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ATA - American Translator's Association: what are the benefits of membership?
Thread poster: Sophia Hundt
Sophia Hundt  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:11
Russian to English
+ ...
Sep 1, 2006

I was curious if everyone who is a member or has considered becoming one could fill me in on the benefits of doing so, if any. For example, are you able to expand your business by joining?

They even have a Midwest branch (I live in Wisconsin). Anybody could tell me about that?

Thanks a lot in advance,
Sophia Hundt

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2006-09-01 23:21]


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Vladimir Dubisskiy  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:11
English to Russian
+ ...
i'd ask someone from that Midwest branch Sep 2, 2006

Really, - I would)

I mean they had to have some reasons to join ..

V.

Sophia Hundt wrote:

They even have a Midwest branch (I live in Wisconsin). Anybody could tell me about that?

Sophia Hundt

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2006-09-01 23:21]


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:11
English to Spanish
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Marian Sep 2, 2006

Ask Marian Greenfield, you'll find her among the leaders here in Proz, she's the president of the ATA.

I'm sure she'll give you some good answers.


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Thor Truelson  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:11
Swedish to English
+ ...
The ATA is a must for you... Sep 2, 2006

Hi. I am actually in Minneapolis. I have become active in the ATA, and will be the new Administrator for the Nordic Language Division starting in November. You will definately increase your business by joining the ATA. Especially if you become certified. I am not sure what kind of work you find on Proz, but I can say that, for me anyways, there is absolutely nothing on here that ever interests me. The Kudoz thing is great, but the jobs are crap. The only time I ever got stiffed was from an outsourcer on here. Since you're into literature, you should maybe think about ALTA as well. They're having a conference out in Seattle next month. I will be presenting a Scandinavian workshop there. I can give you more information on that if you like. There is a Midwest chapter of the ATA called UMTIA. They cover Minnesota, Wisconsin and the Dakotas. They are having something on the last weekend of September somewhere in Minneapolis. I went to their first conference 4 years ago. It was not very interesting, nor were they very organized (although that was when they very first started up). It was mostly a lot of medical interpreters running around shaking hands with one another. I haven't been back since. I saw their program and it looks like more nonsense planned for this year as well. It's a very grass roots sort of thing mostly aimed at Spanish interpreters. Unless you're trying to get into court or medical interpreting in the Twin Cities (which doesn't pay anything), you might not find an UMTIA conference very interesting. There are very few programs aimed at people who only translate, or who work with languages outside of the most common ones in Minneapolis; Spanish, Hmong, Somali and Russian. The ATA, however, is a different story. Their big annual conference is in New Orleans this year, over the first few days of November. If you're a serious translator, or even just semi-serious, it absolutely behooves you to go. There you can meet all kinds of people, including literary folks, Slavic language folks, and all sorts of other folks. This is where you learn how to get started, and you can talk to people who know what they're doing (unlike an UMTIA conference where most people are totally clueless). ALTA is a literary translation organization, and if you specialize in that, that might be a good option. Book fairs are a good place for literary translators to look for work. I know some of the Swedish translators will be at a big one in Gothenburg later this month beating the bushes for an author looking to break into the North American market. Being ATA certified naturally would help increase your marketability to potential literary clients. Certification isn't offered in all languages, but Russian and German into English certainly are. Anyways, I get contacted all the time off the ATA directory from clients looking to pay real money. It's the best advertising money you can spend in the US translation market. I bet since you do Bulgarian to English and you're a native speaker of English, you'll get a lot of interest in that combination. Good luck.

Thor


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bohy  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 08:11
English to French
+ ...
ATA certification is worth it Sep 2, 2006

Hi, not sure I got much profit from my ATA membership... until I was able to take the ATA certification exam, and pass it. Since then, I got contacted directly in several occasions (agencies and direct customers), for serious jobs, without any problem about rates and payment.
ATA certification is not very easy, especially because it is with paper dictionaries and hand-writing, and the passing rates are not that high, but if you translate and write well, it's certainly worth minimal training.
Consider, however, that your ATA certification is valid for 3 years, unless you spend some additional money on ATA continuous training. It's a business for them too, anyway


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 02:11
SITE FOUNDER
Echoing Thor's sentiment regarding ATA - but not ProZ.com! Sep 2, 2006

Thor Truelson wrote:

... I am not sure what kind of work you find on Proz, but I can say that, for me anyways, there is absolutely nothing on here that ever interests me. The Kudoz thing is great, but the jobs are crap. The only time I ever got stiffed was from an outsourcer on here...

I echo your recommendation of joining the ATA, Thor, but as for your experience here, you might get better results with a complete profile and a professional attitude. Even becoming a member won't help you meet clients if you don't have these two things.


