Poll: How important is it to be a member of a professional translator association?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 17:49
Dec 19, 2009

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "How important is it to be a member of a professional translator association?".

This poll was originally submitted by Rafael Molina Pulgar

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


Miroslav Jeftic  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:49
English to Serbian
+ ...
It depends Dec 19, 2009

Mostly useless, at least in my country.icon_smile.gif


Catherine Winzer  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:49
German to English
+ ...
Not a member Dec 19, 2009

I think it depends how you define "important".

I voted "not very important" in the sense that I'm not a member of one and haven't felt it to be necessary, though I have looked into it and it is something that I would consider in the future. Work is going well at the moment, and I don't feel that not being a member of an association is any great disadvantage to me.

It would be interesting to know whether those who are members consider it to be of great benefit or to have made a big difference.

[Edited at 2009-12-19 13:29 GMT]


Oliver Lawrence  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:49
Italian to English
+ ...
Yes and no Dec 19, 2009

It can give valuable access to a community of translators who are serious about being professional, to a greater extent than sites like ProZ can, and hopefully it will also be seen as a badge of professionalism by outsourcers to enhance their confidence in you when they don't yet know you from any of the hundreds and hundreds of other translators in your language combination(s), but whether it helps you gain access to more or better-paid work is a moot point in my experience to date.

So I suspect it is more important to me than it is to many outsourcers (especially those for whom cheapness is the primary requirement).

[Edited at 2009-12-19 14:39 GMT]


John Cutler  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:49
Spanish to English
+ ...
Not very... Dec 19, 2009

I voted not very important.

In my personal experience, belonging to an Association looks good on my CV and has brought in a few small jobs, but that's about it.


Interlangue (X)
Local time: 02:49
English to French
+ ...
I used to be a member... Dec 19, 2009

... but gave up when membership prices went up (it seemed a lot back then but I do not really remember how much).
Also a majority of the people I met there were basically dissatisfied and not very good communicators.

For the record, I never got any work through there but found a few contacts to whom I outsourced a dozen of jobs in other language pairs.
Some members are still part of my network.


Amy Duncan (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:49
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Not important at all -- to me Dec 19, 2009

I have never even thought about joining one -- what for?


Lorena Vicente  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:49
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Very Important Dec 19, 2009


Very interesting topic, Rafael.

I think it´s very important if you think beyond "job opportunities". I´ve never joined an association to get job offers and wouldn´t even think about it; To me, it´s more than than.

I am a member of ATA, ASETRAD and AIPTI-IAPTI (a recently born international association for translators and interpreters focused on ethical practices) and have always found lots of benefits, from useful materials & resources to career advice, promotion of ethical practices, the opportunity to meet with serious colleagues who care about the profession and a wide variety of training, courses and seminars.

So, my vote goes for "Very Important" in terms of professional development.



Local time: 02:49
English to German
+ ...
not important at all Dec 19, 2009

at least for me here in Germany.

Acctualy when I think of the perceived usefullness and the quality of the main German professional translator assotiation (BDÜ), I would consider a memberhip therein rather as a disadvantage for the reputation than an advantage.

[Bearbeitet am 2009-12-19 19:15 GMT]


Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:49
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Important Dec 19, 2009

I think this question is best answered by people who have belonged to one. When I was younger I was active in ATA, and I think it was important at that time in my life and career.

1. In the first place, my certification has often been requested by prospective clients.

2. The annual meetings taught me a lot about the principles of translation and the profession, both through the programs and through networking with colleagues.

3. Associations are the best mechanism for keeping up standards and rates for the profession as a whole (even though publishing rates is not allowed).

4. They are the best network for finding good in-house jobs and university-level jobs teaching translation and translation theory. The associations tend to attract academics.

5. In my case, it was the jumping-off place for getting my ideas out in the world. In my zeal to express what was on my mind, I became a published author in venues I would never have had access to otherwise.


United States
Local time: 20:49
French to English
Other: it depends on your country Dec 20, 2009

It's important in the United States, in my opinion. Based on what other translators outside of the U.S. say, I would say it's probably not important outside of the United States. However, I still don't see why a professional would totally discount being a member of a professional association. Also there may be other countries where it is important as well.


Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:49
Member (2008)
English to Italian
not really, but... Dec 20, 2009

my idea is that your CV is better, and some outsourcers could ask for a certification or a membership, so potentially you COULD have more opportunities. but that's it.


Mikael Adolfsson  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:49
English to Swedish
+ ...
Rather important Dec 20, 2009

I think it may be rather important. As some of you pointed out, it is regarded by many agencies/customers as you being serious about your job (not saying you couldn´t be serious without membership in a professional translator association, but many customers feel that way).
But I have in fact got rather many job offers via my membership (the customer found me at their web page and contacted me directly), and some of them have turned out to be good customers.
So for me it´s not that I potentially could get more work - I have got more work because of my membership.
I don´t know if it´s the same in every country, but for me it has really paid off!


Rafael Molina Pulgar  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:49
Member (2006)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Many thanks Dec 20, 2009

I thank all colleagues who have participated in this poll. For me, it is very important. It shows you care about your profession and that you don't considering it as merely a means to make money. The question of abiding by a code of ethics is paramount for me. There should be some kind of moral control to limit your capacity to engage in unfair practices. The possibility to meet other colleagues (in person) and to help each other, as well as to organize or participate in various courses and seminars is also relevant.
I will send your comments to my fellow members of the Dominican Translators and Interpreters Association.


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Poll: How important is it to be a member of a professional translator association?

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