New England Translators Association
 A Professional Resource for Translators and Interpreters
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Board Meetings and Monthly Meetings

NB: The format for NETA board meetings is TBD. Our monthly meetings are held virtually via Zoom.

NETA board meetings are held four times a year, generally in September, January, March, and June. Final dates, times, locations, and agendas are announced in advance via email.

Attendance Policy:
Any NETA member may attend a
board meeting as an observer. Once you've received an email with the meeting agenda, we ask that you tell the board which agenda item(s) you are interested in via email to board@netaweb.org. At the meeting, you will be invited to speak about those items. Board members may or may not discuss those items, depending on time constraints. NETA members can sit through the whole meeting, unless the board moves to proceed in a closed session.

Board meeting dates for 2021-22: September 25, January 22, March 19, and June 18.

General meetings are usually held once a month from September through April on Saturday afternoons.

2021-22

September 18: 16th Annual Translation Bash - virtual, with Zoom rooms, 1:30-4:30 Email mcomenetz@gmail.com, tell us your language pair, and receive a copy of this year's English source passage. Translate that passage at your convenience before bash day, and join in as we debate the ins and outs of each sentence. We'll have a facilitator in place for English>Spanish and English>French. If you work into another language and would like to participate on September 18, just write to us. We'll keep a tally and let you know about other people who sign up to work in your language pair. If a given group is large enough, we will attempt to find a facilitator. Smaller groups and pairs can readily work on their own. NB: This year we will again have a Spanish>English reverse bash group, which will work on a passage on the same theme as that of the English source text that the majority of participants will be discussing.


October 23: Ethics, Conduct, Reputation and Judgment in the Interpreting Profession,
2:00-4:00  We will cover the overlapping areas of fundamentals of ethics, application of codes of conduct, building a solid reputation, and the judgment by others regarding interpreting encounters.

Conventionally, training materials address the core of interpreting services appropriately by describing and emphasizing codes of conduct. Simultaneously, the real-life context of an interpreter's performance is supremely important: each partner in the encounter exchanges cues, signals or comments on the perception of the value of the services received/provided/contracted.

The concept of reputation, on the other hand, is seldom covered when discussing interpreter services. Indeed, it presents a puzzle: reputation is a portrayal of who one is. However, it is dependent on qualifiers provided by others. Formal or informal evaluations become the starting point for communicating any judgment connected to our skills or professionalism at large. Additionally, the notion of quality of service, attached to an individual's performance, has come to signify the measurement of the worth of the interpreter as a professional.

We survey here factors and circumstances that affect all of these moving parts. We also offer recommendations that, applied responsibly and consistently, can help interpreters define a path of confidence and effectiveness grounded on accountability, respect and reputation. Finally, this will also be an interactive session as we collect valuable insights from the professional practice of the participants.

Our speaker, Cesar Muedas, serves as Program Director for interpretation and translation services at the Tennessee Language Center (TLC), an agency of the Institute for Public Service at the University of Tennessee. His role of supervisor at TLC began in 2014; his work as interpreter and translator dates back to 1990. Cesar graduated from Yale University with a PhD in Chemistry in 1991 and from Vanderbilt University with an MBA in 1998. Before his tenure in a language service organization, he engaged in research and commercial work in Chemistry, business consulting, marketing and sales. A native of Peru, Cesar became a US citizen in 2004.


November 20: Consecutive Skills Building for Court (and Other) Interpreters, 2:00-4:00  Attend our skills-building workshop to polish your consecutive interpretation! We will use in-class discussion, exercises and feedback to identify weaknesses and provide practical solutions for improvement. Topics covered will include deep listening, analysis, self-study and note-taking. Leave armed with the tools to take you consecutive interpretation skills to the next level.

Our speaker, Athena Matilsky, holds a BA in Spanish Interpreting and Translation from Rutgers University and a Master's in Conference Interpreting from Glendon College, York University. She is a Federally Certified Court Interpreter (Sp<>Eng), a Certified Healthcare Interpreter (Sp<>Eng) and a New Jersey Journeyman Court Interpreter (Fr<>Eng). She was editor-in-chief of Proteus in 2015, and she served as a staff interpreter for the New Jersey Judiciary from 2013-2016. Currently she works as a freelance interpreter/translator and trains candidates for the state and federal interpreting exams. She owns her own company, Athena Sky Interpreting (https://athenaskyinterpreting.com/), where she coaches students on interpreting technique, and also works in collaboration with Interpretrain. She is an active members of NAJIT, the ATA, and the DVTA. When she is not teaching and interpreting, you may find her practicing Acroyoga or studying French.