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Marian Greenfield  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:11
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
a few comments Sep 2, 2006

Hi Sophia,

As Henry H. mentioned, I am currently the President of ATA... However, even before I became President, I have always said that I built my entire freelance business on my ATA and New York Circle of Translators (my local ATA chapter) activities.

Virtually every single client I have is a personal contact I made through ATA, NYCT, or my teaching activities, or through a recommendation from one of my personal contacts.

For many years I managed translations at JP Morgan and all the translators I hired were also personal contacts, mostly made at ATA Annual Conferences.

Besides the networking benefits and the contacts made through the Translation Services Directory, there are 13 or 14 Divisions, which are special interest groups, including the newest Division, which focuses on providing iup-to-date information on technology to the membership.

Here is a list of some of the other member benefits taken from
http://www.atanet.org/membership/index.php#benefits

a subscription to the Association's professional journal, The ATA Chronicle;
job information through The Chronicle advertisements and the Annual Conference Job Marketplace;
the opportunity for individual and corporate members to be listed in the Translation Services Directories , ATA's online searchable database of translating & interpreting professionals;
the benefits of joining and participating in any of ATA's 13 divisions;
discounted professional liability insurance customized for the translation and interpreting professions;
discounted disability and life insurance policies;
discounted overnight letter and express delivery services through UPS;
reduced registration fees for educational events, such as ATA annual and regional conferences;
numerous networking opportunities through division listserves, website forums, and ATA networking events;
the opportunity to participate in the ATA certification program;
discounted Dun & Bradstreet collections and receivables management services;
access to the online ATA Membership Directory in up-to-date electronic format;
a no-fee ATA MasterCard with the ATA logo, pending approval of credit;
discounted credit card acceptance services; and
the satisfaction of doing your part to promote the profession.
quote]Sophia Hundt wrote:

I was curious if everyone who is a member or has considered becoming one could fill me in on the benefits of doing so, if any. For example, are you able to expand your business by joining?

They even have a Midwest branch (I live in Wisconsin). Anybody could tell me about that?

Thanks a lot in advance,
Sophia Hundt

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2006-09-01 23:21] [/quote]


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Dyran Altenburg  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:11
English to Spanish
+ ...
ATA membership is worth paying for Sep 2, 2006

Thor Truelson wrote:
You will definately increase your business by joining the ATA. Especially if you become certified. I am not sure what kind of work you find on Proz, but I can say that, for me anyways, there is absolutely nothing on here that ever interests me.


I totally agree.

Other than worth of mouth, ATA membership has always been a source of top-rate jobs for me (in every sense of the word).

--
Dyran


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Eva T
English to Albanian
+ ...
Not a member, but Sep 2, 2006

Thor and Dyran,
Geee!
If you feel that there is absolutely nothing on here that ever interests you among us, (and I feel offended with the rest of your choice of words!!!!!!!!!!!!!), why are you still here? It is not good for your sanity to start with. Hmmm, you say you do not like it, but you are still here. There is something seriously wrong with you on this picture. And Dyran, nothing you say surprises me anymore. I think I already know you from your writings here on ProZ and even know what you will say next. Do you ever have people who come un-invited to your home and tell you "I do not like your home" and still live in it?? That's is exactly what you are doing.



To Sophia,
I am not a ProZ.com member, but I have found some of my best paying clients from ProZ.com. And my rates are not the cheapest either.

To return to your main question regarding ATA, I am not a member of it either. I have heard it is good, but I have enough work and clients so far, so I do not see the need to subscribe to them, at least not yet. It is not a bad idea either and if you are looking to expand your business, go for it.

Good Luck,
Eva





Thor Truelson wrote:

... I am not sure what kind of work you find on Proz, but I can say that, for me anyways, there is absolutely nothing on here that ever interests me. The Kudoz thing is great, but the jobs are crap. The only time I ever got stiffed was from an outsourcer on here...


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:11
German to English
+ ...
Sanity Sep 2, 2006

Eva T wrote:

Thor and Dyran,
Geee!
If you feel that there is absolutely nothing on here that ever interests you among us, (and I feel offended with the rest of your choice of words!!!!!!!!!!!!!), why are you still here?


No offence Eva, but I suggest you re-read Thor's post. The comment "absolutely nothing on here that ever interests" clearly related specifically to the jobs section, and Thor himself said "The KudoZ thing is great". I don't see why it should be a problem to appreciate some parts of the site and not others.

Marc


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Eva T
English to Albanian
+ ...
Hi Mark Sep 2, 2006

As an English speaker, you know it well that "absolutely nothing" is exclusive of everything and does not include something. The part about the jobs section came after Thor said "absolutely nothing". If he/she meant something different from what he/she wrote, than I am sorry, but I also suggest to Thor to edit his/her posting.

