Five things I learned at the CATI conference – 27 April 2013

May 13, 2013 EOAlfonso 2 comments

I attended the 26th annual Carolina Association of Translators and Interpreters (CATI) conference took place at Cape Fear Community College in Wilmington, NC on April 27, 2013.  I personally salute the board of directors and the conference chair, Graciela White, for their roles in planning this successful event.

The BB&T Auditorium was large enough to house all the conference attendees, exhibitors, dining tables, and buffet tables, thereby eliminating the need for a separate dining area. Wireless internet was available, a boon for social media users.

The keynote speaker was Dr. James Nolan.  His presentation was entitled Interpreting in The International Arena.  The highlights I found from his address were the following:

  • Interpreting is cultural mediation;
  • It is better to have the most qualified person speak through an interpreter than to have a unprepared bilingual individual; and
  • If translation and interpretation are dehumanized through digitization, how does that bode for other fields, such as medicine?

Afterward, there was a CATI general meeting, and our president John Milan introduced us to the rest of the board. Someone had the great idea to solicit questions before the conference.  Although I was not happy with the answers to my queries, they did provide insight.  Additionally, the president responded to my questions electronically, so I didn’t have to wait until the conference to receive the answer.  That was professional; I was impressed.

After lunch, two breakout sessions were held.  I selected the interpreter session Improving Your Memory, presented by Javier Castillo.  I believe that with some practice, this memory tool can be an asset for me.  Almost everyone has said at least once, “in the first place…,” “in the second place…,” “in the third place…”  That comes from the journey method.  Practice your memory for 15 minutes daily; you’ll enjoy watching it grow.

There is always a student panel between these two sessions.  I never participate, so hopefully a student will write a blog on how productive the panel is for aspiring translators and interpreters.

The final session was my first conference performance to a number of brave colleagues, Introduction to Judiciary Interpreting.   If you were at the conference and chose my session, it would mean a great deal to me if you will comment on this blog.

Five things I learned:

  • I must lead the cause for CATI2014 to come to the South Carolina Upstate
  • Joining Toastmasters is an excellent and necessary investment for interpreters
  • Be the catalyst for change and provide solutions
  • Conference speaking is an awesome experience
  • Observe board meetings by Skype

Since CATI touts itself as an association for both Carolinas, I will be a loyal foot soldier and work to bring this conference to South Carolina in 2014.  People can marvel at Main Street, walk on our bridge in Falls Park, bring their bikes and running shoes with them, and ride and run the Swamp Rabbit trail.  I love Greenville, and I want the rest of my colleagues at CATI to love it also!

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