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inforMATIon Blog

The MATI blog features articles pertaining to translation and interpretation. Subject matter includes issues pertaining to the field in the form of explorations into language, methodology and technology, book reviews, biographies, notes on presenters and meeting summaries. The views, opinions and statements expressed within each posting do not necessarily reflect the position of MATI as a whole.
  • 05/04/2017 10:18 PM | Kristy Brown Lust (Administrator)

    Upcoming MATI Webinars

     

    MATI’s 2017 webinar series brings you two new seminars! Please plan on joining us for these valuable continuing education opportunities.

     

    Saturday, May 27, 12:00 p.m. (CST)

    "Interpreting culture: The cultural work of professional medical interpreters"

    Izabel E. T. de V. Souza, Ph.D., English-Spanish interpreter and interpreter educator

     

    In this workshop, Dr. Souza will help participants identify all the activities that are within the medical interpreter’s scope of practice, with respect to addressing cultural issues. You will learn about the challenges, disadvantages, advantages, timing, scope, limitations, and other aspects of addressing cultural issues as a medical interpreter. Dr. Souza will also discuss the latest interpreting research theories related to addressing culture while interpreting.

     

     

    Saturday, June 24, 1:00 p.m. (CST)

    "Specialization. The context unknown for translators in technical translations. Case study in the mining industry"

    Nora Fiorini, M.A., English-Spanish translator

    In this webinar, Nora Fiorini will use a case study in mining industry translation to examine issues of context and implicit knowledge. She will discuss the main pros and cons of specialization in translation in general, and for the mining industry in particular. Translation examples/vocabulary and mining theory will be provided. Participants will practice examples of English to Spanish mining texts.

     

     

    Registration is open for these sessions. Registration is $20 per session for MATI members ($30 for non-members). Webinars are scheduled to run for one hour, including time for Q&A. When attended live, each webinar is approved for 1 CEU toward ATA and WI Court Interpreter certification requirements. Certificates will be awarded upon completion. Webinar recordings will be available for registrants who are not able to attend the webinar live. Please stay tuned for more details and additional webinar announcements.

     

    NEW! Recordings of past webinars are now up on the MATI website!

    Through the new "Archived Webinar" function, you will have access to a year’s worth of webinars. Visit the archive page and let the retroactive online learning begin!  

  • 05/04/2017 10:02 PM | Kristy Brown Lust (Administrator)

    Join ATA in Advocating for Translators and Interpreters Affected by Immigration Changes 

    By Kristy Brown Lust MATI Director


    As a chapter of the American Translators Association (ATA), the voice of over 10,000 interpreters and translators in the United States and abroad, MATI’s mission includes cooperating with the ATA and advocat[ing] for the rights and interests of professional translators and interpreters. We share the concerns raised by the ATA in its recent statement about President Trump’s executive order on immigration, and we invite our members to join us in advocating for interpreters and translators who are negatively impacted by this order. 


    ATA wrote that the President’s executive order, which suspends issuing visas to nationals from certain countries in the Middle East and northern Africa, will have a negative effect on interpreters and translators who are citizens of those countries.


    The statement continues, ATA values the strengths and skills of its diverse membership, which includes a large number of immigrants to this country as well as overseas members in over 100 countries. The experience and expertise brought by these members benefits not only the association, but the nation at large.


    Read the full statement and find links to join ATA in contacting your elected officials to advocate for translators and interpreters in the United States and around the world.

