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

Spring into Action 2015 – Planting the Seeds of Professional Success for Language Interpreters and Translators April 25 and 26, 2015 – La Salle University By Carlota Dalziel

 

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How best to put words to this experience? A weekend treat, both from the intellectual and social angles. Two days dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge in an atmosphere of great camaraderie and a “je ne sais quoi” difficult to express in writing. The conference was well attended. There were 133 guests. The speakers were impressive and the wide variety of the themes they covered appealed to both interpreters and translators. Food and drinks served were first class and contributed to a feeling of contentment. No wine, alas! The good stuff, though, flowed generously at the dinners on both days. The one offered at Rosa Blanca in Old City on Saturday evening was followed by a guided tour of historic old city graciously given by Donna Jarvela, Conservator and Restorer of the Cultural and Art Heritage. It proved especially informative to the out-of-town folk, as well as to the visiting speakers. The optional evening activities were superbly organized by Armando Ezquerra Hasbun. DVTA Program Chair Maria Weir did a wonderful job at organizing the dinner at Rosa Blanca as well as selecting the menus for all the meals enjoyed throughout the weekend. She was assisted by Program Co-Chair Carlota Dalziel.

Together with ATA’s Spanish Division the DVTA excelled at putting on this outstanding event, to which the Hispanic Institute of La Salle University contributed by providing a great venue, as well as the coffee break refreshments.

It would make for too lengthy an article to detail all the sessions open to the attending public. A few of the speakers, though, are worth mentioning here. James Plunkett, Coordinator of Interpreter Services and of the Language Access Program of the District of Columbia Courts, Matthew Schlecht, scientific medical translator, Armando Ezquerra Hasbun, certified by the Federal Courts, NAJIT and by ATA in the English › Spanish language pair, Anthony Rivas, core faculty at the University of Arizona’s Agnese Haury Institute and Antonio Martin from Spain, a Spanish Philology specialist from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Other outstanding presenters were Heidi Cazes Sevilla, Leticia Molinero, Izaskun Orkwis, Gabriela Jenicek, Doborah Saldaña, Renee Wulf, Rudy Tellez, Georganne Weller, Virginia Valencia, Rudy Heller and Marian Greenfield (former ATA President from 2005 to 2007). DVTA President, Antonio Guerra, also gave an informative presentation on The Power of Collective Engagement. Intensive skill-building workshops were also offered to both translators and interpreters. One of particular interest given by Armando Ezquerra Hasbun was titled “The Subtle Art of Transcreation.” This author found it inspiring and thought-provoking, being a subject rarely touched upon in similar seminars. Transcreation is a term used chiefly by advertising and marketing professionals to refer to the process of adapting a message from one language to another, while maintaining its intent, style, tone and context. As a working interpreter, this author was keenly interested in the workshop, where successful interpretation was defined as the art of accurately conveying meaning and “evoking the same emotions and carrying the same implications in the target language as it does in the source language.”

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Another story that merits a special mention was one brought up by Anne Connor, DVTA secretary and former president. It happened at one of the final sessions on Sunday with the Panel of Experts on Translation -which ran right into the Translation Roundtable. Giovanna Lester was moderating a panel formed by Kirk Anderson, Marian Greenfield, Antonio Martin, Anthony Rivas and Anne Connor. I quote Anne: “When an audience member asked a question about proofreading/editing one’s own work, Antonio Martin preferred to answer in Spanish. Gio then asked if there were any non-Spanish speakers in the room. Three interpreters from the School District of Philadelphia (two Khmer and one Mandarin) raised their hands. At that, Rudy Heller hopped out of his chair in the front row and crouched behind the three interpreters, simultaneously and flawlessly interpreting every word that came out of Antonio Martin’s mouth, as well as a follow-up comment from another audience member who preferred to tell her story in Spanish because of the poorly translated Spanish words she’d seen at a doctor’s office. It really summed up the spirit of the whole weekend!” End of quote.

Armando Ezquerra Hasbun ably chaired Spring into Action, assisted by the DVTA board and Francesca Samuel, head of ATA’s SPA. A very effective team indeed. Comments on the seminar have been pouring in. Here are a few:

“You deserve a standing ovation for the amazing conference” (Sylvia Castellanos). “I finally learned how I can actually practice to improve my skills, rather than just have all the material thrown at me and then just be told, go home and practice.” (Christina Verduin). “Tony, Armando, Anne, Maria and Carlota went over, above and beyond what was expected of them, in making things work so smoothly … What an experience! A success at all levels: the welcome, details, preparation, selection of speakers, attendees, location… weather too!”(Gio Lester). “I had a great time; made new acquaintances, renewed old ones, and learned more about the interpreter business than I have been able to glean in all my previous years. I also appreciated the chocolate and cookies in the goodie bag that I was given after the sessions on Saturday! Someone knows about my sweet tooth!” (Matthew Schlecht). Each speaker at the seminar received a goodie bag.

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On Sunday afternoon before the roundtable sessions, and outside in the pleasant sunny weather, a musical group spontaneously came together and delighted attendees with an impromptu concert. Many in the audience joined in the singing with gusto. DVTA member and First Judicial District of Philadelphia staff interpreter, Javi Aguilar, had brought his guitar and other musical instruments. Once he got started it didn’t take long before people were singing and dancing along with him! James Plunkett from the Washington, D.C. courts joined in and played on Javi’s guitar with great enthusiasm. Javi also played wooden flutes while a few from the public provided the percussion, using Javi’s Costa Rican shells to great effect. This joyous display of talent will no doubt be fondly remembered by performers and audience alike.

