BUSINESS…FIRM THRIVES ON FLUENCY IN LANGUAGES

April 2, 1993 – The Signal

A Valencia company has translated the Tower of Babel into an exciting and growing business.

In fact, when you need to translate Hungarian, Tagalog, Punjabi or any of the estimated 150 languages and thousands of dialects worldwide, America Translating Services has someone on staff who can help.

ATS provides experienced and state-certified interpreters and translators to meet virtually any need – legal and medical fields, conferences, seminars, meetings and guided tours of foreign delegations.

This unusual business started when owner Rosa Steventon began as a part-time interpreter for physicians in Valencia.

Immigrating from Cuba 23 years ago, Steventon actually pursued a career in real estate.  However, as demand grew for her linguistic talents, she realized that there was a definite need for such service in the Los Angeles area.

“I closed escrow on my last piece of real estate and began going floor-to-floor along Ventura Boulevard,” she said.  ATS has grown in 11 years to a staff of about 130 full-time and on-call specialists in languages.

ATS specialists have worked in jails, in criminal and civil proceedings and translating technical documents for international corporations.

“We are one of the few companies that provides both translators and interpreters,” she said.  “Most places just provide one or the other.”

One of the most glamorous assignments is escorting foreign dignitaries and their wives on tours of the Southland.

“We follow the tone of voices and gestures, particularly in court testimony, when we are translating,” she said.

A challenging task is avoiding indifferences of politics when acting as an interpreter.  “This is very important when we are working for people from such places as the regions, in what used to be Yugoslavia, and the republics of the former Soviet Union,” she said.

While some people lump together Spanish-speaking people, Steventon said, “There are 19 Spanish dialects in Los Angeles”.

She sees a growing need for her services in the Santa Clarita Valley.  We translate manuals for companies doing business in other countries,” she said.  “We also translate state regulations regarding working conditions and workers’ compensation, for workers in many local plants.”