  • 05/04/2017 9:43 PM | Kristy Brown Lust (Administrator)

    MATI Board Organizes for 2017

    By Kristy Brown Lust, MATI Director

     

    On February 25, the MATI board of directors met in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. This half-day retreat gave us an opportunity to collaborate in person on a wide-ranging agenda of event planning and decision making. Here are the results: 

    • We identified all open positions for the upcoming elections and appointed a nominating committee.
    • We set dates for nominations and board electionsnominate by April 28 and vote on or around May 15.  
    • New board members will be installed at the July 8 business meeting. 
    • We created the framework for the 2017 conference on September 23 at Monona Terrace in Madison, WI. 
      • It was decided to put out a call for speaker proposals.  
      • Honorariums were set for presenters. 
    • We solidified plans to host an ATA certification exam sitting on September 22 
    • We decided to host quarterly charisMATIc social hours in local MATI cities: Indianapolis, Chicago, Milwaukee and Madison.  
      • Events are networking opportunities and a way for members to meet directors as well as share feedback on how to improve the organization. 
    • We discussed potential webinar topics and presenters.  
      • If you have any idea of topics you would like to see covered, please contact us at MATIemail@gmail.com. 
    • We appointed directors to the membership, communications, programs and webinar committees. 

     

    Check out the Get Involved article for ways to engage with the board of directors and MATI in general. We look forward to meeting many of you at upcoming MATI social hours and the conference in September. If you have a question or concern you would like to share with the board, please email us at MATIemail@gmail.com. 

    photo of MATI board of directors 

    From left to right: Kate Jankowski, Thaís Passos, Marina Ilari, Joseph Wojowski, Kristy Brown Lust, Meghan McCallum, Ghada Shakir, Amy Polenske. Not pictured: Tyann Zehms

  • 04/30/2017 5:32 PM | Kristy Brown Lust (Administrator)

    Q&A with Susan Schweigert, Recipient of the UWM Graduate of the Last Decade Award 

    By Meghan McCallum, MATI Vice President 

    MATI member and former director Susan Schweigert received an MA in language, literature and translation from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee in 2011. Susan is a Spanish-English interpreter and translator based in Chicago specializing in law, international development and alternative energy. 

     

    Qphoto of Susan Schweigert: Last year, UWM named you the recipient of the Graduate of the Last Decade award. Congratulations! Can you tell us a little more about the award? 

    A: It is an award given every ten years by the UWM Alumni Association, in recognition of outstanding accomplishments in one’s field. My understanding is that you have to be nominated by someone at the university, and then they go through a thorough selection process, asking for letters of recommendation and calling references. I had no idea I had even been nominated when I received the phone call telling me I had been selected! It was a great honor. There was a lovely reception held at Discovery World in Milwaukee. The other honorees were also very impressive, and I was proud to be among them. 

     

    Q: How did the MA program at UWM prepare you for your career as an interpreter and translator? 

    A: The combination of theory and practice was very important. When working as a translator and interpreter day in and day out, you need to be able to make informed decisions and articulate those decisions in a convincing manner, but you also need to know how to invoice for jobs and pay your taxes. 

     

    Q: How did you get involved in your specializations? What kind of work are you most passionate about? 

    A: I specialize in the legal field, and that interest truly started at UWM when I took an Introduction to Interpreting course. We were exposed to court interpreting as part of the class, and I was hooked.  

     

    Q: What other special training and certification have you completed for your work? How have these impacted your career? 

    A: Since graduating UWM, I have become certified by the ATA to translate Spanish to English, and by the National Center for State Courts as a Spanish courtroom interpreter. I have also completed a certificate program at Loyola University in Paralegal Studies. Certifications are important elements in the efforts to continually standardize and professionalize the T&I industry, and are becoming increasingly important to clients. It has certainly helped me establish myself in my career to have both of these certifications. 

     

    Q: You’ve had some great travel experiences in your work as an interpreter. Can you tell us about your favorite travel assignment? 

    A: It’s hard to pick a favorite, but my recent trip to the Bahamas was particularly nice – especially since it helped me escape March in Chicago for a few days! 

     

    Q: You served on the MATI Board of Directors from 2012 to 2016. You played a key role in some exciting projects, such as MATI’s rebranding and website revamp and our webinar series. What did you enjoy most about this experience? 

