June Monthly Meeting: Translating in the Fields of Foreign Affairs and Diplomacy
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Date(s) - 06 / 29 Tuesday / 2021
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm


NYCT June 2021 Member Online Meeting
Tuesday, June 29, 6-7 pm Eastern Time via Zoom
Presentation Topic:
Translating in the Fields of Foreign Affairs and Diplomacy
Joe Mazza 
Presentation Description:
Translating in the areas of foreign affairs and diplomacy requires mastery of an extensive lexicon of diplomatic terms. In this presentation, Mr. Joe Mazza, chief translator at the Department of State, will briefly explore the history of diplomatic translation from antiquity to the present, introduce some of the key terms in diplomacy, including but not limited to: official titles, document types, and interesting jargon encountered in this exciting genre of translation. Mr. Mazza will also share his own story as a diplomatic translator and discuss career paths and recruitment needs.  Keeping the session interactive, attendees will have the opportunity to ask Mr. Mazza questions.
Speaker Bio:
Raised in suburban Philadelphia, Joe Mazza began his language training at the knees of family members from Italy and Poland who had passed through Ellis Island in the early 20th Century.  He graduated from Central Bucks High School East (1979), where he studied French, Spanish, and Russian.  He earned a BA in International Relations from George Washington University (1984), completing studies in Chinese.  He joined the US Navy’s Translation Unit (1984), working in Slavic and Romance languages, including Italian and Portuguese.  Mr. Mazza joined the State Department’s Office of Language Services (LS) in 1989 as a translator of Romance languages.  During the 1990s, he studied Arabic at night school.  Key assignments at the State Department included work in Geneva on the 6-language Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and onsite translation support at Summits of the Americas in Miami and Santiago, Chile.   In 2006 he became Chief of LS’s Translating Division, with responsibility for most State Department translations.  Mr. Mazza has worked to build a top-notch corps of translation project managers at LS, including teams versed in Computer-Assisted Translation (CAT) tools and multilingual Desktop Publishing (DTP).  He also streamlined efforts to translate annual State Department publications, such as the Human Rights Reports.  He has worked with the Interagency Language Roundtable (ILR) to develop the ASTM Standard Guide for Quality Assurance in Translation and the ILR Skill Level Descriptions for Translation Performance.  He has spoken at every ATA annual conference since 2006 and published articles in the ATA Chronicle and the ATA’s Savvy Newcomer blog.  Mr. Mazza taught ESL at a community school (1993-2003) and returned to teaching (2015) as an instructor of Spanish/English translation with the University of Maryland’s Graduate Studies in Interpretation and Translation (GSIT) program.  From 2016 to 2020, Mr. Mazza served two terms as the elected Administrator of the ATA’s Government Division.
Q&A will follow the presentation.
ATA CEP available for ATA-certified translators
Free for NYCT members
$10 all non-members: please pay via PayPal
RSVP deadline:
6 PM Eastern Time on Saturday, June 26
or as soon as the maximum capacity is reached.
Please consider joining the NYCT
and contact the NYCT administrator Natalia at
with any questions regarding the membership.
Terms and conditions:
  • Everyone must RSVP and pay (if applicable) before the deadline. The registration will be closed at 6 PM Eastern on Saturday, June 26. Please act fast!
    • If you pay but do not register, you will not receive any meeting info, and your payment will be forfeited.
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  • It is at the presenter’s discretion to share the presentation deck with the NYCT to be shared with the members at a later date.
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Looking forward to “seeing” you at this meeting!