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.

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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.

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DVTA Looks Back at 2015’s Successes and Makes Resolutions for 2016

This past year saw some great success for DVTA at the hands of our very involved and hardworking board members and volunteers. Not only did the Association hold its regular annual events, such as the Winter Luncheon at Cabrini College, the Summer Picnic/Networking Event at Appleford Estate, and the Annual Business Meeting at Magna Legal Services, we were able to move forward with other efforts and events that have greatly benefitted the membership as a whole.

The first major accomplishment DVTA enjoyed this year was to get its new website and member portal up and running in early April. The new site features a single platform (WordPress) for all of DVTA members’ needs, making it a great one-stop shop for everything related to the Association. Now, members can access the event calendar, DVTA blog, directory of language services professionals, and members-only forum all in one place. This effort would not have been possible if not for the hard work of many board members and other individuals, whose work is also lessened by this new site through automated membership notifications and reminders. A long-awaited relief!

DVTA’s second big news from 2015 was the Spring into Action event held at La Salle University. The two-day conference brought in attendees from a variety of different locations for a weekend of great sessions on Spanish translation and interpreting, as well as excellent networking opportunities. This joint effort by DVTA, the Hispanic Institute at La Salle University, and the ATA Spanish Language Division attracted over 130 attendees, some of whom sat for the ATA certification exam offered the second day of the event.

Another key success for DVTA in the past year has been its increased media exposure. Board and corporate members of the Association were interviewed for an August edition of the Philadelphia Inquirer, offering insights about the translation industry and the future of language services. DVTA was also featured on the cover of the September 2015 edition of the ATA Chronicle, which highlighted the Association’s efforts in conjunction with the First Judicial District Court to develop and implement an ongoing shadowing program for judicial interpreters.

The year to come also holds great promise for DVTA. Elections for three new board positions (one secretary and two events/programs co-chairs) will be held in September, and the Association will host its annual Winter Luncheon on March 13 (once again this year at the magnificent Mansion at Cabrini College) and Summer Picnic/Networking Event in August. The Association is also planning to hold the first East Coast Translation and Interpretation Summit in September. This Summit will be non-language specific and an ATA certification exam will be offered during the event. If you are interested in helping to plan and coordinate this exciting new effort, please contact our Programming Co-Chairs: Carlota Dalziel (rc4dalziel@comcast.net) and María Weir (maria@mariaweir.com).

DVTA Annual Luncheon Gala – Sneak Peak at the Sept. East Coast Summit

DVTA Annual Luncheon Gala – Sunday, March 13 from 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM

REGISTRATION DEADLINE – Monday, MARCH 7!!

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Location: The Woodcrest Mansion at Cabrini College   Date: Sunday, March 13, 2016
600 King of Prussia Road                                                Time: 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM
Radnor, PA 19087                                                            Price: $45 (Incl. Tax & Gratuity)


Don’t miss this opportunity to hear about the launch of our East Coast Summit on September 10, featuring the best speakers in the industry, in celebration of the 55th Anniversary of the DVTA. Pre-registration will be offered at a special discount only for attendees of the luncheon.

NOTE: Don’t forget to set your clocks forward an hour for DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME on Saturday night, March 12. We wouldn’t want you to miss a moment of the following day’s festivities, let alone a whole hour!

All current, paid DVTA Members will receive an email invitation with the full menu and registration form. Or you may view the form here: DVTA_LuncheonGala2016_Invitation_ECSummitPreview

In order to make this gourmet luncheon more affordable to our individual members, the following DVTA Corporate Members have graciously stepped forward for partial sponsorship:

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