    A: It was very exciting to step into the board of an organization like MATI and feel the support and freedom to realize my vision for what MATI could be. I think this is one of the real advantages to having a local ATA chapter that is as active as MATI. If you have an idea for developing and advancing our industry, and have the will and energy to put into making it happen, MATI can provide the perfect infrastructure to support you along the way. I truly encourage every one of you reading this to take me at my word, and use MATI to help make your visions a reality! 

     

    Q: What advice would you give recent graduates from translation/interpreting programs, or anyone who is new to the profession? 

    A: Professional organizations are indispensable. So are your colleagues. It is worth taking the time and energy to train and educate yourself in order to be a true professional in the field. Have fun  . 

     

  • 04/30/2017 5:23 PM | Kristy Brown Lust (Administrator)

    ATA Certification

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    ATA Certification

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    MATI to Hold ATA Exam Sitting in Madison 

    MATI is pleased to announce that it will offer a computerized ATA certification exam sitting on Friday, September 22, 2017 in Madison, WI. The MATI annual conference will be held in Madison the following day.

     

    Advance registration and ATA membership are required. 

     

    For information about recent changes to the ATA Certification Program, please see “ATA Certification Exam Undergoes Changes” on the MATI blog. 

     

    To register for the exam, please visit http://www.atanet.org/certification/upcoming.php.

  • 04/27/2017 5:33 PM | Kristy Brown Lust (Administrator)

    Help Us Build Our Translator and Interpreter Community

    In 2017, the MATI board is focused on providing members with more opportunities to engage with one another and the organization. We want MATI to become a hub for connecting with like-minded linguists, finding help with a challenging business situations, providing educational resources, and promoting recognition and advancement of our professions. Here are a few ways to help us foster a vibrant translator and interpreter community.

  • 02/06/2017 10:41 AM | Meghan McCallum

    MATI Announces First Round of 2017 Webinars

     

    MATI’s Webinar Organizing Committee is pleased to announce the first three webinars for its 2017 series. Please plan on joining us for one or more of these valuable continuing education opportunities!

     

    Thursday, February 16, 6:00 p.m. (CT):

    “Getting (and Staying!) on your PMs’ Favorites List”

    Meghan McCallum, French to English translator, MATI Vice President


    In this webinar, Meghan McCallum will share some of what she learned having worked in-house for several years at a global language services provider, serving as a project manager and quality manager. She will address things a translator can do to ensure positive, long-lasting business relationships with project managers. From making a good first impression to turning down work without risking losing the project manager as a potential long-term client, participants will learn how to get the most out of their interactions with project managers in order to earn a high rate of repeat business.


    Thursday, March 30, 6:00 p.m. (CT):

    “Bilingual Patient Navigation: The Next Step in Language Access”

    Cynthia Roat, International Consultant on Language Access in Health Care


    In this webinar, Cynthia Roat will describe how Bilingual Patient Navigators can assist families with medically complex children in learning to navigate the U.S. healthcare system. She will discuss how interpreters and navigators together can provide a comprehensive service that both improves patient care and – perhaps – provides a “next step” for experienced healthcare interpreters in their career path.


    Wednesday, April 26, 6:00 p.m. (CT):

    “Resources to Avoid Syntax Transference: English to Spanish”

    Alejandra Patricia Karamanian, Independent Translator, Proofreader and Instructor


    In this webinar, Alejandra Patricia Karamanian will address the incorporation of English loanwords and loan syntax structures into Spanish. She will focus on syntax transference in regards to translating verb tenses, the gerund, as plus past participle, among others. Her objective is to produce texts that are written in Spanish but also read and said in Spanish.


    Registration will open shortly at www.matiata.org. Registration is $20 for MATI members ($30 for non-members). Webinars are scheduled to run for one hour, including time for Q&A. Each webinar is approved for 1 CEU toward ATA and WI Court Interpreter certification requirements. Certificates will be awarded upon completion. Webinar recordings will be available for registrants who are not able to attend the webinar live. Please stay tuned for more details and additional webinar announcements.


