ATA's 50th Annual Conference: Looking Back

Just like every year, Judy headed to the very exciting American Translators Association conference at the end of October. This year marked the organization's 50th anniversary, so the conference was held where it all started: New York City. Dagmar wasn't able to attend as she recently represented the Austrian Interpreters' and Translators' Association (UNIVERSITAS), in her function as interm Secretary General, at the German BDÜ conference in Berlin. Hence, Judy was, unfortunately, twin-less, but still managed to have a good time. Here's her review in quick bullet points for easy reading.
  • Overall, it was fantastic: more than 150 sessions and more than 2,000 colleagues. I had the opportunity to spend quality time with friends and make new ones. It's great to put the name with the face, especially folks you see a lot on Listservs. My own presentation, the "Entrepreneurial Linguist" was held on Saturday and was standing-room only. I am delighted to report that I've gotten a lot of positive feedback.
  • My favorite sessions included the free pre-conference seminar held my a past ATA president titled "Jurassic Parliament". I went in my function as vice president of NITA, and was accompanied by our president. We learned how to run meetings more effectively using toy dinosaurs. It was wildly entertaining (T-Rex! Flying dinosaurs!) and educational. I also really enjoyed Xosé Castro's presentation "Domesticación de Word," which focused on a myriad of excellent tips and tricks in Word. He was the invited speaker of the Spanish Language Division. In addition, Franz Pöchhaker, a professor at the University of Vienna, gave a fantastic presentation on "Interpreting the Inauguration," which focused on president Obama's eloquent speech and on how to interpret it into German. Last but not least, my friends Corinne McKay, Eve Bodeux and Michael Wahlster gave a fabulous, succinct, and easy-to-understand presentation on Social Media and Web 2.0.
  • In terms of networking, I really enjoyed the speed networking event. I'd done one before during a different event, and this year was the ATA's first attempt to do this. While a few kinks need to be worked out, it was fantastic -- I had the chance to meet dozens of linguists from other language combinations I wouldn't otherwise have had the chance to meet. In addition, the German Language Division's dinner at Lorelei restaurant was also a lot of fun. The room was a bit crowded, making it challenging to walk around, but it was all very well organized. The German food was great, too!
All in all, just like every year, I am delighted that I attended the conference. While it is a major expense, it is worth every penny, and the ATA certainly tries its very best to keep the costs down. While the conference hotel, the Marriott Marquis on Times Square, had a fantastic location, the layout of the conference was a bit challenging (three floors), and the lack of wifi in the rooms was a bit of a disappointment. I've returned from the conference thoroughly energized and inspired.I am already looking forward to Denver in 2010! Mark your calendars now and score a cheap flight.


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The entrepreneurial linguists and translating twins blog about the business of translation from Las Vegas and Vienna.

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