Review of the ATI 2016 Conference

As a professional practice, I aim to attend at least one translation conference per year. Obviously, there are many benefits in attending conferences. I personally love conferences for networking, learning opportunities, and keeping a pulse on key topics and trends.

Conferences are also a great way to explore other parts of the world. Earlier this year, I visit Prague for the wonderful BP16 Translation Conference, and in a few weeks, I’ll be in San Francisco for the widely attended American Translators Association’s Annual Conference.

While attending these conferences in distant locations, people sometimes ask me about the networking I do with fellow language professionals on a local level where I live in Arizona. Sadly, I’ve had nothing to report… until now.

ATI 2016

On Saturday, October 1, 2016, I was one of over 100 attendees at the Arizona Translators & Interpreters Annual Conference in Phoenix.

The keynote speaker was Tony Rosado, who has interpreted at the highest levels and is a thoroughly entertaining presenter. In his talk, Rosado provided a brief history of interpreting and translation to demonstrate the importance of our profession and the value we provide. He stressed that we must recognize our worth and educate our clients so that they too see our value (and pay us accordingly).

He pointed out that translation and interpreting is a “profession”, not an “industry”. After all, we are professionals, not cogs in a system. He also suggested that we stop using the term “rates” and instead refer to our prices as “fees” as other professionals do.

The one-day conference was organized into three concurrent tracks of sessions. Much of the content focused on interpreting, which is fitting since many ATI members and conference attendees are interpreters. One track, however, focused on translation, which is where I spent my time.

All of the presenters were highly qualified and knowledgeable.

Dr. Gloria Rivera gave a scientific talk on forensic science, explaining how fingerprinting, blood, and DNA is used in forensics. Although this is not my area of specialization, I found her presentation very interesting.

Aimee Benavides spoke on the use of parallel texts in researching specialized terminology. She demonstrated methods for finding native-language texts and avoiding translated texts that may contain mistranslated terminology.

Lucy Matticoli-Mason provided an enthusiastic demonstration of Trados Studio and MultiTerm. As a regular user of Studio, I didn’t expect to learn much from this session, but she covered some tricks I didn’t know before. I also feel much more confident about using MultiTerm.

Felipe Lopez gave a tech talk on Passolo, a not-so-user-friendly tool designed more for software engineers than for translators. Still, it was useful to see how this tool works from the standpoint of someone who actually understands it.

Final Thoughts

All in all, the ATI Annual Conference was a well-organized event that truly honored our profession and left me feeling motivated.

While I will continue travelling thousands of miles to distant conferences, I look forward to many more opportunities to be part of and help foster the local translation community here in Arizona.