Conference Sessions (speaker bios here)

The Future of Translation & Interpreting (Keynote Address), with Judy Jenner

Do translators and interpreters live in a scary new post-pandemic world? What will 2023 and beyond hold for our 
profession? How has the global pandemic impacted our profession? Is RSI here to stay? Will translators and interpreters face the fate of horses? Will technology play a more important role? What job types will be available for linguists in the future, and what’s a content curator? While everyone has an opinion, no one has a crystal ball. However, one thing is certain: there will be changes, and the best we can do is to learn about what is (probably) coming, keep up-to-date on new developments, and think about how to adapt and evolve. The speaker will present a high-level view of what she thinks is coming (she may have lost her crystal ball in a Vegas casino) and how linguists can ensure their success in this decade, the next one, and beyond.

Advanced Consecutive, Memory, and Note Taking, with Javier Castillo 

In this two-hour workshop, we will review and put into practice the principles of proper note taking for consecutive interpretation for both medical and legal interpreters. Participants will work on short and medium length passages and will find techniques to balance active listening and memory with note taking to ensure accuracy.

At the end of the course, participants will be able to: use best practices for listening and comprehension with and without notes, learn some standard note taking techniques, review the use of symbols and learn some commonly shared symbols, and practice developing a system that will be unique and will work for them in any field.

10 Habits of Highly Successful Translators and Interpreters, with Judy Jenner 

Being an excellent translator or interpreter is not enough to attract and keep customers. Which characteristics do successful entrepreneurs in the language industry share? Inspired by Stephen Covey’s management classic “7 habits of highly effective people,” the presenter will outline 10 habits that any linguist must have to succeed in the marketplace. This presentation focuses on customer service, communication skills, negotiating, computer proficiency, networking, and more. Find out why you need to be a Porsche, not a Kia, why the client is almost always right, why there is no crying and whining in T&I and how to set clear expectations. 


Terminology Research for Language Access Providers, with Helen Eby 

In an interactive learning environment, attendees will learn new ways to research terminology on a specific topic, using documents in English and their other working language(s); create a glossary based on their reading; explain the topic in both languages; and apply their knowledge to an interpreted encounter. The instructor will provide materials based on the free online resource Merck Manual for Home Health, along with research methods and a dialog for interpreting. 


How We Got Here: Two Generations Working with Interpreters, with Mark Chow

Join retired King County Judge Chow for an inside look at what is required of interpreters when practicing in court. From the perspective of a long-time judge, learn about expectations and potential points of forgetfulness that may occur during a given session, including highlights of where problems can arise in (or out) of court.

Learn how Seattle’s interpreter needs have evolved over time and have been addressed throughout the city’s past.

Get challenged on how you can participate outside of your professional endeavors to effectuate greater equity for our immigrant communities and communities of color. As a bonus, hear about how Bruce Lee ended up in Seattle!


Drugs, Alcohol and Fentanyl: Interpreting for Chemical Dependency Patients, with Judit Marin

The United States is currently in the midst of an opioid and drug overdose crisis. The demand for interpreters in chemical dependency recovery programs will continue to increase as social and medical services confront the challenges of this epidemic and deliver on the promise to fund treatment programs with settlement money from pharmaceutical companies. This presentation will review specific terminology related to addiction, particularly opioid pain medications, illicit drugs such as non-pharmaceutical Fentanyl, and other substances. We will also discuss the special challenges for interpreters in this field: patients’ language filled with drug-related slang, and unique references to the world of addiction. Participants will receive glossaries in the following languages: Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Russian.


An Overview of CAT Tools Featuring Wordfast, with Jamie Lucero

This lecture-style session provides an informational introduction to translation memory (TM), including how it differs from machine translation (MT), then covers key CAT tool concepts and features through Wordfast, including basic project workflow, translation and terminology, and licensing.

Staying Healthy at Your Desk: Setups and Strategies for Translators and Interpreters, with Eva Stabenow

As language professionals, we spend long hours in front of our computers, which can negatively impact our health and well-being. In this presentation, we will explore various aspects of maintaining a healthy workspace, including computer setup, ergonomics, and the importance of movement breaks for a healthy body and mind. In addition to information, participants will be led through gentle movements that will help them find ease at their desks. Come prepared to move!

