Home Events2019 Events Science and Technology Sessions at the 60th ATA conference

Science and Technology Sessions at the 60th ATA conference

by Science & Technology Division

1. A good translator

Doing Good Work: A Path to Success as an Independent Translator by Nicholas Hartmann, PhD, CT

An industry veteran, I’ve learnt a thing or two about patent translation from The Patent Translator’s Handbook, co-authored by Nicholas Hartmann. At the ATA’s 60th conference he doled out essential advice on being a good translator; focusing on the oft ignored personal development that freelance translators need in a highly competitive and performance-driven environment.

From knowing who you are (collaborator or solo-flyer) to what you learn (terminology, subject-matter, information technology?) to how you behave (manage your time; accept responsibility; what you owe the client and what the client owes you) — all aspects of being a successful translator expertly covered in this session.

The session slides are available at:


A recording of this session is available as a part of ATA’s virtual conference: www.atanet.org/conf/2019/virtual 

2. De la Terre à la Lune (From the Earth to the Moon)

50 Years Beyond the Giant Leap: Spacecraft Navigation from Apollo to the 21st Century by Stephen Volante, CT

It’s been 50 years since the first humans landed on the moon, a historic, crowning technological achievement. In this session, Spanish and French > English translator Stephen Volante explains how scientists, engineers and software developers created the navigational system that made this feat possible.

Stephen covers key elements of a space mission — guidance, navigation, and control — in-depth in this session. He highlights the work of key contributors, what went according to plan, and what didn’t. Finally, he explains how Apollo’s navigational system performed in flight and how space navigation has evolved since the lunar landings in a fun and fascinating presentation.

Check out the session slides: https://ata-divisions.org/S_TD/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Stephen-Volante-ATA60-Presentation2.pdf

And the exhaustive list of references: https://ata-divisions.org/S_TD/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Stephen-Volante-ATA-60-Resource-List.pdf

Also, don’t miss the recording: www.atanet.org/conf/2019/virtual 

3. Altering the genetic code

Genetic Engineering of Humans by Tapani Ronni, CT

“Translation is in my genes” — I can say that with confidence now. Not just me, you can as well. At the cellular level, DNA is transcribed to RNA which is then translated to protein. It gets a bit complicated from here, so let the expert take over — Dr. Tapani Ronni, a PhD in Genetics, and a full-time English-Finnish Translator presents the concepts of Genetic Engineering in Humans in this session.

Link to Dr. Tapani Ronni’s presentation slides

4.  Let’s learn how machines learn

Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence in Plain Language by Romina Marazzato Sparano, CT

Will machines take over the world? Will artificial intelligence take over our thinking capacity? It is too early to answer these questions. But not too early to know what exactly goes on in those supercomputers. Romina Marazzato Sparano will help you understand — in layman’s language — how artificial intelligence and machine learning works.

Link to Romina’s presentation slides

5.  Tech talk

Translating Technical and Scientific Romance Language Texts into English by Romina Marazzato Saparano, CT

As technical translators, we take pride in getting the terminology right. We spend hours upon hours researching the topic, understanding it and using the right terms in the appropriate context. This often leaves us with little time to focus on the thread that binds these terms together, i.e. style and syntax. Romina Marazzato Sparano explains the intricacies of style and syntax to help our technical translations shine brighter.

Link to Romina’s presentation slides

© 2020 Pavitra Baxi

Pavitra Baxi is a freelance translator based in Bangalore, India. She translates from German into English. She has a degree in mechanical engineering and provides translation services for the engineering, medical and IT sectors.

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