New Certified Members


The following members have successfully passed ATA’s certification exam:

English into Spanish
Gloria Hughes
Bakersfield, CA

Beatriz D. Mendoza Jacobo
Aurora, IL

Natalia Pommier
Monterey, CA

English into Ukrainian
Iryna Isayeva
Kyiv, Ukraine

Chinese into English
Tong Xu
New York, NY

Japanese into English
Tanya Williams
Marina, CA

Board Meeting Highlights

Standing from left: Directors Alaina Brandt, Meghan Konkol, Elena Langdon, Jamie Hartz, Geoff Koby, Eve Lindemuth Bodeux, Melinda Gonzalez-Hibner, Tony Guerra, and Cristina Helmerichs. Seated from left: Treasurer John Milan, President-Elect Madalena Sánchez Zampaulo, President Ted Wozniak, and Secretary Karen Tkaczyk.

The American Translators Association’s Board of Directors met February 8–9, 2020, in Charleston, South Carolina. The meeting followed the Board’s Annual Strategy Day.

The Annual Strategy Day allows the Board to discuss in-depth aspects of the Association and the translation and interpreting professions. Strategy Day is coordinated and led by ATA’s president-elect, who, by office, is the chair of the Governance and Communications Committee.

This year, President-Elect Madalena Sánchez Zampaulo guided the Board through a Strengths, Opportunities, Aspirations, Results (SOAR) Analysis and discussion. (The Board’s top areas were advocacy, continuing education, and inclusivity/expanding membership.) Next, Treasurer John Milan led a discussion about the proposed Strategy Committee, specifically how it could advise the Board on its planning, the skills and experience committee members should have, and the importance of the committee’s independence to provide its insights. The Board then looked at the future of the Annual Conference with a general discussion about the structure of the event, the audience, and locations. The Board also discussed possible revisions to ATA’s membership structure and categories.

Treasurer Milan closed the day’s activities by reviewing and explaining how Board members are expected to satisfy their fiduciary duties to ATA with respect to ATA’s financial and tax reporting.

Strategy Day discussions do not necessarily lead to concrete action plans, but they do serve as the foundation for working through the Board’s activities for the year.

Here are some highlights from the Board meeting.

Advocacy: President and Government Relations Committee Chair Ted Wozniak briefed the Board on ATA’s responses to California Assembly Bill 5 (independent contractor vs employee classifications) and the efforts to get an exemption for translators and interpreters. President Wozniak shared with the Board other draft federal and state legislation that the committee is monitoring. Related, the Board approved renaming the Government Relations Committee the Advocacy Committee.

Strategy Committee: The Board approved establishing a Strategy Committee and appointing Treasurer John Milan as chair. The committee will focus on trends and issues affecting translators and interpreters and what they mean for the Association.

Membership: The Board reviewed the Membership Committee’s updated Membership Roadmap that looks at ways to improve membership retention and target new members. President-Elect Madalena Sánchez Zampaulo is the chair of the Membership Committee.

Conflict of Interest Policy: The Board approved a Conflict of Interest Policy for Board members, committee chairs, and division administrators. These key volunteers must submit a conflict of interest form each year.

Nominating and Leadership Development Committee Appointment Approved: The Board approved the appointment of the members of the Nominating and Leadership Development Committee. They are Past President David Rumsey (chair), Lucy Gunderson, Yolanda Secos, David Stephenson (Certification Committee chair), and Izumi Suzuki. The committee reviews and selects the slate of candidates for the elections each fall. This year, we have elections for three directors.

Finance and Audit Committee: The Board approved the appointment of Robin Bonthrone to the Finance and Audit Committee. Robin brings a strong finance and accounting background to the committee.

The Board meeting summary is posted online. The minutes will be posted once they are approved at the next Board meeting. Past meeting summaries and minutes are also posted online at The next Board meeting is set for April 18–19, 2020, in Alexandria, Virginia. As always, the meeting is open to all members, and members are encouraged to attend.

