Translators Associations

Membership – the best way to demonstrate your qualifications & professionalism!

translators association

You should definitely consider joining a professional translators association if you plan to stand out from the crowd as a translator.

“You’re English, you can translate this” was a phrase I often heard in the past. Today – luckily – more people realise that translation involves more than simply understanding a second language.

Even so, the online marketplace for German translation and a growing belief in the power of machine translation is putting downward pressure on prices. Added to that, anyone can call themselves a translator.

Translators have to overcome these obstacles if they want to make a proper living as professional language service providers.


By creating a strong personal brand, specialising in specific translation niches, and demonstrating professionalism through active membership of an official translators association.

Benefits of membership....

Membership of a translators association = official recognition of your abilities & language-related qualifications = reassurance for clients.

  • Membership is a qualification in itself (not everyone can join!).
  • Many language translation associations notify members of jobs & publish an online directory of their members for clients to search.
  • Professional support: surveys, information & advice (e.g. average rates, better rates for professional insurance etc.).
  • Ongoing seminars and courses for continued professional development
  • Peer recognition is a great feeling and confidence booster!
  • Events are a great chance to network and create partnerships.

.... and for buyers of translation?

Members of a professional translators association are:

  • Judged to be qualified by an authoritative body (membership often requires references as well as exams).
  • Signed up to maintaining professional standards in translation.

If you work in German translation and your language pair is German<=>English,  the following translator associations are the most relevant for you:

1.  International translators associations

  • AITC – International Association of Conference Translators. All members have demonstrated work experience in conference translating.  3 categories ofmembership according to experience.
  • EST – European Society for Translation Studies  This language translation association undertakes research into translation & interpreting, and offers a forum for exchange and dissemination of new ideas and insights into translation studies.
  • FIT–Fédération Internationale des Traducteurs = IFT, International Federation of Translators, an umbrella body for over 100 associations of translators, interpreters & terminologists from 55 countries, designed to promote professionalism in the industry (not for individual members).
  • GALA – Globalization & Localization Association: International industry association for the translation, internationalization, localization & globalization industry
  • Translators without Borders – a non-profit organisation designed to provide free translations for NGOs. Only accept qualified translators. A good one for the CV.

2.  Translators assocations in English-speaking countries

United States:

  • ATA – American Translators Association:  An absolute mine of useful information for translators & purchasers of translation services. Members are sent their periodical ATA Chronicle. The ATA runs its own translation certification exams which are probably the most widely recognized in the US.
  • ALTA – American Literary Translators Association: Awards annual prize for literary translation & has a great blog at
  • NAJIT – The National Association of Judiciary Interpreters & Translators:  Promotes the work of court interpreters & translators. Newsletter Proteus.
  • IGA – The Interpreters Guild of America:  The national union for translators & interpreters. Provides a translator referral service.

United Kingdom:

  • CIOL – Chartered Institute of Linguists:  The CIOL promotes the interests of linguists both in the UK and around the world, & runs its own professional certification exams. They publish a linguist list of members who are available for work. This language translation association publishes a newsletter, The Linguist, six times a year, and runs online discussion forums for members. (I’m a member and have taken their Diploma in Translation).
  • ITI – Institute of Translation & Interpreting:  Professional membership association & standard-setting institute. Referral service for members, publishes the bi-monthly ITI Bulletin.
  • Translator's Association – established in 1958 to represent literary translators. Part of FIT.


  • ACJT – Canadian Association of Legal Translators: the website only seems available in French! For holders of a law degree only.
  • ATIx regional associations: ATIO – Association of Translators & Interpreters in Ontario (ATIM = Manitoba, ATIS = Saskatchewan, ATIS = Alberta, ATINS = Nova Scotia:, all affiliated with CTTIC)  Promotes the interests of translators & interpreters, and runs exams for the title of “certified translator” which gives legal recognition of professional qualification across Canada.  Directory of members.
  • CTTIC – Canadian Translators, Terminologist and Interpreters Council:  National body representing professional translators, interpreters and terminologists, contributes to high quality inter-language and intercultural communication.
  • LTAC – Literary Translator’s Association of Canada: Advances status of literary translation in Canada, annual translation award.

Australia & New Zealand:

  • AUSIT – Australian Institute of Interpreters and Translators: National Australian professional body for interpreters & translators. Publishes quarterly newsletter, runs workshops & seminars, electronic forum for member discussions. Regional branches across the country.
  • NAATI – National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters: Sets and monitors standards for translation & interpretation in Australia. Runs own tests & officially recognizes qualifications.
  • NZSTI – New Zealand Society of Translators & Interpreters: National body of translators & interpreters, provides networking forum & represents members' interests.

3.  Translators associations in German-speaking countries


  • ATICOM – Fachverband der Berüfsübersetzer und Berufsdolmetscher e. V: Association of professional translators & interpreters representing their members‘ interests, directory of members available for work.
  • BDÜ – Bundesverband der Dolmetscher und Übersetzer e.V = Federal Association of Interpreters & Translators.  This professional association of interpreters and translators in Germany has a membership of over 7,500 qualified translators & interpreters.
  • DGÜD – Deutschen Gesellschaft für Übersetzungs- und Dolmetschwissenschaft  = German Association of Translation & Interpreting Studies. Promoting research into translation & interpreting.
  • VDÜ – Verband deutschsprachiger Übersetzer literarischer und wissenschaftlicher Werke e.V = National association for German translators of literary &scientific works. Website in German.
  • VÜD – Verband der Übersetzer und Dolmetscher e.V = Association of translators & interpreters. Around 160 members with university degrees in translation.


  • ACCI – Austrian Association of Certified Court Interpreters: Promotes the professional & business interests of sworn and certified court interpreters in Austria.
  • Universitas – Austrian Interpreters' and Translators' Association:  This is the primary association representing language professionals in Austria. Members all hold degrees in translation or translation-related subjects.


  •  ASTTI – Swiss Association of Translators, Terminologists and Interpreters.   Website in German,Italian and French. Promotes awareness of the industry & its members‘ interests.
  • VZGDÜ – Verband der Zürcher Gerichtsdolmetscher und -Übersetzer: Association of court interpreters & translators in Zurich.

Even if you decide that membership is not for you, many of the association websites above are mines of useful information on translation matters in general - so go grab yourself some of the benefits!

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German to English Translation

Joanna Scudamore-Trezek

I'm a German to English translator living and working in Vienna, Austria. I turn German texts into clear and accessible English, allowing clients to present their stories, ideas and information to a completely new audience. My business and marketing clients rely on me to get their message across clearly and effectively.  How can I help you today?

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