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Webmail – you’re doing it wrong.

As of July 2017, Google reported having 1.2 billion users of Gmail. As of Q2 of 2017, 87.7% of mobile OS devices were running on Android (see Statista) and you need an account with Google to set up every android device, and similarly, about nine out of every ten CVs I see from freelance translators has a gmail address as a primary email contact listing. Why is this important to note? In November 2017, Google published a year-long study (see Google) in conjunction with UC Berkley and the International Computer Science Institute where they found that hackers steal about 250,000 passwords per week (see Mashable).

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Securing communication (a.k.a. whisper, don’t shout)

Image result for gmail

On 1 April 2004, Google launched Gmail: a free, ad-supported email service that has grown to be our key to access all of Google’s services. As of July 2017, Google reports having 1.2 billion users of gmail. Your Gmail login helps Google track your browsing history with chrome, track where you’re going and where you have been with Maps, track what you have watched on YouTube, track what you say at home with Google Home, track who you talk to with Hangouts, track what interests you in the real world (IRL) with Photos, and the list continues to grow.

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ATA57 LT-1 Language Technology and the Sharing Economy

My apologies for not writing in a while. I’ve been busy at work and with work preparing for the 57th ATA Conference in San Francisco.

If you attended and want the slides, they can be found on SlideShare and below.

If you would like to watch a video of the presentation, it can be found on YouTube and below.

Thank you!

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Freelancers: Directories

When it comes to advertising, the first step is strengthening outlets that already exist. Most professional organizations have online directories available for anyone looking for a service provider. When project managers are looking to a hire a new contractor, many turn to these professional association directories first, under the assumption that a provider found there would be one who adheres to a code of professional ethics (see ATA’s The Code). Since many Project Managers look at these directories first, it would therefore make sense to keep these as available and up-to-date as possible, especially since this is a paid service that comes with membership. Additionally, this is the first topic in the series because your directory entry is one that can be linked to on other advertising outlets.

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Using the internet for Freelancers

In response to the popularity of the ATA Chapters series, I have been encouraged to write a similar series for freelance translators. So, let me start off in a similar fashion by establishing a reason for this series.

Ever since I took up my role as a moderator for the ATA Language Technology Division Listserv, and now that my Translation Technology blog has become more respected and more frequently visited, I have been asked on a number of occasions to critique freelancers’ webpages and social media profiles. In my honest opinion, this is always a good idea. Not necessarily asking me to review your website and social media profiles, but having someone else look at them. This is especially true if there is someone you trust who is on the contracting side of the industry, who looks at CVs, websites, and social media profiles on a daily basis. Continue Reading »

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Compilation of all ATA Chapters Series posts

For your convenience, below are teasers and links to all the posts regarding ATA Chapters. Please do like, share, and comment. Your contributions will help the entire association move forward.

Attracting New Members to ATA

I believe membership in the national association should be less of an issue, but in order to do that, we need to re-envision the role of ATA’s Chapters or Affiliates from a local organization of translators advancing professional development to ATA’s street team or ground crew. Read more.

Recruiting New Members

While they may not be set meetings with agenda or set topics of discussion, social events are pivotal to the feeling members get in regards to the organization as a whole. These do not need to be lavish banquets and grand galas; they can be as simple as a happy hour or dinner meetup. And while business may not be the goal of the party, when profession is the common ground, it inevitably comes up. Read more.

The Website

Creating a website can be a daunting task if you don’t know where to start. It can be as simple as a modified wordpress blog website and as complex as a professionally created site that is specifically designed to manage the affairs of an organization with members. Read more.

The Blog

A regularly updated, thoroughly tagged and categorized blog (if the site allows for it) is the main source of up-to-date content on your website. It, aside from social media updates from a plug-in, should be the most frequently changing page of content. Read more.

Social Media

People browsing Facebook aren’t looking for a blog article, that’s why Facebook Notes never really took off. At most, a Facebook post for an organization should have a maximum of 3-4 sentences and if those sentences can be accompanied by a photo or video, even better. Any longer than 3-4 sentences, and no one will read it. Read more.

The Podcast

Podcasting is a great way to offer varied content on your website and social media accounts. Aside from photos, audio/visual content is nice because it either gives the eyes a rest or gives one’s audience something to look at besides text for fifteen minutes to an hour. Read more.

The Webinar

[Webinars] essentially function as standalone presentation where the presenter and the attendees do not need to be in the same place. Because of that, no venue is needed and people do not need to allot travel time in accommodating the presentation. Read more.

The Newsletter

… in 2016, the hard copy chapter newsletter has gone the way of the printed chapter directory, or at least it should have by now. … A volunteer, board member or not, should not be spending hours upon hours laying out a monthly or quarterly newsletter. If it’s longer than three or four pages, no one is reading the whole thing. The newsletter is not worth that much of the volunteer’s time and the format should be optimized to take advantage of technology. Read more.

The Conference

Attendees may or may not take what the speakers have to share to heart, but the lasting impression of the conference, and the determining factor in whether or not the attendee attends in the future is the experience they had at the previous ones. Read more.

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ATA Chapters: The Conference

My apologies for the tardiness of this post, I had an unexpected family emergency two weeks ago that prevented me from writing for a while. Now that that has calmed down, I’ve finally found the time to finish up this last blog post in this ATA Chapters series.

So, this is the last piece of this series and I’ve loved addressing these issues over the past nine weeks. I truly believe that we can resolve the membership issue in ATA at the Chapter level and that we should. There are a few chapters that, if they put the time and effort in, they could turn around their nearly dying chapters and make them into a living, vibrant organizations again.


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ATA Chapters: The Newsletter

Main photo - newsletter

This week’s post is about something that the Chapters and Affiliate Handbook says is the chapter’s “single largest expense.” While that may have been true before the paperless revolution, in 2016, the hard copy chapter newsletter has gone the way of the printed chapter directory, or at least it should have by now. The handbook goes on to say that the newsletter may be short or long. When it comes to the newsletter in the 21st century, brevity is key. I get newsletters all the time from my two almae matres, and—between the two of them—I read maybe one article or story a year and check the alumni updates to see if any classmates have died, gotten married or had a kid. Most ATA Chapter Boards are volunteer organizations. A volunteer, board member or not, should not be spending hours upon hours laying out a monthly or quarterly newsletter. If it’s longer than three or four pages, no one is reading the whole thing. The newsletter is not worth that much of the volunteer’s time and the format should be optimized to take advantage of technology. Continue Reading »


ATA Chapters: The Webinar


At MATI, we have an established series of webinars that started in 2014. What started as our “Brown Bag Webinar Series” which had an overarching theme over the course of the series has turned into our webinar series that addresses issues in the T&I industries. So in this post, we’ll look at the webinar, what a webinar is, its role in the annual operations of the chapter, and how a webinar series can be used to get members involved. Now, I admit, I’m not very involved with the MATI webinar series, but I have enlisted the help of one of our board members, Susie Schweigert, who runs the webinars to give a little insight into how our successful webinars get produced every month. Continue Reading »


Breaking Translation Technology News!


The Common Senseless Advisory has released a statement today
advising translators who work in bi-directional language
pairs and use public domain email to switch to handwritten translation methods and
replace Google and Microsoft machine translation tools because
it was discovered that their resources may be tainted from training data input from L2
language learners at the secondary and post-secondary levels in the United States.

Furthermore, in a meeting of the most well-known
of this group of translators, it was also determined that their
operations in a libel campaign have largely been ineffective.
Let’s hope that this may be the beginning of the end for this group of fraudulent
Stay tuned for more updates as they become available.

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