DVTA Patent Seminar and Social Networking Event, by Carlota Dalziel


The November 12 DVTA seminar and annual meeting held at the Best Western Hotel in Philadelphia was both sucessful and well attended. The morning was informative presentation on the subject of patents, and the afternoon got fired up on the subject of health! Stephanie Cash gave us an excellent hour-long presentation on ” Subversive Activities for Linguists: A different approach to exercise” that really got us thinking -and worrying- about our sedentary life as translators, sitting at our computers all day, or as interpreters, crashing at the end of a long day, with any form of exercise as the last thing on our minds. Stephanie challenged us: “How about another approach? What matters most of all: getting up off of your big fat chair!” (Mea culpa!!) Stephanie encouraged us to become more health conscious, while at the same time having fun! A variety of different activities were suggested. These included walking, old-fashioned calisthenics, running, swimming, different forms of dancing (including ballet for adults: never too late!), to name a few. Stephanie also included information on websites to check on availability of these activities in our area.There is a five page not-to-be-missed hand-out on the subject of how to achieve and keep vitality! Anne was our superb model for some of the recommended exercises, standing on a chair -most gracefully, I must say- in order to ensure visibility to our captive and enthralled audience, who joined in the fun as willing participants in the demonstration.

Anne Connor called the business meeting to order at 2.15 pm. All present were able to admire the DVTA’s eye-catching new website on the screen. A couple of our most recent activities were commented on such as our attendance at the Interbranch Commission for Gender, Racial and Ethnic Fairness meeting at the Bar Association in Philadelphia on September 15. Board members Anne Connor, Carlota Dalziel, Gabriela Jenicek, Maria Weir and Tony Guerra were present, as well as DVTA member Suzana Volquarts. One very interesting endeavor on the part of this commission is the formation of an Interpreter Services Committee that plans to expand interpreter services by improving the availability of interpreter and translation services in the Commonwealth’s courts and administrative agencies. The committee is also considering ways to assist the AOPC in training judicial personnel on Act 172 interpreter-services regulations passed in 2010. Anne also informed the audience of the board meeting held via Skype on September 26. Gabriela Jenicek was appointed to replace Caudia Krusch on the board. Tony Guerra agreed to replace Anne Connor as President after the meeting and Anne agreed to replace Tony as DVTA secretary. Our first Skype Board Meeting proved to be a very practical tool. Next, we had the reports by committee members, after which Anne invited the attendees to make suggestions that might lead to expanding the DVTA’s area of influence. Arnold Winter suggested putting together a panel of 4/5 people to come up with a “canned” presentation or script, similar to ATA’s Client Outreach Program, that could be offered to people who put on programs in the area, such as the Philadelphia Bar Institute, Local Chamber of Commerce, International Chamber of Commerce and others. Another member suggested advertising in business publications. Linda Pollack-Johnson suggested reaching out to a Doula organization since they often need medical interpreters.

The ATA Save-the-Date flyer on the mid-year conference for the interpreters and Spanish language division to be held in Orlando March 16-18, 2012, was handed out by Anne. All the attendees who had been there for the whole day left with 4 CE Points. The day also offered an excellent opportunity for networking, which I noticed was taken advantage by many. It turned out to be a very satisfactory event, with Anne at the helm of an excellent team.

Carlota Dalziel                                                                                                                           Federally Certified Spanish Court Interpreter and DVTA Board Member


ATA follow up: Quantum presents “One Judge, One Agency, 10 Linguists, and 10,000 Translated Pages”

Quantum, Inc. was pleased to present at the 52nd Annual ATA Conference in Boston. In a panel discussion entitled “One Judge, One Agency, 10 Linguists, and 10,000 Translated Pages of Protection Orders”, we analyzed a recent translation project from the view point of the judge who commissioned the project, the translator who worked on the project, and the translation company that managed the project.

Honorable Ida Chen, judge in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas and friend of DVTA, talked about “THE POWER OF TRANSLATIONS” from her first encounter with language translation, which sparked a huge protest in Philadelphia, how she received support from other judges, to the role she played in the translation process working with translators and editors as a legal consultant. Furthermore, Judge Chen presented, in Letterman’s style, the top 10 mistakes she made (and learned from), she talked about finding ways to collaborate with both the DVTA as well as with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and the Interpreter Program Administrator, and insisting that the work of translators and court administrators be recognized and rewarded.

The Russian translator, Yuri Balashov, PhD, discussed the challenges of working with
bilingual files, creating columns, templates, tables, and tables within tables. He revealed his strategy of translating, editing and finalizing the existing bilingual document first, then harvesting a memory from it before doing anything else. In addition, Dr. Balashov advised on the types of software that proved useful to him as a translator, and argued that one really needs three screens to work on a project of this complexity. His presentation was especially well received by the fellow translators in the audience who were working on similar projects and facing similar challenges.

