Translation Associations: ATA

Advocating for translation agencies in the Netherlands

Translation Associations Europe: ATAThe Association of Translation Agencies (ATA) was founded in the Netherlands in the year 1994. Since then, its members – translation agencies – have been striving for quality, precision and diversity. Because the ATA would like to maintain this tradition, it has been ensuring advocacy for its affiliated translation agencies since the beginning.


Since the ATA was established, its membership has grown every year and the demand for a hallmark has grown proportionally with that same growth. In other words, belonging to a translation association is important because, among other things, translation agencies get to prove the quality of their services through certification from a European standard (the hallmark).

The hallmark is something that ATA developed and basically meant that translation agencies could obtain a certificate if they met the requirements set by the Language Hallmark. Although the Language Hallmark was raised to a European level, the hallmark needed to be contracted out to an independent organization in order to realize further professionalization, and so the ATA went with the Netherlands Standardization Institute (NEN). 

This translation association was responsible for bringing together  European translation agency associations under the European Union of Associations of Translation Agencies (EUATC). 



For those wishing to have their translation agency be accepted by this translation association, here are the criteria your company must meet. Member agencies must have professional office facilities, work with professional translators selected based on their education and/or experience, endorse the ATA's statutes, code of conduct and internal regulations,  and be registered for a minimum of one year in the Chamber of Commerce's Commercial Registry – the definition of the agency's core activity must clearly articulate the relationship to the translation activities; a recent extract should accompany the registration.

The agency has to be established in the Netherlands and have a visiting address and a relevant website. A written quality control system and not being in a state of moratorium for the past three years are two other requisites to get in.

By becoming a ATA's member, your agency will get the chance to improve the quality of your work, have support on various areas, like advocacy, collaborate with other language professionals, expand its network and take advantage of other favorable member benefits.

To be a member, you need to go to ATA's website and fill-out a form. Once you become a member, you can log in and access additional documents or contact with other members.

Keep in mind that Dutch is the official and foremost language of the Netherlands, a nation of around 16 million people.

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