Check Out This Year’s PLD-Related Sessions

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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.

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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.

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