ATA Membership: Invest in Yourself

The profession is facing some challenges. Marketplace pressures to increased regulatory activities are affecting independent contractors. ATA can help. Don’t go it alone.

The new year means it’s time to renew your ATA membership. Membership renewal notices have been mailed. You can also renew online:

In the past year, ATA has stepped up its member benefits, webinars, and advocacy efforts. ATA now offers exclusive discounts on over a half dozen of the most popular tools. The savings alone will go a long way toward covering your ATA membership. In 2019, ATA started offering a free monthly webinar to all ATA members. (The featured webinar is highlighted in Newsbriefs.) On the advocacy side, ATA is teaming up with other organizations to protect the interests of translators and interpreters. (See President Ted Wozniak’s column for more information.) By being an ATA member, you benefit from strength in numbers. ATA members can do more together than a person off on their own.

ATA membership is an investment in yourself. You’ll cover your ATA dues by getting just one job from your member-exclusive profile in the ATA Directory of Translators and Interpreters. Over 60% of the membership reports getting a job from their online directory listing.

As part of that investment, ATA offers access to resources and colleagues that can help you become a better translator and interpreter. As an ATA member, you have access to membership in any and all of ATA’s 22 divisions. ATA divisions offer specialized information and networking connections. The ATA Chronicle provides a wealth of knowledge, including additional links to reliable resources for an even greater breadth and depth of information. Newsbriefs, ATA’s semi-monthly e-newsletter, provides timely media features and news related to the Association. And, ATA webinars bring a variety of affordable learning opportunities to you.

Speaking of learning opportunities, ATA membership gives you the discounted registration rate on the premier professional development and networking opportunity in the profession, ATA’s Annual Conference. Join ATA and save on your conference registration—the savings alone just about cover your membership dues.

The benefits add up to a positive value proposition. Renewing your membership is a smart business decision and an investment in yourself. If you have any questions about your membership and the benefits available to you, please contact Trish Boward, ATA membership assistant, at 703-683-6100, ext. 3001.

Thank you for your support and membership in 2019. We look forward to serving you in 2020!

New Certified Members


The following members have successfully passed ATA’s certification exam:

English into Chinese
Xiongwei Shen
Fullerton, CA

Bing Qi
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

English into Spanish
Marco Díaz
San Diego, CA

Arabic into English
Lucinda Wills
Pasadena, CA

Chinese into English
Fang Gann
Sioux City, IA

Steven W. Langsford
Ann Arbor, MI

Ben Murphy
Washington, DC

David Wise
Riverside, CA

French into English
Sonja Swenson-Khalchenia
Washington, DC

Spanish into English
Arielle Weisman Depaz
Fairfax, VA

Teresa Kennedy
Long Beach, CA

Mariel Rowe-Heupler
Monterey, CA

Catharine Lailson
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

2020 Honors and Awards Now Open!

ATA and the American Foundation for Translation and Interpretation (AFTI) present annual and biennial awards to encourage, reward, and publicize outstanding work done by both seasoned professionals and students. Awards and scholarships for 2020 include:

  • The Alexander Gode Medal, ATA’s most prestigious award, is presented to an individual or institution for outstanding service to the translating and interpreting professions. This award may be given annually. Nominations are solicited from past recipients of the Gode Medal and the membership at large.
  • The Alicia Gordon Award for Word Artistry in Translation is given for a translation (from French or Spanish into English, or from English into French or Spanish) in any subject that demonstrates the highest level of creativity in solving a particularly knotty translation problem. Open to ATA members in good standing.
  • The S. Edmund Berger Prize is offered by AFTI to recognize excellence in scientific and technical translation by an ATA member. The award may be given annually.
  • The Lewis Galantière Award is given for a distinguished book-length literary translation from any language, except German, into English published in the United States. The award is bestowed biennially in even-numbered years.
  • The Marian S. Greenfield Financial Translation Presentation Award is offered by AFTI to recognize an outstanding presenter of a financial translation session during ATA’s Annual Conference. The award may be given annually.
  • The Student Translation Award is presented to any graduate or undergraduate student, or group of students, for a literary or sci-tech translation or translation-related project. The award may be given annually.

