New England Translators Association
 A Professional Resource for Translators and Interpreters


Board Meetings and Monthly Meetings

NETA board meetings are held four times a year, generally in September, January, March, and June, at Boston University CELOP. All except the June meeting occur just before monthly meetings, and usually from 10:00 to 1:00. Final dates, times, and agendas are announced in advance via email. All active NETA members are welcome to attend.

Board meeting dates for 2016-17: September 24, January 28, March 18, June 24.

General meetings are usually held once a month from September through April on Saturday afternoons at Boston University CELOP.


September 24: 11th Annual Translation Bash, 1:30-4:30 Email, tell us your language pair, and receive a copy of this year's English passage. Translate that passage at your convenience before bash day, and join in as we debate the ins and outs of each sentence. We'll have a facilitator in place for Spanish. If you work in another language pair and would like to participate on September 24, just write to us. We'll keep a tally and let you know about other people who sign up to work with your language. If a given group is large enough, we will attempt to find a facilitator.

October 22: Mind the Gap: Teaching Culturally Situated Interpreting, 2:00-4:00   This talk will focus on teaching interpreting skills in an upper-level translation class, where certain kinds of interpreting tasks force students to nimbly negotiate and mediate cultural differences while improving their linguistic awareness and enriching their vocabulary. The talk will be illustrated with brief video clips featuring examples of consecutive interpretation in various simulated real-world situations, such as renting an apartment or making a business presentation.

While effectively improving students' language proficiency, interpreting practice encourages students to think creatively between languages as they must make quick judgments as to what to translate, what to leave out, and whether some cultural repositioning of information is necessary.

Attendees will be asked to offer examples of cultural differences they encounter in their own work and to discuss strategies they employ to deal with them.

Educated in Poland and Japan, our speaker, Anna Zielinska-Elliott, teaches Japanese language and literature as well as translation and interpreting at Boston University, where she is head of the Japanese language program. She is also a translator of modern Japanese literature into Polish, best known for her translations of Murakami Haruki, as well as of Mishima Yukio and Yoshimoto Banana. She is the author of a literary guidebook to Murakami's Tokyo as well as of a Polish-language monograph about gender in Murakami and articles on Murakami and on translation practices relating to contemporary Japanese fiction.

November 19: Interpreting for Sexual Assault Intervention Network (SAIN) Interviews, 2:00-4:00  A SAIN interview occurs when all the agencies involved in cases of suspected child abuse and neglect coordinate their efforts and simultaneously investigate the matter. Interpreting in this setting is not an easy task since the subject matter adds a layer of difficulty to the already demanding cognitive interpreting process. This session will be illustrated with real-life cases and will explore in detail the aspects of interpreting involved during these interviews. In doing so it will provide guidance for interpreters working in community and medical settings.

Ana Helena Lopes, our speaker, is a court interpreter certified by the Trial Court of Massachusetts, where she has been working as a per diem interpreter since 2007. She has extensive legal interpreting experience and expertise in criminal and civil trials, probate and juvenile matters, interview and trial preparation for the Child Abuse Unit of the District Attorney's Office, mental health forensic evaluations, and attorney-client interviews for the Committee of Public Counsel Services of Massachusetts. She has also been a conference interpreter since 2010, and her assignments include executive leadership programs at MIT, Babson College and Harvard University. In May of 2015 she became a Qualified Interpreter of the Office of Language Services at the U.S. Department of State, and in March 2016 she completed her second year as an interpreting instructor at Boston University's Interpreter Program.

December 10: Annual Holiday Party, in Woburn, MA

January 28: Techniques and Suggestions for Working with PDF Files, 2:00-4:00  Our speaker, Bruce Popp, will cover a variety of topics related to creating and using PDF files with either image or live-text content. Examples and tools will be demonstrated on both a laptop and an iPad, with discussion of Android and Mac alternatives, as possible. Specific techniques include: creating PDF files with the camera in your iPad; creating PDF files from applications; using OCR to convert page images to editable text, if appropriate; embedding text with page images; annotating images; extracting images for pasting into Word; annotating and editing text-based PDF files; extracting text from text-based PDF files; and using Trados with text-based PDF files. As in past presentations, Bruce welcomes relevant questions.

