ATA-certified members must earn 20 hours of continuing education credit over three years to keep their certification current. The system for counting credits may seem daunting at first. Here's how seven certified ATA members plan to meet the requirement over the coming three years. They represent a range of languages and locations: a college town in Virginia, rural Vermont, and cities in the Midwest and Latin America.
Saranac, New York
Who: Dorothee Racette is a freelance translator, ATA certified in English<>German, who works full-time from her home in Saranac, New York, specializing in the fields of business, medicine, and biology.
Where: Living on an old farm in the Adirondacks, the closest cities are Montreal (100 miles) and Burlington, Vermont (70 miles). Though there is a State University of New York campus 30 miles away, her main connection to the outside world is through her satellite Internet service.
How: In addition to trying to attend ATA Conferences, she’s considering taking a course in the nursing program at a local university. Something along the lines of "Introduction to Anatomy" or any other medical terminology-intensive coursework would definitely help her with her work. She notes that if she takes the course on a non-credit basis, it would actually be free.
Who: ATA-certified in translation from English into French, Jean Leblon translates software, legal documents, promotional materials and proofreads French textbooks. He is also President of the Alliance Française de Seattle and board member of NOTIS.
Where: Edmonds is a business and residential suburb of Seattle, within striking distance of a number of institutions offering coursework in translation, localization and a full range of other fields. It is also home to T&I organizations NOTIS and WITS, both offering several meetings of interest annually.
How: In addition to attending ATA Conferences, Jean attends several NOTIS and WITS events annually. He is also a member of a couple other associations and participates in grading and selecting ATA exams. Finally, being over 60, Jean’s pleased to note that he doesn’t have to fulfill any requirements at all!
|Olga Lucía Mutis de Serna
Who: Olga Lucía Mutis de Serna is ATA-certified in English into Spanish and specializes in the fields of medicine, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, and is the current editor of the Spanish Language Division’s newsletter, Intercambios.
Where: Bogotá, Colombia is a major metropolis that offers countless opportunities for continuing education. It is also a place where personal security is on people’s minds whenever they leave home.
How: Olga Lucía notes that continuing education requirements pose a problem to inhabitants of countries with weak currencies, distant from the United States both in terms of miles and income. Though she would love to attend all the conferences, the cost they represent limits her to attending once every two years. To make up additional credits in the off years, she plans to continue to contribute to Intercambios and is considering mentoring as well as investigating local opportunities.
Who: Jonathan Hine is an ATA-certified translator of Italian and French into English, based in Charlottesville, Virginia. A specialist in legal and financial translation with a growing interpreting practice, he is also a freelance writer and teaches translation at the university level.
Where: Charlottesville offers numerous continuing education opportunities through local institutions, such as the University of Virginia, in subject-specialization areas relevant to his translation work, such as accounting, international finance, and survey design.
How: Jonathan plans to earn his 20 credit hours of continuing education over the next three years through a variety of activities he's already engaged in, such as presenting at and attending ATA conferences and local chapter events, memberships in several other associations, grading certification exams, mentoring, and publishing articles.
He writes: "Since my professional activities keep me actively engaged in several associations, I could easily fulfill the requirements without attending a single ATA conference. The continuing education requirements represent no incremental cost over my current activities. Even without any ATA activities, by publishing articles, teaching, and attending local Chamber of Commerce or Service Corps of Retired Executives workshops, I could easily meet the requirements at a very low cost."
Lic. Beatriz Grucci
Who: Beatriz Grucci is an ATA-certified English>Spanish translator based in Montevideo, Uruguay, specializing in medicine and biology.
Where: Montevideo is home to a handful of major educational and business institutions suitable for fulfilling the continuing education requirements. They offer courses and occasional seminars and workshops on translation, linguistics, English literature, cultural background and specialized language courses, as well as a variety of scientific and medical events.
How: Beatriz plans on submitting these seminars and workshops for continuing education credit and actively pursue a number of available online opportunities. She's also considering contributing an article or two on her area of expertise to industry publications.
Eric A. Bye, M.A.
Who: Eric Bye holds ATA-certified in French>English and translates nonfiction books and journalism from French, Spanish, and German in such fields as sports, art, science and technology, and technical mountain climbing.
Where: Living and working in rural Vermont, there are no continuing education opportunities for translators in the immediate area. This may be a disadvantage compared to translators who work in a metropolitan region, but for those who like to travel, it can be an excuse to visit someplace exciting, he notes.
How: The key will be to turn continuing education into an opportunity, rather than a burden. Though not yet certain how he will fulfill the requirements, Eric's plans include an occasional trek down to the Boston area for New England Translators Association events, publishing articles on translation, and investigating regional and overseas continuing education opportunities, while taking advantage of the fact that professional development expenses are tax deductible.
Kansas City, Missouri
Who: ATA-certified in English>German, Frieda Ruppaner-Lind is a full-time freelance translator in the fields of industry and technology, IT, hardware and software, business and financial, medical technology, and law.
Where: Based in Leawood, Kansas, a suburb of Kansas City, continuing education opportunities are abundant in her area both at universities and colleges, as well as through the Mid-America Chapter of ATA, which offers annual one-day workshops or conferences.
How: Although attending ATA conferences will be one source for Frieda's continuing education credits, she also plans to continue as an active member of her regional chapter, helping to organize workshops, giving presentations, and contributing to the chapter's newsletter. She also hopes to publish more articles in the ATA Chronicle and German Language Division newsletter, and to attend classes offered at local colleges, universities, and chambers of commerce, including the International Trade Club of Greater Kansas City.