ATA, Conferences

Reports on ATA Conference at Last General Meeting

By Naomi Baer

It’s been a busy fall for NCTA, and several presentations on various members’ activities were given at the General Meeting in December. Tetu Hirai, Merav Rozenblum, and Celine Detraz all reported on their experiences at the ATA Conference held in Toronto in October, passing along highlights from presentations they attended and describing how they focused their time at the conference.

Tetu found that networking with other translators and agencies was especially useful to him, as was as a talk entitled “Digital Voice Recorder-Assisted Consecutive Interpretation,” in which a new technology was introduced that uses interpreter-controlled recording and playback devices to allow interpreters to free themselves from note-taking, and thus interpret simultaneously from their recording.

Céline had also attended this talk, and told us that she found it helpful to be exposed to new technologies in the industry. As a second-time attendee at the conference, she felt that she was better able to focus on the events that would be specific to her current needs. A highlight for her was being able to connect with colleagues and re-connect with the translation community after having been less involved after the birth of her child. She was particularly happy to have increased contact with NCTA, through other members attending the conference, and found that the conference was motivational for her both in her work and in her desire to be more active in the translation community.

A couple of other sessions as well stood out for Celine: “Internet Privacy for the Small or Home Office Environment,” where resources for addressing spam and spyware were discussed (see for details), and the session, “Self-Assessment and Quality in Simultaneous Interpreting.”

Merav, as a third-time conference attendee, also found it easier to focus her participation on those sessions of specific interest to her, and particularly enjoyed meeting colleagues and giving her own workshop on the Hebrew language. Other highlights for her were Peter Less’s talk on his experiences as an interpreter at the Nuremberg trials after WWII (read more in the ATA Chronicle’s September issue), the Literary Translation Division Café, and a talk by the first publisher of a Spanglish dictionary.

In local news, Michael Metzger reported on NCTA’s recent participation in the Localization World Conference in San Francisco, where workshops were given by Tuomas Kostiainen and Jost Zetzsche, and a panel presentation included participation by Sabine Hathaway and Christopher Niedermair. An NCTA table was maintained throughout the conference, where potential translation clients could stop by to learn about our organization and referral database, as well as pick up material from the ATA on how to go about getting high quality translations.

One of the biggest changes for NCTA this year has been our new website, and Laura Blijleven-Bergmans showed us how to use some of the site’s main features, including online renewals, updates of translator profiles, workshop registration, translator searches, and accessing the Translorial archive.

The meeting wrapped up with a chance to network as everyone helped with the end-of-year mailing, including ballots and candidate statements for the February 2005 election, along with renewal notices.