2023 Conference

2023 Conference Schedule

Together at Last: Gathering in Person to Grow as Professionals.

Friday, April 14

Pre-conference Workshops

Morning Workshop

9:00 a.m. to Noon, RC 255

Direct Client Marketing… For People Who Think They Can’t

Session Description

Shifts in the agency landscape–often involving faster turnaround times, lower rates, and the lack of a personal relationship–have led many freelance translators and interpreters to consider the direct client market, often for the first time. Many freelancers struggle with this transition, because they choose marketing methods that don’t suit their personalities or aren’t appealing to their target clients (or both!). In this masterclass, we’ll review at least 10 ways to find direct clients, including techniques that work well for introverts, extroverts, and continuing education junkies. We’ll also talk about how to create an online presence that is appealing to your potential clients, and how to incorporate follow-up and “touch points” into your marketing plan, while making some mindset shifts that are required for the direct client market. You’ll complete this workshop with a doable plan for finding at least one new direct client in the next several months. The workshop is suitable for both translators and interpreters.

About the Presenter: Corinne McKay

Corinne McKay is a freelance French <> English interpreter and French to English translator based in Boulder, Colorado. A full-time freelancer since 2002, she is ATA-certified for French to English translation, Colorado court-certified for French interpreting, and holds a Master of Conference Interpreting from Glendon College. In addition to her own interpreting and translation work, Corinne writes books and teaches courses for other freelancers; her book, How to Succeed as a Freelance Translator, has sold 12,000+ copies, and she also runs the online professional development platform Training for Translators. Corinne served on the Board of the American Translators Association for seven years, including as ATA President from 2017-2019.

Lunch Break

Noon-1:00 p.m.

Lunch on Your own

Afternoon Workshop

1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., RC 255

From the Courtroom to the Booth: How To Make The Shift From Court to Conference Interpretation

Session Description

Just because an interpreter can interpret simultaneously in court, it doesn’t mean they can handle a conference. The interpretation styles are different and clients’ expectations change. Certain behaviors court interpreters exemplify may hold them back in the booth and cause them to end up with no calls back. In this workshop discover pro tips on how a court interpreter can safely break into and succeed in the conference market–and avoid creating interpreter “horror stories” for themselves.

Workshop Objectives:

  • Identify the main differences between court and conference interpretation
  • Learn how to change behaviors embedded in inherent court interpreting practices to make the adjustment to a full-blown conference interpreter. 
  • Learn what to avoid and prevent creating “horror stories

Important note: Participants will need to bring an internet-equipped device (cell phone or computer) to access audio, and compatible earbuds or headphones (preferably noise cancelling).

About the Presenter: Robert Holloway

Robert Holloway is a native English speaker-turned-Korean-interpreter. Inspired by his Korean-adopted mother he set out to learn Korean, a language his mother didn’t have the opportunity to learn because she grew up in the United States speaking English. Determined, Robert left the U.S. for Korea 13 years ago and never looked back. Now he is based in Chicago and works as a professional Korean legal and conference interpreter with a mission to be a model of a person who is using the tools of their culture to build their life.

Welcome Wine and Cheese Reception

1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., RC 255

Event Details

All conference attendees are welcome and encouraged to attend.

Saturday, April 15

MICATA Conference

Continental Breakfast and Registration

7:45 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., Atrium

Sponsored by Translation Perfect

Welcome

8:30 a.m. to 8:45 a.m., NM Hudson Auditorium

MICATA President Janja Pavetic-Dickey and Christina Wolff, JCCC representative

About the Presenter: Janja Pavetic-Dickey

Janja Pavetic-Dickey is a conference and master-licensed court interpreter for Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian<>English, an ATA-certified translator (HR to EN) and a published literary translator and copyeditor. She interpreted her first conference in 1993, and has since worked as an interpreter and translator for international organizations, government agencies and private clients in Europe and the U.S., including 6 years as staff interpreter and translator for the United Nations Yugoslav Tribunal in The Hague. An active member of MICATA and the ATA since 2004, she served two terms on the leadership council of the ATA Slavic Languages Division, was the B/C/S editor in the ATA SLD newsletter for 7 years, and is currently serving her second term as MICATA President, having previously served on the MICATA Board of Directors as director and Vice-President (3 years).

