ATIA Spring Social: Edmonton (May 5, 2018)

It's time for another ATIA social event in Edmonton! Join us for an evening of great Greek food (pay your own way) and outstanding conversation. It's a great opportunity to meet and network with other ATIA members in a positive atmosphere! Take the night off and join us! Please RSVP to development coordinator, Nakita Valerio, at by April 30, 2018 at the latest to confirm your place. Clicking "GOING" on Facebook does NOT count as confirmed attendance.


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ATIA Spring Social: Calgary (April 28, 2018)

It's time for another ATIA social event in Calgary! Join us for an evening of great Greek food (pay your own way) and outstanding conversation. It's a great opportunity to meet and network with other ATIA members in a positive atmosphere! Take the night off and join us! Please RSVP to development coordinator, Nakita Valerio, at by April 23, 2018 at the latest to confirm your place. Clicking "GOING" on Facebook does NOT count as confirmed attendance.


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Call for ATIA Member Volunteers: Law Day 2018



Law Day is a nationwide day of activities to commemorate and celebrate our nation's adoption of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, organized by the Canadian Bar Association, with cooperation and funding from the Alberta Law Foundation and the Law Society of Alberta. The goal of Law Day is to increase public awareness, knowledge, and understanding of our laws and our legal system. ATIA participates annually as a way of informing others about the presence and importance of legal interpreters and certified translators in the field of law. SIGN UP for a 2 hour shift and represent our Association with pride, meet other members and enjoy the day!

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Court Interpreter Mini-Course - Calgary

These unique mini-courses are provided voluntarily by court judges, prosecutors, and lawyers. Court interpreters can learn the vocabulary and procedures for court.

The lectures will take place several times year. The topic will be different each time, and will always relate to criminal law. After the lecture, there will be a Q&A session with the speakers.

Details and Registration Information

Date: April 12,2018 (Thursday)
Time: 12:00 noon to 1:30 p.m. (please arrive 15 minutes early to register)
Location: 20th Floor Conference Room, Calgary Court Centre, Calgary, Alberta

TOPIC: Specialized Prosecutions

Who: Crown Peter MacKenzie, the Honorable Judges Brown & Mah, Crown Rob Bassett, Kelsey Sitar, Alan Pearse

We are very pleased to have Peter MacKenzie speaking on special prosecutions.  He is one of the most senior barristers at the Calgary Office, and is currently the Executive Director of Specials.

PLEASE NOTE:  If you sign up with Carmen, PLEASE SHOW UP!  We calculate our food purchases based on the number of registered attendees.  All the lawyers and judges involved work for free, and our only monetary goal is to break even.  THIS IS HARDER TO DO IF YOU SAY YOU WILL BE THERE AND THEN DON’T SHOW UP!

TO REGISTER contact Carmen Aguilera at

Space is limited to 35 participants, so register early!
Registration deadline: April 9 end of day

If you register, and are unable to attend please cancel your registration as lunch and materials are based on the number of attendees.

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ATIA Blog: Why Become a Translator?


As soon as you begin to pursue a dream, your life wakes up and everything has meaning. 

— Barbara Sher

Some people know what-they-want-to-be-when-they-grow-up shortly after they come out of the womb.  For others, it’s a slow realization, and by the time they leave high school, they are on their way to realizing their dream career.  Some, unsure, ponder the options and might change careers and jobs until they find their true calling.  And then, there is me who thought I never really had a “calling,” until now that is.

After working thirty years as an accountant in the Oil and Gas industry in Calgary, I found myself without a job.  The company I was working for was going through tremendous financial difficulties due to the recessive economy and—like many other companies—laid off many of its employees including myself.  I loved my job, and it was great while it lasted, but I knew it was not my true calling

I was envious of people who had a dream and followed it!  I never had a vision for myself.  But I always loved languages, reading, and writing.  After losing my job, I decided to start a blog, something I wanted to do for a long time.  My first articles were in English; later on, to reach a broader audience, I decided to start translating them into Spanish—my mother tongue.  One day, as I was happily pounding my keyboard while working on my translations, the idea of becoming a Translator hit me on the head like an awakening brick!  At that moment I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up!  I knew what my calling was!

