By Sharon Heller
CTA Social Media Coordinator
More than 80 language professionals braved a snowy spring storm to attend the 7th Annual Conference of the Colorado Interpreters & Translators Association, held the last weekend of April in Boulder. The three-day event included speakers and attendees from across the United States and beyond and offered a variety of educational sessions for translators and interpreters in all career stages.
The conference kicked off on Friday, April 28, with 19 participants taking the ATA certification exam at the conference venue, the stunning NCAR building nestled against the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. While most candidates opted to take the computerized version, several candidates preferred to stick with the handwritten exam, which is always an option.
The exam was followed by a casual Happy Hour, sponsored by CTA, at Backcountry Pizza, a popular Friday evening hangout in Boulder. This was a good opportunity for attendees to catch up with old friends and make new acquaintances ahead of the conference. While the atmosphere was warm, outside the rain turned to sleet, an ominous sign.
CTA was delighted to host many out-of-state and international guests this year. Corinne McKay, president-elect of the American Translators Association and a long-time member of CTA, opened the conference with a heartfelt welcome speech that energized the audience. Corinne noted that three CTA members are currently on the ATA board, and no other chapter is so well represented. She left Colorado translators feeling proud!
Saturday’s conference started off with CTA’s annual meeting of all members, during which the current leadership board gave a recap of the past year and thanked the association’s numerous volunteers for their active involvement. There is no doubt that CTA’s members are the backbone of this small but mighty association!
Following that, this year’s keynote speaker, Sameh Ragab, took the stage to give an inspirational talk on how freelance translators can adopt a winning mindset and thus gain a competitive edge. Sameh, who traveled all the way from Cairo, Egypt, had presented at CTA’s 6th Annual Conference and received so much positive feedback that the board decided to invite him back again. In his opening address, Sameh shared personal insights and experiences that help drive his own business success. He also gave the audience a teaser of what to expect during his scheduled full-day workshop on Sunday.
After the keynote, attendees chose from a program of 12 breakout sessions that covered topics from marketing to website development, subtitling to conflict resolution, and copyright to tax deductions. For interpreters, CTA offered a three-hour workshop on handling emergency room situations.
Saturday’s events wrapped up with a reception at NCAR, giving presenters and attendees a chance to mingle. As the conference guests included at least four published authors, attendees also had a chance to purchase signed books by Tess Whitty, Eve Bodeux, Corinne McKay and Izabel E.T. de V. Souza on the spot. In addition, Tess and Corinne had generously offered raffle prizes for the conference, and two lucky attendees won a chance to improve their business with the help of professional training from these renowned industry experts.
Did I mention the weather? Sunday morning brought sunshine, clear blue skies and stunning views of the snow-covered Flatirons. It was the perfect backdrop for Sameh Ragab’s much anticipated workshop Tips and Tricks from the Translation Magician: Increase Your Productivity with the Right Tools. The workshop covered advanced tips and tricks for SDL Studio, how to enhance your TM search experience, dealing with complex PDF files for CAT tool integration, termbase creation, and disaster recovery planning. With so much to learn, attendees did not seem to mind staying beyond the scheduled time to get the most from this workshop.
The CTA board worked hard to pull together a conference that would offer value to translators and interpreters at any stage in their career and was delighted to have such an enthusiastic group of attendees. Watch this space for news of the 2018 conference!