Keynote Address

8:45 a.m. to 9:45 a.m., NM Hudson Auditorium

Perspectives and Lessons from the Local and International T&I Markets

Session Description

Exploring the state of the language industry elsewhere in the world can help us reflect on the situation at home. It is tempting to think of translators and interpreters as one homogenous group when this group is in fact quite diverse. They share a lot of challenges and opportunities, yet they differ in various ways related to their marketplace dynamics, forces, stakeholders, etc. By comparing the T&I industry landscape in the Middle East market and the US market, this presentation highlights similarities, differences, areas of opportunities and possible challenges. The aim is to reflect on how to leverage the available advantages and opportunities in order to evolve and stay relevant in the local market while capitalizing on the opportunities offered by a more globalized market.

Morning Break and Refreshments

9:45 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., Atrium

Concurrent Session 1

All times: 10:00 a.m. to11:00 a.m.

How to Prepare for (and Pass!) an Interpreting Certification Exam

Session Details and Description

Located at NM Hudson Auditorium

Exams are a reality of life as a professional interpreter. Based on the presenter’s experience preparing for and passing (on the first try!) three sets of interpreting exams, this session will cover: how to prepare a training plan for any type of interpreting exam; why so many interpreters fail certification exams; how to make the best use of available resources for the exam you’re willing to take; and how to give yourself the best chance of success on exam day.

About the Presenter: Corrine McKay

Corinne McKay is a freelance French <> English interpreter and French to English translator based in Boulder, Colorado. A full-time freelancer since 2002, she is ATA-certified for French to English translation, Colorado court-certified for French interpreting, and holds a Master of Conference Interpreting from Glendon College. In addition to her own interpreting and translation work, Corinne writes books and teaches courses for other freelancers; her book, How to Succeed as a Freelance Translator, has sold 12,000+ copies, and she also runs the online professional development platform Training for Translators. Corinne served on the Board of the American Translators Association for seven years, including as ATA President from 2017-2019.

How to Get ATA-certified: Tips for Preparing for and Taking the Exam

Session Details and Description

Located at RC 101

Preparing for an exam with a 20% pass rate can be daunting. Not long ago, the Certification tab on the ATA’s website described the exam as a “mid-career credential for experienced, professional translators or interpreters.” It also included a warning: “New to translation? This exam is not for you!” But, as a newbie to the translation field, I was able to pass the exam during my first year as a full-time translator, without having a degree or certificate in translation and without having taken a single translation course. In this session, I’ll share some pros, cons, and tips for taking the exam online as well as study tips to help participants put their best foot forward on exam day.

About the Presenter: Emily Moorlach

Emily Moorlach is an ATA-certified French to English translator who began her career in 2016 as the Translation and Interpretation Program Manager and freelance official document translator for a non-profit organization. In 2019, after a whirlwind trip through 45 cities in Europe, Emily returned to the U.S. to start her freelance translation business, Langue Vivante LLC. She holds a B.A. in French and a B.S. in Accounting from Iowa State University. Emily also studied at La Sorbonne in Paris and has held positions as a high school French teacher and luxury travel advisor. Her main specializations include official documents, business communications, tourism, and gastronomy. She currently volunteers her time as coordinator of the ATA’s French Language Division (FLD) certification study group and as an author and editor of the ATA’s The Savvy Newcomer blog. For more information, visit www.langue-vivante.com.

Concurrent Session 2

All times: 11:00 a.m. to noon.

Interpreting Guilty Pleas: Why Does it Get so Problematic?

Session Details and Description

Located at NM Hudson Auditorium

Exams are a reality of life as a professional interpreter. Based on the presenter’s experience preparing for and passing (on the first try!) three sets of interpreting exams, this session will cover: how to prepare a training plan for any type of interpreting exam; why so many interpreters fail certification exams; how to make the best use of available resources for the exam you’re willing to take; and how to give yourself the best chance of success on exam day.

About the Presenter: Yasmin Alkashef

Yasmin Alkashef is an ATA-certified Arabic-English translator, a certified court interpreter, and a conference interpreter. Alkashef has an MA in translation studies and a Ph.D. in interpreting studies from Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt. She teaches interpreting as an adjunct faculty at NYU and UMass. Alkashef serves as a director on the ATA board of directors. She is the current assistant administrator of the ATA Arabic Language Division. Her interests include translation, interpreting, localization, interpreter training, and cultural consultancy.

When the Heart of the Interpreter™ becomes a Firm

Session Details and Description

Located at RC 101

Preparing for an exam with a 20% pass rate can be daunting. Not long ago, the Certification tab on the ATA’s website described the exam as a “mid-career credential for experienced, professional translators or interpreters.” It also included a warning: “New to translation? This exam is not for you!” But, as a newbie to the translation field, I was able to pass the exam during my first year as a full-time translator, without having a degree or certificate in translation and without having taken a single translation course. In this session, I’ll share some pros, cons, and tips for taking the exam online as well as study tips to help participants put their best foot forward on exam day.