  • 02/03/2017 12:41 PM | Meghan McCallum

    Key Components of Successful Translator Recruitment

    By Alaina Brantner, MATI Member

     

    A fundamental tenet of language services is that an organization’s translation product will only be as good as the translator who provides the target content. To provide culturally and technically appropriate translations, translators must have a wide range of knowledge and capabilities, reflected in the standards issued by such organizations as the ASTM and the European Committee for Standardization. As indicated in the “Standard Guide for Quality Assurance in Translation” of the ASTM, “Proficiency in two languages is important but does not necessarily guarantee translation competence” (6).


    Source and target language, translation, subject matter and text types are among the competencies necessary to carry out translation, according to the ASTM, and firms can use such indicators as certifications and degrees, experience, references and sample translations to determine if a candidate has the required competencies (6-7). In European Standard prEN 15038, the European Committee for Standardization adds research, cultural and technical (translation technology) competencies to those listed by the ASTM. These competencies are obtained through “formal higher education in translation[,]… a university degree or equivalent plus a minimum of two years of documented experience in translating, or… at least five years of documented professional experience in translating” (European Committee for Standardization 6-7). ISO 17100 certification is based on the language of prEN 15038. Notably, firms maintaining this certification must have documented processes for the verification and maintenance of records of professional competence (Ballou). Further requirements include processes for recording ongoing updates to linguist and staff competencies, highlighting the importance of continuing education in language services (International Organization for Standardization 3.1.8).


    Whether or not firms intend to pursue certification such as ISO’s, vendor managers can benefit from an awareness of the standards and certification requirements established by large standardization and certifying bodies. This information can be a great knowledge base for initiating recruitment efforts and designing vendor recruitment processes.


    Translator Directories: An Essential Recruitment Tool


    When recruiting translators in new language pairs or specializations, vendor managers have a variety of online directories at their disposal to identify candidates. Being aware of the characteristics, functionality and size of directories not only speeds up recruitment, but also aids in the design of language- or specialization-specific recruitment processes. This awareness also helps vendor managers put steps in place to mitigate the risks associated with carrying out recruitment primarily online, among them identifying the best talent available amongst hundreds and thousands of search results (in which all sorts of big claims are made about capabilities) and weeding out any translator scammers. (Joseph Wojowski’s article, “On ‘Lying Through Their Teeth: Identifying Translation Scams’,” offers great insights on translator scammers and precautions one can take to avoid them.)


    As a vendor manager, I prefer to start my own recruitment activities at the ATA Directory for several reasons—the overall focus of which is to set my recruitment efforts up for the greatest chance of success. First, for recruiters, membership to a professional association such as the ATA demonstrates translators’ understanding of the business investments necessary to operate as professionals within the language services industry, and presumably, their commitment to the field. Second, membership also represents a greater potential for participating in legitimate ongoing professional development, through webinars, articles in The Chronicle, or the ATA’s annual conference. Members of professional associations are also more likely to have strong networks of other members of professional associations to whom they can turn with language-, process- or technology-related questions—and who they can recommend to vendor managers!


    Other well-known translator directories include Proz.com and Translator’s Café (TC). These directories are good resources for languages of lesser diffusion, in particular; however, when recruiting through these directories, vendor managers should be aware that the free profiles available on these sites are more likely to attract translator scammers, and new translators who are more likely to misrepresent their translation and subject-matter qualifications. That is not to say that professionals cannot be found on directories such as Proz and TC, only that added efforts are recommended to verify that individuals’ actual training, background, tools, etc. correspond to any claims they have made in their directory profiles—advice that holds true no matter the directory through which one recruits. (Recruiters can also limit their searches on Proz to display only vendors who have had their credentials verified by Proz, a worthwhile parameter to put in place.)


