REPORT: ANNUAL BUSINESS MEETING OF THE NEW YORK CIRCLE OF TRANSLATORS (NYCT)

On January 29, 2024, the Annual Business Meeting of the New York Circle of Translators (NYCT) took place at the Independent Translators Union headquarters. The meeting was attended by a diverse group of experienced translators and interpreters, students, and translation agency owners, representing various languages, specialties, and companies. The event was chaired by the newly elected members of the NYCT Board of Directors.

The meeting began with a warm welcome from the Board members, who introduced themselves and outlined the agenda for the evening. A PowerPoint presentation provided attendees with an overview of the Association’s activities and achievements in 2023, along with year-end financial results.

The recently appointed Editor, Rodrigo Sandoval, was asked to take the floor to formally introduce himself, alongside his assistant Editor, Ms. Beatriz Cerveira. With palpable enthusiasm, Rodrigo extended a warm welcome to all attendees, expressing heartfelt gratitude for the opportunity to serve in their new roles. Amidst the atmosphere of anticipation, Rodrigo encouraged each participant to contribute to the vibrant discourse by submitting articles for publication or proposing compelling topics for future exploration. He indicated that “Shaping the editorial direction and content of our publication, The Gotham Translator, is a task meant for all of us”.

Key milestones were highlighted in the presentation, such as the growth in membership numbers, successful initiatives like the proposal of a Code of Conduct, and the ongoing support from the Stern Fund for Member Professional Development. Attendees were encouraged to engage in discussions, ask questions, and share recommendations for future endeavors.

Networking and Discussions

Delicious snacks and refreshments were provided, fostering a relaxed and pleasant atmosphere conducive to networking and collaboration. Attendees took advantage of the opportunity to connect with other language professionals, exchange ideas and experiences, and forge new partnerships.

Lively debates ensued, covering a wide range of topics related to translation and interpretation, professional development, and industry trends. Attendees expressed appreciation for the opportunity to gather and exchange ideas, fostering a sense of camaraderie and mutual support within the NYCT community.

Membership Statistics

Membership in the NYCT experienced a significant increase in 2023, reflecting growing interest and recognition of the Association’s value among language professionals in the region. In contrast, the American Translators Association (ATA) witnessed a decline in membership during the same period, underscoring the unique appeal and effectiveness of the NYCT within the local translator community.

As of December 31, 2023, the NYCT boasted a substantial number of individual and corporate members, while the ATA reported a slowdown in its membership ranks.

Code of Conduct Proposal

A notable development in 2023 was the proposal of a Code of Conduct within the NYCT. This initiative aims to establish clear guidelines and ethical standards for members, enhancing professionalism and integrity within the Association. The Code of Conduct reflects the NYCT’s commitment to maintaining high practice standards and fostering trust among stakeholders.

Stern Fund for Professional Development

The Stern Fund continued to play a crucial role in supporting the professional development of translators and interpreters within the NYCT community. This grant, available to both experienced professionals and students, allows recipients to pursue advanced training, attend conferences, and participate in other activities aimed at expanding their skills and knowledge. The Stern Fund underscores the NYCT’s dedication to pushing the boundaries of professional excellence and innovation.

Networking Events and Programs

Throughout 2023, the NYCT organized a series of events, workshops, and networking programs designed to facilitate member advancement and foster meaningful connections within the field of translation and interpretation.

Guest Speaker Conferences: The NYCT invited an interesting array of guest speakers to present lectures on topics aimed at enhancing translators’ skills and staying abreast of industry trends.

In addition, an event is planned for February 26: a meeting at Hunter College. Next month, the NYCT will host a gathering at Hunter College, providing members with the opportunity to build relationships and exchange ideas in a highly collaborative environment. Visit the NYCT’s webpage for further information.

Financial Performance

The financial performance of the NYCT remained strong in 2023, enabling the Association to invest in its members and expand its range of offerings. Solid finances reflect the effectiveness of NYCT initiatives and the support of its members, partners, and leadership.

Recommendations

Given the dynamic landscape of the translation and interpretation industry, the NYCT encourages all language professionals to explore growth and collaboration opportunities. In particular, the Independent Translators Union offers a wealth of resources and networking opportunities for freelance translators and interpreters. With its free membership, diverse development programs, and access to coworking spaces, the Freelancers Union presents an invaluable resource for individuals looking to enhance their skills and expand their professional networks.

For more information about the Freelancers Union and its offerings, please visit www.freelancersunion.org.

Conclusion

The NYCT’s Annual Business Meeting was a resounding success, thanks to the active participation of attendees and the dedication of both outgoing and newly elected Board members. The event provided a valuable platform for reflection, debate, and planning, laying the groundwork for continued growth and success in the coming year.

