Translators Associations Europe: UNIVERSITAS

Representing Austria's university-educated professionals

Translators Associations Europe: UNIVERSITASUNIVERSITAS Austria Interpreters and Translators Association (Berufsverband für Dolmetschen und Übersetzen) was born in 1954 from a desire to unite Austrian translators and interpreters with a university degree. Its name represents precisely that idea: UNITAS / UNITY + UNIVERSITY.

According to its leaders, UNIVERSITAS “is the country’s most comprehensive professional organization, serving language professionals and their clients in all fields of translational activity”. They are proud to say that the translators association works in “such diverse fields as technical and literary translation, conference, court and liaison interpreting, and the newer domains of localization, terminology and technical writing”.

Currently, the Austrian translation association has around 600 members in different parts of the country, ensuring “the highest standards of qualification and performance in more than two dozen working languages”.

It is UNIVERSITAS’ mission to provide users of translation and interpreting services with an easy access to experienced and qualified professionals. For that purpose, the association has created an online directory which allows you several search options (simple, advanced, according to location and subject area).

All professionals listed have met the requirements demanded by UNIVERSITAS (university degree in their field and several years of work experience). The association stresses that “their qualification and reliability has been subject to UNIVERSITAS Austria's peer assessment process”.

The directory of interpreters and translators is accessible to everyone, through its online query function. There is a printed booklet version which is distributed to members and customers. Other than this, the online database of the association’s members is accessible to members only.

Another of UNIVERSITAS’ missions towards customers of translation and interpretation services is to provide information and guidance about the contracting of professional services.

As far as the representation of professional interests is concerned, the Austrian translators association stands for its members before public bodies and authorities. It also guarantees its associates an image of quality, through the rigorous selection process involved in its directories. UNIVERSITAS provides support and assistance, at the same time as it develops links with related associations both in Austria and the rest of the world.

All members are given a mini-website where they can display a profile with information they consider important. Other than that, there are regular workshops and seminars, lectures and presentations about language, regardless of idioms. UNIVERSITAS welcomes suggestions for future events.

For the young

Based upon its strong connection with university education, UNIVERSITAS has developed a set of special programmes for its student members. This includes the provision of comprehensive information, brochures and the organisation of regular workshops. The Austrian association is committed to cooperate with several university institutes as well as with university-based student representatives. There are frequent networking events organised by UNIVERSITAS.

The association has a Mentor Programme, during which student members (or young associate members) are assisted by an experienced translator / interpreter during the transition period from university to professional life. The programme gives them an insight “into the world of translating and interpreting or related professions”, as well as the encouragement to embark on their careers. Moreover, it helps them build their own networks.


UNIVERSITAS treasures communication between members. In order to achieve this goal, the Austrian association manages an online newsgroup, a newsletter, but also its general meeting, on the first Friday of March and the annual St. Jerome (patron saint of translators) event, in late September.

Keep in mind that Austria’s main tongue is German, the official language and lingua franca. There is also Austro-Bavarian, the main language outside Vorarlberg, Alemannic, the main language in Vorarlberg, and several minority languages. Around the world there are around 98 million native German 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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