    While the ATA, Proz and TC directories are perhaps the best known, regional professional associations are excellent resources for recruitment efforts as well. For example, visiting the member directories of ATA chapters and affiliates (including MATI’s) is a great solution for recruiting US-based linguists for any projects with location or citizenship requirements. Vendor managers can also carry out simple internet searches to identify professional associations and their directories for specific target countries, such as the SFÖ for Swedish translators, ABRATES for Brazilian Portuguese linguists, and the ATIO for Canadian French. Beyond these online resources, there’s no substitute for meeting new candidates in person at local and national translation events and conferences. For vendor managers and all other translation professionals, it pays to get involved.


    Basic Criteria for Identifying Suitable Vendors


    An often-quoted statistic within the language services industry is that recruiters decide whether to pursue a candidate after spending just one minute scanning that candidate’s résumé, CV or profile. This is absolutely the case, and the speed with which this decision-making is carried out is based on the reality of recruitment. To illustrate, my own vendor management experience includes recruitment of talent in over fifty languages. To carry out that recruitment, I contacted 1,000 candidates in 2016 alone, and of these 1,000 initial contacts, approximately 40% of candidates responded to my request. Of the approximately 40% of candidates that responded, around 20% met the criteria established by my firm for experience, education, translation technology, payment capabilities, etc. That is to say, for every one translator who met the organizational requirements to be passed on to linguistic testing, 12.5 translators were contacted. That’s not to mention the countless profiles, résumés and CVs that were first screened to even establish a list of candidates to contact. Therefore, no matter the directory being used to identify candidates, vendor managers should have a well-defined list of basic criteria that will allow them to quickly determine (within one minute) if a translator’s profile meets their organizational needs.


    Basic criteria are determined based on an organization’s specific circumstances; however, in general, providers of language services look for a minimum amount of translation experience, a minimum amount of experience in the subject matter, education and continuing education in translation and the subject matter, and translation technology. Minimum requirements are determined based on the verticals in which an organization works, and on its workflows, capabilities and clients’ needs. For example, the complexity of content intended for use at medical instrumentation trade shows means that recruiters will work based off much more stringent requirements to ensure that the translated material is both technically and culturally (marketing) appropriate. On the other hand, for human resources content with a limited audience and a strong translation memory and editor, recruitment parameters are more flexible.


    Regardless of the specifics, vendor managers carefully develop organizations’ basic criteria for new partner translators. They carefully analyze the needs of their businesses to—once again—set up their recruitment efforts for the greatest chance of success. Carefully-determined criteria allow recruiters to quickly determine if a translator profile is a good fit. Being aware of red flags to avoid—such as potential candidates who list too many specializations or language pairs or who work into non-native languages—helps vendor managers ensure that their recruitment efforts establish relationships with qualified professionals whose experience and capabilities align with organizational needs.


    Making Initial Contact


    Initiating contact with candidates whose profiles seem to meet organizational requirements is another component of recruitment that requires a deliberate process. During initial contact, recruiters request the documentation that will allow them to verify that a translator’s background indeed aligns with organizational needs. Carrying out this verification is incredibly important in that it protects translation firms from working with individuals who do not have the necessary qualifications and training. This process also serves to elevate the field of translation as a whole, since requiring candidates to provide evidence of their qualifications (such as diplomas and certifications) is a check that allows vendor managers to avoid translator scammers and inexperienced translators who have misrepresented their capabilities. Bear in mind that checking documents like diplomas and certifications requires an understanding of degree equivalencies and the resources necessary to verify any target language documents submitted.


    On the other hand, this initial request for documentation must also be carried out in a way that recognizes the administrative time investments being made by all participants. Any initial contact should therefore clearly define a firm’s basic requirements and the documents for submittal. Further, any forms the translator is required to fill out and submit should be designed in a way so as to capture all of the information the firm requires to establish a working relationship (i.e. experience, education, contact details, billing details, translation technology, etc.) in a single pass. Having a clear set of requirements eliminates the back and forth that results when these parameters are not defined, thereby promoting efficiency. It also allows both vendor managers and translators to determine as quickly as possible if a potential working relationship is a good fit, allowing all parties to focus limited resources to areas of greatest impact.


