Activity in professional association

Muriel was active in professional associations during much of her career. Her first affiliation was with The American Association of Language Specialists (TAALS) in the 1960s and early 1970s, during which time she held the offices of treasurer and later secretary of the association and edited its annual directory. In the 1970s she joined the Guild of Professional Translators and was a frequent contributor to its publication, the Professional Translator. In the early 1980s she joined the National Capital Area Chapter of the American Translators Association (NCATA) and began contributing regularly to its newsletter, and in 1985 she joined its parent, ATA itself, and was an active member for the next 10 years (see separate section below).

In parallel, Muriel developed a growing interest in machine translation, an interest that was first sparked by her work on the Georgetown University Mechanical Translation Project in 1956-1960. Two decades later, when her employer decided to develop machine translation, she became deeply involved and eventually went on to take an active role in the creation and leadership of the International Association for Machine Translation and the Association for Machine Translation in the Americas (see separate section below).

ATT Chronicle

American Translators Association

ATA is a professional association founded to advance the translation and interpreting professions and foster the professional development of individual translators and interpreters. Today it numbers over 10,000 members in more than 90 countries. Muriel was active in ATA from 1984 to 1994, during which time she served as chair of the Committee on Computers and Translation and was a regular contributor to the ATA Chronicle. ATA certified her proficiency in Portuguese-English and Spanish-English translation in 1986.

Below are some of her articles on translating and the computer as well as tributes to two ATA icons. She also edited and contributed to Technology as Translation Strategy, volume 2 in the American Translators Association Scholarly Monograph Series.

A terminal case. ATA Chronicle 17(2):4, Feb 1988.

A view of Japan and a Japanese view of translation technology. ATA Chronicle 18(6):14-16, Jun 1989.

A visit to Bravice. ATA Chronicle 18(7):12-13, Jul 1989.

An international association for machine translation. ATA Chronicle 22(6):1, Jun 1993.

Aslib “Translating and the Computer 8”. ATA Chronicle 16(1):8, Jan 1987.

Astrid Johansen, 1926-1989. ATA Chronicle 18(3):4-6, Mar 1989.

ATA asks members to opine on machine translation. ATA Chronicle 22(6):1, Jun 1993.

ATA members turn out peak performance at MT Summit III. ATA Chronicle 20(9):1 Sep 1991. With Alex Gross.

ATA to sponsor study on MT for the PC. ATA Chronicle 21(9):1,  Sep 1992.

CRIT Translation Weekend, SUNY Binghamton, 23-25 June 1989. ATA Chronicle 18(9):21-22, Sep 1989.

Debate-MT: Who needs it? ATA Chronicle 19(10):7 & 28, Oct 1990.

For Friends of the User-Friendly. ATA Chronicle 16(9):4, Nov 1987.

Future directions for JE MT. ATA Chronicle 19(2):12-14, Feb 1990.

Getting together to get it together. ATA Chronicle 17(7):10-11, Jul 1988.

How soon is soon? ATA Chronicle 17(3):4-7, Mar 1988.

Japan report: final installment. ATA Chronicle 18(8):19-20, Aug 1989.

Letter to the editor. ATA Chronicle 22(4):14, April 1993.

Letter to the editor. ATA Chronicle 20(2):25, Feb 1991.

Machine translation evaluation workshop and showcase. ATA Chronicle 21(4):17, April 1992.

Machine translation to be featured in San Diego. ATA Chronicle 21(10):17, Sep 1992.

Machine translation update. ATA Chronicle 22(4):21, April 1993.

MT evaluation attracts speakers and participants from around the world. ATA Chronicle 21(10):3, Oct 1992.

News notes: 35th anniversary of machine translation at Georgetown University. ATA Chronicle 18(4):15, Apr 1989.

Open letter to all members of ATA. ATA Chronicle 20(11):22, Nov 1991.

More articles on articles in ATA Chronicles

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MT News International

International Association for Machine Translation and Association for Machine Translation in the Americas

In the 1970s and 1980s there was little communication between machine translation users, developers, and vendors, who tended to regard one another with disdain. These groups were brought together for the first time in 1987 at the Machine Translation Summit in Hakone, Japan, convened by Professor Makoto Nagao of Kyoto University. Soon thereafter Professor Nagao created the Japanese Association for Machine Translation. In April 1989 Professor Nagao convened a second meeting in Japan, focusing on MT users, and invited Muriel to participate. At that meeting Professor Nagao, Veronica Lawson, and Muriel discussed the strategy for creating an international association. Talks on this subject continued in August 1989 at MT Summit II in Munich. In Munich it was decided to hold MT Summit III in Washington, DC, in 1991. Muriel was entrusted with local arrangements and spent the next two years preparing for the Summit and, in parallel, laying the groundwork for creation of the International Association for Machine Translation (IAMT). As planned, IAMT was created at the time of MT Summit III, in July 1991, with while MT experts were gathered from around the world. In addition to this umbrella organization, its three semiautonomous components were also formed at that time: the Asia-Pacific Association for Machine Translation (AAMT, an offshoot of the Japanese Association), the European Association for Machine Translation (EAMT), and the Association for Machine Translation in the Americas (AMTA).

Professor Nagao was elected the first president of IAMT and AAMT; Professor Margaret King, the first president of EAMT (and president-elect of IAMT); and Muriel, the first president of AMTA (as well as secretary of IAMT). Muriel held the AMTA presidency until 1996. In 1995 she became president-elect of IAMT and began to devote herself to organizing MT Summit VI, to be held in San Diego in 1997. That meeting, attended by over 400 participants, was a great success. In 1999, at MT Summit VII in Singapore, Muriel became the third person to receive the IAMT Lifetime Achievement Award. In addition to holding offices in AMTA and IAMT, for a number of years Muriel edited and published the official IAMT journal, MT News International. Below are some of her articles that appeared in MTNI.

MT News International
Newsletter of
the International Association for Machine Translation

AMTA launches certification initiative, aims for international adoption. MT News International, issue 21, Feb 1999, pp. 1-2.

MT Summit IV features “International Cooperation for Global Communication” MT News International, issue 6, Sep 1993, pp. 1-4. With John Hutchins.

ATA (continued) (continued)

Response to John F. Bukacek’s “Machine translation: boon or boondoggle”. ATA Chronicle 22(1):1,5 & 7, Jan 1993.

San Diego count-down: speakers confirmed for MT events. ATA Chronicle 22(10):11,Oct 1992.

Sound and Light in Seattle. ATA Chronicle 17.(11):6-7, Nov 1988.

Special report: MT Summit II. ATA Chronicle 18(11):20-21 & 28, Nov 1989.

Translating and the Computer 8: Report of the 1986 Aslib Meeting. ATA Chronicle 16(1):8, Jan 1987.

… Deanna Hammond. This tribute to the memory of past ATA president Deanna Hammond, written by Muriel with contributions from Jane Morgan Zorrilla and L, Chris Miller, was circulated at the 1997 ATA Conference.
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