Why ATA Should Open the Certification Exam to All Professional Translators | Matt Baird
Do we want to become a certifying agency, or do we want to remain an association that represents the interests of its members and also provides the possibility of certification?
If ATA opens its certification exam to nonmembers, it would eventually develop into a certifying body and an organization where representing the interests of its members becomes a side activity.
The number of members would decline because many translators/interpreters join ATA with the intention of becoming certified. Many of them remain members to retain their certification and because they see the great work and advantages of being a part of a big association that works to defend the interests of translators and interpreters (e.g., ATA’s efforts regarding AB 5 in California to ensure its members understand the possible implications and to encourage them to ask legislators to exempt translators/interpreters). If membership is no longer required to retain certification, many would get certified and leave without developing any interest in the organization.
Financially, this would weaken ATA. I read the financial report in the January/February issue, and the problem of the declining number of members, even before decoupling was announced, has to be addressed. The membership fees are the biggest contribution to ATA’s budget. If people no longer needed to be members to retain their certification, membership would drop and the additional exam fees would not be enough to finance both certification and the current activities of the association over a long period. Furthermore, more exam graders would have to be found, trained, and paid accordingly.
Membership and certification should go together.
Opening Certification to Nonmembers
I’m in favor of decoupling. I work in Brazil and know many very good translators who want to be ATA members but simply cannot afford it. I support the argument that membership and certification can be mutually exclusive, but I would only support the proposal fully if, when approved, it allows members who are certified to retain their certification without having to continue paying membership dues if they leave the association.
Liam Gallagher | São Paulo, Brazil
Bring Your “A” Game to Video Game Localization | Marina Ilari
Great summary of the many things we need to do when localizing a game! Some people believe video game localization is easy because we’re not translating super technical or scientific papers, but terminology in games—that may even be made-up—can get really hard really quickly. Thanks for sharing.
Santiago de Miguel | Buenos Aires, Argentina