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Why is ATA certification not recognized (by a job poster in the US)?
Thread poster: Jennifer Smith
Jennifer Smith
Local time: 00:07
Spanish to English
+ ...
Jul 6, 2004

I've seen the following on two different job postings:

Certification a plus (note, however, that we don't recognize ATA certification).

So, I'm wondering if anyone has any insight. Especially since this one came from a US-based source.



[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2004-07-07 14:03]


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 02:07
SITE FOUNDER
Was it the same outsourcer? Jul 7, 2004

It does seem an odd condition. Was the poster of the two jobs the same?

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Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:07
German to English
+ ...
Maybe they want a degree? Jul 7, 2004

Maybe their being imprecise with their terminology and really want someone with a degree, not "just" certification?

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Jennifer Smith
Local time: 00:07
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Same outsourcer Jul 7, 2004

Henry wrote:

It does seem an odd condition. Was the poster of the two jobs the same?


Yes, in fact, it was the same outsourcer, which I didn't realize until you asked. When I took a closer look, the outsourcer is in the US, and the first thing I found was that they are ATA-accredited. I'm just curious why that would be.


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Rosa Maria Duenas Rios  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:07
I am as intrigued as you are! Jul 7, 2004

So intrigued, that in fact I wrote a private e-mail to the agency asking if they would mind explaining why was so. I am still awaiting their answer. The most amazing thing is that the agency's contact person profile shows that he is certified by ATA!!!! I really hope that they can clarify their reasons because, if other potential clients think as they do, then I might reconsider paying my annual due to the ATA... I really wonder why it would have such a not so good reputation...

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Jennifer Smith
Local time: 00:07
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Let me know what you hear:) Jul 7, 2004

Rosa Maria Duenas Rios wrote:

So intrigued, that in fact I wrote a private e-mail to the agency asking if they would mind explaining why was so. I am still awaiting their answer. The most amazing thing is that the agency's contact person profile shows that he is certified by ATA!!!! I really hope that they can clarify their reasons because, if other potential clients think as they do, then I might reconsider paying my annual due to the ATA... I really wonder why it would have such a not so good reputation...


That's exactly what I was thinking about doing, too. I'm so glad you wrote to them.

Being relatively new to this business, I am not ATA certified, yet. However, I have been considering it. This made me wonder if it was really worth it. So, let me know what you find out.

Also, while we're at it, any thoughts out there on the benefits/pros/cons of ATA certification?


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Marsel de Souza  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 03:07
English to Portuguese
+ ...
ATA certification pays Jul 7, 2004

Hi Jennifer,

Also, while we're at it, any thoughts out there on the benefits/pros/cons of ATA certification? [/quote]

I have been a certified member of the ATA (English > Portuguese) for about a year now and I can only see advantages to it. The ATA certification is undoubtedly a valuable asset since it enjoys an excellent reputation among some outsourcers. Over the past year, I have received some direct offers from agencies that found my name in the ATA online directory. One or two did not even ask for a résumé before they gave me the job.


It is really strange that an outsourcer would come up with such a strange requirement.

Best regards,
Marsel.
Brasilia, Brazil


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BelkisDV  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:07
Spanish to English
+ ...
Don't give it a second thought Jul 7, 2004

How often have you seen such a request or requirement from a job poster? I smell something fishy and it's not my socks...

I wouldn't let it discourage you from taking the ATA's certification exam, it's another feather in your cap. Academic credentials are often harder to verify because the outsourcer often can't tell whether or not the courses taken were "crash courses" (1 or 2 day courses), semester hours, etc.


Regards,
Belkis

[Edited at 2004-07-08 00:01]


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Bianca Adriaensen  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:07
English to Dutch
+ ...
Not strange at all Jul 7, 2004

It is really strange that an outsourcer would come up with such a strange requirement.

Best regards,
Marsel.
[/quote]

As most Dutch outsourcers look at Dutch equivalent certification, this is not really strange.... If kept up-to-date on a regular basis though all means, and in all fields involved, one could have noticed that ATA and other certifications do not exactly guarantee full payments, quality translations as it all did a couple of years ago.... Maybe this poster just had a couple of bad experiences either way due to ATA certification...


