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Interview with Abdelhafid Missouri, Arabic Interpreter

January/February 2018 Issue

My guest today is Abdelhafid Missouri, a U.S. citizen who was born in Morocco. He has been an Arabic<>English conference interpreter with the U.S. Department of State since 2010. One of his most high-profile assignments was in May 2017, when he accompanied President Donald Trump’s team to the summit between the U.S. and the Cooperation […]

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Interview with Thierry Fontenelle

November/December 2017 Issue

Project managers at U.S. translation agencies are very familiar with the challenges involved in organizing and coordinating large projects across a range of languages. My guest for this column faces those same challenges as they apply to the European Union, which consists of 28 member states with 24 official languages. His department handles translation projects […]

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Interview with Maurine McLean, Former Sign Language Interpreter

September/October 2017 Issue

I have long considered sign language interpreting to be the most mysterious version of the kind of work we do in our particular corner of the linguistic universe. But I had no idea just how mysterious—and remarkable—it was until I started researching it for this interview. I began by approaching Maurine McLean, a federally certified […]

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Interview with Besim Nela, Former War Zone Interpreter

July/August 2017 Issue

Throughout the history of mankind, interpreters have been present when individuals, tribes, races, and nations have had to communicate across language barriers. Of all the different scenarios in which interpreters have to work, surely the war zone must be among the most challenging. Those who interpret in legal, medical, business, and community situations can only […]

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Interview with John Ayto, Lexicographer

May/June 2017 Issue

I admit it, I love words. Consequently, I have always been fascinated by dictionaries and have a certain reverence for lexicographers—those who compile them. Among the many dictionaries on my shelves, the Dictionary of Word Origins is an old favorite. It contains the histories of more than 8,000 words in the English language: just my […]

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Interview with Mike Dillinger, Machine Translation Pioneer

March/April 2017 Issue

Translation has been an integral part of our human evolution ever since we developed the ability to speak. But with the arrival of the industrial age, the spread of globalization, and the birth of technology, it was inevitable that someone would eventually wonder if machines were capable of performing this task. Research began in earnest […]

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Interview with Freek Lankhof, the Bookseller

January/February 2017 Issue

These days, if we need an Italian dictionary of seismography, we go online, just as we do for any kind of glossary or reference work. It’s all on the Internet. But it wasn’t always that way. Before the Internet, when we needed that kind of information, it came in a book. The question was, where […]

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ATA at the California Federation of Interpreters 2016 Conference

January/February 2017 Issue

The 2016 California Federation of Interpreters (CFI) Conference was held on October 7–9 in Los Angeles, California. CFI is a large and highly visible court interpreter association in California. It’s actually both a professional organization and a union. CFI negotiates with the California state courts on behalf of its members, many of whom are staff […]

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An Interview with Radd Ehrman, Classical Philologist

November/December 2016 Issue

As translators, we are familiar with the concept of picking a word apart to grasp its meaning. We refer to glossaries and dictionaries to determine exactly how a word is defined in specific circumstances or fields. In literary translation, we often have to know precisely how a word or phrase was used at the time […]

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