I had no idea how to go about, but I was entrepreneurial and put an add on Kijiji advertising my services.  Shortly, I received a call from a potential customer, after a few interactions she asked me if I was “Certified.”  I did not get the business since I wasn’t a Certified Translator, but it opened the door to the exciting world of Translators and Interpreters.  I started looking into it, and I found ATIA (Association of Translators and Interpreters of Alberta). 

Since finding ATIA, I’ve been right on track with their program.  I’ve attended every workshop ATIA has put on so far, and I’m preparing for the first two exams you must pass—Code of Ethics and English Comprehension.  ATIA has welcomed me with open arms, and every member I have met so far has been warm, friendly, and talented! 

The Translation and Interpreters industry is booming with the prediction that demand for their services will increase fifty percent by the year 2020; this is excellent news for people starting like me as well as for established translators and interpreters. 

Can just anyone who speaks more than one language become a Translator?  Not necessarily.  To become a translator, you need to be familiar with the culture behind the languages you will be working on.  You need to be extremely motivated and have the ability to work independently since most translators and interpreters are freelancers.  You need to have excellent writing and reading skills.  You also need to be very proactive in promoting your services and finding clients.                        

Strangely and whimsically, I realize now that I have been preparing for this my whole life.  I’ve made a point throughout the years to be fluent in Spanish and English by speaking, reading and writing in both languages.  Being at a “certain age,” while some people are thinking of planning on retiring, I’m excited and feel renewed at the opportunity of a new career!


Paulina Ponsford was born in Chile and has lived most of her adult life in Canada.  She worked as an Accountant for thirty years in the Oil and Gas industry in Calgary.  At the same time, she always wanted to connect with people at a different level and for this reason, she became a volunteer Fitness Instructor and later on a Certified Facilitator in the area of human interaction.  Paulina is now preparing to become a Translator and Interpreter in the languages of English and Spanish.  Paulina also loves to travel and embraces what different cultures have to offer.  She is also an avid reader and some of her favorite authors are Paulo Coelho, Khaled Hosseini, Mark Mustian, and Isabel Allende.  If you would like to know more about Paulina, check out her blog at where she shares some of her thoughts, insights, and experiences. 

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ATIA Professional Development: The Ethical Translator/Code of Ethics Exam

The Association of Translators and Interpreters of Alberta (ATIA) presents...

Professional Development Workshop

"The Ethical Translator" & Passing the ATIA Code of Ethics Exam

with Instructors Houssem Ben Lazreg and Regina Landeck


Event Details:

Saturday, March 3, 2018 - 10:00am - 3:30pm - Londonderry EPL, Edmonton - Londonderry Mall

10:00am - Registration and Welcome

10:30am - MORNING SESSION: Lecture and Discussion on the ethical neutrality of translators/interpreters as agents of sociopolitical change with Instructor Houssem Ben Lazreg

12:00pm- Brown Bag Lunch - Some refreshments will be provided but please bring a brown bag lunch as well

1:00pm - AFTERNOON SESSION: Interactive training session and discussion for successful completion of the Code of Ethics Examination with Instructor Regina Landeck

The Instructors:


Houssem Ben Lazreg is currently a PhD. candidate, freelance translator/interpreter, and a teaching assistant for French/Arabic at the Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies at the University of Alberta. He was a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant of Arabic at Michigan State University from 2010–2011. He is a holder of a Masters degree in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). His latest publications include a translation of the novel "Screwballs by Catherine Mardon, "A Woman Walking Inside Me by Nizar Qabani" in Transference: Vol. 4 and co-author of the article “Marjane Satrapi and the Graphic Novels from and ` about the Middle East.” in Arab Studies Quarterly.

His research interests include politics and translation, Middle Eastern graphic novels, and Islamist militant movements. His recent experience includes service in translation and interpreting for The Family Center, Translation Agency of Manitoba, Precision Language Services in Edmonton, EZ Translation Company in Rochester, New York, and as a volunteer translator for the United Nations. His instructing experience includes work as a teaching assistant in both French and Arabic, as an ESL instructor and as an instructor of Foreign Language education at various institutions including: Indiana University of Bloomington, The American Language Institute at Nazareth College, Center for Maghrebi Studies, West Virginia University, the Canadian School of Public Service and the University of Alberta.


