Translators Associations Europe: NGTV

Promoting further understanding of the profession

Translators Associations Europe: NGTVThe Dutch Society of Interpreters and Translators (Nederlands Genootschap van Tolken en Vertalers, NGTV) was founded on the 22nd February 1956, in Amsterdam. It is a professional interpreters and translators association based in The Netherlands.

It was after merging with the Dutch Association of Interpreters and Translators (NVTV) that the name of the organisation changed to Dutch Society of Interpreters and Translators. The association is governed by a chairman, board members and various departments, sections and circles. Some of the functions of these departments are to provide exchange of experience, to help with language issues, to support with business issues, to organise meetings and excursions, etc.

This translation association has been representing qualified professionals who, according to the organisation, are “professional, reliable and versatile”. They highlight the fact that the members of this society “meet the strict admission requirements of the society in terms of training, experience and expertise and they endorse the code of honour”.

These requirements are far from being optional, due to the association’s demanding policy. NGTV members are continuously improving their expertise through special education programmes.

Since its foundation, the Dutch society has been committed to promoting a further understanding of how important the role of translators and interpreters is. According to NGTV, the professions are not legally protected in the Netherlands, but NGTV is eager to change it, adding to it a clearer understanding of the professional practice.

The association also stresses that “interpreter and translator are two different professions”. While a translator “writes”, an interpreter “speaks”. There are many people who happen to practice both activities, but it does not necessarily make the rule. Professional interpreters and translators mean qualified knowledge. They ensure that people who do not understand each other may communicate. NGTV takes it further, saying “interpreting and translating is an art”.

For the Dutch society, “translation or interpreting is also a matter of trust”. Clients expect a good and faithful representation of the text they have submitted in a different language. They need to be able to trust the translator or the interpreter, not only as far as the quality of the final work is concerned but also in terms of confidentiality.

The Dutch translators association has approximately 1,500 specialised translators and interpreters, working both with common languages and idioms with fewer speakers. The members directory on the organisation’s website can guide you through the members and their language pairs as well as the subjects they are specialised in.

NGTV prides itself of saying its “members are very active”. The association has numerous departments, sections and regional groups, as well as language-specific groups. Currently, there are six sections: Literary, Conference Interpreters, Court Interpreters, Call Interpreters, Notary and Civil Lawyers and Technical-Scientific. As far as regional circles are concerned, the translators association has 11 throughout the Netherlands, from The Hague to Limburg, Rotterdam and West-Brabant. There are also four language circles: German, Polish, Portuguese and Turkish.

The translation association publishes a magazine for members called “The Linguaan”. It provides regular information on everything concerning the profession, from academic articles to technology, opportunities and events. It is aimed at members but also at anyone who has an interest in the subjects it focuses on. Members get it free of charge, interested parties can subscribe to it.

The Mother Tongue Principle

The Dutch interpreters and translators association stands for the Mother Tongue Principle. It means that the translator’s maternal language will also be his working language. For example, a native English translator will translate into English, a German into German, a French speaker into French, etc. This principle applies to all native translators and conference interpreters (either simultaneous or consecutive interpreting). Call interpreters are expected to translate in both directions, as a conversation with two interpreters is usually impractical.

This principle is based on UNESCO’s 1976 Recommendation of Nairobi, which contained projects for rules on the legal protection of translators. It also aimed at improving the quality of translation, stating that “translators, to the possible extent, should translate into their mother tongue or in a language they understand as if it was their mother tongue”.

Keep in mind that Dutch is the official language of the Netherlands. It is also spoken by approximately 60% of Belgium and Suriname. There are around 24 million native Dutch speakers.

When you fill-in your profile details to become a Lexis member, always choose your mother tongue as your working language. Lexis – Connections with meaning

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