The last Sunday event was held at Olney 100. A round table with a panel of experts had been invited by DVTA for the occasion. The panel members were James Plunkett, from the DC Superior Courts, The Honorable Ida K. Chen, from the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas in Pennsylvania (a frequent guest at DVTA events), and Mr.Osvaldo Aviles, from the Administrative Office of the Courts of PA. It turned out to be a very lively and informative session, with a brisk exchange of questions and answers on the latest issues in the field of interpretation. Judge Chen’s lively contribution was inspiring, best expressed in the words of Tony Guerra, DVTA’s president “Thank you for lending your phenomenal presence, wit and wisdom to contribute to the success of our event. It was encouraging and thrilling to have experienced so many individuals gathered with the common goal of quality, skill and ethics in language access and so fitting to have you and Osvaldo in our midst.”

A delicious dinner on Sunday night at Tierra Colombiana brought to a close an unforgettable seminar. There was definitely a “je ne sais quoi” to this event, and I don’t mind repeating myself! Thank you DVTA! Thank you ATA SPD! Thank you La Salle Hispanic Institute! The successful outcome was the earned reward. An appreciated parting touch was a free headshot offered to all attendees by the team of professional photographers in charge of photographing the group at closing on Sunday. All good things come to an end…

Spring Into Action 2015

 SPRING INTO ACTION 2015:

Planting The Seeds of Professional Success
for Language Interpreters and Translators

LA SALLE UNIVERSITY, PHILADELPHIA, APRIL 25-26

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The Hispanic Institute at La Salle University, the Delaware Valley Translators Association and the Spanish Language Division of the American Translators Association welcome you to historic Philadelphia for an unprecedented professional event to start, launch and guide your career to new heights in the language field. Join us on this productive weekend!

Skills-building and informational sessions will help you plan and plant the seeds to grow your career well into the future. The path to the next level starts here: Get serious about getting that certification. Get ready to add a new skill to your existing talents. Get informed about the evolution of our field and position yourself accordingly. Get the CEUs you need from the experts. Get good answers, new solutions and sound advice. Get connected with great people. All in a great cosmopolitan city.

General Sessions last 90 minutes and are open to all. They provide an introduction and overview of general topics. See what’s new in CAT tools for translation. Find new ways of supplementing your income. Learn about judicial ethics, financial translation, how to take and use notes in consecutive interpreting, and how to manage the business side of your business. During the Q&A section, you can pose questions to panels of renowned experts in translation and interpretation. They will also address and debate issues of interest to the profession. Come listen and let your voice be heard.

Workshops last 3 hours, require pre-registration, and are limited to 24 participants. They are intensive, interactive sessions that afford the opportunity to develop and polish specific skills through practical exercises. Cement or refresh your basic interpreting skills. Review effective techniques for perfecting your craft. Learn about the art of transcreation. Find out how to prepare for the ATA certification exam. Determine how to research and deploy appropriate terminology. Take away insights that will promote your growth.

Whether you are a budding linguist or an accomplished practicing language consultant, you will find valuable insights. Come learn, connect and grow with fellow language professionals attending non-language specific sessions. Interact with notable leaders of the industry; enjoy the company of dear colleagues and the joy of making new friends amongst your peers in a world-class destination with impressive architecture, a vibrant culture, plus great shopping and cosmopolitan dining.

Bring your résumé and your business cards or learn how to create them. Have a formal photograph taken to raise your profile on social media. Decide which professional examination to master next, and how.

You can attend one day or invest your time in both. Special hotel packages and extra optional group activities will be available. There are ATA, DVTA member and student discounts for full-weekend attendees.

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Heidi Cazes Sevilla

Marian Greenfield

Armando Ezquerra Hasbún

Rudy Heller

Antonio Martín

Leticia Molinero

Izaskun Orkwis

James Plunkett

Anthony Rivas

Matthew Schlecht

Rudy Téllez

Virginia Valencia

Georganne Weller

Full Weekend Seminar has been approved for 10 ATA Continuing Education Points and up to 12 AOPC CEUs, which include 1.5 AOPC CEUs for the Interpreter Ethics Session (Certified PA Court Interpreters must submit pre-approval request and show proof of attendance after the seminar).

Have comments? Questions? Suggestions?

Write: aehasbun@gmail.com

For More Information and to register, click here:https://www.regonline.com/springintoaction2015

PLEASE NOTE: Current, paid DVTA members may enter the 10% discount code DVTA at checkout. Students may enter the 20% discount code STUDENT at checkout and will be required to show their student ID card when checking in at the event.

This spring, success is in, and you are cordially invited to start it all up!

See you in April!

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Review of Alfonso Villaseñor’s Conference Interpretation Workshop

Conference Interpretation, a Workshop presented by Alfonso Villaseñor at Vision for Equality in Philadelphia from September 26-28, 2014, was absolutely superb.

Just like the advertising flyer stated, the requisite skills for simultaneous interpreting were clearly expounded, and the participants had many opportunities to put them into practice under the keen ear of the professor.

The workshop consisted of three full days of practice and learning.  After each lengthy practice, which was recorded by the professor, we listened to each of the participants’ renditions followed by the professor’s specific feedback.

On the last two days we were able to interpret from interpreting booths just like in a real conference setting. It gave us a feel for the work of the conference interpreter and an opportunity to use the equipment.

By way of value added, we were near the Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia, and thus it was an easy walk for lunch with our colleagues. There was plenty of parking and public transportation was conveniently located.

Without a doubt this was one of the best workshops I have experienced in a while, and I believe this feeling was unanimous among the participants.

Many thanks to our capable professor and our congenial and talented colleagues.

Cecilia Spearing
English<>Spanish Interpreter and Translator
AOPC Certified

Attendees practicing their conference-interpreting skills

Attendees practicing their conference-interpreting skills

Alfonso Villaseñor instructing the attendees of the Conference Interpretation workshop

Alfonso Villaseñor instructing the attendees of the Conference Interpretation workshop