DVTA Hosts September ATA Certification Exam

Sunday morning, September 11, was the first time the DVTA held a computerized sitting of the ATA certification exam. There were three proctors: Vicki Hain Poorman, Linda Pollack-Johnson, and Helge Gunther. We originally expected 10 candidates, but one switched to a sitting later in the month in the D.C. area. Candidates for this sitting still had the option to hand-write the exam, but all chose to use their laptops. They were testing in four language combinations, between English and Spanish, Portuguese, Russian and Mandarin.

Things started a bit late due to some confusion with the venue staff about times, but the Vision for Equality folks could not have been more helpful. We really are grateful to them for all they did. They arranged the room so each of the nine candidates had a table to him- or herself, with space for a laptop and dictionaries, all spaced around the perimeter of the room so we proctors could observe from behind them with minimal disturbance. We extended the ending time a little to make sure everyone could use the full three hours allotted.

The candidates brought their own laptops. Several of them were from out of DVTA’s coverage area, including one who came all the way from Oregon! Helge was our Mac expert. Linda and I were particularly grateful she was there, since two of our three Mac users needed a bit of tech help at the start. Otherwise, things went pretty smoothly overall. ATA exam rules allowed the candidates to use limited internet aids, including Linguee and the lookup feature of WordReference, but no forums or chat rooms such as ProZ. And (need I even say it?) NO Google Translate! There was a list of permitted and prohibited sites that was sent to the candidates (and to me as head proctor) beforehand.

As someone who took the exams too many years ago to count, I was interested to see how the process went this time. Fortunately, there was no “drama” to report. No one argued with the rules, or appeared to be trying to use unauthorized assistance. A couple of candidates finished a little earlier than the others and left; we had to stop the rest of them when time was up. All were friendly and cooperative. I learned about several new (to me) internet resources for translators and writers, largely from the list of sites provided. (I mostly work in interpreting these days.)

The only unpleasant surprise was the amount Helge had to pay to park in the lot across the street from the venue, the Cast Iron Building. Warning to attendees at future DVTA events there: The parking seemed outrageous to me! Take public transportation if you can, or carpool and share the cost.

All in all, I enjoyed the experience and hope the DVTA will be able to host future sittings of the ATA exams in which candidates may use computers. There is still, I would say, a minor bug or two in the process, but it makes a lot of sense in terms of reflecting how we really work today. Many, many thanks to my fellow proctors, Linda and Helge, and to the DVTA board for agreeing to give this a try.   

Vicki Hain Poorman, M.A., CMI – Spanish

Forensic Transcription and Translation Sessions at DVTA Summit

The September 10 East Coast Translators and Interpreters Summit, a first for the DVTA, brought in attendees from ten different U.S. states, representing 14 languages. Nearly one hundred individuals attended the Summit, participating either as attendees, sponsors, exhibitors, students, or speakers. The one-day Summit included several educational sessions that were eligible as CEU credits for certified professionals, and an ATA certification exam on Sunday for those interested in becoming certified.

Among the sessions offered were two lectures given by certified interpreter and translator Judith Kenigson Kristy, an expert in the area of forensic transcription and translation (FTT). Kenigson Kristy’s two sessions were well-attended, and for good reason! Her lecture on this too-often-ignored aspect of language services was enthralling and very informational. Between answering questions from attendees on how to estimate timing for these types of projects, how to know our responsibilities as transcribers, and how to format transcripts for the courts and attorneys, Kenigson Kristy provided DVDs containing helpful resources and practice recordings so that participants could not only learn about FTT but also give it a try for themselves.

Attendees listen eagerly to the lecture on transcription

Attendees listen eagerly to the lecture on transcription

One of the most helpful aspects of the FTT sessions was learning some specific and hands-on tips about transcription techniques and software. For instance, Kenigson Kristy listed several of her most commonly-used abbreviations in transcripts and their meanings ([IA] for inaudible, [INT] for interrupted, [UI] for unintelligible, etc.) and also gave a demonstration of how to reduce background noise in a tricky audio file using Wave Pad, an audio editing software. Additional tips included foot pedal basics, types of headphones that won’t hurt your ears, and a workflow for completing FTT projects: first review the audio and map out who is speaking and when; then do a first pass of the transcription; next, do a second review of the transcript after editing the audio to reduce background noise; finally, review the source audio again to ensure that you’ve only written what you can really hear before translating and editing the transcript.

DVTA appreciates Ms. Kenigson Kristy’s and all of our other speakers’ willingness to share their tips and tricks with Summit participants and we look forward to more great events like this in the future!

