Translators Associations North America: HITA

Support and guidance for Houston professionals

Translators Associations North America: HITAThe Houston Interpreters and Translators Association (HITA) was founded in 1993. Its main purpose was to provide a discussion forum for individual professionals, translation companies and institutions interested in sharing their experiences, as well as “to serve in cooperation with other regional and national organisations in the recognition of translation and interpretation as professions”.

The translation association from the state of Texas stresses the issue brought by the fact that freelance translators and interpreters usually work on their own, without any support or guidance from fellow workers. One of the points of HITA is to give professionals an opportunity for the exchange of experiences with other people who work in the same field. This dialogue allows members to learn about tools, get privileged information and access resources to improve their professional skills, thus provide a better service to their clients and consequently help their businesses grow.

HITA, as almost all translators associations, is governed by its bylaws, which are regularly updated and approved by the organisation’s members.

Even though HITA has a relationship with the American Translators Association, it is a not a chapter of the American organisation. HITA’s organisation and activities are completely independent. However, both translation associations share their primary goals and objectives: “to advance the translating and interpreting professions and to foster the professional development of individual providers”.

In order to join HITA, you must go to the association’s website and click on “Apply for Membership”. Then you must fill-in the application form, send it to HITA and pay your fees. Membership of the Houston organisation expires a year after the enrolment. As the deadline for renewal approaches, members receive two notices: usually 30 days before deadline and immediately after the expiration date. You may pay your dues using PayPal or credit card, simply by clicking on the PayPal link in the renewal notice. Fees can also be paid by cheque, sent to the association’s address, or in cash to a board member.

When you join this Texan translators association, you benefit from networking opportunities with both beginners and experienced translators and interpreters. You will also be listed in HITA’s online membership directory. Another of HITA’s tools is the forum, an online / email discussion group you may join or not (it is optional).

HITA organises many meetings which feature presentations of interest to the profession. Some of these meetings are worth continuing education credits which may be useful, for example, for Texas Licensed Court Interpreters. Discussed topics include Guidance on becoming a translator / interpreter, Tips on running your business, Relationships between translation agencies and freelance translators and interpreters, Requirements for licensed court interpreters or Computer tools for translators. Past meetings have also covered issues such as Naval and offshore oil drilling and production terminology, Accounting tips for small businesses and the self-employed or Credentials for translators and interpreters.

As a member of HITA, you also get numerous exclusive discounts from businesses in the Houston area.

One of the association’s main concerns is to keep its members updated. Another one is to maintain healthy relationships with similar organisations. HITA is committed to providing information about related associations, local and regional conferences and other events, new developments in the industry (including resources and legal requirements) and social activities in general.

It is estimated that HITA members are able to offer their services in at least 42 languages, including several forms of Chinese. From Amharic to Vietnamese, including Bosnian, Farsi, Hindi, Latvian, Portuguese and Sindhi, members of the translators association guarantee a professional, accurate service.

The Board

The board of HITA has the permanent concern of meeting all specific needs of the Association. In order to advance the translation association through the accomplishment of its objectives, the board has defined a set of bylaws for itself. According to the directors of HITA, each of the descriptions “can, and should be, adapted to meet the interests, strengths, and aspirations of future HITA members, as well as the changing legal and business environment”.

HITA’s board members are supposed to share the belief in the association’s goals as well as an interest in the future of the translation and interpreting professions. They should be present in most of the organisation’s meetings, including quarterly board meetings, social and networking events, conferences, Translation Day and year-end celebrations. Furthermore, board members must develop goals and participate in strategic planning and other organisational planning activities in collaboration with each other.

Flexibility and willingness are strong features board members of the Texan translators association must possess in order to do “whatever it takes” for HITA to achieve its goals. All board members should be engaged and involved and support the varied experiences and perspectives of internal and external colleagues.

It is expected that at least some of the members of the board possess superior written and spoken communications skills, knowledge of budgeting and financial management, organisation skills (that they are able to plan and execute tasks with attention to detail), and proficiency with Microsoft Office applications. Familiarity with internet is also desirable.

Keep in mind that in Texas, 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 over 25 million people.

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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