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Why join a translators’ association?

Joining a professional association is always beneficial for a translator. Most associations are already well-known. Membership makes a translator’s profile more attractive to recruiters and clients. It is important to continue to expand your knowledge and training throughout your career.

Many associations offer training courses at a reduced rate or even free of charge for their members.

What better way for a translator or interpreter to benefit from discounted training?

Cultures Connection lists for you associations offering training and their conditions:

  • SFT (French Society of Translators) provides several trainings and members can benefit from a discount. Some of the topics on the program are:
    • Post-editing machine translation;
    • The basics of working as a judiciary translator or interpreter;
    • Setting up as a freelancer and building a client base.
  • In Spain, ASETRAD (Spanish Association for Translators, Editors and Interpreters) stands out because of a focus on specific topics such as:
    • “Hybrid texts: legal & medical translation”;
    • “Interpretation in gender-based violence contexts”;
    • “On the wings of the imagination: translating fantasy literature”.
  • The Italian association AIPTI (Italian Association for Translators and Interpreters):
    • They provide their members with several free training classes, including classes on personal marketing, clinical terminology, and website localization;
    • Other classes are open to all and cover more general topics, such as checking the quality of a translation using free tools or the Trados Studio beginners’ course.
  • In Portugal, APT (Portuguese Association for Translators) offers some training courses and translators —members or not— can follow courses at different rates. Here are some of the association’s strengths:
    • They provide translators with specialization courses on literary translation, MemoQ, SDL Trados, and more;
    • They also allow undergraduate students to attend courses at the same price as for members.

You can belong to several associations at the same time, for example a national association and a regional association within the same country, or according to specific fields such as audiovisual or conference interpreting.

Here are some other examples of associations that offer training:

  • Professional translators from the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI) in the UK, film their courses which are available to members:
    • Training courses are available to start as a freelance translator, to advance one’s career, and other more specific courses are available, such as scientific writing and syntax training;
    • All the translators who are members of this association can then be assisted throughout their career and improve their skills.
  • In Mexico, OMT (Mexican Association for Translators) also provides training courses —on site or remotely— of a minimum duration of 160 hours:
    • At the end of each course, a diploma in general translation or legal translation is awarded to successful students;
    • Other small workshops are also available to perfect translation techniques or acquire new skills.
  • APTS (Arab Professional Translators Society) located in Lebanon, offers several short term courses:
    • On financial translation, terminology, Arabic or media translation among others;
    • Accredited members of the association can access them free of charge.

Although the American Translators Association (ATA) in the United States does not offer training courses, it stands out because a member can become ATA certified, following a tough exam. The ATA certification is renowned and only 20% of the members are certified according to the association’s website.

If you are a translator or interpreter and you are unsure to join one of these associations, do not wait any longer. Nothing ventured, nothing gained! A membership can prove rewarding. You can put it on your resume, your website and your LinkedIn profile, and even add badges to your emails to illustrate your signatures.

This article has been written by Laura Le Galliot

A Master's student in Translation and Interpretation, Laura is doing her apprenticeship in translation, writing and vendor management at Cultures Connection.