Translators Associations Europe: ATICOM

Efficiency at economy's service

Translators Association Europe: ATICOMThe German Professional Interpreters and Translators Association (Fachverband der Berufsübersetzer und Berufsdolmetscher, ATICOM) works towards overcoming the obstacles created by the globalisation of markets and the growth of Europe. The fact that countries from Central and Eastern Europe are being integrated in a united Europe makes qualified translation and interpretation services increase its important day by day. Also, the fact that Germany’s exports and imports are evidently important to the country’s economy makes translators and interpreters a very important profession.

The translation association states that the establishment of a professional interpreters and translators association is of paramount importance. Its members high professional standards, working within a well prepared structure, helps to disseminate the idea that “ATICOM stands for quality”.

However, quality isn’t the only keyword for ATICOM. The German organisation has also picked “transparency”, “dynamism” and “internationality” as important guidelines for its success. According to them, it is the efficient work of the professional association’s committees that guarantees success and the profession’s advancement. This, together with a “clearly articulated democratic structure” and “an open communication policy” that promotes the participation of all members, helps ATICOM achieve the aims evidences by the association’s chosen keywords.

ATICOM focuses on the future. The people of charge of the translators association say that “the entrance into the new millennium requires a future-oriented policy, which deals especially with the modern technologies”.

As any translation association in the world, ATICOM stands for its members’ interests. It is a constant concern to promote high quality translation and interpretation services, maintaining an orientation towards satisfying the customer and the consumer (not always the same person).

Internationalisation is a goal, as well. The German organisation maintains strong links with other professional translators associations outside of Germany, as well as good relations with other institutions.

ATICOM’s constitution has a set of defined duties, to which the association is deeply committed. First of all, there is the professionalization of the profession of translator and interpreter, then the concern with developing professional ethics. The association wants to provide its members with information and advice, at the same time as it implements educational, training and continuing courses. Furthermore, ATICOM establishes collaborations with schools that teach interpreting and translating, as well as do research and education for teaching.

Being a German organisation, it is in ATICOM’s intentions to promote German as a language. Members can expect advice on matters of insurance and pension plans. The translators association promotes international and intercultural understating through verbal communication, but also through youth development itself. It is also a mission to promote quality awareness.

In addition to the above-mentioned services, as well as membership recruitment, jobs advertising and organisation of events, ATICOM offers its members other services. They operate two bulletin boards for members: an information forum and a discussion forum. Both of the forums work as mail distributors, but can also be consulted online. None of them requires special software. They are open to members of ATICOM only, and serve the purpose of rapid dissemination of information and the exchange of opinions and news between members.

There is special insurance available for people who prove to be professional interpreters and translators with a valid ATICOM membership. If you wish to benefit from the special rates of this insurance programme, you should get in touch with the association’s office.

Also, members of this translation association can benefit from advice given by ATICOM’s lawyer. ATICOM says that more tools are being planned, especially for their website. Among them, there is the plan to implement a personalised Wiki “to collect information of interest” for members, in a sole accessible place.

Internationally focussed, ATICOM is a member of FIT, but also of Transforum, a group created in the 80s, gathering representatives of teaching and practice (i.e. translators associations, translation companies) to exchange information about the market’s requirements both for training purposes and to optimise the quality of translation and interpreting services.

Advice for professionals

ATICOM highlights the need to provide its members with advice on the practical side of the profession. They state that “interpreting and translating are not mechanical processes, but spiritual benefits”. In addition to the correct use of both the source language and the target language, they use specific expertise on the relevant subject, good sensitivity on the specific matter and knowledge on the needs each customer has.

For the German translators association, each professional must have a thorough training, regularly, as well as relevant work experience and keep updated.

Keep in mind that German is the official language of Germany. It is related to English and Dutch and has around 98 million native speakers. It’s also official in Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Belgium and South Tyrol, in Italy.

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