Nov. 12th meeting highlights value of face-to-face contacts
Our November 12th general meeting was attended by 28 people, including some first-time visitors who are taking translation classes at Austin Community College (ACC). There was plenty of tasty finger food at the buffet table, brought by AATIA Director of Professional Development Monika Spindel. President Tony Beckwith got things started, introducing AATIA member Kristin Siracusa Fisher, who shared her impressions of the recent American Translators Association (ATA) annual conference in San Francisco. This prompted discussion around the room about different ways such an investment of time and money has benefited us after past conferences.
Next Marian Schwartz brought a collection of books she has translated from Russian and spoke on the process for literary translators to identify potential books deserving a first or new translation, and then connect with interested publishers. Her remarks were based on a presentation she gave at the ATA conference after her new translation of Anna Karenina, with insights into how a translation ages as generations go by, and why even an excellent old translation may need a fresh version for contemporary readers.
Tony returned with a thoughtful account of his long-term, evolving relationship as interpreter and translator for the Escuela para bomberos, a Texas firefighter’s school that hosts groups from around Latin America. He highlighted several key takeaways for language professionals from his experiences, such as actively exploring ways you can be of assistance to your clients beyond what they originally approached you for. Over the years, his contact with this school has led to unexpected opportunities beyond interpreting and translating, such as subtitling, filmmaking, and even composing a poem which is now displayed on a memorial to fallen firefighters.
A common thread echoed by all of today’s participants is that face-to-face contact with our colleagues remains a vital aspect of success in the language services industry, because everyone prefers working with people they know and trust.