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Rosa Maria Duenas Rios  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:07
Hopefully, the person/agency who posted the job/comment will read this thread... Jul 7, 2004

Marsel de Souza wrote:


I have been a certified member of the ATA (English > Portuguese) for about a year now and I can only see advantages to it. The ATA certification is undoubtedly a valuable asset since it enjoys an excellent reputation among some outsourcers. Over the past year, I have received some direct offers from agencies that found my name in the ATA online directory. One or two did not even ask for a résumé before they gave me the job.


It is really strange that an outsourcer would come up with such a strange requirement.

Best regards,
Marsel.
Brasilia, Brazil



... and clarify all our doubts.

Even if I completely agree with Marsel and have had a similar experience, I am interested in knowing why ATA's reputation might not be so good, or what were the bad experiences encountered with ATA certification.

I agree that having a certification from a reputable body is always useful, but NOT having a certification does not mean that the translator is any better or worse than those who do have one.

Let's hope a clarification will come!


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BelkisDV  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:07
Spanish to English
+ ...
I still wonder Jul 8, 2004

Bianca Adriaensen wrote:

As most Dutch outsourcers look at Dutch equivalent certification, this is not really strange.... If kept up-to-date on a regular basis though all means, and in all fields involved, one could have noticed that ATA and other certifications do not exactly guarantee full payments, quality translations as it all did a couple of years ago.... Maybe this poster just had a couple of bad experiences either way due to ATA certification...


Hi Bianca,

Why then state that s/he is ATA certified? That\'s what doesn\'t make sense to me. No one can require you to list that you\'re ATA certified. As far as quality is concerned, I believe the ATA\'s quality standards are raised continuously. A few years back anyone could take the examination without proof of experience or academic background in T&I, now you need one or the other in order to qualify for an exam sitting. Full payment guarantee...well I regret to say no one can guarantee that.

Regards,
Belkis


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Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:37
English to Tamil
+ ...
Perhaps the outsourcer got the ATA certification too easily Jul 8, 2004

And hence is not himself impressed by it. Only he can say. I have heard from many sources that the ATA membership just means that the member could afford its fees and nothing else. Whether this extends to the certification for a specific language pair, I don't know. I am reminded of Woody Allen, the American comedian, who once applied for a membership to a prestigious club. When his application was approved, he didn't follow up saying that he was not impressed by a club that admitted people like himself. Some psychological problem seems to be involved here.

Regards,
N.Raghavan


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BelkisDV  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:07
Spanish to English
+ ...
Maybe they can't afford an ATA certified translator Jul 8, 2004

Narasimhan Raghavan wrote:

And hence is not himself impressed by it. Only he can say. I have heard from many sources that the ATA membership just means that the member could afford its fees and nothing else. Whether this extends to the certification for a specific language pair, I don't know. I am reminded of Woody Allen, the American comedian, who once applied for a membership to a prestigious club. When his application was approved, he didn't follow up saying that he was not impressed by a club that admitted people like himself. Some psychological problem seems to be involved here.

Regards,
N.Raghavan


Hello Narasimham,

You're correct by saying membership only means the person can afford the fees; however, that only makes you an Associate member. In order to become certified you must pass an exam which is, by no means, easy. In fact, more than 1/2 of the candidates who take the examination the first couple of times do not pass. More recently, the ATA has come up with "practice" tests you can take and have an idea of whether or not you're ready for the real thing based on the grade you obtain. I may add that the exam itself is 3 hrs. long, must be handwritten (which it's a hindrance in itself...no computer!), has 8 pages of instructions you must follow (they send you the instructions prior to the exam sitting) and is graded by 3 different members.

I wonder if the organization who posted the jobs is just a member of the ATA (companies are not certified, individuals are); however, our colleagues have stated that one of the posters IS certified in at least one language pair (as I understand it). That's what still has me scratching my head. (Could it be that they SAY they don't recognize ATA certification because the translator will charge a reasonable fee and not accept 2 cents per word?)

Regards everyone,
Belkis

[Edited at 2004-07-08 11:28]


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Andrea Bullrich  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:07
English to Spanish
OT Jul 8, 2004

Narasimhan Raghavan wrote:
I am reminded of Woody Allen, the American comedian, who once applied for a membership to a prestigious club.


That would be Groucho Marx, I believe.
Cheers,
Andrea (ATA certified)


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Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:37
English to Tamil
+ ...
Thanks for setting the record right Jul 8, 2004

I actually thought it was Bob Hope but was not sure. Groucho seems to fit the role better.
Regards,
N.Raghavan

Andrea Bullrich wrote:
That would be Groucho Marx, I believe.
Cheers,
Andrea (ATA certified)


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