For complete entry information and deadlines, visit

Thank You Sponsors and Exhibitors

ATA wishes to thank all of our sponsors and exhibitors for helping to make this conference such a success!




Alliant Professional Liability Program

Judicial Council of California Court Interpreters Program


Media Partner


1-Stop Asia


Alliant Professional Liability Program

Allied Powers, LLC

Alpaca Collezione Conference Rental

Continental Interpreting Services

Crestec USA, Inc.

Cross-Cultural Communications, LLC


Divergent Language Solutions, LLC

Fluency, Inc.


GSO Services

HansemEUG Global Language Services

Institute for Applied Linguistics, Kent State University

International Medical Interpreters Association/National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters

Interpreter Education Online

Interpreter Intelligence

Judicial Council of California Court Interpreters Program



Links Sign Language & Interpreting Services

Localize Africa (Pty) Ltd.

MCIS Language Solutions

MD Healthcare


Middlebury Institute of International Studies

Mission Essential

Morningside Translations

National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators

National Language Service Corps

National Security Agency

NLG—Next Level Globalization

New York University School of Professional Studies

Otto Trading, Inc.

Plunet Inc.

RWS Life Sciences

RWS Moravia


Shenzhen CloudTranslation Technology Co., Ltd.



STAR Group America, LLC



TongueTek Language Consulting

Total Language

Translation4all, Inc.


tranZynergy, Inc.

U.S. Department of State, Office of Language Services

University of Illinois Center for Translation Studies

Urban Translation Services

Websites for Translators



In Memoriam: Peter Less


Nuremberg 1946: Peter Less in uniform

(Special thanks to Tanya Gesse, who contributed to this piece.)

Peter Less, who served as an interpreter at the Nuremberg trials, died October 9, 2019, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Peter was the recipient of ATA’s Alexander Gode Medal in 2006 for his pioneering service to the interpreting profession.

A native of Germany, Peter fled the Nazi regime and arrived in Switzerland in 1938. Peter’s father, mother, sister, and grandmother, who stayed in Germany to “wait out” the Nazis, perished. His father was an attorney, his mother a businesswoman, and, being educated people, they couldn’t imagine that the Nazis would take hold. They said, “this will pass.” Peter never saw them again.

Peter attended the Geneva School of Conference Interpretation, becoming one of its first graduates. In 1946, Peter, then 25, was recruited by the U.S. Army to provide interpreting services during the Nuremberg trials. From June to December 1946, he interpreted the proceedings from English into German (simultaneously in the courtroom, and consecutively during depositions). He also translated court documents as well as the final judgment. Nuremberg was one of the first times a multilingual event was interpreted using the simultaneous mode (with primitive interpreting equipment, including bolted-down microphones and heavy headsets).

Peter sat in the courtroom a few feet from Hermann Goering, Rudolf Hess, and others accused of crimes against humanity. These were the very people responsible for the deaths of his entire family. In the September 2004 issue of The ATA Chronicle, Peter reflected upon his role at these historic trials.

Nuremberg 1946: Peter Less (second from left, back row) is seen in the interpreting booth touching his forehead.

“It wasn’t easy. You were sitting in the same room with the people who probably killed your parents, but you could not let your feelings interfere with your job. You swore to interpret as faithfully as possible, to put the speaker’s idea into the listener’s head. So we did.”1

Following the trials, Peter moved to the U.S. and worked as a family law attorney in Chicago. Throughout the years, Peter generously gave his time to speak to audiences large and small. Having lived through a tumultuous historical period, Peter was asked in the 2004 Chronicle interview what advice he would give us today.

“Don’t follow somebody who tells you what’s good for you. I like the motto lead me to those searching for truth, but keep me away from those who have ‘found it.’

