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The 8 most important translators associations in the world

What do these professionals have in common: quality, professionalism and reliability. The translation profession is vulnerable, and while it is true that university studies in translation offer a certain degree of quality, so does long-standing experience as a translator. The road is made by walking... 

But, how can you select and separate the real professionals from the opportunists? No, translation is not simply a matter of knowing two foreign languages, translation is an activity that requires solid skills and knowledge in one or several fields, which are often clearly defined and connected, in order to ensure final quality. The Internet has given a high level of visibility to all types of translator profiles, authentic professionals and imposters alike (see our blog "How to distinguish a professional translator". Some even offer their services under a false identity, with extremely low rates, in which case you run the risk of receiving a machine translation. The best solution to ensure that your project is translated by a professional translator is to send it to a translation company or go through professional translator associations. The second strategy, which can be tiresome, will pay off if you want to select the most specialised translator in a specific field and receive a quality translation.

At AbroadLink Translations we want to make this task easier for you by providing a non-exhaustive list of prestigious translators associations. 

1. The French Translators Association (France)

The French Translators Association

In France, the French Translators Association(SFT) is the most famous association, be it thanks to its professional members or its early date of foundation (1947). Membership to this association provides translators with several advantages, such as access to specialised information and the possibility of exchanging ideas and experiences with their professional colleagues. Its 1500 professional members abide by a code of ethics, undertaking to work with integrity and provide quality translations. If you are looking for a French translator, you can consult the list of members here.

2. The Spanish Association of Translators, Proofreaders and Interpreters (Spain)

The Spanish Association of Translators, Proofreaders and Interpreters (Spain)

In Spain, the Spanish Association of Translators, Proofreaders and Interpreters(Asetrad) was founded in 2003. It brings together professionals from across the world, with different professional backgrounds, levels of experience and specialist areas. As is the case of the SFT, being a member of Asetrad can be a guarantee of professionalism, given that its members have pledged to follow a strict code of ethics and pay a monthly membership fee. Its main principles are honesty and solidarity, along with confidentiality. If you are looking for a Spanish translator, you can consult the list of members here.

3. The Institute of Translation and Interpreting (Great Britain)

The Institute of Translation and Interpreting (Great Britain)

In the United Kingdom, the ITI is the country's most famous association of translators and interpreters. This association was founded in 1986 and brings together over 3000 members. Like the two aforementioned associations, it promotes professionalism among its members, along with professional commitment and the quality of their work. If you are looking for a British English translator, you can consult the list of members here

4. Federal Association of Interpreters and Translators (Germany)

Federal Association of Interpreters and Translators (Germany)

The Federal Association of Interpreters and Translators (BDÜ) is the most important association in Germany, representing 80% of the sector's professionals, since 1955. Its website offers 7500 professional linguists, 80 languages and several specialist areas: medical, legal, technical, marketing... If you are looking for a German translator, you can consult the list of members here.

5. The Italian Association of Translators and Interpreters (Italy)

The Italian Association of Translators and Interpreters (Italy)

The Italian Association of Translators and Interpreters (AITI), founded in 1950, brings together a large number of translation professionals on the Italian Peninsula.  This association is part of the International Federation of Translators (FIT), as are the majority of associations listed here. The AITI promotes competition among its professionals, its code of ethics and fosters the creation of professional regulations and standards. If you are looking for an Italian translator, you can consult the list of members here.

6. American Translators Association (United States of America)

American Translators Association (United States of America)

The American Translators Association (ATA) is the largest translators association in the world. To give you an idea, it has around 10,000 members in over 100 countries and hundreds of events and conferences every year... These specialised conferences enable translators to keep up-to-date on all of the latest developments in the sector (lexical search tools, computer tools) and learn more about certain theoretical and practical fields. If you are looking for an American English translator, you can consult the list of members here.

7. Translators Association of China (China)

Translators Association of China (China)

The Translators Association of China (TAC) was founded in 1982. It protects both the rights and interests of the translators and interpreters in the Asian giant. Its list of members is rather basic and professionals are listed in alphabetical order. If you need a particular combination, you can use Ctrl+f to browse from one professional to another. It is not possible to consult their field of expertise. With patience, you are sure to find a suitable translator in the list of members.

8. Japan Association of Translators (Japan)

Japan Association of Translators (Japan)

The Japan Association of Translators (JAT) is the largest professional association of translators and interpreters in the land of the rising sun. The association, founded in 1985, brings together professionals and students, interpreters, translators, teachers and project managers. Its headquarters are based in Tokyo. There is one small detail to take into account: the majority of the members of this association only work between English and Japanese. If you are looking for a translator who works with this language combination, you can consult the list of members here.

I hope this blog has been of use and that it helps you to find the best possible translator for your project. Remember that you can find more advice on our blog about "How to distinguish a professional translator". There is just one more thing to take into account: this method requires a lot of time. Don't search in a hurry and give yourself a few days to find the right professional. Once you've found the right person, remember that a job well done takes time!

Elodie Anthian's picture
Elodie Anthian

Graduate in Hispanic Philology from the University of Toulouse (France) and Master in Translation and Cultural Intermediation (EN-ES>FR) from the University of Salamanca.