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Thread poster: biankonera

biankonera  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 14:52
Italian to Latvian
+ ...
Aug 16, 2006

I was reading articles on getting established and in many of those becoming a member of a professional association is mentioned as one of the key aspects.

Now the problem that Ive faced is that in my country there is no such association. Well.. there is one that calls itself an association however I was advised not to bother with it since its only like some interests' club not a serious association as is understood in other countries.

So I was wondering maybe somebody else has been in a similar situation and could share some advise/experience? All other comments are more than welcome also of course.:)

Thanks!



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xxxLatin_Hellas
United States
Local time: 13:52
Italian to English
+ ...
Practical Experience And Specialization Count The Most Aug 16, 2006

I have been in the translation business for more than ten years, spanning Europe, the US, and South America, I have never joined (paid fees to) any translation association, and I have done reasonably well. Recently I joined (pay fees to) some business associations, and I have gained nothing, though I still continue to do well in my fields of specialization.

Translation of literature does not pay well, if at all. I imagine that business ties between Italy and Latvia center around Italian sales of specialized machine tools to Latvian companies, or something similar. In any case, learn about business ties between the two countries and develop a specialization in a technical field related to those ties, at the least by reading as much as possible about the field in both languages or, better, through direct work experience in the field in both countries. Then seek opportunities through translation agencies or, better, with companies directly involved in the field.

If you find a professional association to join, there is one certainty: you will pay fees. Uncertain is whether you will find enough work to make a living simply because you pay fees to an association.

Of course, education and accreditation are helpful to making a living as a translator, in some cases essential for landing particular jobs. However, it is also possible to be bilingual or multilingual through life circumstances and to develop a specialization in several languages through life and work experiences in many useful, practical fields, and make a living as a translator, in some cases a decent living.

In either case, whether or not you join a professional translation association, developing some technical specialization in Italian-Latvian may prove to be a very handsome niche indeed: in addition to Italy-Latvia trade, there are Italian companies with direct investments in Latvia.

Good luck


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DehaTranslation
Local time: 15:52
English to Turkish
+ ...
Translation Associations Aug 16, 2006

Well this is also a problem here in my country. We have one here and planned to pay fees and be a member thereof. However we have thought about what advantages that could bring us in practice even though that may seem prestigious at first sight. On the other hand, there are, however, some translation associations, for instance, in England, subject to a certain payment of yearly fees, say 50 pounds per year. (We can advise you about names of such associations when and if you need..)

Regards to Latvia...


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 13:52
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Joining is always a good idea Aug 16, 2006

bramasole wrote:
Now the problem that Ive faced is that in my country there is no such association. Well.. there is one that calls itself an association however I was advised not to bother with it since its only like some interests' club not a serious association as is understood in other countries.


Translators' associations are not all alike. In some countries, they're mostly freelancers, whereas in other countries, they're mostly academics. But joining such an association can only be good for you. Just think of all the advantages of joining.

I would not regard joining such an association as essential, but it's always good to meet other translators. If you're so dissatisfied with the "official" organisation, why not organise a stammtisch, and see where it leads you? I recently organised two in my province, and although they were fairly poorly attended, those who did attend, seemed eager to meet again and again.


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Anjo Sterringa  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:52
Member (2003)
English to Dutch
+ ...
English/international organisations for linguists/translators Aug 16, 2006

Another possibility, as your language combination involves English:

Organisation: The Institute of Linguists (IOL)
URL: http://www.iol.org.uk
Description: The Institute serves the interests of professional linguists throughout the world and acts as a respected language assessment and accredited awarding body.
http://www.ealta.eu.org/links-organisations.php

ITI has a large and growing international membership of translators and interpreters, not just in the United Kingdom but also in continental Europe and other countries where English is commonly used. Different levels of membership are on offer to suit translators and interpreters with varying amounts of experience, from newcomers to the industry to experienced professionals.
http://www.iti.org.uk/indexMain.html

Search the forums for ITI and IOL for more info.

HTH

Anjo



[Edited at 2006-08-16 11:16]


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 13:52
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
What are the real benefits of joining foreign associations? Aug 16, 2006

Anjo Sterringa wrote:
ITI has a large and growing international membership of translators and interpreters, not just in the United Kingdom but also in continental Europe and other countries where English is commonly used.


I often wonder what would be benefits be of joining an association in another country. The usual benefits of an association are:

* The association represents and promotes the translation industry in the press, in governent and in business in that country and is able to make authoritative pronouncements on various issues
* The association organises meetings of translators
* The association organises conferences for translators
* The association might offer accreditation of some kind.

