Archive: May 2016

  1. The President’s Corner

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    Hello, ATI members!

    The ATI Board got together in January during the ATI Annual Strategic Planning annual meeting and we are excited about the activities that we have planned for our members during 2016! This year, we will offer three workshops; one in the spring, one in the summer and one in the winter.

    We held our first workshop of the year in stunning Prescott, Arizona at the historic Superior Court Building which was hosted by our new treasurer, Carlos Reyes, head of the interpreting department. The Spring workshop was held last weekend at Estrella Mountain Community College. Thanks to Karee Peigne, director of the medical interpreting program, for their hospitality and continued support of our organization.

    This year, the ATI Annual Conference will be held in Phoenix on Saturday, October 1, 2016 at Maricopa Integrated Health Systems located at 2601 E Roosevelt St. in Phoenix, AZ.

    Last year, we implemented a brand new benefit for our members is the ATI Member Directory. Language services providers will be able to search by several categories such as working languages, location, areas of specialization, etc. This tool will provide access to potential employers looking for translators and interpreters in Arizona. We hope to facilitate communication between LSP’s and freelancers/independent contractors. If you are not a member and would like to become one, register online and gain access to all of the benefits that ATI offers.

    I would like to welcome Arizona Translators & Interpreters, Inc.’s newest Board members. Lucy Matticoli-Mason has joined the ranks as interim vice president. Lucy Matticoli-Mason has worked for over 16 years as a freelance translator concurrently with a full time position as a Translation Project Analyst with JDA software Group, Inc. Lucy is fluent in Spanish, English and Italian and holds a Certificate of Translation from the Department of Languages and Literatures at Arizona State University. She lives in Prescott and is a member of the American Translators Association. Flavia Lima joins the ATI Board once again but this time as secretary. She lives in Phoenix and is a member of the American Translators Association. Holly Holmes is a freelance Portuguese-English translator and researcher at Language Artisan with specialties in education, arts and entertainment, business, and government/non-profit. Holly has two degrees in music performance, and after a decade working as a jazz musician, arts administrator, and music professor, Holly is also completing a PhD in Ethnomusicology in 2016.  She resides with her husband in Tucson, where she also conducts research for Lead Guitar, a non-profit arts organization that provides music education programming for schools in Arizona, Colorado, and Oklahoma. Last, but not least, is Carlos Reyes, our new treasurer. Carlos M. Reyes is the Senior Court Interpreter for the Yavapai County Superior Court. He has been a professional interpreter for the past 7 years and is an alumni of the National Center for Interpretation at the University of Arizona.

    ATI takes pride in representing translators and interpreters from all areas of the profession. Feel free to contact any of us for additional information about our membership benefits or activities.

    We look forward to seeing all our members throughout the year during our workshops and/or annual conference. Please feel free to contact any of us with your questions or inquiries about the association. We are here to serve!

    Thanks again for your continuous support of ATI. See you soon!


    Francesca Samuel, ATI President

  2. Respecting our Language by using it more

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    Arabic language

    Image Credit: LUIS VAZQUEZ/Gulf News

    Respecting our language by using it more

    We respect and appreciate the Arabic language, which grants Arabs their identity

    By Mohammad Hassan 
Al Harbi, Special to Gulf News
    Published: 17:00 April 4, 2016

    Gulf News

    The declaration of 2016 as the Year of Reading is a very wise and marvellous decision. The initiative comes at a time rife with challenges and adversities that target the identity of peoples and nations, as well as their cultural characteristics.

    The question here is, can we come to respect our language by using it more, spreading it and making it desirable to use?

    Reading does not only enrich knowledge and culture and nourish the imagination, it also signifies what the Arabic language means for Arab, Islamic and other communities. After all, reading endears the language to people and strengthens it, and is also linked to expanding the minds of readers so they can contribute more to their societies and nation.

    Arabic is a language, and therefore it is a source of identity that helps distinguish one society from another, especially during the globalisation era where boundaries no longer exist. Creative initiatives, such as the UAE’s Year of Reading, have always been positive indicators on the vitality of peoples and nations and their continued advancement. It is hard to imagine a nation or people that have achieved a high level of sophistication and modernisation, and their vision and aspirations without a creative initiative. Constructive initiatives are always present in vibrant societies, because such initiatives are a launch pad that injects fresh blood into the nation and allows for the reformulation of goals, making them easier to accomplish.

    The Year of Reading basically means 365 days of reading. It involves a person reading anything from daily papers to magazines. During those days in the Year of Reading, a person renews or forges a new relation with Arabic text. Not because Arabic alphabets are more beautiful than those of other languages, which we respect and appreciate, but as a language that grants an Arab their identity, rendering it clearer and livelier in light of privacy intrusions caused by globalisation. Therefore, the text reaffirms an Arab’s existence, filling him or her with pride.

    The relationship with the Arabic language must quite simply be stronger and more encompassing than ever before. This is something that we have to remind ourselves of on a daily basis, and this is required due to an ever-changing world. The Year of Reading is a time to assess ourselves and ponder why we have neglected the Arabic language, and what has tempted us to choose an alternative one? When do we start mending this relationship with our language and how do we go about it?

    The Arabic language was neglected by its own people; the same ones who claimed that they were the valiant protectors of the language and that they were responsible for its preservation, ensuring that it was respected and developed.

    Those same protectors claimed that they did not fear that the Arabic language would ever become extinct, neglected or wither away. They broke their vows. They should be told that the duty of preserving the Arabic language falls primarily on Arabs and Muslims, who must ensure that the language is used in a correct way, grammatically, and enforcing it as the official language for correspondence, authorship, education and day-to-day communication in all Arab countries.

    Throughout history, Arabic played a central role in shaping the Arab character, and the greater Arab and Islamic Nation. It also contributed to shaping a conscience, culture, knowledge and schools of thought. Without it, we would be nothing. The question that arises here is, what have we done to reinvigorate the Arabic language, and how serious are we about revitalising it? What are our plans and programmes that can reflect our eagerness to bolster the Arabic language?

    For us to realise how important any language is to its people, we can recall the story of a soldier fighting in the Spanish Civil in 1936-1939, who kept firing his gun and refused to surrender despite the fact that all his comrades were killed. The leader of the opposing force told his fighters to refrain from firing and wait until the attacker ran out of bullets. Once the soldier was captured, the leader of the opposing force asked the soldier why he did not yield. The soldier revealed a piece of paper containing a poem by Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca, and replied: “This is what I’m defending!”


    Mohammad Hassan Al Harbi is a writer and journalist.