Regina Landeck has been running her translation company, ProLingua Consulting, since 1998. She is a certified member of ATIA for German to English and English to German. Her educational background includes a Law Degree from Germany, a Post-graduate Diploma in Adult Education from the University of Alberta and a Master’s Degree in Translation from the University of the West of England. She has many years of experience teaching English as a Second Language, has developed online teaching materials and currently edits German language courses for Athabasca University. In addition, she teaches the ‘German to English Legal Translation II’ course in the Translation Certificate Program at New York University. Regina has been on Council of ATIA since 1995 and has served as the President of ATIA since 1998. She is very active within the professional community at the provincial and national level.

To register:

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The Best Online Tools for Professional Translators


If you are working as a professional translator, especially in a freelance capacity, you know that there are plenty of things that need to be managed in order to make your client work proceed smoothly. Luckily, there are plenty of tool available to aid with managing everything from your clients, to documents and invoices, and everything in between. Below are five of our favourite online tools for professional translators – check them out!

1. Online Encrypted Clouds like DropBox, Google Drive or Sync: Online clouds are essentially folders on the internet or downloaded to a folder on your computer which allow you to share documents easily. You can share with all of your devices by downloading corresponding apps on your phone, tablet and computers so you are never without a much-needed document, no matter which device you happen to be using! You can also access the content even without your devices through the internet by logging into your account. You can also easily share documents with anyone from around the world and have the ability to either share cloud accounts or single documents and folders instead of having to email attachments all the time.

Some benefits of these clouds include: all of your documents being a single place that cannot be destroyed, even if all of your devices break down; most of these options are completely free or very close to free; and they are highly secure as they are fully encrypted services. You can keep all of your business neatly organized in folders in your cloud, from translation documents to blog posts you write to invoices – it is a handy centralizing tool that can make your work a lot more stream-lined. And the more organized we are, the better work we do!

Great options: Google Docs and Dropbox – free

Best option: – For a small monthly fee, you keep your cloud services based in Canada with this Ontario company.

2.  Google Docs: Google Docs is an online, cloud-based word processing platform that is quick and helpful when you need to collaborate on documents with other people. Rather than doing your word processing in Microsoft Word or Apple Pages, you write and edit your document on a Google server that is connected to the internet. All documents can be downloaded at any time and are automatically saved as you edit. This can be handy for translators who use copy-editors or proofreaders, particularly as margin comments can be added and any changes by any involved users are highlighted. This helps with avoiding having to send documents back and forth via email and running the risk of working on the wrong versions or having messy formatting changes as the document is passed back and forth. Oh, and it’s free – you just need a Google account to access it.

3.  Online appointment keepers: If you have ever had to set up a meeting with a client to discuss the details of a project in person or over the phone, you know there can be a lot of emails back and forth in an attempt to find a suitable time to chat. There are, of course, apps and webpages to help with that! One that is well-received by professional translators online is which is cloud-based and allows you to easily set your availability and book appointments. All of these appointments can easily be synced with your Google Calendar to ensure continuity if that is your email host. Once you pass the link onto your clients, they will be able to see when you are available in your online calendar and can book themselves in whenever works for both of you!

4. Social Media Marketing Tools like Buffer or Hootsuite: Gone are the days where word-of-mouth can solely be relied upon for professional translators to get new clients and projects for work! The importance of self-marketing for freelancers cannot be overstated, and few places is this more important than on social media. Social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram and so forth, offer us the opportunity to connect with new and existing clients, to send updates to our followers with great ease, and to generate a buzz around ourselves and our services. This can feel overwhelming for some professional though – after all, their work is in translation, not social media management! Fear not as there are easy-to-use options online that will make your life a lot easier. These social media management tools allow you to schedule content to all of your social media accounts in advance. It also allows for centralized access to your analytics so you can see how your audience is interacting with what you do – all from a single, user-friendly dashboard.