Eva


MarcPrior wrote:


No offence Eva, but I suggest you re-read Thor's post. The comment "absolutely nothing on here that ever interests" clearly related specifically to the jobs section, and Thor himself said "The KudoZ thing is great". I don't see why it should be a problem to appreciate some parts of the site and not others.

Marc


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Barbara Cochran, MFA  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:11
Spanish to English
+ ...
Joining ATA Is One Of The Farthest Things From My Translator's Mind Sep 2, 2006

Back in the late 1970's, when I was a student of translation (and the top student in the class), I had a student membership in ATA and decided to take the certification exam. I was and am artistically inclined and the passage I had to translate at the exam was a highly technical piece on auto mechanics/repair! Knowing nothing more about cars than that you have to change the oil every so often, I, of course, performed dismally on the exam. I thought the exam was extremely unfair. It has left me with a bad taste in my mouth for/a bad attitude about the ATA ever since.

Besides, any enlightened client that I do work for (I have several), or that I will work for, knows that you can still be an excellent and talented translator without ATA certification.

However, I am an active member of my regional ATA affiliate which I find to be very worthwhile (I hear from the President almost every week about translation assignments, career jobs, and conferences), and way less impersonal than the national ATA.

[Edited at 2006-09-02 16:35]


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Sophia Hundt  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:11
Russian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
ALTA Sep 2, 2006

Ok, now who could tell me about the advantages of joing ALTA association vs. ATA.
I would especially like to hear back from the ALTA members, should there be some among you.

Ultimately, my goal is to seek clients specifically from among authors, editors and publishers, since this is who I've been working with so far about 90% of the time. I have no interest to actively seek cooperation with translation agencies cause they have little work on the subjects that interest me, although I usually don't turn them down when they offer me work themselves. Rather than just seeking more work of any sort, I guess I had to specify that I would like to have work in this specific domain to keep coming my way.

In my situation, is it worth joing ALTA specifically? I would also appreciate if anyone could share their experience with and feedback regarding ALTA membership.

Thanks a lot!

P.S.: By the way, I was very happy with Proz.com in many ways. While I don't apply for job offers that don't interest me, I have established the contact with a few clients this way, and KudoZ is priceless, too, not to mention the value of this forum.


[Edited at 2006-09-02 17:05]


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Thor Truelson  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:11
Swedish to English
+ ...
Marc got it right... Sep 2, 2006

Eva T wrote:

As an English speaker, you know it well that "absolutely nothing" is exclusive of everything and does not include something. The part about the jobs section came after Thor said "absolutely nothing". If he/she meant something different from what he/she wrote, than I am sorry, but I also suggest to Thor to edit his/her posting.

Eva

Hi Eva. Sorry, but your English failed you, because I do not totally bash Proz. I only bash the job bidding/offering part of it, and mostly as it relates to me. Hucksters send me emails from out of the blue to fill out online forms so I can work for 8 cents per word from Icelandic into English. Are they serious!? Icelandic starts at around 15, and that would be translating granny's letters. Other than that, this is a great site. I am here aren't I? I recommend Proz to everyone I meet who's interested in getting serious about the profession. Maybe some people are making a living mostly from work received off Proz, but I don't know any, and I highly doubt that they're living in "First World" economies.

MarcPrior wrote:


No offence Eva, but I suggest you re-read Thor's post. The comment "absolutely nothing on here that ever interests" clearly related specifically to the jobs section, and Thor himself said "The KudoZ thing is great". I don't see why it should be a problem to appreciate some parts of the site and not others.

Marc


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Marian Greenfield  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:11
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
join both ATA and ALTA Sep 2, 2006

Hi again Sophia,

I am neither a literary translator nor a member of ALTA, but if you're interested in literary translation, it is worth it to join both. ATA offers the advantage of size and diversity (nearly 10,000 members), while ALTA offers the advantage of specializing in literary translation (while the ATA literary and Slavic Languages divisions also specialize in two areas of interest of yours).

Sophia Hundt wrote:

Ok, now who could tell me about the advantages of joing ALTA association vs. ATA.
I would especially like to hear back from the ALTA members, should there be some among you.

Ultimately, my goal is to seek clients specifically from among authors, editors and publishers, since this is who I've been working with so far about 90% of the time. I have no interest to actively seek cooperation with translation agencies cause they have little work on the subjects that interest me, although I usually don't turn them down when they offer me work themselves. Rather than just seeking more work of any sort, I guess I had to specify that I would like to have work in this specific domain to keep coming my way.

In my situation, is it worth joing ALTA specifically? I would also appreciate if anyone could share their experience with and feedback regarding ALTA membership.

Thanks a lot!

P.S.: By the way, I was very happy with Proz.com in many ways. While I don't apply for job offers that don't interest me, I have established the contact with a few clients this way, and KudoZ is priceless, too, not to mention the value of this forum.


[Edited at 2006-09-02 17:05]


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