About the Presenters: Nabil Cherif and Emily Cherif

Nabil Cherif was born in Tunisia and migrated to France, Germany, Italy, Malta, England, Switzerland, and Cyprus before landing in Kansas City in 2000 to attend Johnson County Community College and later the University of Kansas. He is fluent in French, Arabic, and English. Over the years, Nabil worked as a security officer, interpreter, karate instructor, and bus driver. He spent every penny he could to travel and experience other cultures and countries. He also visited roughly 30 states in the U.S. to understand more about American culture. Nabil fell in love with interpreting because of the opportunity to help people communicate and overcome cultural barriers. His passion for people and solving problems through language services spawned a desire to start his own language service company. He worked multiple jobs while tirelessly working to build a company. His determination was his cornerstone to push through the challenges of building a business and Bridging the Gap Interpreting was born in 2007.

Emily Cherif was born in Iceland. Her mother is Costa Rican, and her father is American. Her father was in the Air Force, so their family moved cross-culturally multiple times: from Iceland to North Carolina, to California, to Costa Rica, and in 1992 permanently to Kansas City. Emily is fluent in Spanish and English. In 2013 Emily resigned from her job of 12 years and started freelance interpreting. She became certified as a Missouri State Court Interpreter and was hired by BTGI soon after for several interpreting sessions, which turned into more sessions, training interpreters, meeting the owner four months later, and then getting married to him four months after that. Currently, Emily supports BTGI’s curriculum and publishing initiatives while she evaluates her next role within the language services industry.

MICATA Business and Networking Luncheon

Noon to 1:30 p.m., RC101C

Sponsored by Propio LS

Concurrent Session 3

All times: 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Interpreting for Pediatric Dermatology: An Examination of Session Management, Vocabulary, Culture, and Ethics in a Specialty Clinic

Session Description

Lcated at NM Hudson Auditorium

This course will provide an overview of what it is like to work in a pediatric dermatology clinic, exploring what types of providers you might work with, common conditions and treatments you might encounter, and cultural and ethical issues that may arise. In addition to specific vocabulary related to dermatology we will address issues of session management including interpreting simultaneously for parents of teenagers that speak English, how to handle unfamiliar terms and concepts, and how to navigate sensitive topics and conversations. By utilizing the specific example of pediatric dermatology, I hope to provide general skills and strategies that can be utilized in a variety of specialty clinics.

About the Presenter: Paul Spacek

Paul Spacek is a Senior Medical Interpreter at Children’s Mercy Hospital where he has worked for almost 10 years. In addition to interpreting for appointments throughout the entire hospital system, in his role as Senior Medical Interpreter Paul serves as a coach and mentor for interpreting students and new hires, and is also involved in the development and presentation of continuing education classes. He has also worked with the Culture and Language Coaching program, helping bilingual providers improve their Spanish language and cultural competency skills. Paul has been nationally certified as a Medical Interpreter through CCHI since 2015. Paul holds a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish from the University of Kansas, a certificate in Medical Interpretation from Johnson County Community College, and a Master’s degree in Adult Learning and Leadership from Kansas State University. Paul has presented previously at the MICATA and NATI conferences.

Learning How to Pivot – Setting your Freelance Business up for Future Success

Session Details and Description

Located at RC 101

The art of pivoting—or reinventing your business—is one way to make sure that your freelance translation career will be sustainable and enjoyable. The presenter will talk about how she has shifted her business over the past 18 years to respond to market changes. This session will delve into topics such as adding a second pillar, such as copywriting, and how to keep your fingers on the pulse of the ever-changing translation market.

About the Presenter: Abigail Dahlberg

Abigail Dahlberg is a German-English translator and copywriter specializing in environmental issues. After completing an MA in Translation in 2001, she worked as a staff translator in Germany before relocating to Kansas City and launching a freelance business in 2005. Over the past 18 years, she has helped dozens of direct clients in Germany, Austria and Switzerland communicate with an English-speaking audience via her business, Greener Words. You can reach Abigail by emailing her at hello@greenerwords.com or visiting www.greenerwords.com.

Concurrent Session 4

All times: 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m

Post-COVID Interpreting: Remote World of Event 1

Session Details and Description

Located at NM Hudson Auditorium

The session will focus on how COVID has impacted the interpreting profession and how it has driven clients’ new demands. It will reflect on the benefits of this inevitable change for both interpreters and clients. It will show how user-friendly and easily accessible a platform can be, and what new IT requirement it brings to the interpreter. The intent of the session is to bring light into how remote interpreting is now the norm and will keep evolving. Most interpreters who provide onsite only services will keep seeing a decrease of demand unless they keep up with the changes in the industry.