  1. Gesse, Tanya. “Lunch with a Legend,” The ATA Chronicle (September 2004), 44,

How to Plan for Big Changes in Your Freelance Business

Do you ever feel like you need to make a change in your business, but you’re not sure when to pull the trigger? Or maybe you know you’ve needed to make a change for some time but just keep putting it off.

If you aren’t sure when the best time is to make a change in your business, or if you’re unsure if you should make one at all, you might first try considering the reason you even think making a change is necessary.

Is something in your business no longer working as you had hoped? Are you feeling burned out in your business and that you ought to pivot to do something else or offer a new service?

Unless something sudden causes us to react quickly, most of us prefer to plan for the changes we make. And for many of us, the planning might take place at the beginning of the year. After all, isn’t that when most people set out to make a change?

I would argue, however, that the fall (or spring, depending on where you live in the world) is the best time to plan. The new year is just around the corner. This can be the best time to reassess your business, ask yourself some hard questions, and get the ball rolling on making changes that impact your business in a positive way.

How to Plan for Changes this Fall

You might start the change-making process by asking yourself some key questions.

    • What’s going well in my business?
    • What’s not going well?
    • What clients do I like to work with?
    • What clients would I rather not continue working with (and can I afford to let them go)?
    • If I do want to let go of a client but can’t afford to yet, can I look for one or two better clients so that I can eventually replace this less-than-ideal client?
    • What new skills would I like to learn?
    • What can I do to improve my skills so that I can add more value to my clients, and perhaps even raise my rates?
    • If I could change anything in my business, what would it be?
      • Work fewer hours, but make more money?
      • Work with only direct clients?
      • Work on building up my portfolio in a new specialization?

After you’ve taken some time to answer these questions, it’s time to make some decisions about how you’ll implement these changes.

  • Do you need to inform clients about these changes?
  • Do you need to “fire” a client?
  • Do you need to start asking for more referrals or letting certain clients know you have more capacity now to be more available to them?
  • Do you need to take a special course, get a specific certificate or certification, etc.?

Next, establish a timeline or plan to implement the changes based on your decisions. This is an important step so that you don’t let unexpected events derail your plans.

  • What are the individual steps you need to take to implement your new plans?
  • How can you break these steps down into smaller, more manageable (and less overwhelming!) tasks?
  • When will you get these tasks done?

Tip! Put this important work on your calendar, and make it just as important as you would an appointment with a client or your best friend.

Finally, put a date on your calendar now to reassess your situation in a few months.

  • Are you happy with the outcome of your decisions and changes?
  • If you had to make these decisions again, would you change anything, or do you feel like you made the right move?
  • What parts of your plan worked well and what could you do differently when planning and implementing your decisions in the future?
  • Are there any pending tasks or projects left in your plan? If so, schedule time to reassess the changes you’re making in three to six months.

It can be overwhelming to make big changes in your freelance business. But planning for changes by breaking them down into manageable steps and reassessing your progress and decisions can remove a lot of this stress. And less time worrying means more time implementing!

Madalena Sánchez Zampaulo is ATA president-elect and chairs the Membership Committee and Governance and Communications Committee. She is the owner of Accessible Translation Solutions and a Spanish>English and Portuguese>English translator. She served as chair of ATA’s Public Relations Committee (2014–2018) and administrator of ATA’s Medical Division (2011–2015). She has a BA in Spanish from the University of Southern Mississippi and an MA in Spanish from the University of Louisville. She is also a consultant for the University of Louisville Graduate Certificate in Translation. You can read more of her articles on her blog at Contact:

Business Practices will alternate in this space with “The Entrepreneurial Linguist.” This column is not intended to constitute legal, financial, or other business advice. Each individual or company should make its own independent business decisions and consult its own legal, financial, or other advisors as appropriate. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of ATA or its Board of Directors.

Taking Screenshots on a Windows System

Screenshots are pictures of the complete or partial computer screen, and taking screenshots is often part of a translator’s job description. For instance, you might have to replace the source-language graphics in a software manual with those in the target language (assuming the software is already translated and functional).

