September 13, 2017

Check Out This Year’s PLD-Related Sessions

Mirna Soares

And here we are again, a few weeks from the 58th ATA Annual Conference, this time in Washington, D.C.!

Every year, we help our members navigate the ATA conference. Starting now, you can expect to see many blog posts about our speakers, and, as the conference gets closer, we will post our highlights.

Make sure you get the early bird price by registering before the end of this week (September 15) and download the app so you can start planning.

What follows are the sessions presented by your fellow PLD members. We also added our Guest Speaker, David Coles, and the Literary Division’s Guest Speaker, Katrina Dodson.

This is a preliminary list, so please let us know if you or someone you know should also be listed here.


P-1 Mandioca, macaxeira, aipim: quando a culinária vira uma salada russa

Clarissa Surek-Clark, CT

(Thursday, 11:15am-12:15pm; All Levels; Presented in: English and Portuguese)

The speaker will discuss real instances of English>Portuguese translations of recipes, ingredients, and menus. The discussion will also focus on regional dialect variation among Lusophone countries. Attendees will work on a small glossary of sticky food terms.

P-2 Yes, You Can! Even Better Portuguese>English Translations for Native Portuguese Speakers

Lynnea Hansen

(Thursday, 2:00pm-3:00pm; Advanced; Presented in: English and Portuguese)

The Portuguese language and its cultural influences often find their way into Portuguese>English translations done by native Portuguese speakers. It’s often challenging to pinpoint where these influences manifest. In this session, attendees will be provided with real examples. Attendees will then take part in practical exercises where they will work to reach a natural and highly readable version. The examples used will be from different subject areas.

P-3 Literary Dialect: The Challenge of Translating New York Hustlers and Brazilian Miners

Jayme Costa-Pinto | Karen Sotelino

(Friday, 2:00pm-3:00pm; All Levels; Presented in: English and Portuguese)

In this session, the speaker will analyze the writing style of authors Damon Runyon (American) and Alvaro Cardoso Gomes (Brazilian) and their works, Guys and Dolls and Ditched Dreams. In both works, style is closely dependent on literary dialect, contributed by New York gangsters in Runyon’s book, and by Brazilian miners in Gomes’ case. The translator is thus faced with the challenge of bridging the gap between discourse, as a linguist would record it, and the spoken language, as perceived by the literary artist. Attendees will learn from the speaker’s experience in addressing that challenge and have a chance to try their hand at similar translation problems.

P-4 The Challenges of Translating a Holocaust Survivor’s Memoir

Rafaela Lombardino, CT

(Friday, 3:30pm-4:30pm; All Levels; Presented in: English)

The speaker will explore the challenges of translating Nanette Blitz Konig’s memoir Eu Sobrevivi Ao Holocausto into English. The process of researching quotes originally written in English and making sure the vocabulary is faithful not only to the author’s account, but also to the many audiovisual materials available, will be discussed throughout the session.

P-5 Pitfalls of Interpreting between Portuguese and English – PLD GUEST SPEAKER

David Coles

(Saturday, 11:15am-12:15pm; Advanced; Presented in: English)

Drawing on many years of experience providing feedback to interpreting students, the speaker will examine cultural, phonetic, lexical, and grammatical pitfalls that can render English>Portuguese interpreting unidiomatic. The emphasis will be on discovering the underlying meanings behind the lexico-grammatical “veil” of the source language to find a mode of expression that’s as natural as possible in the target language. Examples will be taken from classes and real-life events. Reference will be made to sources of study material and to practice routines that enable such enhancements to take root.

P-6 Self-Recording, Transcribing, Language Analysis, and Self-Enhancement: Painstaking, but Rewarding – PLD GUEST SPEAKER

David Coles

(Saturday, 2:00pm-3:00pm; Advanced; Presented in: English)

Patterns, habits, and errors in simultaneous interpreting can be revealed, analyzed, and tackled by the relatively simple expedient of self-recording. The time, patience, and commitment needed to self-transcribe—in addition to the often sobering “findings” that are unearthed—tend to prevent interpreters from exploiting this systematic look at themselves in order to improve. The “words on the page” are a kind of hidden realm wherein grammatical complexities (such as cleft sentences, which are widely used by English-speakers) can be anticipated, deconstructed, and neutralized, thus avoiding hesitation and unsatisfactory renderings. Three different self-enhancement projects will be demonstrated during this session.

I-3 An Octopus, a Hologram, or Hepburn: What Kind of Interpreter Are You?