East Coast Interpreters and Translators Summit – Opening and Closing Remarks

This past weekend DVTA held the first ever East Coast Interpreters and Translators Summit at La Salle University in Philadelphia. We are proud to say that the event was a success, drawing in attendees from a variety of places, languages, and fields of expertise and covering a multitude of topics. For those of you who were not able to attend this event, you can find a copy below of DVTA President Tony Guerra’s opening and closing remarks – so you can see a small sampling of what you missed!

DVTA President Tony Guerra welcome attendees

DVTA President Tony Guerra welcomes attendees

Opening Remarks

Welcome to DVTA’s East Coast Interpreters and Translators Summit!

I am so pleased to see so many familiar and new faces here today. According to our registration records, we have a tremendous representation of language diversity present, including German, Spanish, Vietnamese, Arabic, Italian, French, Portuguese, Indonesian, Russian, Japanese, Turkish, Darfurian, Cantonese and Mandarin.

These participants not only represent a variety of language skills in translation, interpretation, transcription, voice-over, editing, subtitling and other applications but many of you are also experts in multiple fields and industries such as legal, medical, pharmaceutical, engineering, financial, government and military, marketing and so on.

I am reminded of a conversation I overheard between two interpreters on a ship that went something like this:

One says to the other “What happens if the ship goes down? I can’t swim…”

The colleague responds, “I can’t either, but I know how to yell for help in nine languages!”

Such talent in one room! Our membership is not limited to just freelance linguists but also agency representatives and project managers. Our Summit is a national and international affair, boasting participants from not only PA but also MD, OH, NY, NJ, DC, DE, TN, OR and even from the Middle East, Jordan!

You can’t imagine how proud I am to be associated with this unique association made up of remarkable skill, intellect and accomplishment. This year marks the 55th year that the DVTA has been in existence. DVTA past president, Helge Gunther, who is with us here today and set the bar very high during her tenure, a few years ago wrote an article for the ATA Chronicle on the history of the DVTA.

Established in 1960, a group of translators from Philadelphia and Camden started to get together for meetings, created some programs and even put out a newsletter. One year later, the newly formed American Translators Association (ATA as we now know it) formally accepted the DVTA as its first Chapter.  Currently there are over 15 Chapters and Affiliates nationwide, with DVTA still regarded as one of the most vital and prolific amongst all.  This reputation is well earned due to the tireless commitment and efforts of our outstanding board of directors, our committees and volunteers and the essential participation of all of you in the programs and events we organize on your behalf – as evidenced here today!

Another driver of our vibrant and dynamic culture is the continued sponsorships that we frequently receive from our corporate and institutional members.  Today’s Summit was made possible in part through the support of the Hispanic Institute, facilitating our use of their beautiful facility here at La Salle; our Platinum Sponsor, Nationalities Service Center; Gold Sponsors Language Services Consultants and Cross Cultural Communications; and Silver Sponsors Magna Legal Services, Accent Interpreting, Ricarti Group, and Magna Voce. Please be sure to stop by their exhibition tables in the Lobby of Holroyd Hall, say hello and introduce yourselves. We are also delighted to have the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators (NAJIT) as a special exhibitor.

Now, I would be remiss if I neglected to also acknowledge the American Translators Association, which is our umbrella organization and which provides the DVTA not only with some financial support annually but also guidance, structure and resources to make these types of quality educational programs possible.

DVTA’s affiliation with the ATA, and in particular our Board’s and members’ participation in the ATA Annual Conference, allows us to tap into and bring to you the leading thinkers, teachers and pioneers in the language industry.  These conferences are designed to inspire us to be better translators and interpreters, to sharpen our linguistic skills, refine our technical abilities, and streamline our business practices. We recognize that not everyone has the time or budget to travel to San Francisco for four or five days, so what we try to do here today is to bring you a sampling of the types of fantastic international programming that comes together every year at ATA. The DVTA Programming Committee has done its best to create solid, distinct and enriching sessions in a way that will allow you all to get the most out of a single day.

I’d like to tend now to a bit of housekeeping and logistics regarding the Summit.. Please take the time after each session to fill out the green evaluation form so that DVTA’s Programming Committee is able to ensure that your interests, feedback and preferences are well considered in shaping future events.

In conclusion, I’d like to congratulate all of you for taking the time out of your weekend and for investing in your professional development by participating in our Summit. Not only will you leave enlightened, inspired and better connected to other professionals and agencies, but hopefully, the rewards will also manifest financially.  In other words, attending this Summit makes good business sense.  The May/June Chronicle in your folder has an article on a recent industry survey which reports that translators and interpreters who have some form of certification or accreditation earn about $5K to $10K more per year than those who have none. Quality, precision, education and business savvy do make a difference! Now without further ado, I’d like to present our keynote speaker and my good friend, Ms. Dorothee Racette.