Windows offers a number of “traditional ways” to take screenshots with the following key combinations:

  • PrintScreen for the complete screen.
  • Alt+PrintScreen for the active dialog window.

This process saves the screenshot to your clipboard, and from there you can paste it into a document or a graphics program to further modify it.

Pressing WinKey+PrintScreen automatically saves the complete screen as a graphic file under Pictures> Screenshots. If your keyboard doesn’t have a PrintScreen key, open the On-Screen Keyboard app by typing “On-Screen” in the Windows search field, click on the link that is displayed, and use the virtual key from there.

Figure 1: The Snipbar

Now, back to screenshots. In the latest updates to Windows 10, you can also press WinKey+Shift+S. This activates a screenshot app in the upper part of your window. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 2: The old Snipping Tool in Windows is moving

Your choices (from left to right in Figure 1) include a rectangular and a funky free-style form, the active dialog or window, and the complete screen. Choosing one places the screenshot on your clipboard and enables you to open it in the newly available Snip and Sketch app with basic editing and annotating features.

In case you’ve been looking for the old Snipping Tool, it’s still there and it still works, but its days are numbered. You will eventually see the message in Figure 2. And the truth is, this tool is a bit superfluous with all the new options.

Even with this new wealth of features, though, there’s still some functionality that would be nice to have, like having the option to include the active cursor in the screenshot, to take complex screenshots of several overlapping dialog windows, or to take screenshots that go beyond the screen you’re displaying. For these features, you’ll have to have a tool like SnagIt ( or Greenshot ( These programs are the Swiss Army knives of screenshots, especially SnagIt. I often use SnagIt to take screenshots while listening to a presentation that includes visual elements. The program saves them in chronological order for me to easily refer to or review later on.

If you’re interested in copying text from your screen that might otherwise be difficult or impossible to access (think of an image-based PDF or graphics), you can accomplish this with screenshots by using the ABBYY Screenshot Reader (see This tool actually uses internal optical character recognition processing to convert “fake” text (there’s a loaded word right now!) into actual text that can be pasted into any other program. I really love this little tool. The results are amazingly accurate in Latin and Cyrillic alphabets (I haven’t tested other writing systems), and it can save an extraordinary amount of time.

Figure 3: The new Windows Clipboard

Speaking of copying and pasting, here’s a bonus rundown of those new Windows features.

Microsoft Office has included a more advanced way of managing clipboard items for quite some time now. You can activate this under Home> (the little pointer next to) Clipboard. This allows you to collect up to 24 clipboard items from anywhere on your computer and paste them individually or all at once into any Office document. The problem: if you don’t work exclusively in Microsoft Office programs, this isn’t very helpful and has very limited functionality.

In response, this summer Microsoft introduced a Windows Clipboard, which can be used across any program or app. It’s activated for the first time by pressing WinKey+V, and that’s how to access it from then on as well. It will store 25 items at a time (up to 4 MB per item), whether graphics, text, or HTML, and it’s possible to sync the clipboard across devices and pin items so they don’t get deleted (everything else will disappear once you restart your computer or reach the 25-item limit). (See Figure 3.)

This tool really is quite helpful—no more temper tantrums in your office when you once again overwrite your clipboard by copying something on top of it!

Of course, as with all screenshots, there are also more advanced solutions, such as tools that allow you to print directly from your clipboard, store clipboard entries between different computer sessions (i.e., after switching the computer on and off), or “glue” as many entries as you want into one item to paste everything together. For all of that, ClipMate (see does a fine job.

To summarize: Windows is doing an increasingly good job handling “minor” things like taking screenshots and copying and pasting, but if you’re looking for something that’s better than just good, you might have to look elsewhere.

Jost Zetzsche is chair of ATA’s Translation and Interpreting Resources Committee. He is the author of Translation Matters, a collection of 81 essays about translators and translation technology. Contact:

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