Professional Development Your Way

From the Executive Director

Walter Bacak, CAE

Conferences, online courses, certificates, webinars…the list of professional development opportunities available to translators and interpreters today can feel overwhelming. ATA is here as your trusted source for professional development. We’ve made it a priority to increase our professional development offerings, in terms of both quantity and quality. Here are a few of the exciting new options we have on tap for 2018.

NEW: Regional Certification Training: We are taking ATA’s popular and effective “Preparing for the Certification Exam” program on the road. Certification training has been a sellout seminar at the past couple of Advanced Seminar and Training Days at ATA Annual Conferences. In addition, the feedback from participants has been positive in that they feel better prepared for the exam. Some participants even remarked that the seminar showed them that they weren’t ready for the exam—they were able to postpone until a later exam date, thus saving time and money. If one of your 2018 goals is to take the certification exam, please mark your calendar for the next exam preparation workshop on Saturday, January 20, 2018. The morning session will be English into Spanish, given by Rudy Heller and Diego Mansilla. The afternoon session will be for all languages into English, given by Andy Klatt and Bruce Popp. All the presenters are long-time graders in the Certification Program. Seating is limited to give participants more focused attention. More information will be published in Newsbriefs and online.

Spanish Language Division Conference: Another local professional development opportunity for the coming year is the Spanish Language Division and the Association of Translators and Interpreters of Florida joining forces to offer “Spring into Action 2018,” March 16–18, 2018, in Miami. The program promises top-level learning experiences as well as great networking opportunities with live events. For more information, please see

Webinars: ATA’s webinars continue to be a popular, cost effective way to bring professional development to you. In 2017, we offered 15 one-hour webinars that brought experts in the field to a wide audience, with attendees from around the world. The topics ranged from translation contracts to tools for interpreters to specialized medical terminology. If you can’t make the live webinar, you can still access the recordings of the sessions at your convenience. ATA’s webinar library now features over 75 titles (some of which are free). As for 2018, plans are for more intermediate and advanced level programming. For more information, please see

ATA58 Annual Conference Session Recordings: Audio recordings from select ATA58 Annual Conference sessions are now available. After not offering the recordings last year, we heard you. They are back. We are offering over 45 one-hour presentations that include handouts and the PowerPoint slides synched to the audio recordings. More information will be published in Newsbriefs and online.

ATA59 Annual Conference: Finally, rounding out the professional development opportunities is the world’s largest event for translators and interpreters, ATA’s Annual Conference. Each year we have over 175 sessions with thought leaders from around the globe sharing their knowledge and experience. Mark your calendar for ATA59 in New Orleans, October 24–27, 2018.

I would like to recognize outgoing President David Rumsey and incoming President Corinne McKay. It has been a pleasure to work with David. His sense of fairness, insights into people, and devotion to ATA and to the translation and interpreting professions were remarkable.  I look forward to working with Corinne as she brings her energy and vision. ATA is fortunate to have the services of folks like David and Corinne and the hundreds of other volunteers who make ATA the vibrant organization that it is.

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