Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
ATA - Steven Hanley's email
Thread poster: teju
teju  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:05
English to Spanish
+ ...
Jul 19, 2004

For other ATA members (American Translators Association):

Have you received an email from Steven Hanley entitle: "What the ATA doesn't want you to know?"
If so, I'd like to hear comments, please.
Thanks!!!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:05
German to English
+ ...
Haven't received it Jul 22, 2004

I'm a member, but I haven't received it. Sounds intriguing. Can you give us the gist of it (as long as it's not against board rules to discuss something like that here, of course)?

Direct link Reply with quote
 
Rosa Maria Duenas Rios  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:05
Yes, I received it! Jul 22, 2004

teju wrote:

For other ATA members (American Translators Association):

Have you received an email from Steven Hanley entitled: "What the ATA doesn't want you to know?"
If so, I'd like to hear comments, please.
Thanks!!!


Hi Teju,
I have been receiving his messages. Apparently he is using the ATA's e-mail directory, so I suppose most ATA members will be getting them.

I really have not been able to make up my mind about his arguments. I guess I would first have to read ATA's consitution documents (for which I have no time at this time).

Nevertheless, at first glance, it might look a bit suprising that an organization such as ATA regroups both individual translators and agencies; however, this is the way in which many business organizations are formed in the United States.

I think Hanley's displeasure arises from the fact that, being the type of association that ATA is now, it would be ill suited to "defend" him (from translation agencies) if he needed so... However, I do not believe that ATA was created as an association to "defend" its members (it is not a union, after all) if and when they encounter problems (like the no payment of services with which he started his string of arguments); I believe that a lawyer or a collection agency would be a more adequate way to deal with such a problem.

Also, I do not believe that ATA changed its bylaws and regulations overnight. So Hanley probably knew that ATA's constituents were both independent translators and agencies when he first became a member; if so, why is he trying to change this now?

And finally, if he is not satisfied with the way in which ATA carries its business, would it not be easier to cease being its member, and look for another organization that might best suit his interests? (I have heard that the Translator's Guild is something more similar to what Hanley is apparently looking for), or even become the founder of one?

ATA is not the ONLY professional organization for translators (though it might be the best-known one in the US), and membership in it is not compulsory. It really amazes me to see someone spending so much time and energy trying to change the rules of a private entity, when it would be much easier to find or found another one that suits one's interests best.

But I do admirte his passion and idealism.

There go my two cents; hope it helps!





[Edited at 2004-07-23 02:20]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
teju  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:05
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
comments Jul 22, 2004

To Daina, I'm sure you'll get a good idea of the content of his letter by reading Rosa's posting. He wrote a very controversial letter that ATA refused to publish in The Chronicle without some changes (according to what Mr. Hanley's letter said). Because of this, he has sent a mass email to ATA members asking them to support him. He wants ATA to become to separate entities, one for independent translators/interpreters and another one for agencies. He thinks there's a conflict of interest. He also speaks of the need to protect individual translators from unscrupulous agencies that pay late, or don't pay at all.
I agree with Rosa, that ATA is not a union. And there is a Translator's Guild. As far as ATA representing both individuals and agencies, Mr. Hanley mentions that the AMA (American Medical Association) and the ABA (American Bar Association), as well as a number of other professional entities, ONLY represent individuals. He has a point there. Our interest might be better served if we followed their lead, but ATA has been around for a long time, and changes don't happen overnight.
I haven't been following what's happening internally within ATA, but one would wonder if there is more to this than his letter states. I don't know what his motivation is, but like Rosa says, he can always choose not to be a member, or start his own association.

I wanted to know how other ATA members felt. Thanks to Rosa, and to all who participate in this debate.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

writeaway  Identity Verified
French to English
+ ...
Jul 23, 2004



[Edited at 2004-08-04 11:55]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Rosa Maria Duenas Rios  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:05
I forgot to mention... Jul 23, 2004

... that I think Hanley touches a good point when he states that "... unlike translation certification, THERE ARE NO RULES ESTABLISHED TO CERTIFY AGENCIES or to control the use of the (ATA) logo, and let’s face it, translation agencies – even more than the translators themselves – are responsible for the product that in the end gets delivered to most consumers, since they’re the ones who deliver it. Yet they remain unchecked.

(...)

"But I do have serious problems with translation companies – whose owners might not even be translators, and often are not, and who have no direct interest in improving the lot of professional translators – using the ATA logo and presenting themselves as if they had some special certification from the ATA, which they do not: all they do is pay a fee!" (End of Hanley's quote.)