As the meeting concluded at 7:45 p.m., attendees departed feeling inspired and encouraged, with a renewed sense of purpose and anticipation for future events and initiatives. The NYCT remains committed to serving its members and advancing the field of translation and interpretation, guided by the principles of professionalism, collaboration, and excellence, fostering a vibrant and inclusive professional community in the New York area.

NYCT’S FESTIVE FIESTA: UNLEASHING JOY AT THE 2023 CHRISTMAS EXTRAVAGANZA!

That time of the year has come and gone again! Bright lights adorned the streets of the Big Apple, snowflakes danced in the cold air, and hearts were filled with joy and anticipation. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it was the holiday season in New York, and the New York Circle of Translators (NYCT) didn’t miss out on the celebration!

On December 9, 2023, the NYCT held its annual Christmas party, and let me tell you, it was quite a spectacle! The venue was lit up with the warmth of the season as translators, interpreters, and representatives from translation agencies across the city gathered to enjoy an afternoon of fun, food, and camaraderie.

The party kicked off with a delicious Middle Eastern feast that delighted the palates of all present. From falafel to hummus, and fresh tabbouleh, there was something to satisfy even the most discerning of eaters. As we savored these culinary delights, lively conversations filled the room, creating a festive and welcoming atmosphere.

Of course, a photo session couldn’t be missed. Attendees gathered to capture the special moments of the luncheon, and some of these snapshots are included in this inaugural edition of the year 2024. You definitely have to check them out to relive the memories!

The party was filled with laughter and joy. Poems were recited, songs were sung, and connections were made that are sure to last well beyond the holiday season. Long-time members mingled with newcomers, sharing experiences and anecdotes in a spirit of joy and mutual support.

One of the highlights of the night was when the outgoing Board was thanked for their hard work and dedication, and the incoming Board was enthusiastically welcomed. There were applause and cheers as the baton was passed to lead the NYCT towards new horizons!

The new Board wasted no time and seized the opportunity to urge all members to collaborate on presenting relevant articles for the industry. Because, as we all know, in the world of translation and interpretation, there are stories to tell, and we all have them: from moments when everything went perfectly to those when things got complicated due to our lack of experience, we all have anecdotes to share! And what better way to learn and grow than by sharing our experiences with colleagues who understand exactly the challenges we face.

So, dear colleagues, get ready to get creative and share those stories that only translators and interpreters can have! Because together, we can learn, grow, and strengthen our professional community.

And speaking of community, how about keeping more frequent meetings of the NYCT? Some suggested that it would be an excellent idea to keep the camaraderie and knowledge exchange alive throughout the year! Do you agree? Let us know in the comments!

In conclusion, the NYCT Christmas bash was an absolute blast, brimming with delectable cuisine, contagious laughter, vibrant melodies, and an unparalleled sense of camaraderie! Here’s to countless more gatherings teeming with unforgettable moments and to an electrifyingly fulfilling and wildly successful 2024, both personally and professionally! Cheers to the adventures that await! 🥂🎉

THE RISING TIDE OF FRAUDULENT JOBS IN THE TRANSLATION INDUSTRY

Fraud within the translation industry has reached unprecedented levels, with scammers proliferating at an alarming rate. Recent statistics reveal a disturbing trend, indicating a surge in fraudulent activities targeting translators and interpreters! In the past three months alone, I have encountered three fraudulent translation job offers, plus another one just today! underscoring the severity of this issue.

Almost fell for it!

One notable incident involved a deceptive scheme where I was tasked just in November last year with translating a substantial 35-page document from English into Spanish, my language pair. The allure of full upfront payment accompanied the offer, which initially appeared promising. However, upon receiving a suspiciously misspelled check, I promptly sought verification at a check cashing store, thus avoiding potential devastation had I deposited it into my account. Swift action ensued as I reported the incident to the authorities, armed with copies of email correspondences with the scammer to prove my innocence. Thankfully, law enforcement recognized the attempted fraud, acknowledging similar reports from other translators.

Vigilance is paramount in identifying potential scams, with certain red flags warranting careful scrutiny. The timing of initial contact, such as receiving emails in the very early hours, often signals origins from regions like Africa or India, where scammers operate during their daylight hours. Furthermore, attention should be paid to the absence of corporate affiliations or legitimate contact information, including the lack of a company webpage or business telephone number. Many scammers masquerade as “Project Managers,” exploiting unsuspecting translators.

Can we fight back?

The subtleties of language can also serve as indicators of fraudulent intent, as scammers frequently exhibit poor grammar and syntax in their communications. Despite such telltale signs, the reality remains dishearteningly bleak, as the international nature of these crimes complicates prosecution efforts. Perpetrators often operate with impunity in jurisdictions where law enforcement agencies turn a blind eye to their illicit activities.