Bruce Popp is an ATA-certified Translator for French into English and a US Patent and Trademark Office registered Patent Agent with a PhD in Astronomy. In the past he has held various positions in NETA and in the ATA; currently he is the French-into-English Language Chair for the ATA Certification Program. In his day-to-day translation work, Bruce translates patents and scientific documents.

February 25: Google Tools for Your T & I Business, 2:00-4:00  Come learn about some of the various free tools that Google offers entrepreneurs like you to make their work easier and more efficient. Do you want to separate your business calls from personal calls? Try Google Voice. Do you want to organize your client feedback? Use Google Forms. Do you need to collaborate on documents and presentations? Google Drive makes it easy.

Sign up for a Gmail account, and bring a laptop or tablet with you to the session. We'll walk through each and every tool. You won't want to miss the chance to test drive them immediately!

Noah Lynn, our speaker, was a medical interpreter and an in-house translator for the software company Meditech for several years before recently switching  fields. While in the T & I community he chaired NETA's annual conference and then served on NETA's board for two years. He still loves the community, and he uses Google tools every day in his work. He is a graduate of the University of Vermont and earned a Master's Degree in Business Analytics from Bentley University.

March 18: Producing Top-Notch Translations, Romance Languages>English, 2:00-4:00  Two major culprits in the production of less-than-sparkling English translations are using the same hackneyed words or phrases each time we see certain source words, and allowing our source text to exert undue influence over our writing. This presentation will encourage us to rise out of the translation rut in order to write solid translations that sound like English, and position ourselves among the highest-quality providers. We will discuss some common pitfalls of translating from Romance languages into English, and what to do about them. All the source-language examples used will be in French or Spanish, but knowledge of any Romance language will allow you to follow along. Native speakers of Romance languages will gain insights into how to translate their English source-language texts.

Our speaker, Diana Rhudick, is a graduate of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, where she learned many of the techniques she will be presenting at this talk. She has 30 years of experience as a translator of French and Spanish business and legal texts, and as an editor of English texts. Her long-standing involvement with NETA has included stints as newsletter editor and board member. Currently, she is the association's president and cowebmaster.

April 22: Honing Your Interpreting Skills, 2:00-4:00  Whether you are a neophyte or an experienced interpreter, you will surely welcome the opportunity to brush up on the essentials and engage in practice exercises with a view to fine-tuning your interpreting techniques. Our facilitator will provide some general pointers and then present a variety of scenarios from the legal, medical, and community contexts. Given his years of experience teaching interpreting, you will no doubt benefit from his expert feedback. He can include participants from mixed backgrounds, so feel free to join in regardless of your language pair. (If you work with a language other than Spanish, please invite a colleague who uses that language pair.)

Frank Geoffrion, our speaker, has a national reputation as a trainer and examiner of interpreters. He has been a Spanish-English court, conference, and medical interpreter since 1975. He has been certified by the Federal Court, the Massachusetts Trial Courts, and the American Translators Association. He was a faculty member at the National Institute for Interpretation at the University of Arizona and a consultant to the Federal Court Interpretation Certification Project. He administered the 1995 Federal Court Interpreter Oral Certification Examination in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas.

At an earlier state of his career he established a language school in Cuzco, Peru and gave intensive courses there in the Quechua language, developing a 250-hour course and writing two teaching manuals in Spanish for the Quechua spoken in Central Peru, Southern Peru, and Bolivia. He now interprets in Quechua as well as Spanish for the Massachusetts Trial Courts.

