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Poll: Have you ever left a professional association?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 16:36
SITE STAFF
Jan 19, 2016

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Have you ever left a professional association?".

This poll was originally submitted by Mario Chavez. View the poll results »



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Mary Worby  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:36
Member
German to English
+ ...
Yes Jan 19, 2016

I used to be a member of the Institute of Linguists, but the barriers to entry were relatively low, the costs high and the benefits negligible so I let the membership lapse.

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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:36
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes Jan 19, 2016

I used to be an active member of the American Translators Association, but there was a lot of feuding going on, which led me to resign. I understand that the situation is entirely different now.

Also, I could afford to volunteer when I had an in-house job, but once I started freelancing I didn't have the time any more. Both factors contributed to my resignation.

[Edited at 2016-01-19 08:26 GMT]


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 00:36
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes Jan 19, 2016

I used to be a member of APT - Associação Portuguesa de Tradutores but over the years couldn't see any benefits! Last year a new association was established by a group of freelance professionals and I have been thinking about becoming a member...

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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:36
Member (2006)
German to English
Nope Jan 19, 2016

never belonged to one.

Wow Mario, getting prefernce here☺


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Kristina Cosumano  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:36
Member (2015)
German to English
Not yet. Jan 19, 2016

I just joined a few. Ask me this question again in one year and I may have another answer.

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Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:36
Member
English to French
Yes Jan 19, 2016

I joined the ATA "to see" two or three years ago.
I didn't invest anything except the fee for one year, and I didn't get anything apart from a few scammers and their magazines which I never managed to read, so I didn't renew the experience the year after.

It was basically money down the drain, but as business expenses, so at least it wasn't taxed.

Philippe


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David Hayes  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 01:36
Member (2009)
French to English
Yes Jan 19, 2016

I joined the ITI some years ago. I left after a year since I had no opportunity to contribute and received nothing (apart from a dreary magazine) for my money. I am still a member of the CIOL, which I find to be worthwhile (but far from essential).

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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 01:36
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Yes Jan 19, 2016

Sadly. I was a contented member of the Union of Communication and Language Professionals, Denmark until last summer.

Then I celebrated my birthday ... and because of regulations they no longer provide all the benefits and cover that younger people are entitled to. The benefits are already better for employees than freelancers, the biggest being entitlement to unemployment benefit. The rules are far stricter if you are or have been self-employed.

So as I can buy myself in to training and other events, but not the insurance, I decided to say thanks for good service over the years, and save the subscription.


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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Yes Jan 19, 2016

ITI in the UK and SFÖ in Sweden, both about 20 years ago.

I joined them as I thought it might help me get work but it didn't, and they didn't seem to offer anything else and I'm not a committee person so that was that, really.

Same with ProZ.


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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:36
English to Spanish
+ ...
Preference Jan 19, 2016

Michael Harris wrote:

never belonged to one.

Wow Mario, getting prefernce here☺


You got me, Michael!

Cheers from snowy NE Ohio, colleague!



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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:36
English to Spanish
+ ...
Feuding Jan 19, 2016

Muriel Vasconcellos wrote:

I used to be an active member of the American Translators Association, but there was a lot of feuding going on, which led me to resign. I understand that the situation is entirely different now.

Also, I could afford to volunteer when I had an in-house job, but once I started freelancing I didn't have the time any more. Both factors contributed to my resignation.

[Edited at 2016-01-19 08:26 GMT]


I guess feuding happens once in a while, depending on the chemistry of the people involved. Back during the 2000-2002 recession here in America, I had to let my ATA membership lapse to save money. It was baaad!

I'm half-seriously considering letting it lapse again because of two reasons:

* Too much emphasis on marketing techniques
* Pervasiveness of the positive thinking wave from the 60s-70s, which discourages honest criticism.

To those I may have to add a third reason: too much emphasis on technology tools to be a successful translator or interpreter, whatever successful may mean to some.

I don't know if professional associations all over the world start and remain the same, i.e. with a group of concerned and willing volunteers. Like Muriel said, it was more enticing for me to offer to volunteer when I worked as an in-house translator.

One bright and shiny plus: the ATA magazine has become a little more efficient because one colleague I know mounted a campaign to change things. He persisted, wrote in the LinkedIn ATA group, attended ATA board meetings and such.


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Mike Sadler  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:36
Member (2011)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes. Mary's experience mirrors mine Jan 19, 2016

Mary Worby wrote:

I used to be a member of the Institute of Linguists, but the barriers to entry were relatively low, the costs high and the benefits negligible so I let the membership lapse.


Exactly.


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John Cutler  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:36
Spanish to English
+ ...
Been there, done that. Jan 19, 2016

I belonged to 2 some years ago (one in the US and one here in Spain). I left both because neither provided any tangible benefits.

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J.E.Sunseri  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:36
Member (2009)
Russian to English
+ ...
Wish there was the right kind of professional association Jan 19, 2016

I let my membership in the ATA lapse and don't envision going back. The trade magazine for the most part is, well, rather 20th century, and their certification program is ridiculous, usually involving travel to another city, hard copy dictionaries that you must bring yourself, pen and paper, (although some keyboarded exams are now possible as I understand it.) Furthermore, my clients don't know or care if I am certified by the ATA. They care only about the quality of my work and my ability to meet deadlines.

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