I believe that ATA might want to become more stringent about the terms "member" (associate, active, or whatever) and "certified member", and about agencies having the right to use the ATA logo just because they pay their dues, since this might indeed mislead some not knowledgeable clients, and hurt ATA's reputation (I have already seen job postings in Proz.com from an agency that states that they "do not recognize ATA certification"!!!!). However, from this to trying to make translating a "licensed" profesion, as Hanley would like to, there is -in my opinion- a huge and very debatable gap!!!







[Edited at 2004-07-23 16:08]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 18:05
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
More comments Jul 25, 2004

Rosa Maria Duenas Rios wrote:
I think Hanley's displeasure arises from the fact that ... [the ATA] would be ill suited to "defend" him (from translation agencies) ... However, I do not believe that ATA was created as an association to "defend" its members...


I agree that the ATA is not meant to defend members in individual cases of conflict. However, Steven's point is that the ATA is unable to defend (or rather, to uphold) the interests of members if it consists of two types of members who have opposing interests. In Steve's view, as I undertand it, agency members might prevent the ATA from adopting policies which are very much in the interests of freelancers if such policies are not in the interests of the agencies. In this, I agree with him.

And finally, if he is not satisfied with the way in which ATA carries its business, would it not be easier to cease being its member, and look for another organization that might best suit his interests? ... It really amazes me to see someone spending so much time and energy trying to change the rules of a private entity, when it would be much easier to find or found another one that suits one's interests best.


Yes but surely there is something to be said for trying to improve the association you belong to, and this is exactly what Steve is doing. He does not say "remove all agencies from my association"; instead, he is saying "let's split the ATA into two associations in which each association can best serve most needs of its members, instead of keeping it one association which serves neither because some of their interests are mutually exclusive.".

In fact, what Steve is doing is the honourable thing... not leaving in disgust and trying to set up shop with small band of disciples somewhere in the desert, but using the existing structures of the mother body to bring about positive change for the whole industry (okay, the language is loaded, but you get the point).

As for "spending so much time and energy trying to change the rules of a private entity", this is exactly what takes place meeting after meeting when the executive committee tries to rule on various issues (unless the ATA intends to remain static).


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 18:05
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Using the association's logo Jul 25, 2004

Rosa Maria Duenas Rios wrote:
I believe that ATA might want to become more stringent about ... agencies having the right to use the ATA logo just because they pay their dues...


How common is it in other translation associations that members are allowed to use the association's logo? I know the SATI logo may only be used by SATI itself... no member (no matter how accredited) is allowed to use the SATI logo on any of its documents if it might be construed as endorsement. In fact, even local chapters of SATI need permission to use the logo on promotional materials. Any comments from members of other associations?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:05
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Use of association logo Jul 25, 2004

I am a Member of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (UK), and as such I could use their logo if I wanted, but I prefer not to; I think the initials MITI are sufficient. When they introduced this a few years ago, they were actively urging members to use the logo.

Direct link Reply with quote
 
Rosa Maria Duenas Rios  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:05
Agree, but not completely Jul 26, 2004

Samuel Murray-Smit wrote:
"I agree that the ATA is not meant to defend members in individual cases of conflict. However, Steven's point is that the ATA is unable to defend (or rather, to uphold) the interests of members if it consists of two types of members who have opposing interests. In Steve's view, as I undertand it, agency members might prevent the ATA from adopting policies which are very much in the interests of freelancers if such policies are not in the interests of the agencies. In this, I agree with him." (end of Samuel's first quote).

Yes, I agree with Steve (and with you) partially. What I tried to say is that, if you know the organization is structured like it is BEFOREHAND (that is, before becoming a member), and if you do not completely agree with the way in which it is structured and functions, why become a member and then struggle to change it? Why not start a new one? I hope you see my point. On the other hand, I do not think that independent translators and translation agencies have opposing interests. In some cases, their interests might be in conflict, but most of the time their shared interest is to foster and protect the translation profession.

Second quote from Samuel: "Yes but surely there is something to be said for trying to improve the association you belong to, and this is exactly what Steve is doing." (end of quote).

I also agree with Samuel in this one; that is why I said I admire Steve's idealism and passion, and courage I would add. Also, this is partly why I started my message indicating that I had not quite made up my mind yet.

As for the use of the logo, I am also a certified member of the Ordre des Traducteurs, Terminologues et Interpretes du Quebec (OTTIAQ), which allows its members to use its logo. However, one BIG difference between OTTIAQ and ATA is that you cannot become an OTTIAQ member ONLY by paying your dues. You need to pass an exam or a peer review, to be certified. I believe the only ones who are exempt of this requirement are students or translators tutored by other certified translators, and this only until they complete their training period.