2016-summit-group-dvta-la-salle

Group photo at DVTA East Coast Summit

Closing Remarks

Thank you all for your valuable participation in our Summit.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank our Programming Committee for their very hard work to make this Summit happen: Maria Emma Weir and Carlota Dalziel, DVTA Programming Co-Chairs. The Programming Committee: Rudy Tellez, Anne Connor, Eliane Markus and Eileen Haag, for tirelessly lending their time, creativity and energy towards making this happen during the last 6 months

I also want to thank those volunteers that came forward at the 11th hour to help in the actual execution of the event: Marina Fayanova, Melissa Chaves, Laurie Lane and Christine Verduin.

It was my distinct pleasure to work together with all of these volunteers and watch this amazing program take place. Thank you, thank you!

The work began last March, with planning and reviewing feedback from our members. After identifying topics, from there we reached out to potential speakers who were experts in the fields we wanted to include. The venue, the logistics and details all followed over the past seven months.

Please note that in October, we will be conducting elections for three positions which will be opening up on our board of directors and are currently accepting nominations of colleagues – or you may also self-nominate. We will be voting on a new Secretary, as Anne Connor will be stepping down, as will our Program Chairs Maria Weir and Carlota  Dalziel.  Interested candidates may contact Rita Weil or Yongmei Li for more information. We will be sending out reminder emails with details on the elections.

Safe travels and we hope to see you at our next event!

Tony Guerra.

President, DVTA

2016 DVTA Annual Meeting and Summer BBQ

2016 DVTA ANNUAL MEETING AND SUMMER BBQAppleford_Fountain
Tuesday, August 9, 2016  –  5:00 PM to 7:30 PM
A free event for DVTA members*

Come celebrate the summer with friends on the beautiful grounds of the Appleford Estate and catch up on a full report on DVTA activities for the year with a glimpse of what’s coming. We have been very fortunate to be able to repeatedly obtain this unique venue, set amidst 24 picturesque acres, with a 300-year-old Pennsylvania fieldstone farmhouse in the heart of a carefully maintained arboretum, surrounded by blossoming trees and boxwood gardens. It’s easy to see why this yearly tradition has become one of the DVTA’s most anticipated and well-attended receptions.

Back by popular demand, we will once again host an “All American Barbecue” featuring the following menu:

Iced Tea, Lemonade and Spring Water
Hamburgers, Hot Dogs and Garden Burgers
Sliced Tomato, Pickles & Onions, Condiments, Rolls and Sliced American Cheese
Potato Chips, Garden Salad, Vinaigrette, Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Carrots and Green Peppers

Assorted Brownies, Home-baked Cookies and Watermelon Wedges 

 *Because of the large turnout last summer, this year there will be a small charge for non-members and for children under 12,  which will allow us to be more inclusive and open up the event without incurring a deficit on our operating budget. Corporate members will also be requested to limit their attendance to 2 company representatives.

Prices:
Current, paid DVTA Members:                 Free
Nonmember Guests, Age 13 and Older:  $15
Nonmember Guests, Age 12 and Under: $10

Members and non-members must pre-register via Eventbrite BY AUGUST 3 on the link below:
http://dvta-bbq2016.eventbrite.com

No on-site registration accepted.

Appleford_Statue_image

2016 East Coast Interpreters and Translators Summit – Sept. 10, 2016

Registration is Now Open for the 2016 East Coast Interpreters and Translators Summit, featuring:
Business Skills * Translation * Interpretation* Transcription
Saturday, September 10 at La Salle University – Philadelphia, PA
Bonus: A Computerized ATA Exam Sitting will be given on Sunday morning, September 11

** APPROVED FOR 6 ATA CE Points, 6 AOPC CEUs (including 3 for Ethics),
6 Delaware AOC and 6 Maryland AOC CEUs
 **

Location: La Salle University, Philadelphia, PA
For pricing and other details, download the event flyer:
DVTA ECSummit10Sep2016_Flyer
Or visit the Event Website:  https://www.regonline.com/2016DVTAEastCoastSummit

DVTA sincerely thanks the following Summit Host, Sponsors and Exhibitor:

HispanicInstitute
http://www.lasalle.edu/hispanic-institute
VENUE HOST

nsc-logo
www.nsc-languages.org
PLATINUM SPONSOR

Print
www.cultureandlanguage.net
GOLD SPONSOR

LSC-LOGO

www.lsctranslations.com
GOLD SPONSOR

ACCENT_Logo
http://accentinterpreting.com
SILVER SPONSOR

Ricarti_Horizontal

http://www.ricarti.com
SILVER SPONSOR

Logo Final

http://www.magnals.com
SILVER SPONSOR

MagnaVoce_Logo

http://www.magnavoceie.com
SILVER SPONSOR

NAJIT logo
http://www.najit.org
EXHIBITOR