CTA Lives up to its Reputation as “Epicenter of the Translation Universe” with 2018 Conference

By Marion Rhodes
Outgoing CTA President

May 1, 2018
CTA Conference 2018 record attendanceUnder the theme “Learning Never Ends,” 91 translators from Colorado and beyond gathered in Boulder for the 8th annual translation conference of the Colorado Interpreters & Translators Association, held April 27-29 at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

This year’s conference focused on the importance of continuing education in the translation industry, where technological innovation and language evolution keep changing the professional playing field. In her keynote speech, London-based translator and trainer Marta Stelmaszak Rosa reminded attendees to avoid complacency because building your career capital is a lifelong process. “Thinking ‘if only I get to this point, I’ll be successful’ is dangerous,” she pointed out. “Plateaus are dangerous.”

Marta Stelmaszak Rosa talking about the direct client market during Sunday’s workshop.
 Drawing on her own experience, she reminded attendees that a translation career is similar to the stock market, with ups and downs, but that every down is an opportunity to soar higher. She encouraged her audience to have a career investment plan and to keep adding to the pot to increase their career capital. Marta also delivered an in-depth workshop on working with direct clients, where she provided useful insights and tips for translators wishing to tap into that market.


Other sessions spanned a wide variety of areas, from search engine optimization to international trade. Saturday ended with a lively panel discussion on the future of translation in the age of artificial intelligence. A whole track was devoted to interpreters, offering them a chance to earn continuing education credits for various certification bodies.


Mery Molenaar took over as the new CTA President during Saturday’s annual meeting.
With 2018 being an election year for CTA, the conference also marked the transition of the Board of Directors. Outgoing president Marion Rhodes handed over the baton to newly elected president Mery Molenaar, CTA’s long-time webmaster. Social media coordinator Martina Heine-Kilic moved into the position of secretary, replacing Katja Yeats. Vice president Rosabelle Rice and treasurer Kate Avdeeva will remain in their current positions. CTA’s membership coordinator of two years, Ulrike Anderson, relinquished her position to Elizabeth Blount.


The three-day translation conference, which includes an ATA exam sitting and happy hour social on Friday and an in-depth workshop day on Sunday, drew speakers and attendees from as far as California in the west, the UK in the east, and Mexico in the south. It has been growing steadily since the first conference in 2010 and  set a new attendance record this year for both Saturday and Sunday – a testament to the tireless work and active involvement of not only CTA’s leadership but also its countless volunteers who offer to share their knowledge with their professional peers, serve as proctors for the ATA exam, organize social get-togethers throughout the year and offer advice to members in CTA’s member forums.


A professional association is only as great as the people who form it, and CTA, with its 150-and-counting members, has every reason to be proud of its development from a tiny group of local translators to a mighty ATA chapter. In fact, even some of the out-of-country guests remarked that for such a small association, CTA has quite the reputation among the translation community. As Marta Stelmaszak Rosa put it: “Congratulations, CTA, you’re officially the epicenter of the translation universe!”
Panel discussion on the future of translation in the age of AI.