Translators Associations North America: NCTA

The needs and concerns of the community

Translators Association North America: NCTAThe Northern California Translators Association (NCTA) was founded in 1978, with the purpose of assisting both translators and interpreters with all challenges they meet in the profession. Since then, NCTA has been serving the community through an active participation of all members.

The translation association from North California aims to address the needs and concerns of the community of translators and interpreters in the region. It provides guidance to those who are yet entering the field, providing them with the knowledge its more experienced members have acquired, in some cases, through decades of professional work. NCTA also aims at furthering the profession in terms of quality standards and public recognition. As a professional interpreters and translators association, NCTA “has become a pillar of the foreign language industry in California”.

With approximately 600 members, including individuals, translation companies and institutions, NCTA does not serve the area of Northern California exclusively, but also has members throughout North America and in countries like Germany, Brazil or Japan.

According to the Californian translation association, there are infinite reasons to join them. They take it even further by saying that if you participate in their online professional database of individual linguists and translation companies, “just one project referral could pay for the cost of your membership”.

NCTA says that membership will allow to get work, through the referral service, which is search “an average of 80 times each business day”, meaning it is one of the easiest ways for new clients to find you. In addition, translators and interpreters may benefit from the members-only online groups, which allow lively exchanges on pertinent topics of the trade, such as payment issues, client negotiations, technology solutions, etc.

On the other hand, companies and outsourcers can benefit from the translators association groups “by being plugged into the local community of language professionals, a rich source for job placement”.

The continuing education workshops put together by NCTA throughout the year can help you discover new skills, as well as keep old ones up to date. To keep you informed, NCTA has its own industry journal, Translorial, that you will receive as part of your membership benefits. Moreover, members can download back issues of the journal on the translation association’s website. There are also email newsflashes with the latest NCTA news and information on events.

NCTA is committed towards keeping its members updated as far as technology is concerned. It tries to keep up with the latest developments in terms of software and hardware and present you with all the novelties at the organisation’s meetings and workshops. When you run into a technology problem, you can always get immediately help from the people on the online groups. These also allow you to access linguistic resources, such as feedback on terminology issues.

The quarterly meetings organised the Californian translation association provide the perfect opportunity for translators and interpreters to meet up and talk about their concerns, as well as to discuss new ideas and wishes for the future. The same applies to all the informal social events NCTA hosts.

As you attend NCTA’s workshops and meetings or simply by writing an article for Translorial, you can earn ATA Continuing Education Points, which will help you maintain your certification. You can also add NCTA’s logo to your business card, résumé and website to gain credibility and show potential clients that you are truly committed to the profession.

According to the translators association, the easiest way to join them is online. You must begin by choosing the membership type that applies to your situation. If you would rather not do it on the internet, you may print out a membership form and send it together with your payment.

There are two types of NCTA membership. Individual members pay $60 for the first twelve months and $50 for each subsequent year. Their benefits include receiving a printed, mailed copy of the translation association’s quarterly journal Translorial, with news about the industry and focussing on local events, as well as exclusive notification of upcoming professional workshops, association meeting, social events and much more opportunities of interest for translators and translation agencies. You can also participate in electronic mailing lists and get discounts for NCTA workshops and events.

Furthermore, “linguists with appropriate qualifications are entitled to be listed” in the online searchable database and telephone referral service. NCTA reminds that new members will be asked for credentials and references, which will be verified by the NCTA board. Their “screened database of translators and interpreters is a highly respected and heavily used source through which clients from San Francisco, Silicon Valley and around the world place their jobs”.

As for companies and institutions, their membership category costs $100 for each twelve months period. They have the same benefits as individual members.

Translorial Readers are non-NCTA members who can get a free username and password that allows them to access a PDF version of both current and past issues of the translators association journal. You must fill in the required fields online (marked by a red asterisk).

NCTA allows anyone interested to visit the Translorial archive page on its website. There you may find more information about the journal’s contributors and about the association’s policies concerning submission of articles and placement of advertisements.

Keep in mind that in California, 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 California is of over 37 million people.

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