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Poll: To how many professional translator associations do you belong?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 16:09
SITE STAFF
Jan 16, 2008

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "To how many professional translator associations do you belong?".

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


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Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:09
Spanish to English
+ ...
Several Jan 16, 2008

For years, I have belonged to the American Translators Association and the Delaware Valley Translators Association (a group in the Philadelphia area that recently became an ATA chapter).

There's another organization whose conferences I usually attend but I haven't joined: an academic Translation Studies association based in Spain and Portugal called AIETI. A lot of the presentations at the AIETI conferences are a little too theoretical to have any direct practical application, but they're fascinating and it's a chance to interact with people in most of my five working languages.

[Edited at 2008-01-16 14:12]


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:09
Spanish to English
+ ...
Does that include proz? Jan 16, 2008

Because if not, the answer is none. I often ask myself, where do people find all the time to engage in all these activities (reading translation theory, joining associations, etc)? Apart from my pub quiz once a week, I'm usually far too busy to even think about anything other than working and paying bills etc.

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Crystal Samples  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:09
French to English
+ ...
I'm in the majority... Jan 16, 2008

Wow, I thought I was in the minority, not belonging to any translator organizations, but I guess not...


I was thinking about joining the ATA this year, and maybe attending a conference or two. However, I'm in the same position as neilmac where finding the time is the main issue.

Crystal


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Alboa
Spain
Local time: 01:09
Spanish to Russian
+ ...
What do they actually offer? Jan 16, 2008

neilmac wrote:

Because if not, the answer is none. I often ask myself, where do people find all the time to engage in all these activities (reading translation theory, joining associations, etc)? Apart from my pub quiz once a week, I'm usually far too busy to even think about anything other than working and paying bills etc.


Absolutely agree with you, neilmac!
I dare thinking that this type of associations charge too much for what they offer... I really cannot understand the REAL utility of belonging to them. Apart from quoting that you are a member in the proZ profile... Although as I am possibly mistaken, I would love to learn from those, who do belong to these associations about the value of this type of membership.

[Edited at 2008-01-16 18:23]


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Walkiria De Sousa
Brazil
Local time: 20:09
Spanish to Portuguese
+ ...
I totally agree. You said it all. Short and clear. Thank you. Best regards, Walkíria De Sousa Jan 16, 2008

neilmac wrote:

Because if not, the answer is none. I often ask myself, where do people find all the time to engage in all these activities (reading translation theory, joining associations, etc)? Apart from my pub quiz once a week, I'm usually far too busy to even think about anything other than working and paying bills etc.


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 01:09
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Courses, conferences, social secirity, status... Jan 16, 2008

I have to admit I am not a Chartered Linguist yet.

It does strike me as expensive, but I have been clamouring for it and must simply pull myself together, find a couple of referees and start the ball rolling.

I am not a State Authorised Translator (authorised by the Danish state) either, because I refuse to repeat my training from scratch, and the training I have is not recognised. This very day, I have read a proof for a colleague who does have the coveted stamp. I could have done the job myself otherwise. But I am allowed to attend some of the lectures and meetings for translators, and I benefit from them and enjoy them.

I am proud to be a Member of the Chartered Institute of Linguists.

It is simply a sign that I take my profession seriously, have obtained a postgraduate diploma, and have attended certain lectures and handed in a certain number of translation exercises, which were approved to a certain standard. There were chances for feedback and suggestions for improvements. It gives me the self confidence to take on jobs, and my clients know that I should be able to do them properly, observe the code of conduct and so on.

As an ex-pat I do not get to many CIoL activities, but I read the magazine and check the website regularly. I will attend one of their conferences one day!

Of course there are other ways of showing you are serious, but that is how I have done it.

I am also a member of the The Union of Communication and Language Professionals, Denmark (Kommunikation og Sprog). This is a combined Trade Union and professional Association. They too run conferences, and sponsor training days and seminars - and I do go to activities two or three times a year.

For me it is absolutely vital to get out and meet colleagues face to face, spend a few days a year brushing up on Trados, the Woolf Reforms, contract law, medical terminology or whatever.

Apart from that, they are my security network in Denmark. That is how the system works, and my subscription covers social insurance and some of my pension savings. I do not have to be a member of that particular association, but it is a good idea to be a member somewhere, and this one is specially for linguists and communicators.

Where I find the time? I'd go absolutely mad if I didn't get out of my cage now and then! It only takes a couple of weekends and a couple of evenings each year... and the time I spend reading before and afterwards. It beats rubbish on TV any day!

Proz.com and powwows are great too, but I need them all!



[Edited at 2008-01-16 20:21]


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Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:09
English to Arabic
+ ...
Worth it! Jan 16, 2008

I'm a member of the Institute for Translation and Interpreting (ITI) and the Chartered Institute of Linguists.
I too don't have the time to attend conferences and workshops, and apart from that, the interesting ones are usually organised in London or somewhere up in the North, not in the provincial Southwest where I live. But the one thing I've found most useful, apart from putting their acronyms after my name and in my CV, is the ITI translators' database. Ever since I've joined, I've been getting a lot of translation requests from clients who said they found me on the ITI database, many of whom are direct clients (not agencies). It's been worth every penny of the membership fees.


