Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sci-Tech Division Open House

By Stephanie Strobel

The Sci-Tech Division stood out during Division Open-house following the Opening Reception at the ATA Annual Conference. The Sci-Tech Division table featured a creative construction toy “Super Marbleworks Raceway Construction Set.” It was well received by members of the division and particularly appreciated by out-going president, Nick Hartman, who said, “This is why I plan to become very involved in the Sci-Tech Division. These are my people!"

Why did a construction toy strike such a chord? Could it be Joy of Technology? Perhaps “Marbleworks” is the embodiment of technical translation. Technical translation is creative writing and it's active. Buildings go up; a hole goes into the ground; equipment is taken apart or reassembled; the page is displayed or a message is sent. Once the “Marbleworks” raceway is built, the marble "goes round and round and comes out there." Understanding of gravity and momentum guide the construction. It’s very satisfying the way gravity works to create the fun. It’s also very satisfying to see the way our knowledge of science and technology makes things happen.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Annual Conference Division Open House

Division Open House
Wednesday, 7:00pm - 8:00pm

Meet and mingle with members from all 16 ATA Divisions!

ATA Divisions are professional-interest groups providing specialty- and language-specific information and networking to assist their members in today's competitive marketplace. Don't miss this opportunity to get to know them all.

A variety of desserts and coffee will be available.
Open to all ATA conference attendees.


Dear S&TD members,
I am writing on behalf of the Leadership Council. We would like to thank all of you who took the time to respond to the survey we sent out in June 2011. Your responses have been very helpful in determining how we can better serve the division’s 1,300 members.
We received 113 responses and we are happy to observe from this sample how diverse our division is. Years of translation experience range from less than five years (25%) to more than 21 years (28%). We are glad that the services provided so far have proved helpful to maintain the interests of both novices and established professionals. Moreover, the opinions and impressions from such a mixed group have offered the Leadership Council a rounded understanding of the existing needs.

One remarkable finding from our survey is the breadth of subject matter areas in which our members specialize: from engineering and IT to waste and microphotolithography. The figure below shows the self-defined areas of expertise of those who responded.

Questions were asked about the services that the division currently offers or could consider adding. The chart below shows responses. Information on the art of translation and specific subject-matter advice are particularly interesting to our respondents.
We have been and will continue covering these areas in our blog[1] and mailing list[2]. Plans are in the works as to how to address these topics on our website. If you have not yet visited these online communities or visit them infrequently, get in the habit so that you do not miss all the great information! Further, if you have experience and expertise in a specific area that you would like to share with your fellow members, tell us. You can start a thread on the mailing list or ask a member of the Leadership Council individually if you prefer.[3]
Among the responses were requests for information on topics that are not pertinent to our division, such as which translation tools to use. We will avoid areas that are already covered by other ATA divisions and mailing lists, but we will share links to the other ATA divisions on our website.
Finally, our respondents have also noted that they visit such social networking sites as LinkedIn (73%), Twitter (19%), and Facebook (33%) for professional purposes at least occasionally. We do have accounts for the first two options, so if you would like to take advantage of getting news from us and your fellow members through those media, sign up to our group on LinkedIn[4] and follow @ATASciTech on Twitter.
While we can collect your opinions through such surveys only periodically, your comments and suggestions are always valuable. We appreciate your continued feedback on how our division is doing. You can contact us openly at any of the networking opportunities mentioned above, or contact any of us privately.
On behalf of the Leadership Council,
Karen Tkaczyk, Acting Division Administrator

Thanks to the members of our Leadership Council and Jamie Padula at ATA Headquarters for help with preparing and analyzing the survey.

[3] Email sent to goes to the division administrator