The translation industry has emerged as a lucrative target for cybercriminals, with the illicit economy raking in hundreds of millions of dollars annually. This burgeoning sector of the fraud industry poses significant challenges for translators and interpreters worldwide, necessitating heightened caution and diligence in dealings with potential clients.

Careful when publishing your CV!

Recognizing the prevalence of scams targeting job seekers, particularly within the translation and interpretation industry, as well as other sectors, even certain recruiters have advised against the indiscriminate publication of CVs. It is advised that job seekers exercise caution by being succinct in their contact information, refraining from including personal or familial details that could potentially make them vulnerable targets. This proactive approach aims to mitigate the risk of exploitation and safeguard the interests of individuals seeking legitimate employment opportunities.

As professionals in the translation field, it is imperative to adopt stringent verification measures when engaging with new clients. Requesting verifiable company information, including a legitimate webpage and email address, as well as a valid business telephone number, can help mitigate the risk of falling victim to fraudulent schemes. In instances of doubt, direct telephonic communication with the client may be warranted, although scammers typically evade such attempts, resorting instead to deceptive email correspondence.

Important Research Resources

Protect yourself and your livelihood from scammers! Take action now by researching the valuable resources available at www.translator-scammers.com and www.scambusters.org/translationscams.html

The proliferation of fraud within the translation industry underscores the pressing need for enhanced awareness and vigilance among practitioners. By remaining vigilant and adopting robust verification measures, translators and interpreters can safeguard themselves against the growing threat of fraudulent activities. Ultimately, proactive measures are essential in preserving the integrity of the profession and protecting against financial and reputational harm.

Arm yourself with knowledge to safeguard against deceptive practices and ensure the integrity of your translation business. Don’t wait until it’s too late – empower yourself today!

FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK: MENTORING IN THE INTERPRETATION AND TRANSLATION INDUSTRY IN NEW YORK CITY

In the bustling metropolis of New York City, where ambition is as common as yellow taxis, making your way in the competitive field of simultaneous interpretation and translation can be a challenging journey, especially without the guidance of a mentor. Aspiring linguists often find themselves adrift in a sea of opportunities, not knowing where to start or how to navigate the complex currents of this vast industry.

The Role of Mentoring in the Industry

Enter the New York Circle of Translators and Interpreters (NYCT), a professional association dedicated to supporting and nurturing language professionals in their pursuit of success. For both seasoned practitioners and novice linguists, NYCT serves as a beacon of hope, offering a platform to hone their skills, expand their networks, and explore avenues for growth, training, and income generation.

The value of mentoring cannot be underestimated in such a dynamic and demanding industry as translation and interpretation. Mentors provide valuable insights, guidance, and support to mentees, helping them navigate the intricacies of the profession with confidence and clarity. In turn, mentors themselves reap numerous benefits from the experience, from honing their leadership skills to staying abreast of the latest technological and methodological advancements.

The Importance of Professional Organizations

Participation in organizations like NYCT is crucial for linguists at every stage of their careers. By fostering a sense of community and camaraderie, NYCT creates fertile ground for collaboration, learning, and professional development. Through the association, a robust network of mentors and mentees can be cultivated, bridging the gap between experienced experts and eager newcomers.

Imagine a world where experienced professionals willingly share their knowledge and expertise with the next generation of linguists, empowering them to reach new heights of success and fulfillment: remember when you were a newbie? By harnessing the collective wisdom of its members, NYCT can establish a voluntary mentoring program, pairing mentors with mentees based on their areas of expertise and professional goals.

Relevant Statistics on the Interpretation and Translation Industry in New York

– According to data from the US Department of Labor, employment of interpreters and translators is projected to grow by 20% between 2020 and 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations.

– New York City is home to a large population of speakers of different languages, leading to high demand for interpretation and translation services.

– According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for interpreters and translators in the New York metropolitan area was $62,810 in May 2020.

– A study conducted by the American Translators Association (ATA) found that 53% of surveyed translators and interpreters considered mentoring to be important or very important for their professional development.

In light of this revelation, it becomes abundantly clear that a vast array of opportunities awaits those with the ambition to seize them. However, amidst this burgeoning commercial landscape, certain newcomers may find themselves inadvertently excluded, their potential hindered by a lack of direction and clarity in navigating the plethora of prospects available.

Conclusion

For all the experienced experts who feel a pull in their hearts to give back what they once received from their own mentors: now is the time to act. Your guidance and support can make a difference in the lives of aspiring linguists, helping them navigate the challenging waters of the industry with grace and confidence.

Together, let’s build a community where mentoring thrives and success knows no bounds. Join the NYCT in shaping the future of the translation and interpretation industry in New York City and beyond. Together, we can make a difference: one translation, one interpretation, one mentoring at a time. Contact us and volunteer to become a Mentor or a Mentee!

