translation-service-association

6 Benefits of Joining a Translation Service Association

Imagine a community where you are surrounded by professionals that all share your unique passion for language, translating, and interpreting. This industry utopia exists when you join a translation service association. Professional associations consist of like-minded members from the same industry who gather together to build standards for the profession, promote education, and network. There is an assortment of benefits to joining an industry association, particularly in the professional translator field.

  1. Unparalleled connections. Translation service associations attract members from across the globe creating opportunities to expand your reach. The American Translators Association (ATA), for instance, has over 10,000 members in over 100 countries. Associations like this build channels of communication to form lucrative partnerships with those you would have never connected with in any other way. Developing relationships with industry peers allows you to share best practices, discover new tools, and the ultimate association perk… receive client overflow. Another important connection you can make in a professional association is finding a mentor. This is especially valuable if it’s early in your career. Through their experience, a mentor can provide insight into the translation industry or introduce new aspects of the profession you never knew.
  2. Reputation. Your membership to a translation service association will provide immediate professional credibility. Listing the association membership on your Linkedin, resume, and even e-mail signature appeals to employers and clients. The membership demonstrates dedication to the translation profession and your commitment to remain knowledgeable in a quickly evolving industry.
  3. Competitive edge. With a collective body of information, associations grant access to the latest industry innovations and developments that will help maintain a competitive edge. E-newsletters, webinars, white papers, specialty journals, and conferences will all guide you in making better decisions for your business. These resources will also help with messaging as you speak more about translation services. Often times, associations will use their resources to provide members with research and statistical information that you alone could not gather. In addition to the latest industry news, associations often provide job listings exclusively to their members. This is an ideal way to discover positions available in your specific area of expertise. The association may even post tips on effectively growing client-base or expand a translation career.
  4. Certifications. Many associations, like the ATA, offer the opportunity to earn certifications in specific language combinations. Obtaining a certification signifies professional dedication and comprehensive knowledge of that particular language. Clients can confidently rely on your ability to meet industry benchmarks and expect higher quality work.
  5. Professional growth. Translator associations often provide continuing education courses that lead to professional development. Some associations will create training materials and resources to share with your employees. In addition to courses, you may decide to become more involved with the association as an organization leader. Whether it be on the board or a subcommittee, a volunteer role will further grow leadership and mentoring skills as well as visibility in the field.
  6. Discounts. One of the more tangible benefits of joining a translation association is the discounts provided to members. This can include discounts toward business-related tools, books, cultural associations, seminars, conferences, and travel. Some associations, like the Northern California Translators Association, provides its members with a 25% discount off the regular subscription price of the Payment Practices list. Payment Practices is a database that scores translation clients making it easier for translators to decide whether to work for a particular company.

Terra Translations Wins Wisconsin Marketplace Rising Star Award

Our Terra Translations family is still gleaming after receiving top honors at the 2017 Marketplace Governor’s Awards competition. The annual event recognizes outstanding Wisconsin businesses owned by minorities, women and service-disabled veterans.

The awards were presented by Gov. Scott Walker and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. last December. Of 400 nominations, we were one of nine winners statewide.

The Rising Star Award is intended to recognize an emerging business that displays strong growth potential by virtue of its past performance, innovative products or services, business team or other distinct competitive advantages. In addition to being a woman and Hispanic-owned business, Terra was presented with the Rising Star recognition for innovation in services, team strength, and future growth plans.

“I hope the award allows us to connect with more people,” explained Marina Ilari, Terra CEO. “We want to help communities with language needs and truly create positive change.”

This accolade reflects our passion for building an inclusive workplace. Ninety percent of the Terra team are native Spanish speakers and/or women. Our diversity promotes industry innovation and has been the driving factor of success. In the last two years, Terra has grown 44 percent. In 2016, Terra completed 14,086 projects and translated 15,460,318 words.

“We approach each project with a proactive attitude and the conviction that it will be done with the highest quality standards, regardless of volume or complexity,” Ilari said.

We’ve dedicated ourselves to every project with a client-focused approach and we’re honored to be recognized for our performance as well as company culture.

Terra Translations Attends the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council Conference

This past June, Marina Ilari, CEO of Terra Translations and Colleen Beres, Regional Business Development Manager, attended the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) at the Cobo Center in Detroit, MI. The conference was geared toward furthering WBENC’s vision of expanding women’s business opportunities in the marketplace. Attendees included senior executives and procurement representatives from Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, and select partner organizations. With three vigorous days of programming, participants attended lectures and presentations from industry thought leaders as well as engaged in panel discussions. The event’s robust business fair allowed attendees to discover opportunities with over 300 exhibitors, exchange ideas, and connect with each other.