Roberta Barroca

(Thursday, 3:30pm-4:30pm; All Levels; Presented in: English)

Being an outstanding interpreter goes way beyond the actual act of interpreting. There are many qualities one must have and many errors to avoid. This session will address the most common mistakes interpreters make in an enlightening and fun way. The speaker will raise the audience’s awareness of what needs to be improved by using humorous analogies between interpreters and animals, celebrities, and characters. Desirable qualities will also be showcased in the same humorous way. Join us for a laugh and walk out of this session a better interpreter.

I-12 Interpreting Meets Transcreation in the Portuguese Version of Interpreting: Getting It Right

Cristina Silva, CT | Giovana Boselli, CT | Marsel de Souza, CT

(Saturday, 3:30pm-4:30pm; All Levels; Presented in: English)

This session will discuss the creative process of creating a Brazilian Portuguese version of Interpreting: Getting It Right for U.S. and Brazilian markets. The speakers will focus on various aspects of their translation and adaptation efforts. The session is geared toward interpreters and translators alike, particularly those with an interest in transcreation. Examples of particularly challenging passages will be discussed (the excerpts shown will be back-translated into English). Based on a comparison between what needs to be conveyed to an American readership and what needs to be conveyed to a Brazilian readership, the speakers will discuss what would be appropriate for transcreation into other languages/cultures.

LAW-7 On/Off the Record: Anatomy of a Deposition and How to Master This Niche

Elena Langdon, CT

(Thursday, 2:00pm-3:00pm; Intermediate; Presented in: English with Portuguese examples)

Intended for experienced interpreters who want to branch out to a new area, this presentation will outline the procedures, expectations, and nuances of interpreting during a deposition or similar hearing. We will cover videoconferencing, how to make fast friends with the court reporter, dealing with “immigrant speak,” and logistics. Preparation (and survival) strategies, vocabulary, and dos and don’ts will also be addressed. Some examples will be given in Portuguese, but the presentation is open to all. Depositions can be tricky; after this session you will feel more prepared and confident to tackle a new interpreting environment.

L-5 Researching Literary Translations

Katrina Dodson

(Saturday, 11:15am-12:15pm; Intermediate; Presented in: English)

The role of research in literary translation is a rarely discussed area that varies greatly between projects. This session will consider the potential forms of research that literary translations can entail, from site-specific travel and archival research to background reading, surfing online, and locating reference tools. How can research strengthen your translation and when does it become an unnecessary distraction? How familiar should you be with an author’s literary historical context across languages? The speaker will discuss projects in which she never left her home library, versus traveling to São Paulo archives and the Amazon rain forest for her current translation.

L-3 Forms of Faithfulness in Literary Translation

Katrina Dodson

(Saturday, 8:30am-9:30am; All Levels; Presented in: English)

What does it mean for a translation to be “faithful” to the original? The concept of fidelity is both central to literary translation and a potential red herring that can lead to overly literal renderings. This session will explore various, often competing, forms of faithfulness in translation, from following syntax and exact punctuation to finding equivalencies of register, tone, and perceived “strangeness” versus “naturalness” in the original text. The speaker will draw on her own experience translating Clarice Lispector’s stories with the explicit goal of achieving a greater level of fidelity to the iconic Brazilian writer’s famously idiosyncratic voice.

TRM-1 Extreme Terminology Management: Developing a Power Termbase

Cristina Silva, CT

(Thursday, 3:30pm-4:30pm; All Levels; Presented in: English)

This session will demonstrate how to create a centralized and standardized term base with terminology that’s already available for free online from “official” government and private sources. Although language examples will come primarily from Brazilian Portuguese, this session will also appeal to translators and interpreters in every language combination who are interested in improving their knowledge about terminology management tools and streamlining their terminology management processes. Bring your terminology questions and challenges and come prepared to explore

Mirna Soares has been a translator and an interpreter for as long as she can remember. What started as a job to get her through college became a career, at first sidetracking other activities and then taking up front and center. She holds a Master’s in Language Studies from PUC-Rio and has worked in areas as varied as subtitling, simultaneous interpretation and book translations. Before she became the division Administrator, Mirna was involved in many ATA activities and had the opportunity to speak in Annual Conferences, volunteer for the PLD Leadership Council and become a Certified Translator from Portuguese into English and English into Portuguese. Originally from Brazil, Mirna currently lives in Washington, D.C. where she is a staff interpreter for the Inter-American Defense College.

September 8, 2017

PLD ANNUAL EVENT – October 26th, 2017

bus boys and poets

We are pleased to announce our Annual Networking Dinner at BUSBOYS AND POETS.

Come and join us at this eclectic place, a true celebration of arts and culture. You’ll enjoy an evening with your division’s colleagues over delicious food, good music and a vibrant atmosphere. We have selected some delicious and varied food options, with something for everyone (see below).


