By Shayesteh Zarrabi
Volunteering for the ATA booth at the National Association for Bilingual Education conference brought with it a fresh look at the translation business. The exhibit hall of the NABE 2007 conference was all about innovation, culture, and networking, as well as teaching and learning. You could not stop by a booth without instantly getting a private ‘tutor’ to explain everything that that organization offered.
Publishers, school district representatives, teaching aid companies, language and academic institutions, and of course ATA created a vibrant atmosphere in McEnery Convention Center in San Jose. As a translator, you could see how nicely you would fit in to all activities. This notion worked in reverse, too, and was remarked upon by a number of conference participants and exhibitors. Whether they visited the ATA booth, or we went to them, they would relate that they were doing translations for years without realizing they could join an association, or were already using translation services for their companies, or were suddenly able to consult an online directory of translators and interpreters when they needed translation services.
At the ATA booth, next to ATA brochures and The Chronicle, NCTA materials proudly showcased the activeness of our association and called for participants for the November ATA conference in San Francisco. “It will be a dynamic conference with various activities,” I told a vendor of handmade comfortable clothing—perfect for home-office settings.
Needless to say it was thrilling for me and fellow NCTA-er Farah Arjang to get a chance to talk to Marian Greenfield, president of ATA. Listening to Marian sharing her life story in Spanish with a teacher from Spain is a memory to be cherished. All in a day’s work at NABE! 3