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:09
Flemish to English
+ ...
None Jan 16, 2008

None, Those associations just want money to participate in their exams and a yearly fee.
Otherwise, they offer little in return and are unknown on a worldwide basis. ATA is known in the USA, the Institute of Linguistics is known in the UK, but if you mention those associations to somebody living outside the respective countries, the value of being a member is not that high. Besides what is their added value. Are they acting as a kind of Trade Union for translators or a kind of mediators when payment problems arise?


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Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:09
Spanish to English
+ ...
ATA certification is worth it for me Jan 16, 2008

In the U.S. we don't have anything comparable to the Sworn Translator system that exists in many countries. ATA certification, I find, opens a lot of doors, but it's only open to members. In fact, I think certification is the only reason I maintain my membership.

The money I've made through jobs that required certification has more than paid for my annual membership.


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xxxtazdog
Spain
Local time: 01:09
Spanish to English
+ ...
one, and it's well worth it Jan 16, 2008

Olga Kulebiakina wrote:

Although as I am possibly mistaken, I would love to learn from those, who do belong to these associations about the value of this type of membership.


Olga, I belong to ASETRAD, Asociación Española de Traductores, Correctores e Intérpretes (www.asetrad.org), and it’s well worth it to me. Apart from courses and seminars, the association offers discounts to its members on different types of products (e.g., books) and services, and also publishes a directory. There is also a search feature on the website (similar to the directory of freelancers here), and I am often contacted by potential clients (last year, for example, I started working with three new clients who found me through the association, two of which are now regulars). The new business pays my membership fee many times over, and that alone makes it worth being a member for me.


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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:09
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
To Nesrin and others in various regions of England. Jan 16, 2008

The ITI has local regional groups. See http://www.iti.org.uk/pages/ITIgroups/regional.asp
for details of all of them. I have belonged to the Devon & Cornwall Group for several years, though I have not been a very active member lately. The group only meets two or three times a year, so it doesn't take up a lot of time. Some meetings are just social (networking), sometimes there is a speaker on some subject of interest, and occasionally trips are organized, such as one to BBC Monitoring about two years ago.


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KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 00:09
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Quite useful actually Jan 16, 2008

Olga Kulebiakina wrote:
I dare thinking that this type of associations charge too much for what they offer... I really cannot understand the REAL utility of belonging to them.


Since joining the Bund deutscher Übersetzer (BdÜ) here in Germany I've had a number of interesting inquiries from people who found me in the organization's directory. So even if I don't have time for the events and I consider the online facilities a bit of a shambles, the membership has been quite worthwhile. The professional insurance rates for translators which the group has negotiated also beat what one can find elsewhere and more than pay for the membership.


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Alboa
Spain
Local time: 01:09
Spanish to Russian
+ ...
Thank you. It's well worthy reading your opinions Jan 16, 2008

Thank you Cindy, Nesrine, Kevin, Christine for your experience in the field. You opinions have been valuable for me personally, thank you.

Cindy, do you think there are more associations in Spain that may be considered as worth being member of?

[Edited at 2008-01-16 22:54]


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Esther Hermida  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:09
English to Spanish
+ ...
It's Good Business Practice Jan 17, 2008

I’m surprise to see how few of ProZ members that answered the poll are members of a professional organization! I belong to ATA and in the past I've belonged to California Court Interpreters Assoc. (CCIA) and the CA Federation of Interpreters (CFI).

Here’s my two cents worth as to why one should join a professional association.

Doctors, attorneys, architects, dentists, etc., join their respective organizations right away. Why? By joining a professional organization it gives you credibility in the eyes of others who don’t know you. It’s a group of people sharing concerns and ideas. They work together to advance the profession and advocate for work improvements and certifications. It’s great for business and networking.

This is what I get from ATA: Their monthly magazine “The Chronicle" that is professionally written by people who know more about their subject matter than I do, thus, I want to learn from them. I've learned how to use and maximize my potential as a professional, be it translations or interpretations.

I try to attend ATA local seminars where experts in the field talk about how they got to be successful and how I can get there, too. There’s also the networking that goes on there. Most of us have our own direct clients and/or work for agencies. More than once I’ve called people that I’ve met at these seminars to cover an assignment for me, if it’s in another language pair or even my own, if I find that they are professional enough. Just the fact that they’re attending a conference or seminar tells me that they take their profession seriously.

Then, there’s the ATA directory of interpreters and translators…I have gotten numerous calls from out-of-state agencies to cover assignments in Los Angeles. These agencies are members as well. That alone has paid for my yearly membership tenfold.

So far I haven’t found one organization that is as widely recognize as the ATA. CFI is too involved in politics and too narrow a focus for my taste so I dropped them. CCIA was the only organization representing interpreters in California for many years, their yearly conferences are really good, though, but it doesn’t have that much clout, no membership strength and it doesn’t do anything for me. Simply put, the organization must represent my interests, if it doesn’t ,I don’t bother with them. (Yes, we can join then volunteer and offer to be a board member to improve conditions within the organization; I’ve done that, too).
NAJIT is a very one, too. (I’ve read their journals but I’m not a member).

If ProZ.com can be considered a professional organization then they are doing an excellent job. Even though I’m not getting work out of this site, I find lot’s of serious professionals who are always willing to help out when someone is in a jam. I use the glossaries, and all the tools available. I’m a charter member, but only became a paying member not too long ago because I saw the value it offered.


[Edited at 2008-01-17 05:04]


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