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Is ATA worth joining?
Thread poster: GerardoCáceres

GerardoCáceres
Local time: 13:42
Spanish to English
+ ...
Feb 14, 2012

Pretty straightforward question. Is it worthwhile to join ATA? I don't live in the U.S.A., but do business with many US based companies. Would being a member of ATA help to bolster my profile?

 

Attila Piróth  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 21:42
Member
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Yes Feb 14, 2012

And try to pass the ATA certification exam - it is well worth.
Best,
Attila


 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
Vague status and regular members fee? Feb 14, 2012

I've encountered rather many similar questions regarding different associations and membership and what really makes me wonder is why adult sensible specialists cannot apply a mature approach to the question and explicitly explain WHY exactly this or that thing is a benefit...

Elaborate please.


 

Isabelle Berquin  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:42
Member (2007)
English to French
+ ...
My experience was positive Feb 15, 2012

I have had several new customers (translation agencies) finding me through my profile on ATA. In fact, within a month of joining, I was asked to participate in a large translation project which repaid the membership fee many times over. However, I live in the US and I don't know if the benefits of joining this association are as valuable for translators based elsewhere.

I would be interested in hearing about the experience of other translators with ATA as well as with other similar groups.


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:42
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Absolutely! Feb 15, 2012

American customers (especially agencies) understand the capabilities of an ATA-certified person, and in my case joining the ATA and passing the certification exam made a clear difference to the better in my rates in that market.

 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:42
Spanish to English
+ ...
Nice journal Feb 15, 2012

Yes, I think it is worthwhile, even if only as an associate. Am not a member myself and I don't work a lot with the States, but a colleague passes back issues of the journal on to me and I find a lot of the articles interesting and/or useful.

There is also a lot to be said for exploiting the "vague notion" that people may have that the more letters someone has after their name the brainier or worthier they must be. In an age where appearances are so important in so many spheres, it can't do any harm to add an ATA to the end of your CV (if if you are only an associate member who gets the magazine and little else). For example, I've thought about signing up for ASETRAD (Spanish Translators' Association) simply to pad out my CV. So sue me.

PS: I hasten to add that I am not belittling these orgs or their members, simply stating that appearances can be deceptive and that all that glitters is not always a guarantee of efficacy or worth.

[Edited at 2012-02-15 11:46 GMT]

[Edited at 2012-02-15 11:48 GMT]


 

Marie Halvorsen
United States
Local time: 12:42
English to Danish
Yes, for me joining the ATA was worth it Feb 15, 2012

but like Isabelle Berquin, I am based in the U.S. It would be great to hear from translators outside the U.S. who are ATA members, so hopefully they will chime in as well.

As for my experience, the majority of the clients who contact me say that they found me in the ATA directory. Their magazine, the ATA Chronicle, is another. As neilmac said, it offers many interesting and very useful articles. But there is more, also for associate members. You get access to the members only sections of their website where even more resources are available. They also offer training and networking opportunities. The ATA holds an annual conference, for example, with language professionals coming in from many different countries. You can also participate in online training. If ATA certification becomes available in English into Danish, I know I will pursue it.

I was hesitant about joining when I first started out, but I am so glad I did. It kick-started my full-time career as a very busy, very successful freelancer. So if you were based in the U.S., I would definitely recommend it. Since you are not, but you do business with many American companies, it might still be worth it for you.


 

Fidexim (X)
Bulgaria
Local time: 22:42
English to Bulgarian
+ ...
Never! Feb 15, 2012

I have only bad experience with ATA. Some time ago one of their members cheated me (and dozens of other translators around the globe) and I've lost US$ 6,541.00. When I addressed ATA for help, they even didn't accept my demand.
On the respective US court page ATA appears as the main creditor of that agency. I'm sure they got their money. But dozens of cheated translators like me didn't.


 

christela (X)
Agree Feb 15, 2012

If ATA stands for a quality label, and because translators have to pass an exam it does, then ATA should also check or audit entities who are using this quality label. And have a procedure for withdrawing the right of using ATA as a reference, in case of severe misconduct for instance.

[Edited at 2012-02-15 15:54 GMT]


 

RobinB  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:42
German to English
They do Feb 15, 2012

christela wrote:

If ATA stands for a quality label, and because translators have to pass an exam it does, then ATA should also check or audit entities who are using this quality label. And have a procedure for withdrawing the right of using ATA as a reference, in case of severe misconduct for instance.

[Edited at 2012-02-15 15:54 GMT]


ATA does have such a procedure. But of course they can't enforce monetary claims - that's a matter for the courts.


 

Fidexim (X)
Bulgaria
Local time: 22:42
English to Bulgarian
+ ...
@ Robin Feb 15, 2012

This is not the best way to become a first grade translator

 

Laurent KRAULAND (X)  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 21:42
French to German
+ ...
Possible answer Feb 15, 2012

Fidexim wrote:

I have only bad experience with ATA. Some time ago one of their members cheated me (and dozens of other translators around the globe) and I've lost US$ 6,541.00. When I addressed ATA for help, they even didn't accept my demand.
On the respective US court page ATA appears as the main creditor of that agency. I'm sure they got their money. But dozens of cheated translators like me didn't.


I don't know if you are writing about the US agency I am thinking of, but I can tell you that the owner had at least 10 arrest warrants running against them, was imprisoned and appeared in an American court of justice (Georgia) around January 20th.

The person in question was probably sentenced to serve some time in jail.

PM me if you'd like to know the name of the agency and of its owner.

[Edited at 2012-02-15 17:38 GMT]


 

RobinB  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:42
German to English
???? Feb 15, 2012

Fidexim wrote: This is not the best way to become a first grade translator


Meaning what, exactly? That I'm not a "first grade" translator? That ATA isn't a "first grade" translator?

I presume BTW that you mean a "first rate" translator or something like that, not a translator who's primary school-equivalent.


 

wonita (X)
China
Local time: 16:42
First-class translator? Feb 15, 2012

RobinB wrote:

Fidexim wrote: This is not the best way to become a first grade translator


Meaning what, exactly? That I'm not a "first grade" translator? That ATA isn't a "first grade" translator?

I presume BTW that you mean a "first rate" translator or something like that, not a translator who's primary school-equivalent.

Can be the first class in any school.


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:42
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Please explain Feb 15, 2012

Fidexim wrote:
This is not the best way to become a first grade translator

Can you please explain what you mean?


 
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