For four days in October, ATA’s German Language Division members had the chance to immerse themselves in a bubble of educational and networking opportunities in (partly) sunny Miami. GLD member Michael Schubert started the ball rolling on Wednesday morning with his AST Day offering entitled “Building Successful Client Relationships”.
Wednesday evening was devoted to networking activities, first with the Welcome Reception (outdoors with intermittent rain) and then indoors with the Divisions and Special Interest Groups Mix and Mingle. Assistant Administrator Robin Limmeroth came equipped with Oktoberfest and GLD “mug shot” props to break the ice. Unfortunately, not everyone found our table in the new set-up and we hope the 2024 version will see more members making their way to the divisions’ reception.
Thursday started at “O dark thirty” with breakfast and special interest tables including the “ChatLTD” Breakfast Club, which I helped moderate as a Language Technology Division Leadership Council member. GLD members Robin Bonthrone and Geoff Koby made their election pitches for ATA Treasurer and President-Elect during the Annual Meeting of Voting Members and Election. A small but enthusiastic audience attended my session on medical translation prepared in part by Jill Sommer. The day was topped off by the GLD Networking Dinner at “Crazy About You”. The feedback on both the food and ambience has been overwhelmingly positive. We introduced fellow ATA member Linda Dunlap, who works for the German-American Social Club of Miami and was instrumental in navigating the Miami gastronomy scene and directing us to “Crazy”. Linda in turn presented me with a pin from the German-American Social Club! During the evening, various winners were announced, from Dorothy Duncan, who achieved first place in the evening’s networking competition, to Robin Bonthrone and Geoff Koby, who were in fact elected to their respective positions. The networking dinner attendees were the first to toast Robin and Geoff on their success!
Friday was an exciting day, as I was presented with ATA’s “Dynamo Award” at the morning’s awards ceremony. I learned that I was selected for the award in the summer but had been sworn to secrecy. So I was ecstatic both to receive the award from presenter Christina Green but also finally be able to speak about it. In my acceptance speech, I thanked a number of colleagues, without whom my impact on the association and the profession would not have been possible: Birgit Vosseler-Brehmer and Elke Mailand, for their help in establishing the GLD Members in Europe group; former GLD Administrator Eva Stabenow, for creating the position of GLD European Coordinator and appointing me to it; Matt Baird, who later joined the Members in Europe workshop committee and founded the Translate Better events in Europe; Ruth Boggs, who engaged me as the GLD Assistant Administrator, and all of the GLD Leadership Council members. I also thanked the Language Technology Division Leadership Council members, in particular, Administrator Daniel Sebesta, and Assistant Administrator Bridget Hylak. I finally thanked my GLD Assistant Administrator Robin Limmeroth, who suggested that she and I as GLD administrators could be a “Dream Team”—and it seems we are!
Leadership Council members Robin Limmeroth, Katrin Rippel-Galati, Ruth Boggs, Megan Falk and I had a rare in-person meet up during the Friday lunchtime slot. The poolside venue was perfect for generating new ideas and developing strategies for the coming year.
On Friday afternoon, GLD member Michael Schubert presented his session entitled “Tech Talk: Translating for the Tech Industry”. Despite the thankless post-prandial slot for the session, Michael’s presentation drew a large crowd and provoked a lively discussion involving a number of colleagues with in-depth experience in the tech field.
Saturday, the final conference day, kept us busy, with another round of the “ChatLTD Breakfast Club” followed by the quarterly Leadership Summit. GLD Assistant Administrator Robin Limmeroth and GLD LC Consultant Megan Falk and I attended the event, which brought together representatives of other divisions, chapters and committees. We heard a report by the ATA Strategy Committee and met our new contacts at HQ and – drumroll!–our new Divisions Administrator Andy Benzo. In breakout groups, we exchanged ideas and experiences and brainstormed with other divisions’ members. The coming year will see monthly division leadership council member meet-ups on specific topics moderated by Andy. To use German-speak, we are looking forward to the synergy that is bound to be released by bringing us together and eliminating duplication of effort and constant reinventing of the wheel.
Just minutes later, we launched our first GLD Professional Forum. We will be discussing the concept and outcome of the Professional Forum in detail in an upcoming blog post. Suffice it to say that the Professional Forum was well attended and the room layout and session concept designed to focus on active participation by all attendees. Robin Limmeroth and I moderated the session and were delighted both by the quantity (117 in the preliminary survey and 40-50 at the conference) and make-up (absolute newbies to industry veterans) of the participants.
Our final official GLD event was the session presented by GLD member Jacqueline Jugenheimer entitled “Translating Business Organizational Forms Accurately When There Are No Equivalents: GmbHs Are from Mars, LLCs Are from Venus”. Jacky is a lawyer and native speaker of German with training from both Germany and the United States. She kindly agreed to hold her presentation in German to meet GLD members’ past requests for more sessions in German. Jacky took us through the maze of German company types and ultimately suggested strategies for translating company “apples and oranges” in both directions, taking a complex field and breaking it into bite-sized pieces.
All of the speakers in the German track have kindly provided their PowerPoint presentations and they may be downloaded from the “Resources” section of our website. In addition, check out the ATA 64 Photo Gallery and please share any conference photos with us.
Many thanks to all of the GLD members who made our division’s contributions so successful and especially to our Social Media Coordinator Noah Alter and Web Manager Randal Gernaat for their many timely posts and updates during the conference.
Nach der Konferenz ist vor der Konferenz! Please join us for next year’s conference in Portland, Oregon, from October 30 to November 2, 2024.
Karen Leube, a native of Pennsylvania, is a freelance translator and translator trainer based in Aachen, Germany. She served on the faculty of the universities of Heidelberg and Mainz (FTSK), where she offered courses on biomedical technology and general medical translation in cooperation with local hospitals and research institutions. Since establishing her freelance business in 2004, she has taught numerous continuing education courses for translators and interpreters. Twelve of her book translations have been published to date, including Thomas Häusler’s Gesund durch Viren (Viruses vs. Superbugs).
Karen founded and coordinated ATA’s GLD Members in Europe group from 2009 to 2019 and served as the GLD’s Assistant Administrator for two years prior to assuming the position as Administrator in 2022.