MATI 13th Annual Conference
By Meghan McCallum, MATI Director
MATI held its 13th Annual Conference on Saturday, September 10 at the University Center in Chicago. Translators, interpreters, students, and other language services professionals from across the Midwest gathered to enjoy a day full of continuing education and networking opportunities.
After opening remarks from MATI President Elizabeth Colón, the first session of the day was “Ramping Up Your Freelance Business,” presented by Marian Greenfield, a freelance Spanish, Portuguese and French into English translator and past ATA President. This session provided helpful tips regarding marketing, networking, technology, and other aspects of running a freelance business.
Next up was a technology session from Anthony Perez, Vice President of Global Sales at Translate.com: “Humanizing MT.” Perez highlighted technological progress in language services and discussed the role of machine translation in today’s world of ever-increasing online content.
After a lunch break, translator, interpreter and past MATI President Enrica Ardemagni presented “The Changing Interpreting Landscape in the United States.” This session focused on recent improvements to the professionalization of interpreting in the face of past challenges.
The conference then had a short interlude highlighting the world of literary translation. Special guest author José Castro Urioste gave a reading in Spanish from his novel ¿Y tú qué has hecho?, while Enrica Ardemagni read the corresponding sections in English from her translation of the novel, published as And What Have You Done?
Concluding the lineup of presentations was Martin Mirza, Supervisory Foreign Language Program Coordinator at the Chicago FBI Field Office, with “Contract Linguists Using Language Proficiency and Cultural Expertise in the FBI.” Mirza discussed the importance of language services in the FBI and described contract and full-time employment opportunities within the FBI for language professionals.
The conference provided a wide variety of educational opportunities for attendees. In between presentations, conference participants had opportunities to network and meet conference sponsors in the exhibitor area. Representatives from Atlas Language Services, Metaphrasis, CPG and Translate.com were available to meet with attendees throughout the day.
Conference closing remarks were given by MATI Vice President Joseph Wojowski, who thanked the presenters and sponsors and encouraged conference attendees to continue participating in the many networking and educational opportunities offered by MATI year-round. The popular networking and hors d’oeuvres hour followed, in which attendees, presenters, and exhibitors had the opportunity to socialize over light refreshments.
MATI would like to thank all conference attendees, sponsors and presenters for being part of the 13th Annual Conference. We look forward to seeing you at additional professional and social events in 2017!