December 11: Annual holiday party in Medford, MA.


January 29: Translator as Expert Witness,
2:00-4:00  Translations are used in various federal courts and administrative bodies, and the translations are required to be accurate.

A qualified translator may prepare a translation accompanied by a statement of accuracy to be entered into evidence and may later be called on to testify on how they prepared the translation and the choices they made.

An expert witness testifies about matters within their professional knowledge and experience, and their engagement as an expert witness may include consulting with counsel, preparing a declaration, and testifying in a deposition and in court.

In this presentation, our primary speaker, Bruce Popp, will be joined during the last half hour by Michael O'Laughlin. Bruce will discuss the related concepts, roles and documents, including the difference between qualified and expert, and between a statement of accuracy and a declaration. He will use his own experience to provide advice on a translator serving as an expert witness. 

Whether you want to know more about the statement that you sign when you translate a birth certificate, or you're considering expanding the services that you provide, this presentation will have something to offer you.

Bruce Popp and Michael O'Laughlin will each discuss their experience as expert witnesses.

Bruce Popp is an ATA-certified translator from French into English. He is an experienced patent translator who has presented many times at NETA monthly meetings and at ATA conferences. He has been engaged as an expert witness twice.

Bruce, in a parallel career, is a historian of physics with a particular interest in Henri Poincaré. He has translated or written two books and is preparing a third book that is under contract. He is revising an article for publication in the Journal for the History of Astronomy. The Fulbright US Scholar program is reviewing his application for a grant to support research as a visitor at the Université Libre de Bruxelles.

Dr. Michael O'Laughlin holds advanced degrees from Oxford and Harvard Universities, where he studied nine languages. He is the founder of the Boston University Interpreter Training program, which recently closed, after 19 years, due to Covid economics. At present he works as an expert witness for foreign languages and cultures. As such he has consulted on over 350 cases. Although no longer working as an interpreter, he serves on the board of the Massachusetts Association of Court Interpreters, which fights for better pay and treatment of court interpreters. He can be reached at michaelolaughlin10@gmail.com.


February 26: Transcription 101+, 2:00-4:00  This presentation was spawned on NETA's groups.io discussion group when a member inquired about what and how to charge for transcribing and translating some videos. Our speakers will offer an introduction to transcription and translation. There will be plenty of opportunity for Q & A.

Rudy: Your voice is much faster than your fingers. Sometimes recordings are clear enough, but nobody includes commas, periods and m-dashes when they speak. Rudy will share how he makes transcribing efficient and painless, with the full understanding that translation then follows.

Antje: Transcription and subtitling are interesting and fun niches in translation. Antje will point out and explain the intricacies of these tasks, why the compensation offered is often unacceptable and unsustainable, and how colleagues should approach this issue.

Rudy Heller started transcribing for law enforcement agencies back in the 1980s, after which he garnered much experience producing transcriptions and translations for private industry. Lately he has returned to doing transcription work for the government, but only when he can work at his own rate.

Antje Ruppert is a German native and freelance translator (GER<>ENG) specializing in technical, medical, IT, marketing, and business content with over 30 years of experience in the industry. She served on NETA's board until last year and is NETA's long-term membership coordinator.


March 26: The Top 100 Most Prescribed Drugs, 2:00-4:00  This presentation will consist of a review of the indications/uses of the 100 most common prescribed drugs, including the pathological conditions which these drugs are used to treat. We will also review the potential adverse effects of those drugs.

Our speaker, Thomas Carey, has been a professor of Allied Health at Berkshire Community College for 39 years. He is also program director for the Respiratory Care Program there. He holds a BS from Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse, NY and a Masters in Public Health from UMass Amherst. The courses he has taught include Anatomy & Physiology 1 and 2, Chemistry, Pharmacology, Medical Terminology, Nutrition and Pathophysiology.


April 16: The Human Dimension of Machine Translation: Fight-or-Flight vs. Tend-and-Befriend, 2:00-4:00  This webinar will cover three elements of the "man vs. machine" paradigm as it applies to translation and interpreting:
1) A brief comparative history of advances in the development of human-centric and machine-centric translation and language-related technologies; 
2) A few snapshots/sketches of the changing attitudes towards machine translation and an overview of underlying circumstances, from technology to digital divides and geopolitics; and
3) A few ideas and personal experiences that may highlight potential advantages of the "tend-and-befriend" approach.

