Summary of March 4 Meeting

Between 60 and 70 people attended the first formal meeting of the Northern California Translators Association at the Chinatown Holiday Inn in San Francisco. Tom Bauman chaired the meeting and introduced the NCTA as a group that has developed as a result of the efforts of a few fellow translators to consult one another on professional matters. This small group felt the need to expand in order to obtain the assistance of those with diverse experiences in the translation field.

It was established that the NCTA would not serve as an employment agency, nor would it unionize in order to establish set prices for translating. The formation of NCTA is basically to provide a forum for information exchange between local translators. Through specific language groups, NCTA members will have the opportunity to address the immediate and local concerns of their own technical and cultural interest areas. All those present were invited to contact the coordinator of their language interest group for activities suggestions.


The Germanic Languages Group, under the direction of Greg Eichler, met informally at the March 4 meeting. General information brochures on various subjects, made available by the Royal Consulate of the Netherlands and the General Consulate of the Federal Republic of Germany, were distributed to those interested. Formats for future meetings were discussed; a consensus indicated an interest in bimonthly meetings to be held in San Francisco (possibly at SF State), each meeting to be divided into an instructional period and a convivial, interpersonal session. Suggested resource materials included films, books, and pamphlets (from the Goethe Institute and the various consulates) and possible simultaneous interpretation demonstrations.

During the workshop period of the May 20th meeting, films provided by the Goethe Institute and dealing with current topics in science and technology will be presented.


The Spanish/Portuguese workshop at the March 4 meeting, headed by Deolinda Adao, was mainly of an introductory and get-acquainted nature. A few points of common interest were discussed, and a short bibliography of available resource material was complied. Anyone requesting material from this new resource library, or with information of interest to add to it, should contact Deolinda. Planned for the May 20th workshop session is a discussion and comparison of translations (included as an insert with this newsletter) to be done by group members and brought to the general meeting. Deolinda stresses that this exercise is of course not to determine who is the best translator, but rather to exchange knowledge, opinions, and styles.


Twenty-one members have already been counted as part of this fast-growing group, headed by Mme. Helene Riddle. Specific areas of member interest include geology, magic and bee-keeping as well as the more conventional fields. A workshop session is planned in conjunction with the May 20th meeting, at which time a list of group members will be issued in addition to the presentation of a general program of activities.

Mme. Riddle has already contacted several businesses and agencies in the area and has received encouraging responses to her inquiries concerning speakers, documentation, visits to facilities, etc. An article concerning NCTA (and specifically the French group) will appear in an upcoming issue of Le Californien, the area’s biweekly French newspaper. Marie Galanti, Director of Le Californien, has also expressed her support of our group and is willing to provide us with suggestions, ideas and information. Looks like we’re off to a good start. A bientot.