American Translators Association, 58th Annual Conference — Washington, D.C.
As a first time attendee at a conference of over 1700 interpreters, translators and language service providers, I was able to experience something new at most every day– but more often every hour.
This conference was full of new experiences and an abundance of lessons, within the sessions, hallways, elevators and even coffee shops at the host location, the downtown D.C. Hilton. I was lucky enough to attend with Arara Language Solutions, not as an interpreter nor translator, but as an LSP team member, and as a polylingual student of Linguistics.
Below I’ve chronicled the highlights, tips and lessons learned on this trip! I hope you learn as much from this post, as we learned from attending ATA 58!
The first remarkable thing to notice is the sheer amount of interesting, applicable and accessible sessions taking place at one time. This was one of the reasons I was able to attend, as the owner and founder of Arara Language Solutions, was not able to attend on her own all of these sessions. I was there to absorb, take notes, and connect with others; and I did just that. The session pictured here, was a fountainhead of information regarding Search Engine Optimization and online presence management for Language Service Providers. It was here where this blog post was envisioned, and where our team saw many of our past endeavors confirmed as norms in the LSP sector. When the sessions weren’t providing new information, they provided a sense of community for interpreters and translators.
And after the sessions, we had time to explore D.C. I highly advise meeting up with someone who resides in the destination where the conference is being held. I was lucky enough to know the area quite well, and could recommend a close-by, delicious and allergy-friendly location for dinner to my fellow team members! On the way there, we met with fellow conference-goers, on the elevator, hallways, downtown streets, and even at the restaurant itself! Over dinner, we shared highlights from the sessions we attended, and even decided on what sessions to attend the next day. This was a delicious, and productive, way to end the day!
Of course, ATA has a wonderful exhibit hall every year, and we were able to take advantage of this feature on multiple days. Scheduling a visit during the 30 minute and hour long lunch breaks, were just as important as attending all three days of the conference! We were able to visit with a few booths each day, and pick up information on new online tools offered, as well as potential future business partners, and even information on ongoing education tracks. Scheduling also came in handy when attempting to attend all the Division meetings which applied to us, and resulted in our attendance at the Medical Division, Spanish Language and Portuguese Language Divisions, among others!
Never underestimate the importance of reading the session descriptions in the ATA app, and looking up the speakers’ experience. We were able to hear from those in every field, including one lawyer and professor at Georgetown University, who presented on the importance of understanding the Legal System and its requirements in regard to providing Hospital Medicine Language Services. The range of the session topics, and the speakers’ talents, cannot be overstated! Afterword, knowing the speakers’ field of interest or expertise were especially helpful in asking pertinent and worthwhile questions.
Interpreters and translators are crucial to maintaining open lines of communication in an ever-changing and growing global community, especially in topics such as global health, global economic initiatives, and climate change.
From one attendee to another, we at Arara look forward to seeing you at ATA for years to come!
-Ana Carolina Machado Silva,
Arara Language Solutions Blog & Social Media Editor
Arara Language Solutions and our team members were lucky to attend the ATA 58th Annual Conference. We could not be more grateful for the hard work and planning that undoubtedly took place at the ATA for a year prior to this conference, and which resulted in such a worthwhile and knowledge-packed experience.