Our speaker, Konstantin Lakshin, became interested in computational linguistics when he was in middle school. He was trained by some of the best Soviet-era researchers in the field and worked on several natural language processing projects. His experience after immigrating to the US includes teaching, being an independent translator and interpreter, and managing a translation company.


2020-21

September 26: 15th Annual Translation Bash - virtual, with Zoom rooms, 1:30-4:30 Email mcomenetz@gmail.com, tell us your language pair, and receive a copy of this year's English source passage. Translate that passage at your convenience before bash day, and join in as we debate the ins and outs of each sentence. We'll have a facilitator in place for English>Spanish and English>French. If you work into another language and would like to participate on September 26, just write to us. We'll keep a tally and let you know about other people who sign up to work in your language pair. If a given group is large enough, we will attempt to find a facilitator. Smaller groups and pairs can readily work on their own. NB: This year we will have a Spanish>English reverse bash group, which will work on a passage on the same theme as that of the English source text that the majority of participants will be discussing.


October 17: Developing Confident Communication in English: Accent Improvement for Non-Native English Speakers,
2:00-4:00 Everyone has an accent. Yet bilingual professionals who have been in the US for decades can still struggle to be understood and to feel that they are getting the respect that they deserve. In this interactive session we will discover and practice the shape of Standard American English and understand its music; explore how posture and breath impact articulation; understand the common errors that non-native English speakers make; and develop strategies to enhance communication skills. There will be plenty of time to answer your burning questions and address the words and phrases that you find challenging, so start making your list!

Our speaker, Kara Lund, has been a voice and speech coach, college-level educator, and film and stage performer for over 20 years. As founder and CEO of Speech Revolution, Kara coaches clients between Boston and Paris to be clear, confident and credible when presenting in English. Because strong content without strong delivery lacks impact, she helps client sharpen their delivery skills in three ways: through customized Accent Reduction courses for native and non-native English speakers; Voice Coaching for public speakers in and out of the C-Suite; and Delivery Skills Workshops that focus on managing stage fright, developing positive body language and effective voice skills. Kara's work helps clients gain a stronger, more competitive edge in their professional fields, and bring their storytelling to a whole new level of professionalism and inspiration.


November 21: Interpreting in Court for Pre-trial Proceedings, 2:00-4:00  The initial attorney-client conference in a court proceeding often includes instructions for criminal procedure; forms, affidavits and charging documents; references to sentencing codes and manuals; and counsel's plans and strategies. Legal jargon abounds, and many defendants are left overwhelmed. This is all the more true for LEP defendants. What can and should the court interpreter do to facilitate the exchange of messaging between the attorney and the client?

Referencing the Federal Code of Criminal Procedure, we will examine the anatomy of pre-trial proceedings in federal court from the moment of an arrest to the actual pre-trial hearing, review pertinent documents and forms, and consider the legal terms that typically arise, along with possible Spanish equivalents. We will also take note of potential ethical missteps on the part of the interpreter vis a vis various codes of professional conduct as well as standards and procedures. Special consideration will be given to the delivery of interpreting services during the Covid pandemic.

Our speaker, Jose Kleinberg, is a native Colombian raised in a multilingual family and educated in an American school. He trained as a lawyer at the Universidad de los Andes in Bogota and then worked in several contexts in his home country. After arriving in Massachusetts, he earned certification from the Judicial Language Center in Boston and subsequently joined a team of freelance court interpreters from diverse backgrounds. Meanwhile, he pursued a law degree and became a member of the Massachusetts Bar in 1995. He also was certified by the Administrative Office in Washington, DC, as a federal court interpreter. Today Jose holds the position of Staff Interpreter at the United States District Court in Providence, RI. In his free time he especially enjoys tutoring ESL to adults, working as a voice talent in recording studios and attempting to write fiction.


