April 4, 2014
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San Antonio was great fun

- Christina Ávila de Menezes (PLD member) -

First of all, congratulations to everyone involved in making the ATA 54th Annual Conference such a great success. I would like to express my sincere appreciation for your hard work. I had a great time at the conference. It was really fun to see old friends and make new ones. San Antonio was a pleasant surprise. Very friendly people, beautiful city and great weather!

One of the highlights for me was the new app. Another was the new job exchange format, the Résumé Exchange, which turned out to be a real happening! The new in-person format, with the clear identification of who’s who through the use of red and green stickers, was very interesting and optimized the time we had to meet potential clients.

Another aspect I enjoyed, and it was just sheer luck having it that way, was all the conference rooms being on the same floor, making it much easier for us to move from one session to another, visit the exhibit hall and mingle with our peers.

The diversity of subjects covered by the sessions was also very welcome, and I decided to take advantage of it, dive into new waters and try different areas. It was really fun.

The sessions I attended were very interesting, and even though the speakers were focusing on serious topics, they managed to do it in a lively way. I had a great time attending John Moffitt’s sessions, although I don’t work in the oil and gas field. I also enjoyed the session presented by Geoffrey Westgate. I’ve been working with terminology database software for such a long time, but it never occurred to me how this kind of software was created. The session was very enlightening. I also enjoyed other sessions, like Time for a New Hip?

I’m also glad that my good friend Tania Penido practically dragged me to Harry Obst’s session. I had no intention of attending it because it was about interpreting. Silly me; it would have been a shame to miss a great speaker and a true living legend. I learned a lot about life as an interpreter and about life itself in his session.

At the end I realized that I had missed some sessions that were in my initial schedule. To some extent, I guess this was due to the emphasis on interpreting this year, which is not my field. But I must admit also that the difference caught my attention and I ended up leaving the supposedly known and useful aside. I believe that after a number of conferences, some people tend to look for something fresh, to expand their field of knowledge. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t explore more deeply the challenges of our profession, how to solve the problem of finding the perfect option for hard-to-translate words, how to market ourselves or how to charge for our work. What I’m saying is that sometimes it’s refreshing to learn about other people’s life experiences, especially when these people end up being such great storytellers, like Harry Obst and John Moffitt.

Christina is a freelance translator based in Rio de Janeiro who loves travelling, jazz, great food and exquisite wine in the company of family and friends. She is ATA-certified for English into Portuguese.