The ATA’s online directory features the profiles of thousands of translators and interpreters. Each listing provides the individual’s language, geographic location, specialties, experience, and contact information. First, a few helpful hints: Translators usually work in one language direction (say English into Italian), normally translate into their native language only, and can be located anywhere around the world since clients usually send translation assignments by e-mail. Interpreters often work in both directions, say English into Spanish and Spanish into English. They work with the spoken word so they most often work on location, such as in a hospital, courtroom or business. In recent years, it has also become more common for interpreters to work remotely, interpreting webcasts, teleconferences and other location-independent events.
Translation and interpreting companies are ideal for clients who need more services than an individual translator can provide. For example, let’s say that your business wants its website translated into eight languages. Rather than contacting 8 different translators, you can work through a company where you have one single contact and they reach out to and manage the 8 different translators for you. The ATA Online Directory features over 400 such companies. Still not sure what you need? Let’s look at a few examples.
Say you’re John Roth, Esq., at a law firm based in San Francisco, CA and you’re in the discovery phase of a big case. Some of the documents are in French so you’ll need to find one or more translators to translate them into English. Using the ATA’s Directory of Translators, you simply select the “Language from” (French) and “Language into” (English) and the specialization (such as “Corporate law”). Location is probably irrelevant though you can use the translator’s location to your advantage (for example documents you send from your office in Berlin at the end of their work day to a translator in California could be translated overnight and be back in your Berlin inbox the next morning). You may also choose to select only those translators with ATA Certification (if it’s available in their language pair) since it’s a testament to a translator’s professional competence in translating from one specific language into another.
What if you’re Dr. Martin in New York City and your patient speaks only Russian? Using the ATA’s Directory of Interpreters, you can find an interpreter simply by entering the languages (from English into Russian), your zip code, the search radius (say within 50 miles), and city/state information. You’re presented with a list of interpreters who fit the bill. You’ll be able to see what experience they have, whether they have a degree in translation/interpreting, what their areas of specialization are (such as health care) and additional information such as relevant certifications. Click on “View Contact Information” and you’re in business!
Now imagine you’re Ashley running a startup software company in the Silicon Valley. The first release of your application was a smashing success and you’d like to expand into overseas markets. You don’t know much about how localization works and you don’t have time to deal with it but you need it to happen, and soon! Using the ATA’s Directory of Translation and Interpreting Companies, you can find just the right company for your needs. Select one of your desired languages, say “English into French”, select “Software localization” as the “Area of specialization” and you’re presented with a list of companies. Click on a link to find information such as a company profile, how long they’ve been in business, what languages they support and how to contact them.
By using the ATA’s online directory, the answers to your translation, interpreting and localization needs are just a few clicks away!
About the Author
Paula Dieli is a French to English translator based in San Francisco and specializing in IT and pharmaceutical.