By Kevin Lossner
Partly reblogged from Translation Tribulations with permission from the author
Over the past decade I’ve spent many hundreds of hours helping clients and colleagues find suitable translators to collaborate on their projects, mostly involving German and English, but occasionally venturing into other languages such as French, Spanish, Russian, Chinese or even Vietnamese and Sinhalese. Unfortunately, it can be said that “many are called [translators], but few… [should be] chosen.” For various reasons.
Many clever translation buyers (translation agencies, corporations great and small, law offices, and individuals) know the open secret to finding a better class of translator: professional association directories. Sure, you can find rotten eggs in those nests too, but on the whole, these are far more serious professionals, most of whom actually make a living as translators and perform to standards that will enable to keep them doing so as long as they like. Not the desperate unemployed, the frustrated actors or journalists who can’t get enough work to pay the rent, starving studentZ or bored house hubbies.
Where do you find contact lists for these professionals to find the “right” one with the special knowledge you need? Here. I’ll keep a running list of professional organizations around the world and links to their online directories. I know only a few myself, because my interests are limited to a few languages and countries; some of these have been kindly provided to me by international professional colleagues who know the organizations intimately and are in some cases involved with running some part of them. If you are looking for competent people, certified or otherwise, these are very good places to start your quest. It is more likely to have a happy end or a happy working relationship for the years ahead.
Note that while I list these organizations by country, most or all have international members and language combinations that go beyond those one might expect from that country, so even if you are in Mexico, it might pay to browse a French directory for a Russian to Italian translator🙂
CTTIC – home page
Here there are links to the regional organizations and their directories (print or online). It’s a bit fragmented; the group in British Columbia, for example, has separate directories for “certified” and associate members. Too bad they can’t offer a nationwide directory in this modern age, but as they say, “seek and ye shall find”, and the findings are surely better than what one would typically turn up at a commercial portal without standards.
BDÜ – home page (in English here). National scope. The site’s programming is primitive (still uses HTML frames!!!), so the directory will have to be accessed from the home page. You can’t miss it though: a link with a big magnifying glass at the top of the page and large, bold words that say “search online for interpreters and translators“. The cream of the German crop will usually be found here.
ADÜ Nord – home page (in German). More focused on the northern region. The online search form for translators is on the home page, impossible to miss. There are great language service providers to be found here.
VÜD – home page (in German) with an integrated search form for translators and interpreters at the top
NZSTI – home page with a search box at the top
Asetrad – home page – online search with specialties (in English)
MET – home page – online search (this organization includes language specialists for all aspects of English)
APTIC – home page – online search – the English pages for the association of translators working with Catalan
SFÖ – home page with online search form by language combination & subject (in English)
Kammarkollegiet (authorized translators) – info page – online directory search (in English)