working with the
covered in programs already in existence.        us government, Alp emphasized that
by working as a focus group, the                 the government is a huge employer and
participants had a chance to think more          should therefore not be overlooked by
deeply about the issues involved in the          translators and interpreters as a source of
difficult process of arriving at certification   work. the 2010 census alone should offer
standards and certification training to fit      some opportunities. he walked us through
those standards. for more information            the federal government’s jobsite (http://
on these efforts and to keep abreast    to illustrate
of the process, log on to http://www.
A PublicAtion of the Midwest AssociAtion of trAnslAtors & interPreters

                                             resources (translation aids) in twenty
                                             three european languages. in Alp’s
                                             experience, in addition to the large
                                             market they draw from, an advantage
                                             to working with european agencies is
                                             that they seem to be more in tune than

                                             American agencies with the needs of
                                             translators and interpreters.

                                                                                          | fAll 2009 - issue 22
                                             some other interesting tips: Alp
                                             noted that it is important to keep
                                             track of the value of the dollar and
                                             invoice accordingly. when the dollar
AlejAndro MAldonAdo                          is weak, it pays to invoice in pounds

                                             and euros. the advantages and
                                             disadvantages of receiving payment
website, replete with help on how to go      through Paypal or Moneybookers
through the process, including building a    (the british equivalent of Paypal)
resume.                                      versus wire transfers and checks were
                                             discussed. Alp emphasized that you
before launching into the topic of working   need to be flexible, but be aware of
with european translation agencies, Alp      what is cost-effective for your situation
first explored why working with agencies     and try to keep it simple. he pointed
is a good way for a freelancer to start      out that there are cultural differences
building up his/her business and learning    the freelancer needs to be aware of
more about the industry. european            when working with european agencies.
agencies, in particular, have a very large   in regard to payment, he shared that
market when it comes to european             he has noticed a clear difference in
languages, and they also get work from       time elapsed between invoicing and
the institutions of the european union.      getting paid: longer the further south
these institutions as well as european       you go. so in sweden you might get
corporations oftentimes need work            payment within two weeks, in italy you
translated into one of the union’s main      might have to wait two months. when
languages (english, french and german)       working with deadlines, we have to
as a step to translation into other          keep in mind the time difference for
european languages. Alp’s language pair      delivering our work on time. Another
is turkish-english, so he has translated     useful tip he gave was that europeans
turkish texts into english so that they      favor the cV over the resume, whereas
can then be translated into spanish. he      in the us a resume is considered a
referenced the european commission’s         better document when looking for
website for translation (http://ec.europa.   work. one interesting website that
eu/dgs/translation/index_en.htm) which       appears in my notes from Alp’s talk
lists work for contractors (freelancers      and that i thought worthwhile passing
and agencies) on the main page and           along is
also in the link “work with us” from that
same page. the website has a link to
              A PublicAtion of the Midwest AssociAtion of trAnslAtors & interPreters

                                                                                                                  | fAll 2009 - issue 22
               the day ended with dierk and Alp, along   hot issues of our profession, learning

               with a nice group of attendees at the     pertinent and applicable business
               barcelona tapas, a popular restaurant     tips first hand, and last but not least,
               in downtown indianapolis, where we        networking with colleagues and adding
               continued to expand our passive (and      them to our list of experts with whom we
               active) knowledge!                        consult. this year’s conference provided
                                                         all of these. see you next year at MAti’s
               so, why attend a MAti conference?         7th Annual conference. in the meantime,
               how about the opportunity to listen to    stay tuned for regional educational
               speakers who are at the cutting edge of   activities and other purely networking
               the profession, having an impact on the   opportunities. •

    SAVE                                Welcome new
                                                                                            Marco Lopez
                                                  MATI members:                             Jimena Lopez-Rehmer
  THE DATE!                                                  SPANICUS
                                                                                            Gary Martenson
saturday, March 20, 2010                                                                    Arweephan Meyers
 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.                                                                      Ali Omran
                                                             J Brandt Badger                Jeanette Pendell
  ATA Certification Exam                                     Carlos Carrillo Calderon       Carlos Priego
     fort wayne, in                                          Julie Chang                    Nicholas Scramuzza
register at: https://www.atanet.                             Christopher Galiardo           Jeanne Trombetta
       org/certification/                                    Ratib Habbal                   Penielis Williams
        upcoming.php                                         Sadia Hussein                  Ben Van Wyke
                     A PublicAtion of the Midwest AssociAtion of trAnslAtors & interPreters

                         Submission guidelines
                         We encourage our members to actively contribute to inforMATIon.
                         We ask that you submit items of interest in the fields of translation,
                         interpretation, and languages. Below is a list of submission types we


                                                                                                                                             | fAll 2009 - issue 22
                         • comments on issues within the             Submission deadlines:
                         profession                                  • february 1 for the winter issue
                         • letters to the editor                     • May 1 for the spring issue
                         • biographies                               • August 1 for the summer issue
                         • book reviews                              • november 1 for the fall issue
                         • Q&A

                         • summaries of monthly meetings             Microsoft word files may be sent as
                         • announcements such as awards, job         e-mail attachments, with clearly
                         opportunities, weddings                     labeled e-mail subjects. file extensions
                         • announcements of events relating to       (*.rtf or *.doc) should be added to
                         the profession                              short file names. do not send files
                                                                     with *.exe extensions. Please add a
                         Maximum length for features is 2500         title and author’s name inside the word
                         words. Photographs and graphics in the      file—please do not put it only in the
                         form of .gif or .jpeg are also accepted.    e-mail. Add 3-4 lines of biographical
                                                                     information at the end of the article.

                          submit articles to the editor, Alexis Pollitz, at
                          the editor reserves the right to edit each article.

2008-09 Officers and Board of Directors
                                                                     • christina green,
  President                         secretary:                      inforMATIon is published
  di wu,                            Maria schwieter,                 (term: 2009-2011)                   four times a year by the Midwest               • gema Aparicio,                    Association of Translators and
  (term: 2008-2010)                 (term: 2009-2011)                     Interpreters.
                                                                     (term: 2008-2010)
  Vice President                    treasurer                        • Alexandra wirth,                  EDITOR
  lilian jiminez-ramsey,            saul Arteaga,            Alexis Pollitz         (term: 2008-2010)                (term: 2008-2010)         
  (term: 2009-2011)                                                  • Marna renteria,
                                                                    DESIGN AND LAYOUT
                                                                     (term: 2008-2010)                   esmeralda Morales-guerrero
                                                                     • elizabeth colon,        
                                                                     (term: 2009-2011)

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