Of the above four benefits, only the 4th one can be of any advantage to non-local members. Am I right?


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Ritu Bhanot  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 13:52
Member (2006)
French to Hindi
+ ...
Associations Aug 16, 2006

Well, I've been thinking of joining one for some time... and am still undecided... I mean how do you decide when all associations are in other countries... I thought of joining SFT and then while comparing I found that http://netaweb.org/ charged a lower fees... but then is it really a good association?

How does one decide?


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Anjo Sterringa  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:52
Member (2003)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Situation may be different in Europe Aug 16, 2006

Samuel Murray wrote:

The usual benefits of an association are:

* The association represents and promotes the translation industry in the press, in governent and in business in that country and is able to make authoritative pronouncements on various issues
* The association organises meetings of translators
* The association organises conferences for translators
* The association might offer accreditation of some kind.

Of the above four benefits, only the 4th one can be of any advantage to non-local members. Am I right?


You might take into account that Latvia is part of the EU now.
* Tendency is towards European rather than (or: in addition to) national standards.
* Accreditation by IOL and ITI is better known than many national accreditations by translators' organisations.

This is even more the case if your customers are in the UK or not in your home country.

You see - it all depends....

[Edited at 2006-08-16 14:44]


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:52
German to English
+ ...
professional associations Aug 16, 2006

Samuel Murray wrote:

I often wonder what would be benefits be of joining an association in another country. The usual benefits of an association are:

* The association represents and promotes the translation industry in the press, in governent and in business in that country and is able to make authoritative pronouncements on various issues
* The association organises meetings of translators
* The association organises conferences for translators
* The association might offer accreditation of some kind.

Of the above four benefits, only the 4th one can be of any advantage to non-local members. Am I right?


+ Private online networks (general; regional; subject-specific; language-specific; for new entrants)
+ Regular journal and other publications
+ Discounts on products and services (especially CAT tools and liability insurance)
+ Mediation in the event of disputes
+ etc. etc.

Meetings and conferences in the association's country: it depends how easy it is to travel there. Also, some association events are open to members of other countries' associations on preferred terms.

Marc


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biankonera  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 14:52
Italian to Latvian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
different ideas Aug 16, 2006

thanks to all of you for so many different points of view and ideas! its really useful for me as now I can look at it all from other perspectives.

Samuel - meetings conferences and accreditation is exactly the kind of benefits I was thinking of considering a possibility to join an association, however at least with AITI it seems a bit impossible (at least for now) since they have tests just for Russian and not for Latvian, while the Latvian one as I mentioned before is not a serious thing.

Anjo - I absolutely agree with you: being a member of such association could be a good thing with clients outside my home country as I mainly work with Italian agencies. This brings to forefront another aspect in all this matter for me - the reason why I work for Italian market is because in Latvia the market is tiny and one can not survive really from earnings that come from translations (unless you have another - more "serious" - job).

Anyway it appears to me I will have to do some more thinking now and decide if I want certain payments and uncertain bonuses such membership could provide me or if this all association thing should remain on the level of an idea.


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Stephen Rifkind  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 14:52
Member (2004)
French to English
+ ...
Best Advertising Aug 16, 2006

I gathered from the previous comments that some of you are not enthusiastic about assoications. I have found that that is the best "advertising" I have ever done. I have gotten many new clients whom I would never had a chance to show my work, in many cases without having to low bid my work. I am a member of the Israel and American, but not the French association, since the last one has too many bureaucratic requirements. (I am suprised that they don't require me to take a blood test!). Professional associations are clearly better than most internet sites in my opinion.

Stephen Rifkind


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French Foodie  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:52
French to English
+ ...
Agree with Stephen Aug 17, 2006

Stephen Rifkind wrote:

I gathered from the previous comments that some of you are not enthusiastic about assoications. I have found that that is the best "advertising" I have ever done. I have gotten many new clients whom I would never had a chance to show my work, in many cases without having to low bid my work. I am a member of the Israel and American, but not the French association, since the last one has too many bureaucratic requirements. (I am suprised that they don't require me to take a blood test!). Professional associations are clearly better than most internet sites in my opinion.

Stephen Rifkind


I live in France, but have memberships with professional organizations in Canada as well. I do not get many clients through them, but the ones I have received are not agencies. They are long-term, high-paying end-clients who are a joy to work with and offer interesting projects. Even if you only get one such client a year through an association, it is *well* worth the membership fee.
Interestingly enough, I get more clients through my Canadian association than I do the French one.


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