    Aside from giving vendor managers the chance to verify credentials and collect necessary information, the initial contact and request for documentation is also an incredibly valuable opportunity to test candidates in a variety of other areas. For example, an initial contact email with a clearly defined list of required documents for submittal gives vendor managers an immediate opportunity to determine a candidate’s ability to follow directions. Any CVs or résumés submitted also serve as indicators of translators’ formatting capabilities and of their ability to organize and present information based on their audience’s needs (i.e. information should be presented based on the understanding that recruiters will spend no more than one minute scanning those documents). When a vendor manager requests samples and translators refuse based on non-disclosure agreements they have signed with other firms, the vendor manager can take this as an indication that any content translated for her or his organization will be handled with the same care. For any samples that are provided, vendor managers can also check that no client-identifying information is included in either the content or the file properties. Overall, the process for requesting documentation is therefore designed to allow vendor managers to carry out as much due diligence as possible at that stage. Like all the stages of vendor recruitment, having intentional processes in place allows vendor managers to ensure that their recruitment efforts will yield the greatest results, so that only the best talent available is passed on to any subsequent linguistic testing phases.


    A Comprehensive Process


    The design and implementation of successful recruitment processes requires substantial investments of time and resources, as evidenced by the descriptions of the stages outlined above—and this article does not even address the organizational parameters necessary for tracking recruitment efforts or the linguistic testing phase that follows recruitment. Still, since recruitment processes are designed to establish mutually beneficial relationships with professional candidates, organizations must approach recruitment with an understanding of what their investments will yield. For instance, communication between vendor managers and translators during recruitment sets the tone for the entire working relationship between a translator and a firm. A well-designed and efficient process not only accomplishes the explicit objectives of collecting information and verifying credentials, but also indicates a firm’s quality expectations to candidates, and the kind of approach they can expect when working with that organization. A well-designed process therefore aids in attracting the best talent available.


    More importantly, front-end investments in recruitment processes allow firms to prevent the translation mishaps that result when working with untrained providers, which reflect poorly on an organization’s services and reputation and are exponentially more costly to repair on the back end than good preventative processes. A well thought out recruitment process contributes to providing firms and their clients and target users with the implicit peace of mind that comes with a consistent translation product. That product is the result of working with quality providers.


    Vendor recruitment must therefore be counted among the most critical of processes for translation firms. After all, organizations can work with the most up-to-date technology and design the most intricate of production processes, yet even with the best supporting components in place, the translation product will only ever be as good as the translator who provides the target content.


    Works Consulted


    ASTM International, F 2575-06, “Standard Guide for Quality Assurance in Translation,” June 2006.

    European Committee for Standardization, prEN 15038, “Translation services – Service requirements,” 2004.

    International Organization for Standardization, ISO 17100, “Translation services – Requirements for translation services,” 2015.

    Ballou, Gregory. “ISO 17100 Certification: Who, What, Why, and How?” ATA 57th Annual Conference, American Translators Association, 03 November 2016, Hyatt Regency, San Francisco, CA. Conference Presentation.


    Alaina Brantner is a translation consultant specializing in project, vendor, and translation memory management. A Spanish> English translator, she has an MA in language, literature and translation from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. She served as a director of the Midwest Association of Translators and Interpreters (an ATA chapter) from 2012 to 2016. Contact: alaina.brantner@gmail.com.


  • 02/03/2017 12:35 PM | Meghan McCallum

    MATI Reaches Out to Students
    By Meghan McCallum, MATI Vice President


    MATI members are actively visiting schools (both in person and virtually!) to speak to students about the exciting careers of translating and interpreting. Read on for a few recent examples of MATI members’ School Outreach visits.