Mr. Geoffrion was a founding member of the Association of Legal Translators and Interpreters of Massachusetts (ALTIMA) and was their first treasurer/vice-president and editor of their newsletter. He is a member of the American Translators Association (ATA), the National Association of Judicial Interpreters and Translators (NAJIT), the International Medical Interpreters Association (IMIA), and NETA. He served on the IMIA committee to develop a process for certifying medical interpreters.

He has been teaching court and medical interpreting first at Bentley University and now at Boston University for 22 years.


September 19: 10th Annual Translation Bash, 1:30-4:30 Email, tell us your language pair, and receive a copy of this year's English passage. Translate that passage at your convenience before bash day, and join in as we debate the ins and outs of each sentence. We'll have a facilitator in place for Spanish. If you work in another language pair and would like to participate on September 19, just write to us. We'll keep a tally and let you know about other people who sign up to work with your language. If a given group is large enough, we will attempt to find a facilitator.

October 24: Asset or Deficit? Language Education Policy in Massachusetts, 2:00-4:00  How do current law and language education policy affect language learning in Massachusetts public schools? How do they impact the way language skills are valued in general? Learn about the history of language education policy in Massachusetts and the work of the Language Opportunity Coalition to support two bills in the Massachusetts legislature: one to allow program flexibility in the education of English Language Learners (ELLs), and the other establishing a state Seal of Biliteracy.

The Language Opportunity Coalition is a coalition of groups united in the goal of increasing language learning opportunities (for learning English, native, heritage, and world languages) and ensuring that all learners have equal access to high quality educational and professional opportunities. Coalition member groups include MATSOL (Massachusetts Educators of English Language Learners), MABE (Massachusetts Association for Bilingual Education), MaFLA (Massachusetts Foreign Language Association), and MIRA (Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition). Please see for more information.

Our speaker, Helen Solórzano, is Executive Director of MATSOL and a founding member of the Language Opportunity Coalition. She has taught English to adults in the U.S. and Peru, and is the author of several ELT textbooks.

November 21: Omega T: A Versatile CAT Tool, 2:00-4:00  CAT (computer assisted translation) tools have been with us for some years now and are considered by many translators to be a mixed blessing. The most popular tool is expensive, works only on Windows, and is sometimes used by agencies to pressure translators to offer discounted rates for "fuzzy matches." Omega T is an attractive option. It works on Mac OS and Linux as well as Windows, and it is free (though the developers welcome donations). It can help translators work more consistently and efficiently, increasing throughput and ensuring higher quality output.

This will be a hands-on session, and participants will actually collaborate on the translation of a prepared text (Spanish to English) using Omega T to get a feeling of how the tool works in real life.

Working from his home on Cape Cod, our speaker, Terry Gallagher, has been a successful freelance translator for over 15 years, working from Japanese and German into English. His work is mainly for the financial industry, and recently he has diversified into other areas of business and legal translation. But he also translates "fun stuff." His translation of Self-Reference Engine by Akutagawa Prize winner Toh Enjoe has been selected for the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission Prize for Translation of Japanese Literature (aka the Donald Keene Prize) this year, and in 2014 it was honored with the Philip K. Dick Award Special Citation for Excellence. Other literary projects include Be With You by Takuji Ichikawa, the manga edition of the same title, and many short stories (The Stationmaster by Jiro Asada, ZOO by Otsuichi, and contributions to the anthologies Monkey Brain Sushi, Monkey Business Vol. 4, the Penguin Book of Erotic Stories by Women, Speculaative Japan 2, Hanzai, and The Future is Japanese). He edits NETA's quarterly newsletter and served on NETA's board of directors from 2007-2014. For 15 years before turning freelance he was a journalist for Reuters and Dow Jones in Tokyo, Bonn, and New York. Originally from Brooklyn, he has a B. A. from Brown University.

