We are pleased to announce that Ecuador now has its own translators association: the Translators and Interpreters Association of Ecuador (Asociación de Traductores e Intérpretes del Ecuador-ATIEC). It was formally registered with the Ministry of Education on September 12, 2007, although it has been functioning informally since the end of 2006.
It all started a couple of years ago with half a dozen translators and would-be translators who decided to set up an online Yahoo Translators Group to exchange e-mails on terminology, help each other out on large translation jobs, work on glossaries, keep abreast of news in the wide world of translation, prepare for certification exams, send each other articles and tips, etc.
In 2006, it was decided to widen the membership of the Yahoo Group, which is now comprised of 162 translators, interpreters, and students from all parts of Ecuador. As a result of this response and growing interest in a more formal structure, meetings were held to discuss the details of establishing an Association, draft its bylaws, and build up the momentum for its functioning.
In contrast to the Yahoo Group, which is still operating but is a highly informal and flexible Internet-based community, ATIEC intends to bring together all those in Ecuador who have the academic background and work experience required to qualify as professionals in the field of translation and interpreting. At present, the Association has 18 members, but it is expected that more translators will soon be joining.
ATIEC has already organized Ecuador's first ATA certification exam sitting, which took place in Quito on September 8, 2007 with a proctor from Colombia and 14 participants. A free short course on consecutive translation was provided on October 20 and attended by 23 translators and interpreters. Many other events are being planned.
One of the Association's cornerstones is a Code of Ethics that all members must pledge to abide by. ATIEC hopes to educate the Ecuadorian public and translation customers about the broad-ranging and complex field of translation, encourage young people interested in languages to opt for a career in translation, help practicing translators upgrade their skills and keep in touch with other associations, and promote quality at all levels of the translation process.
ATIEC has a highly diverse and hard-working executive board comprised of 9 members, from Argentina, Belgium, Ecuador, England, France and the United States, who have been meeting every Wednesday evening for close to a year to process the paperwork that is required to consolidate the Association's legal and professional status, review membership applications, examine certification options, promote the profession in the media, organize seminars and workshops, and build an informative website.
We believe this is a historical milestone for the translation and interpreting professions in Ecuador.
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