EXPRESSION OF EMOTIONS DURING SIMULTANEOUS INTERPRETATION IN A BOOTH DURING A FORMAL SPEECH

Simultaneous interpretation is an intricate process that becomes even more challenging when the speaker’s emotions are highly expressive. This article delves into the complexities faced by interpreters in matching the emotive intensity of speakers during formal speeches, drawing from personal experiences interpreting for renowned figures such as Mr. Tom Peters and former President, Mr. Jimmy Carter.

Tom Peters’ Seminar Experience
During a seminar led by Mr. Tom Peters in Ecuador in 1990, while interpreting for Mr. Peters in two cities, the undersigned could hear, see, and feel his dynamic energy and expressive demeanor from the outset. Peters engaged with the audience with enthusiasm, utilizing animated gestures and posing thought-provoking questions. Notably, his inquiry into business failure elicited a significant reaction, with a momentary deep silence swiftly followed by uproarious laughter from the attendees. Throughout Peters’ presentation, there was a constant flux of emotions, ranging from lighthearted humor to poignant seriousness, leaving the audience captivated and appreciative and the interpreters with a turmoil of emotions.

Jimmy Carter Event Experience
Conversely, at an event held at the Carter Library in Atlanta in 2002, while serving as a simultaneous interpreter for former President Jimmy Carter, the atmosphere was somber. Carter emotionally recounted the achievements of his mother, a devoted nurse, during the inauguration of the Lilian Carter International Nursing Center. As Carter’s speech progressed, his voice faltered, and tears welled in his eyes, evoking a similar response from the entire audience, including myself and my booth colleague.

Managing Emotions Live
In their little universe, conference interpreters play a crucial role in facilitating communication across language barriers in various settings, including international conferences, meetings, and seminars. While their primary task is to accurately convey the message from one language to another, they often encounter a myriad of emotions expressed by speakers. This article aims to examine the challenges faced by conference interpreters in managing these emotions while maintaining composure and professionalism and offers some interesting recommendations.

Emotional Dynamics in Interpretation
Interpreters frequently encounter speakers who exhibit a wide range of emotions during their presentations. Some speakers may be lively and physically expressive, using gestures, high and low peaks and valleys in their intonation, and facial expressions to convey their message emphatically. Others may adopt a more laid-back and softer demeanor, yet still convey emotional depth through their words and tone. Regardless of the speaker’s style, interpreters must remain attentive to the emotional register presented, as it significantly impacts the interpretation process and effect on the listeners.

Challenges Faced

  1. Maintaining Composure: Interpreters must maintain their composure and focus, regardless of the emotional intensity exhibited by the speaker. This can be particularly challenging when speakers express strong emotions such as excitement, anger, or sadness, which may affect the interpreter’s concentration and ability to convey the message accurately.
  2. Conveying Emotional Nuances: Interpreters face the challenge of accurately conveying not only the literal meaning of the speaker’s words but also the emotional nuances embedded within them. This requires a deep understanding of both languages and cultures, as well as the ability to capture subtleties in tone, intonation, and body language.
  3. Remaining Neutral: While interpreting, it is essential for interpreters to remain neutral and refrain from injecting their own emotions or biases into the interpretation. This can be difficult, especially when interpreting emotionally charged content or controversial topics.
  4. Managing Stress: The pressure of simultaneous interpretation in real-time, coupled with the need to manage emotional dynamics, can lead to heightened stress levels for interpreters.

Effective stress management techniques, such as deep breathing and mindfulness, are essential for maintaining focus and performance.

Strategies for Overcoming Challenges

  1. Preparation: Thorough preparation, including research on the topic and familiarity with relevant terminology, and if possible, listening to videos of the scheduled speaker, can help interpreters anticipate emotional cues and prepare accordingly.
  2. Active Listening: Interpreters must practice active listening to accurately capture the speaker’s emotional nuances and convey them effectively in the target language.
  3. Professionalism: Maintaining a high level of professionalism is paramount for interpreters, even in the face of challenging emotional dynamics. This also includes maintaining confidentiality, adhering to ethical standards, and remaining impartial at all times.

Closing
Matching the emotional tone of the speaker presents a formidable challenge for interpreters, demanding both sensitivity and technical proficiency. It is imperative to strike a delicate balance between conveying the speaker’s emotions accurately while ensuring linguistic precision and clarity. Despite the difficulty, this task is crucial in meeting the expectations of the audience, organizers, and contracting agency, fostering a genuine connection despite language barriers.

In conclusion, while the task of matching the speaker’s emotional expression during simultaneous interpretation is undeniably challenging, it is essential to strive for parity within the bounds of utmost respect for all parties involved. By doing so, we ensure that the audience, organizers, and contracting agency are thoroughly satisfied with the emotional resonance conveyed through our interpretation, transcending linguistic barriers and fostering meaningful connections towards a successful event.