December 12: Virtual holiday-time modified Pecha Kucha social gathering


January 23: Lookin' for Links in All the Wrong Places,
2:00-4:00  When you search for terminology or background information online, you can't always be sure the hits you find are accurate or appropriate to the text you are translating This talk will address ways to solve this problem. The speaker will review available options for search engines, in both Mac and PC, and some of the ways they differ. She will then weigh the pros and cons of some of the most common online dictionaries and translator sites, with a focus on her working languages of French and Spanish into English. While the presentation will touch security issues related to searching the web, the main purpose is to discuss ways to decide which links to follow when searching for a term or topic. Along the way, the speaker will discuss a few tips and tricks for creating effective searches.

Our speaker, Diana Rhudick, is the current president of NETA, as well as its cowebmaster. A graduate of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey California, she has 30+ years of experience as a translator of French and Spanish texts and as an editor of English texts. Currently, she also works as a project manager for a boutique translation agency.


February 20: Partnering with Families to Promote Language Justice in Educational Settings, 2:00-4:00  Through a Community-Based Participatory Research approach, we partnered as local grassroots immigrant parents who prefer to communicate in languages other than English, advocates, community interpreters, translators, and researchers to examine factors that support and hinder communication between schools and immigrant families of children with special needs in Massachusetts. We also gathered and are currently disseminating recommendations generated by families to inform institutional practices, key decision-making processes, and policy development that enhance language access services and family engagement in educational settings. 

Our panelists are as follows:
Angélica Bachour, parent advocate, community interpreter and translator
Consuelo J. Pérez, artist, parent advocate, activist
Loreto P. Ansaldo, former teacher, community interpreter and translator
Catalina Tang Yan, doctoral candidate at Boston University School of Social Work

March 20: Red Pill or Blue: Unpleasant, Life-changing Truth or Blissful Ignorance? 2:00-4:00  March 20, 2021. You have a choice: accept unpleasant, life-changing truth that changes how you conduct business from this day forward, or continue in blissful ignorance. Every day, outside forces are at work trying to access your accounts and peruse your personal data. Sooner than we'd like, the day will come when they try to get to the content you hold in your professional practice. In the 21st century, information is a commodity, and value is put on it. In this session we will discuss hackers and scammers, securing data storage and file transfer, and passwords.

Our speaker, Joseph Wojowski, has been a translator for 14 years and is an Adjunct Professor of Translation and Localization at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. He is also the administrator of the ATA Language Technology Division, and former vice president of the Midwest Association of Translators and Interpreters.


April 17: Can Interpreters Hear Their Own Voices When Interpreting? 2:00-4:00  Through a series of true-to-life examples, we will coach interpreters on how to maintain accuracy and completeness with each interpreted rendering. Despite possessing high language and interpreting skills, interpreters can make mistakes that go unnoticed. These mistakes may seem insignificant, but they are vital to the message. What is a possible cause? Even seasoned and skilled interpreters may interpret at a lower level as they get tired. Or they may have interpreted for patients with similar medical conditions, and instead of listening carefully for the meaning of the current message, they anticipate what the speaker will say. As we shadow the many wonderful interpreters in our communities, we see that it is important to have a conversation about qualifiers and quantifiers. They are a key to reducing any lack of completeness that could result in our inadvertently harming a patient.

Our speakers are Zarita Araujo-Lane, MSW, LICSW and Andrew Jerger, CHI™. Ms. Araujo-Lane has 30 plus years of experience and is recognized as one of the leading presenters on cross-cultural communication tools for a variety of institutions servicing an array of professionals working in the education and healthcare fields. She has been invited to conduct national and international trainings on cross-cultural topics to both large and small groups using creative approaches such as case scenarios and storytelling. She has vast experience working with cross-cultural populations in medical and mental health organizations. She is the president and founder of Cross Cultural Communication Systems, Inc.™ (CCCS, Inc.™), a small woman- minority-owned business since 1996 with 250 interpreters and translators.

Andrew Jerger, primary instructor for medical interpretation courses, is an experienced interpreter and instructor. He spent 11 years in the Dominican Republic teaching public speaking courses in Spanish, English language classes, and Spanish reading and writing classes. He successfully completed the Art of Medical Interpretation® course at CCCI (54-hour certificate of accomplishment by CCCS, Inc.™) and went on to become a language coach before joining the CCCI faculty in 2009. He has since completed certifications in both CHI™ & CMI.


July 17: NETA's annual summer picnic, 12:00-5:00 We are delighted that our annual summer social event will take place in person again this year. This is a potluck event. Members will receive publicity with specifics. We hope to see you there.


 
  

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