The following is a brief write-up of the JAT Board Q&A session at the Tokyo JAT meeting on Saturday, November 10, by Helen Iwata.
- What are the requirements to hold an IJET?
IJETs are held in Japan on even years and overseas on odd years. The Board accepts proposals more than one year in advance. A committee of at least four people – a chair, treasurer, program coordinator, and facility coordinator – is required. Volunteers should be prepared for a great deal of hard work and hassle. The Board is updating an IJET manual, which includes FAQs. The results of the recent IJET survey will appear on the JAT website soon. IJET will be held in Okinawa on April 12 and 13, 2008 and in Sydney on February 14 and 15, 2009.
- What has happened to the members only part of the JAT website and where are member profiles?
The JAT website was renewed two months ago, as explained in e-mails from the Webmaster, Jed, to each member. JAT now has a content site at http://jat.org and a members site at http://members.jat.org. Members can now make their own profile changes and select privacy settings. Profiles can be found at http://member.jat.org/ followed by the member’s username (e.g., “hiwata” for Helen Iwata). Members can include the link on business cards and other promotional material. The new JAT website is now bookmarkable, which means Google will start to recognize us.
- Is it possible to video JAT meetings and IJET sessions?
Meetings and IJETs can be recorded provided someone volunteers to do the taping and editing, and the speaker agrees (a number of people volunteered). Concern was raised that videoing might reduce attendance, but most agreed that being there in person has added benefits. Videos will be made available to members only on the JAT website. On the subject of volunteers, it was suggested that JAT have a “volunteers needed” section on the website.
- Does JAT have plans to help improve translator quality other than the translation contest?
Not at present. Mike Sekine is working hard to publicize the contest. Concern was raised about whether the cost of the contest outweighed the benefits, but most agreed that the publicity and ability to attract new talent to the organization outweighted the cost. Mike also commented that he is negotiating with Tsuyaku Honyaku Journal to run a series of articles by JAT members.
- Which is more important, the quantity or quality of JAT members?
The consensus appeared to be that both are important; everyone was a beginner at some point.
- What does the Board do (members hear little of Board activities)?
Board meeting minutes are posted on the website. In addition to day-to-day running of the organization, the Board pays attention to topics raised on the mailing list and responds as appropriate. The Board arranged for a zeirishi to speak in response to list questions about taxation.