Domestic and Overseas Vietnamese and More – Translorial Spring 2020 Edition

Translorial Spring 2020 Cover page

NCTA members can now enjoy the latest edition of Translorial in print and downloadable PDF versions, covering a variety of topics. If you are not an NCTA member, you can join here.

Selected articles from Translorial Spring, Vol. 42, No. 1:

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Bidding a sad farewell to two vibrant members of our NCTA community–Ann M. Crowe and Paul Lambert.

Ann M. Crowe, 1928-2013
NCTA member Ann Crowe passed away on November 6, 2013. After joining the association in November of 1986, Ann was a stalwart director on the NCTA board for several terms and in appreciation was named a lifetime honorary member of the association in 1999. Longtime members will remember Ann and her husband George, an architect originally from New Zealand, from NCTA social events past. → continue reading



The passing of Steve Jobs has been one of those unreal events that you knew could very well happen, but were certain it would not; an unsurprising total shock. The November release of Robert Cringely’s documentary, Steve Jobs: The Lost Interview, offers a chance to reflect on what it means to continue using Apple® products without Jobs guiding the company. After all, Apple already let us down before: after firing Steve, their standards slipped to the point that Jobs, in the interview, was foreseeing Apple’s imminent demise. → continue reading


At our association’s 30th birthday party on October 11th, more than 60 NCTA members listened in rapt attention to the remarks of Deolinda Adao, as she spoke of the group’s earliest days, and especially of our first president, the late Tom Bauman. BY DEOLINDA ADAO

Thirty years ago, a group of translators decided to get together and organize a chapter of the American Translators Association based in San Francisco. This organization, which became known as the Northern California Translators Association, had as its goals the promotion of the professions of translation and interpretation, and the establishment of a forum for the exchange of information among both translators and potential clients. I am honored to have been part of that small group that took the very first steps towards the founding of the NCTA. Steven Goldstein, who was part of the first class of NCTA, and the first editor of Translorial, has kindly asked me to commemorate the association’s 30th anniversary by recalling its birth, and especially by remembering those who generously donated their energy and talents to the fledgling NCTA. → continue reading

RALPH COSTA – November 15, 1913 – October 10, 2008


A giant of NCTA has passed away. Ralph Ranulfo Costa, beloved and respected Bay Area translator and linguist, and influential member from the early days of our organization, died at age 95 on Friday, October 10, 2008, in San Carlos. → continue reading

Auf Wiedersehen, Mr. President

By Tony Roder

George Kirby, a president of our association from 1985 to 1989, died unexpectedly on December 29, in San Francisco.

A German-to-English translator, George worked for the U.S. government in Europe, and went on to establish and operate his own translation company, Golden Gate Translations, in San Francisco for 25 years. He was also a writer, editor, and author of the book Looking at Germany, among other works.

After a term as NCTA’s vice president, he reluctantly agreed to serve as its president, and he went on to be one of the association’s most active and forceful advocates of translators’ rights in the marketplace, as well as a strong promoter of their professional status. During his presidency, George guided the NCTA through a particularly difficult period when it and its parent organization, ATA, were under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission. The concerns he expressed at the time, for example, are still echoed in the May 2005 Translorial, in an article on the open discussion of prices. George concurrently served on the ATA board of directors and co-founded the first translators’ and interpreters’ labor union in the country, the Translators and Interpreters Guild.

It was during his term of office that the NCTA joined Bay Area Lawyers for the Arts to provide legal services for its members; contracted a group health service plan with Kaiser Permanente; engaged its first staff administrator; organized meetings between translation agencies and translators, a precursor to the present job fair; strengthened the association’s telephone referral service; and in 1988 hosted our tenth anniversary dinner, attended by both the president and the past president of ATA.

George Kirby guided NCTA through its fledgling years, for which we owe him a debt of gratitude. He was a gentleman of the old guard, a lover of opera and the arts, with a reverence for language and literature. Another photo of George appears on page 12 of the May 2005 Translorial.