Thursday, October 26th, 7–10pm


(a 15-minute walk from the conference hotel)
2021 14th St., NW
Washington, DC 20009
Phone: (202) 387- 7638


  • 3-course Dinner + soft drinks + 1 drink ticket
  • Cash bar
  • Networking and lots of fun!


  • Early bird by October 05: US$ 55.00 per person – includes tax, gratuity, one drink ticket, non-alcoholic beverages
  • Regular price by October 22: US$ 60.00 per person – includes tax, gratuity, one drink ticket, non-alcoholic beverages


Advance payment required.

Please send payments via PayPal to no later than October 22.

Include the full name of the people attending in the notes. Sorry, no refunds!

After this date, check for availability before sending payment.

For more information, visit our website or Facebook page.



  • Busboys House Salad (Vegan/Gluten-Free)

ENTRÉE (Choice of One)

  • Fried Chicken (Gluten-Free) – herb cornmeal-encrusted chicken breast with a chardonnay cream sauce; served with mashed potatoes and collard greens
  • Blackened Salmon (Gluten-Free) – with lemon-butter sauce and served with wild rice and asparagus, topped with tomato corn shallots salsa
  • Tri-Color Quinoa (Vegan, Gluten Free) – red quinoa, asparagus, spinach, red peppers, yellow peppers, roasted tomatoes, shallots, olive oil sauce
  • Vegan Stir Fry (Vegan) – soy “chicken”, snow peas, baby carrots, shiitake mushrooms, red onions, ginger sesame sauce, brown rice


  • Assorted Cookies and Brownies


  • Fountain Drinks (unlimited sodas and iced tea)
  • Coffee
  • 1 drink ticket
  • Cash bar


Thanks for your support to the Portuguese Language Division!

Mirna Soares, Administrator

Érika Lessa, Assistant Administrator

QUESTIONS? Contact Elenice Araujo

August 30, 2017

Member Spotlight: Let’s Meet Abner Dmitruk


Abner Dmitruk

Where I live
Florianópolis, Brazil. I have always lived in the southern part of Brazil, alternating between São Paulo and other cities in the South, which is sort of my favorite part of the country.

What I do
Medical translation, mostly clinical trial documentation, from English into Brazilian Portuguese. I have also recently started translating from German and renewed my interest in literary translation.

Pride and joy
The millions of words I have processed (translated, edited, proofread, adapted, validated, etc.) over an eleven-year career as a language professional. Also, I’m proud of having started very young, fueled by a simple but sincere pleasure in handling language as if it were some modeling compound I couldn’t take my hands off. I’ve always felt a creative energy that has found an outlet in a variety of translation subjects: from early social media to 50 Cent’s autobiography, which I started translating when I was still 18 for publication by a major publishing house in Brazil.

I took a diversity of undergraduate courses (Languages, Philosophy, History) without actually completing a full academic program, and my translation background consists mostly of hands-on experience. I do love to study, however, and have recently decided to go into English literature again. It is definitely not directly related to my work as a medical translator, but doing literary research and translation is a career path I would like to pursue in the future.

Why do I belong to the PLD?
Being a member of professional translation communities has brought me nothing but positive experiences, such as professional specialization, educational opportunities, networking, and some close friendships.

Major challenge(s) in my career
Specializing in medical translation was a challenge, since most of my educational background was in the humanities and arts, so it was a radical shift. I also find it hard now adapting to fast-changing technologies, especially when it comes to the current automation trends. I’m fairly confident that there will be work for talented professionals, but it will be different work. Will I like this new work? Will it feel as engaging as it does today? This is a constant challenge for me, to which I am responding day by day by developing new efficiencies. My position doesn’t feel as comfortable and safe as I’d like it to be, but I am sure that translation is just a small part of the large changes technology is constantly bringing to society.

On my nightstand
I rarely read just one thing at a time. I’m currently reading Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, Roland Barthes’ interesting collection of essays on modern cultural phenomena, entitled Mythologies, and Petrarch’s poetry collection, Canzoniere. I’m also reading Seamus Heaney’s English translation of Beowulf, one of the oldest texts of English literature, an epic poem that was a major influence on Tolkien and is rendered surprisingly accessible yet powerful and poetic by Heaney’s modern verse.

Current project
I am working with documentation for two separate clinical trials on extremely rare genetic conditions. The research is intensive and I am reading things I know practically nothing about. It is demanding, but it feels good to be somehow a part of the effort.

TerezaBragaMembers are interviewed by Tereza Braga, former PLD Administrator and current member of the PLD Leadership Council. Tereza has dual citizenship and a freelance business based in Dallas. She specializes in corporate communications and is ATA-certified in both directions.