    MATI Director Ghada Shakir, an English-Arabic translator and interpreter based in Mequon, WI, visited West Allis Central High School in March 2016 for the school’s career fair. She started with the basics, helping the students understand the differences between translation and interpreting. Next, Ghada explained potential career paths for these language skills, giving examples of translation and localization of websites, mobile apps, marketing materials and subtitling. She also provided examples of cultural differences and how important they are for translation. Finally, Ghada concluded her presentation with a demonstration of machine translation bloopers, showing the students the importance of professional human translators. Ghada reported that she thoroughly enjoyed her school visit. “It is my mission to pass on my expertise to the next generation of translators and interpreters,” she said.


    MATI Director Marina Ilari, an English-Spanish translator based in Milwaukee, WI, gave a webinar on freelance translation to translation students at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. She told the students about lessons she’s learned from her many years of freelance translation, sharing resources and providing tips on running a freelance business. Her presentation included recommendations for marketing, attending professional conferences and networking events, continuing education and building a client base. Marina admits she was nervous to present the webinar, but in the end found the experience to be incredibly rewarding. Looking back, she said, “I wished my university had prepared something like this to help new translators enter the market more confidently!”


    MATI member Amanda Bickel, a French-English translator based in Monona, WI, has offered her expertise to language students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison each semester since 2015, and has plans to visit the university again early this year to participate in another alumni mentoring event. She has also developed and given presentations on freelance translating as a career. Her goal is to offer students candid knowledge about the logistics of being a freelance translator, as opposed to language-specific translation instruction. “You can learn actual translation skills from taking classes, but many are remote,” she said. “I lacked a personal connection with someone in the industry when I was starting out. I could have really benefitted from that when I was in college or after. I’m hoping to give the students some tips and insight that I had to learn over time through trial and error.”


    Are you interested in visiting a school to talk to students about translation and interpreting? Find out more about the ATA School Outreach program — and enter for a chance to win free registration to ATA’s 58th Annual Conference — at atanet.org/ata_school/.


  • 02/03/2017 12:28 PM | Meghan McCallum

    MATI Translators Lead Workshops at University of Wisconsin-Madison

    By Erin Woodard, MATI Member


    Milwaukee- and Madison-based French into English translators Meghan McCallum and Erin Woodard each led workshops this fall for the Professional French Master’s Program (PFMP) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

     

    The PFMP is an interdisciplinary master’s degree program that allows students to study French alongside a specific concentration area including higher education, business, European Union affairs, international development, and media/arts/cultural production. Students complete graduate-level coursework before completing a professional internship abroad at a French-speaking organization whose work is related to the candidate’s associated concentration area. 


    The program recently restructured its concentration area coursework to incorporate professional skills workshops led by university faculty, staff, and outside professionals in the field. Adding the new workshops allows PFMP candidates to gain a deeper understanding of concepts required for their concentration-area learning, as well as provide them with specific professional skills.


    Of the workshops offered in the fall semester, MATI Vice President Meghan McCallum led the Translation Techniques and Strategies workshop, and MATI member and PFMP alumna Erin Woodard led the Introduction to Budgeting and Forecasting workshop. Each workshop met for a total of 15 hours throughout the semester. Students were exposed to a variety of translation and budgeting concepts, respectively, and had the opportunity to hone their skills through project-based learning.


    “The PFMP students were eager to apply their language skills to translation tasks as well as editing and critiquing exercises,” Meghan said. “This workshop was an opportunity to show them the important role translators play in global marketing and communications.”


    Erin added, “The workshop was a wonderful opportunity to share my professional experiences with the PFMP students. I enjoyed exposing them to budgeting concepts and having the opportunity to discuss financial tools in the workplace.”


    The PFMP candidates will be starting their second set of workshops and classes in the coming weeks as they return for their spring semester. Additional information about the PFMP can be found at http://pfmp.wisc.edu/welcome.



    PFMP students and instructors at a social gathering at the beginning of the fall 2016 semester.


Midwest Association of Translators & Interpreters
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