5. Invoicing Templates: After all is said and done, professional translators still need to get paid and this leads to the sometimes arduous task of needing to invoice our clients. You can save time with your invoicing by using online software that can help create templates that you then store in your online, encrypted cloud for ease of access later on (especially during tax season!). Whether you search for free templates that you can download or you build the invoice yourself by using Google public templates, it is sure to make the management of your invoices a lot more professional and streamlined. And you will save time too!

What are your favourite tools?

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Reminder: Upcoming Examination Information!


Certification Examination - May 12, 2018

Information and the link to register can be found on ATIA's website in the Member's section ( Please ensure that you have met the requirements and completed your excel spreadsheet before submitting payment for the examination.

Cost: $245

Registration Deadline: January 31, 2018

The Certification Examination is administered as per CTTIC's instructions.

Anyone wishing to write this examination must be a member in good standing with ATIA (paid their dues for the current year and has no pending disciplinary matters before ATIA), and selected the “Accept Terms” on their website profile. Associate Members must pass the certification exam within 6 years of admission as Associate Member in any specific language combination. If you became an Associate member in 2013 (5 years ago) you will need to pass this exam or retake the next Associate-level exam.

Associate-level examinations

As member of ATIA you are welcome to register for the upcoming Associate-level translation examinations. The link to register for the English Proficiency examinations is no longer on the website, but if you would like to register please let me know.

Here are various scenarios:

  • If you are a member as 
    • a translator for XX-EN and you would like to add EN-XX, 
    • a translator for EN-XX and you would like to add XX-EN, 
    • an Interpreter (court, medical, or community) and you would like to add translator to your designation,
  • please register to write the next English Proficiency examination (member deadline: February 26) by contacting Examination date: Saturday, March 10, 2018 Cost: $30.
  • If you are a member as
    • a translator for EN-XX and you would like to add English into another language
    • a translator for XX-EN and you would like to add another language into English
  • please wait and register for the next Associate-level Translation examination. The registration for this will be on ATIA's website ( by March 19. The examination will be held on April 14.

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Court Interpreter Mini Course Calgary - February 2, 2018


Where:          20th Floor Conference Room,

                      Calgary Court Centre  

When:           February 2, 2018, 12:00 – 1:30  

Topic:           Calgary ECR Unit:

                      “What’s Changed Since Jordan?”  

Who:            The Honorable Judge Mah

Rob Bassett (Crown)

Kelsey Sitar (Defence)                      

Price:            $15.00, lunch will be provided  

RSVP to Carmen Aguilera by January 30 so that food can be ordered and receipts prepared. 


We are very pleased to have one of our newest members, Rob Basset, take point on this lecture (Yeah Rob!)  

The Early Case Resolution (ECR) process is a crucial aspect of the Calgary justice system.  When assisting your clients, many (if not most) will have lawyers using this system.  

As stated previously, these lectures will take place several times year.  The topic will be different each time, and will always relate to criminal law.   

To register, please contact Carmen Aquilera at   

Questions, comments and general insults should be directed to Alan Pearse at

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Good Writing Is Good Business

Margaret Chandler, who has been delivering grammar and punctuation workshops for ATIA for the last few years, has recently published a business writing book – Good Writing Is Good Business: Your go-to guide to stylish and successful business writing. Margaret is a teacher, writer, and editor and runs a communications company, Green Fuse Inc.


Good Writing Is Good Business is a comprehensive guide (360 pages)  that includes advice on planning and prewriting, a grammar and punctuation refresher, a review of style principles (clarity, concision, energy, and flow), a discussion of editing strategies, and much more. With plenty of examples, exercises (and an annotated answer key), and appendices (including one for writers whose first language is not English), this book is a great resource for anyone who writes (or translates) on the job.

Good Writing Is Good Business is available on Amazon for circa $23.00 at

If you would prefer an e-book (PDF, Mobi, or ePub), please visit All the e-book versions have a hyperlinked index and are regularly $15.95. For ATIA members, Margaret is offering a discount on the e-books until December 31. You can buy the e-book for the reduced price of $13.25 using the coupon code ATIA2017.