About the Presenter: Xavier Domenech

Xavier “Xavi” Domenech is originally from Barcelona, Spain, and is fluent in Spanish and Catalan. He is the Director of Quality Assurance & Training department at Propio Language Services. Prior joining Propio in 2019, he owned and ran a successful interpreting agency in the Kansas City Area for 11 years. Xavi oversees all quality processes for remote and onsite services. Xavi leads his team in the development and ongoing improvements to assure high standards for thousands of interpreters in over 250 languages. Xavi’s executive response team also addresses customer concerns to maintain exceptional service to Propio’s thousands of clients. Xavi has over 17 years in the interpreting industry, is a National Certified Healthcare Interpreter (CCHI) and a Missouri State Court Certified Interpreter. Furthermore, Xavi is a licensed trainer for The Community Interpreter® International (TCII), a leading national entry-level program to train interpreters to work in medical, educational, and social services settings. Xavi’s dedication to continuous improvement, and passion for ongoing interpreter development, can be seen in the many workshops, courses, skill assessments, evaluations, and coaching processes created by the Quality Assurance and Training Department.

MemoQ and WordFast: First Impressions

Session Details and Description

Located at RC 101

As Interpretation and translation students from the University of Nebraska at Kearney, we had the opportunity to use computer assisted translation (CAT) tools for our translation projects, MemoQ and Wordfast in particular. CAT tools tend to be intimidating to both tech savvy and non-tech savvy individuals as the terminology and program layout overwhelm us with unfamiliar information. As we all know, putting ourselves in uncomfortable environments promotes growth and we would like to offer our perspective as we navigated these CAT tools in class and on our own.

About the Presenters: Ivan Lopez and Cristian Prado Frias

My name is Ivan Lopez and I am currently work as an interpreter for workers compensation medical appointments and depositions at AAA Interpretation and Translation Agency, LLC. I also do community interpreting and translation for the Community Action Partnership of MId-Nebraska Head Start program. I am from Omaha, NE and I will be Graduating this upcoming May from the University of Nebraska at Kearney with a Bachelors of Arts in modern languages with emphases in Spanish Translation and Interpretation and French Culture and History as well as another major in Health Sciences.

My name is Cristian Prado Frias and I am currently employed at Pony Express Ford, where I specialize in sales and service interpretation. I am from Cozad, a small town in south central Nebraska. I graduated from the University of Nebraska at Kearney in 2022, with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish Translation and Interpretation.

Afternoon Break and Refreshments

3:30 p.m. to 3:45 p.m., Location: Atrium

Sponsored by Interpreters, Inc.

Concurrent Session 5

All times: 3:45 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.

Interpreting Slam

Session Details and Description

Located at RC 101A

Facilitated by MICATA board members

Come join us for some impromptu role plays of medical and legal interpreting scenarios. We’ll provide and receive constructive feedback and share strategies, all in a supportive environment.

Translation Slam

Session Details and Description

Located at RC 101B

Facilitated by MICATA board members

In this engaging activity, participants complete a brief translation before the conference and then get together with colleagues to discuss their translation solutions and strategies during an informal, interactive session. You can start preparing now by downloading the source text you’d like to translate by selecting its link on this webpage: Translation Slam. Then just translate the text and bring it with you (in electronic or hard copy form) to the conference.

How to Set Your Fees as Interpreter and Translator

Session Details and Description

Located at NM Hudson Auditorium

Whether you’re starting your career or growing it, there’s always the question of “What do I charge?” and “Should I charge by the page, by the day, by the hour, or something else?” You may just go along with what everyone else in the market charges, but is this enough for you and your living situation? Is it really feasible or are you setting yourself up for a perpetually struggling career? In this session, I’ll walk you through step-by-step on how to set your prices as a translator or interpreter. You’ll also learn how to raise your fees (you can’t just raise them because you feel like it!).

About the Presenter: Robert Holloway

Robert Holloway is a native English speaker-turned-Korean-interpreter. Inspired by his Korean-adopted mother he set out to learn Korean, a language his mother didn’t have the opportunity to learn because she grew up in the United States speaking English. Determined, Robert left the U.S. for Korea 13 years ago and never looked back. Now he is based in Chicago and works as a professional Korean legal and conference interpreter with a mission to be a model of a person who is using the tools of their culture to build their life.

Conference Wrap-Up

4:45 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. NM Hudson Auditorium

The Conference Concludes

Dinner

On your own. Go out with old and new friends!