Another BIG difference between OTTIAQ and ATA is that the former does not have corporate members either (which is why I agree with Hanley's (and Samuel)reasoning when they state that an organization that has only one type of members is in a better position to promote and defend their interests.) Nevertheless, I became an ATA member KNOWING that they group both individuals and agencies, and that their practices are NOT the same as the OTTIAQ's or other translators' organizations. So, FOR ME, it would seem illogical to fight ATA's structure now.
There go my other two pennies.


[Edited at 2004-07-26 14:20]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 18:05
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
I also agree, but not quite Jul 27, 2004

Rosa Maria Duenas Rios wrote:
What I tried to say is that, if you know the organization is structured like it is BEFOREHAND (that is, before becoming a member), and if you do not completely agree with the way in which it is structured and functions, why become a member and then struggle to change it?


Fair enough, but many people join translation associations because of a certain need that association can fulfil, and then later they realise the short-comings, and they try to do something about it... because the association has since become "their" association as well.

So, FOR ME, it would seem illogical to fight ATA's structure now.


I wouldn't use the words "fight the structure" but rather "change the structure". After all, structures do change as time goes on. One might as well have a hand in it.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Rosa Maria Duenas Rios  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:05
OK, Samuel, so we agree to disagree... Jul 28, 2004

... which is very good! First, I want to tell you that I am really enjoying this exchange.

As for your point of view: "I wouldn't use the words "fight the structure" but rather "change the structure". After all, structures do change as time goes on. One might as well have a hand in it."[end of quote], we probably perceive it as "fighting" because Hanley's style is quite confrontational; nevertheless, I still believe that ATA (and all its members) would be better served if it provided a space for Hanley's views, instead of just trying to push them aside.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:05
German to English
+ ...
What about freelancers who outsource? Jul 28, 2004

I'm wondering what you think about the situation of freelancers who outsource work - there's a fine line between them and full-blown "agencies" as the term is used here. If the ATA or another organization were to split and not allow "agencies" to join, where do you draw the line with outsourcing? Doesn't that start to get a bit complicated?

We have some background to this in Chicago - there are now 2 organizations here: CHICATA, which does not allow agencies to join, and the regional ATA chapter, which does.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Rosa Maria Duenas Rios  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:05
I believe you´ve got a point there, Daina... Jul 29, 2004

Daina Jauntirans wrote:

I'm wondering what you think about the situation of freelancers who outsource work - there's a fine line between them and full-blown "agencies" as the term is used here. If the ATA or another organization were to split and not allow "agencies" to join, where do you draw the line with outsourcing? Doesn't that start to get a bit complicated?

We have some background to this in Chicago - there are now 2 organizations here: CHICATA, which does not allow agencies to join, and the regional ATA chapter, which does.


In my opinion, more important than excluding or separating a group of people from an association, would be to try to apply the rules as evenly as possible to every member. For instance, "anyone who wishes to use the logo should be certified." How to certify an agency? Something along the lines of at least half your translators must be certified, or at least one (or two) of the agency's partners must be certified, or whatever. It is up to the association to find the rules that will work better with all its members.

As I mentioned before, both independet translators (including those who outsource), and agencies have a lot of interests in common to advance the tanslation profession, so I do not see why they should work separately or duplicate efforts. However, there will be times when they have conflicting interests. The association should foresee such possibility and determine if it wishes to offer a certain type of arbitration process to its members, or clearly state that, should a conflict arise, members will be required to use adequate means of conflict resolution, outside the association, or something along these lines.

In a nutshell, as long as the rules are clear, and enforced, I believe most members will be satisfied, regardless of who they are.


[Edited at 2004-07-29 14:03]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:05
German to English
+ ...
Not us vs. them Jul 29, 2004

Rosa Maria Duenas Rios wrote:
As I mentioned before, both independet translators (including those who outsource), and agencies have a lot of interests in common to advance the tanslation profession, so I do not see why they should work separately or duplicate efforts.
[Edited at 2004-07-29 14:03]


I agree. I don\'t think it\'s an \"us vs. them\" situation, but a lot of translators seem to.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

ATA - Steven Hanley's email

Advanced search







PDF Translation - the Easy Way
TransPDF converts your PDFs to XLIFF ready for professional translation.

TransPDF converts your PDFs to XLIFF ready for professional translation. It also puts your translations back into the PDF to make new PDFs. Quicker and more accurate than hand-editing PDF. Includes free use of Infix PDF Editor with your translated PDFs.

More info »
SDL Trados Studio 2017 Freelance
The leading translation software used by over 250,000 translators.

SDL Trados Studio 2017 helps translators increase translation productivity whilst ensuring quality. Combining translation memory, terminology management and machine translation in one simple and easy-to-use environment.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search