The panel was moderated by Quantum’s Project Manager, Suzana Volquarts, who emphasized that it is not every day that a client accompanies their vendor to a large forum such as the ATA conference and thanked Judge Chen for her commitment to language access. Judge Chen understands more than anyone else that navigating our legal system is confusing, let alone when faced with documents not written in one’s native language. She understands the impact that a document such as Protection from Abuse Order translated into Russian, Vietnamese or Cambodian can have on the Russian, Vietnamese or Cambodian speaking defendant in Philadelphia courts. The impact that not only facilitates the language access but also, ensures that the LEP defendant is afforded the same opportunities before the law as their English-speaking counterparts. Ms. Volquarts also advised other Project Managers in the audience to embrace a client who wants to be involved in the translation process because it is a win-win situation.

The session generated a lot of interest, almost 50 people filled the room. Quantum was pleased to see so many familiar local faces: Natalia Petrova, Anne Connor, Lee Roth, among many others. We thank you for your support.

At the end, an audience member paid a compliment to Judge Chen by saying: “You are
not only a judge, you’re a linguist too.” We couldn’t agree more.

ATA follow up: LSA presents, supports and sponsors

The 52nd ATA Conference took place in Boston last week and provided an opportunity for stakeholders in the industry to connect, exchange ideas and learn about the latest developments in our field. Language Services Associates (LSA) sponsored the Speed Networking session which was attended by approximately 500 novice and seasoned linguists hoping to make inroads or expand their connections with contacts from around the world.

Along with sponsoring the Speed Networking event, LSA also presented as a part of the general session. LSA’s Maureen Garelick, Vendor Relations Manager in the Translation and Localization Division, presented “An Inside Look: What Agencies Really Want from Translators.” The presentation had high attendance from new and established translators.

The goal of the presentation was to review how freelance translators can find, develop and maintain mutually satisfactory relationships with language service agencies. Freelancers have ideas about what agencies want, but not all of those perceptions are accurate. Maureen discussed what agencies and freelancers expect from each other and how freelancers can effectively position and market themselves to an agency. Maureen also addressed some of the myths about agency motives, how agencies approach recruiting according to subject matter and project types and setting and negotiating rates.

Many of LSA’s linguists attended the presentation and enjoyed the many opportunities for interaction and fellowship with colleagues such as members from our local chapter, the DVTA. LSA was particularly pleased with the selection of Holly Mikkelson as the recipient of the Alexander Gode Award for her valuable services to the industry and with the election of their colleague and friend Tony Guerra as the Administrator for the Medical Division. We look forward to next year’s event to take place in San Diego.

ATA follow up: DVTA presence at the ATA conference in Boston, by DVTA President Anne Connor

The DVTA Banner loomed as large as life as I walked into the Mariott Copley Place after coming off the MBTA “T” train on Wednesday afternoon, October 26.  Board member Stephanie Strobel had set up the banner that morning and deftly arranged the handouts to be displayed at our chapter table throughout the conference.  The banner, and our color-coordinated brochures looked stunning, thanks to the pro-bono design services contributed by another board member’s husband, Tony Weir, and it really stood out above the crowd of other chapter and group tables.

After checking in at the ATA Registration, I pored over the geographic listing of attendees and counted about 60 people from the Delaware Valley, most of them members of the DVTA.  I also thought that we had great representation among the hundreds of people that were presenting workshops from all over the world. For instance, there were several presenters from our area, including: Stephanie Cash,  Judge Ida Chen, Terence Coe, Janet Fasy, Rainer Klett, Maria Rosdolsky, Matthew Schlecht, Jiri Stejskal, Stephanie Strobel and Suzana Volquarts.

In other “local guy goes national” news, congratulations are in order for DVTA Secretary Tony Guerra, who was voted the Assistant Administrator of ATA’s Medical Division.  Tony is the latest in a line of DVTA members who currently hold or have held positions in our national organization, such as Maria Weir (current Interpreters Division Assistant Administrator), Gerardo Konig (former Spanish Division Administrator), Helge Gunther (former German Language Division Administrator), Lourdes Norton (former Portuguese Language Division Administrator), Jiri Stejskal (former ATA President and current FIT Vice-President) and others whom I’m sure I have neglected to mention.

The DVTA table was a common meeting area between sessions for our members, who took turns sitting at the table to answer the questions of passers-by.  Natalia Petrova’s teenage daughter Katie even took a few shifts at the table, encouraging people from the Mid-Atlantic States to come to Philly for our November 12 morning patent seminar (the registration deadline for which is this Friday, November 4) and handing out membership applications.  Thanks to all who helped to spread the word about DVTA during the conference!

There were so many interesting sessions given in Boston that it was hard for me to choose which to attend, especially when there were several going on at the same time. I’ve ordered the conference DVD so that I can catch the sessions that I missed and get ideas for future presenters to the DVTA.  I look forward to hearing a recap of our favorite sessions at our annual business meeting the afternoon of the 12th.

Until then…best regards/Anne