A Journey Through Your Translation Working Environment, with Jamie Lucero

Designed to assist translators in evaluating and enhancing their work environment, this discussion-style session is a mixed bag of topics, such as plugins and APIs, backup and recovery, special-character input, regular expressions, hardware choices, keyboard shortcuts, and specialized software and methods, all focused on areas of the translation process beyond simply translating.

The Code of Ethics as a Shield: Should Your First Instinct be "No"?, with Judy Jenner

In this (perhaps) controversial session, the presenter will play devil’s advocate and ask if we are doing a disservice to the profession by having our first reaction be “no” to any (reasonable?) request that could possibly entail an ethics issue. The interpreter, a federally certified Spanish court interpreter, is a proponent of thoroughly analyzing the issue and always running it by the involved attorneys to determine if there really is an ethics issue instead of saying “no” right away. While this presentation may sound controversial, its final goal is to invite fellow interpreters to play a more active role in the judiciary and not letting the code of ethics handicap you. For instance: judges have repeatedly said publicly that they want to meet interpreters in their chambers to learn more about interpreting. However, the vast majority of interpreters don’t want to take judges up on this offer, citing an ethics issue, even if the judge is inviting them. Who’s right? Is there a middle ground? Let’s discuss and challenge some assumptions. This session will be highly interactive and will be governed by simple participation rule: agree to disagree and learn and grow. The presenter is not an attorney, but is married to one. 

Human Translation in the Age of MT & GPT
, with Mary McKee

The tension between human translators and Machine Translation (MT) has increased in recent years, with each side trying to prove their superiority over the other. Human translators increasingly take to social media to vent their fears, frustrations, and assertions that human translation is better and always the answer to any client's translation needs, while MT startups tout the speed and ease with which they can solve any translation problem with opaque and complex algorithms. This leads to conflict and fighting over jobs as neither player really understands the role of the others in the industry. With the public release of GPT-3, GPT-4 and ChatGPT (Generative Pre-Trained Transformer), the picture has changed even further, ratcheting up the stress and tension for human translators and generating widespread publicity of its developments. Mary will draw on her decade of experience as a freelancer working with large LSPs and individual clients and her experience as a project manager in the MT and human translation areas to build a better picture of the worldwide translation industry. Participants will work together to brainstorm steps they can take to protect their careers and expand the services they offer in order to work with, not against, MT.

Public Health 101: What Translators and Interpreters Need to Know, with Eva Stabenow

As translators and interpreters, we serve as a vital link between healthcare professionals and the communities they serve. Our role in disseminating accurate health information has never been more critical or more evident than during the COVID-19 pandemic. This presentation seeks to empower language professionals with a foundational understanding of public health principles. Drawing on examples from the recent pandemic, we will look at specific communication challenges as well as resources available to support the role of translators and interpreters in the public health sphere.

Panel Discussions (panelist bios here)

Publishing Translations: Behind the Scenes
with Lola Rogers, Zakiya Hanafi, Takami Nieda, and Shelley Fairweather-Vega (moderator)

What is the translator's role in publishing translated books? How does a translator get a gig translating a book, and how does the editing, publishing, and marketing process work? Four local literary translators will tell the inside story of their most recent publications of translated works of fiction and nonfiction, representing a wide variety of source languages and genres.

Ask Me Anything: Professionals Answer Questions for Newbies and Students, with Elizabeth DeNoma, Howard Chou, Fred Harriman, Trinidad Valenzuela, and Rosemary Nguyen (moderator)

Are you a student with big career ambitions, or a language professional who has recently launched your business? Are you wondering how it all works? This is your opportunity to ask your questions to people who have been there and done that! A panel of professionals from a variety of fields, from translation and interpreting to publishing, will answer your questions and share their experiences about whatever burning topic you have been wondering about.

Education and Pathways to Translation & Interpretation Certification, with Arwen Dewey, Javier Castillo, Louise Morehead, James Wells, Richard Watts (alternate moderator), and Caitilin Walsh (moderator) 

Have you thought about getting certified as a translator or interpreter but aren't sure what to expect? This panel of T&I professionals will discuss their experiences with educational programs and certification processes in a variety of fields, offering insight into some of the things they wish they had known before they got started. Audience members are welcome to bring questions! 

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