Translators Associations North America: WITS

Representing the state of Washington since 1988

Translation Associations North America: WITSThe Washington State Court Interpreters and Translators Society (WITS) is a non-profit, professional translation association from the state of Washington, USA. It was officially established in September 1988, to seek the goals shares by professionals of translation and interpreting, at the same time as it enhances the professional standing of its members and informs the general public about the profession.

The translators association from Northwest America makes a point at saying it is “proud” of the profession’s progress in the state of Washington. According to WITS, many languages used in courts throughout the state are now being certified and programmes for orienting judges and court personnel on the use of interpreters in the courtroom setting have been implemented. WITS is aware of research that continually regards the problems immigrants face in the American judicial system.

Numerous events designed to help court interpreters and translators develop their skills and businesses are sponsored by the translation association. These events also help members “keep abreast of the emerging profession of the court interpreter”.

The principal purposes of WITS are to unite court interpreters, translators and everyone whose interest in the field so justifies. The Washington translation association wishes to provide continuing education for all its members and promote general awareness of the roles played by interpreters and translators.

Amongst the objectives set by WITS, there is the desire to establish standards and guidelines for the profession, as well as to upgrade its members’ professional skills by organising workshops and other events. The translators association wants to maintain communication with similar organisations across the country and abroad as well as with related professionals.

A very important goal of WITS is to provide information on the profession to the general public but also the federal, state and local court systems. This will allow them to understand the importance of the work of both translators and interpreters.

This group of freelance professionals and people who work for translation companies is powered mainly by volunteer work. These volunteers are mostly organised in committees. The Programs and Education committee’s volunteers work in close collaboration with the chair of the committee to plan, arrange and conduct continuing education programmes as well as social opportunities for WITS members to get together. This includes setting up for events and cleaning up afterwards, helping in registration, and all other necessary details related to programmes.

The translators association also has a Newsletter and Publications committee. Its mission is to collaborate with the newsletter editor to assist in the production and mailing of the newsletter and all other publications managed by WITS. This group’s major activities include gathering and contributing articles and other materials of interest to members for publication in the newsletter.

The Outreach / Public Relations committee arranges and conducts “outreach to related professions and the public to inform them about legal interpreting and about the nature of WITS and its activities”. There is also a Membership committee dedicated to all issues related with membership renewals and new members’ recruitment.

Other than these, the translation association has committees that deal with elections, local liaisons (to discuss issues of particular interest in each region and keep other regions informed on their activities and concerns) or grievance (all issues concerning grievance committed by a member of WITS relating to the functioning and governing of the organisation).

Finally, the Advocacy committee’s volunteers work with the head of this group “to represent the interests of judiciary interpreters in their professional relationships with other bodies in a manner that is non-confrontational, positive, and directed towards establishing and maintaining the best conditions for providing high quality interpreting to those in need”.

To apply for membership at WITS, you should complete the form available on the translators association website and use PayPal online service to pay. You can also download the membership application and post it to the association.

Keep in mind that in the state of Washington, as well as in the rest of the United States of America, English is the official language. It’s the most widely spread tongue worldwide, with around 328 million native English speakers (the actual figures are estimated to be much higher). The population of Texas is of almost 7 million people.

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