If you would like more information on the book or are interested in bulk orders, please contact Margaret at

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Improve your English grammar and editing skills by taking a workshop!

Improve your English grammar and editing skills by attending the English Grammar and Punctuation for Language Professionals in Calgary on Saturday, February 10, 2018, or in Edmonton on Saturday, February 24, 2018

Register on our website to attend this information and interactive workshop taught by Margaret Chandler!

Poster: English Grammar And Punctuation For Language Professionals 2018 January

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ATIA Mentorship Program - Call for Certified Member Mentors


Experience the power of knowledge sharing by becoming an ATIA mentor! 

If you are a certified ATIA member, you have the opportunity to benefit from developing a reciprocal mentorship relationship with an associate ATIA member.

As ATIA is piloting this project, we are currently in the first phase: mentor recruitment. If you are interested in the possibilities below, email our Development Coordinator, Nakita Valerio, at today to be listed in our online directory as a willing mentor. Associate members can then search mentors in their language combinations.

Both members will agree to the ATIA Letter of Agreement/Understanding and your relationship will be underway!

  • Mentors assess mentee translations and provide feedback
  • Mentees gain insight into the practicalities of translation
  • Mentees may ask mentors to proofread client work
  • Mentors may assign certain texts for translation, may ask for glossaries or research to be conducted, and can provide first-draft translations for students to learn from
  • There is the possibility for a mentorship relationship to count towards ATIA Professional Development Policy requirements (To be announced) in the near future

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Translators & Interpreters Public Information Session


Currently, ATIA is doing outreach in cultural communities which represent a large demographic of the Albertan population but whose interpretation and translation professionals have yet to be certified with our Association. Certification is crucial for official document and legal translations, and to ensure the highest possible standard for final products. All of our members adhere to the best ethical standards in the profession and are actively sought out by clients in government, industry and the public.

Are you interested in becoming a certified translator and/or interpreter? Are you already doing the necessary work of translation and interpretation in your cultural community? Do you want to start the process of certification or learn more about why it is important?

Join the Association of Translators and Interpreters of Alberta (ATIA) for a public Information Session:

Tuesday, December 5, 2017


Jasper Place Edmonton Public Library (9010-156 Street, NW, Edmonton)

At the session we will cover the following subjects:

·         How to get involved in the profession

·         How to serve your community better

·         Why certification matters for professionals

·         The benefits of becoming a certified member of ATIA

·         Career advancement through translation/interpretive services

Refreshments will also be provided. To register, contact ATIA Development Coordinator, Nakita Valerio -

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ATIA November Social in Edmonton


The Association of Translators and Interpreters of Alberta (ATIA) is hosting a November Social. Join us to meet and network with other ATIA members, enjoy a delicious meal together, and partake in fun activities.

Please note that the restaurant is completely vegetarian in order to accommodate most food preferences. Allergies can conveyed to the kitchen at the time of ordering.

RSVP to ATIA Development Coordinator, Nakita Valerio, by October 31, 2017:

Only members who have RSVP'd can attend as our reservation space is limited. Thank you and hope to see you there.

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TransLit 11

The TransLit Editiorial Board, in cooperation with the Association of Translators and Interpreters of Alberta (ATIA) and the Literary Translators’ Association of Canada (LTAC), is proud to invite you to an intimate book launch in celebration of TransLit: Volume 11. POSTER

Thursday, October 26, 2017
Bogani Cafe
2023 111 Street, Edmonton

21 Authors. 22 Translators. 12 Languages.

TransLit 11 is a stunning compilation in celebration of world literature and diverse global cultures. Take a narrative journey with us from the shores of the Americas through Eastern Europe and into the Far East.  

Please note:

  • Copies of TransLit 11 will be available ($20 + GST)
  • Food and beverages will be available for purchase
  • Bogani Cafe is LRT accessible and has public parking

 Please RSVP at https://translit11yeg.eventbri... in order to make arrangements for attendees. There is no cost associated with this event.

TransLit Volume 11 includes texts from twenty-one authors and twenty-two translators in twelve languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Hungarian, Latvian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, and Vietnamese.

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