December 12: Annual Holiday Party, in Woburn, MA

January 23: Preserving the Quality of Patient Care While Using Technology in Medical Interpreting, 2:00-4:00 Medical interpreting has changed a lot over time. Nowadays when you apply for a medical interpreting job, it will certainly require that you interpret on the phone, via video, and in person. This presentation will focus on the complexity and advantages and disadvantages of each interpreting mode as well as the interpreting theories behind them. It's clear that technology is incredibly useful. Most providers now can access an interpreter with the push of a button. There is less waiting time for patients' appointments.

But how does technology affect the daily work of a medical interpreter? Why is it that the interpreting default mode seems to be phone or video interpreting? Which cases should require an interpreter in person, and why? What can the consequences of this new default mode be, and at what cost?

These questions point to how essential it is that a protocol be put into practice so that English-speakinig staff as well as medical interpreters learn when to use the interpreting modalities and so protect and promote quality of patient care.

Our speaker, Isabel Pinto Franco, holds a degree in Modern Languages and Literatures (German and English Studies) from the University of Coimbra (Portugal). She is a staff interpreter at the Cambridge Health Alliance, teaches Interpreting II at Boston University, and also works as a translator. Isabel has participated as a panelist as well as a presenter in several interpreting conferences. She is a member of the ATA and holds CoreCHI certification. She was born and raised in Coimbra, Portugal and has been working as a full-time medical interpreter for the past 20 years.

February 20: Interpreters! Translators! Use Your iPad for Business! 2:00-4:00  You can do more with your iPad than just stay in touch when away from your office. During this practical show-and-tell meeting, we will share suggestions for using your iPad for reference, productivity and work. The session will also reference gadgets to extend what you can do with your iPad.

Remember the oft-repeated advice from Norm Abram of "The New Yankee Workshop" fame: "Knowing how to use your tools safely greatly reduces the risk of personal injury."

Our speaker, Bruce Popp, is a professional translator. He is a frequent presenter with a reputation for getting his audience engaged and involved.

March 19: A Comparison: Translation at a War Crimes Tribunal and Literary Translation 2:00-4:00  What do translation at a war crimes tribunal and translating fiction have in common and what distinguishes them? I worked at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. I also translated novels on weekends and vacations. I found the two activities complementary and contradictory in interesting ways.

Our speaker, Ellen Elias-Bursac, has been translating fiction and noon-fiction from Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian for thirty years. Her translation of David Albahari's novel Götz and Meyer was given the ALTA National Translation Award in 2006. She taught for ten years in the Harvard University Slavic Department, worked for six years as a language reviser at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague, and is a contributing editor to the online journal Asymptote. Her book Translating Evidence and Interpreting Testimony at a War Crimes Tribunal: Working in a Tug-of-War was given the Mary Zinn Prize in 2015.

April 16: Translating for the Trial Court of Massachusetts  2:00-4:00   As a member of the newly-formed Translation Subcommittee of the Trial Court of Massachusetts,, our speaker, Steve Sanford, has participated in preparing many of the latest Trial Court translations. He will share some developments at the Trial Court regarding the translation of court forms and information. Those efforts are just getting started and include developing the basis for state certification for legal translators, standardizing translation protocols and style guides, and creating legal glossaries in a variety of languages. Steve is coming to the meeting to spread the news, but also to seek help and suggestions from NETA members and other attendees. He intends for this session to one a conversation rather than a lecture.

Steve Sanford was born and raised in Brazil. He has worked as an interpreter and translator since 1997. He was certified by the Trial Court of Massachusetts in 2001 and became a staff interpreter in 2006. He is currently assigned to the Framingham/Natick District Court. He has also taught, since 2004, at Boston University's Medical, Legal & Community Interpreting Program and has given workshops and presentations about legal interpreting and simultaneous interpreting. He was one of the Portuguese Language Division's Distinguished Speakers at the 2010 American Translators Associaton conference. In his spare time he works as a conference interpreter and translator.

May 14: Twentieth Annual NETA Conference

August 7: NETA's Annual Summer Picnic, in Newton, MA



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