A notable session the Terra team attended was titled “Overcoming Challenges of International Business” presented by the WBENC Global Committee. In this interactive session, Women’s Business Enterprises (WBEs) and WBENC Corporate Members discussed the challenges of doing business in an international landscape.

“We shared best practices in overcoming top issues facing global business,” Ilari explained. “A main topic of discussion was language, cultural barriers, and how localization can help companies communicate effectively to international audiences.”

For global businesses or businesses that wish to expand into foreign markets, language can pose an extreme barrier. According to a report by the Economist Intelligence Unit, nearly half of 572 senior executives interviewed admitted that “messages lost in translation” have hindered major international business deals for their companies. Catering to an international clientele is becoming an integral part of business operations and overcoming language barriers is now the need of the hour.

“Over the years, this is an area that businesses are paying closer attention to,” Ilari said. “As a translation service company, we play an imperative role in helping businesses navigate globalization.”

Terra is a certified member of the WBENC, which is the largest certifier of women-owned businesses in the country. The certification process is designed to confirm the business is at least 51% owned, operated, and controlled by a woman or women. More than 11.6 million firms are owned by women, employing nearly 9 million people, and generating $1.7 trillion in sales according to The 2017 State of Women-owned Business Report commissioned by American Express.

“By being a certified women-owned business, we’ve significantly increased our visibility,” said Beres. “It has allowed us to introduce our services and value proposition to new industries as well as survey fellow women-led companies about their current translation needs.”

There is a multitude of advantages for businesses to partner with a certified women-owned business. In addition to tax incentives, research by the Hackett Group showed that working with a WBENC-certified business increased a business’ profitability by as much as 130%.

Government organizations and large corporations are often required to award contracts specifically to women-owned businesses. According to the Elevate Network, in 2014 the U.S. government awarded 267,168 contracts to women-owned businesses for approximately $2 billion. By working with women-owned businesses, these organizations demonstrated a commitment to fostering diversity within their organization and the continued development of inclusion programs.

What is the U.S. Spanish Variant?

There are over half a billion Spanish speakers across the globe according to a 2017 study from the Cervantes Institute. With population growth soaring in Spanish speaking countries as well as the U.S., this number is estimated to rise to 754 million people by 2050. Even within this single romance language, there are major differences in vocabulary and grammar dependent on region.

At 50 million Spanish speakers and growing, the U.S. now has the second largest Spanish-speaking population in the world after Mexico. 70 percent of Latino families are speaking the language at home with the next generation and over time, the U.S. has developed a Spanish variant of its own.

The influence of Hispanics who have migrated to the U.S. from various Latin American countries has a tremendous impact on the U.S. variant. In addition to this, the English language shaped the way U.S Spanish is spoken and written in this country. When translating from English into Spanish, we must keep these considerations in mind. The differences can impact not only understanding, but credibility.

Extralinguistic Conventions
Conventional tones and stylistic principles of English have been adopted by the U.S. Spanish variant. For example, date format in the U.S. is month/day/year. In the rest of Spanish-speaking countries, it is formatted as day/month/year. Adhering to U.S. linguistic conventions, the U.S. Spanish variant utilizes the U.S. format. Other similar extralinguistic conventions include numerical notation, Anglo-Norman measures, and time. Aspects referred to as “country preference” determine how we use Spanish in reference to English. For example, we use PCP (Primary Care Provider). The functionality is determined by the acronym that appears on the card of the health plan member.

Linguistic Conventions
Occasionally the best communication solution for the U.S. variant is the one that most resembles the English language. For example, the designations of state agencies do not have the same equivalences in all countries. The Department of Education can be translated as Ministry of Education or Education secretary. In the U.S. it translates as the Departamento de Educación, which is the official denomination in Spanish of this entity. It’s a simplified approach that unequivocally denotes the real government entity. In U.S. Spanish, this corresponds to the national reference that has been given to the state entity regardless of the linguistic equivalence of the term in other countries. In some cases, we translate the names of government entities but put them in English in parentheses along with their English initials.

Diverse U.S. Hispanics
Just as the English language continues to evolve to create new words from city to city, so does U.S. Spanish. Even within the U.S., different regions have its own unique dialects. For example, the Spanish spoken in Texas is very different from the Spanish in New York. Hispanics in Texas have a heavy Mexican influencer while New York is rooted in Puerto Rican, Dominican Republic, and South American dialects. Translators must understand the diverse Hispanic population in the U.S. to effectively translate into a neutral Spanish intended for Hispanics across the states. Here it is necessary to know the different semantic or misleading connotations that some words have in different countries. For example, “coger” in Spain means “to grab” while in most Latin American countries “coger” means “to have sex”. It is also necessary to avoid localisms or “Americanisms,” such as remera for “t-shirt” said in Argentina, and lana for “money” said in Mexico. Other borrowed English words include: baby shower, blog, webinar, hardware, software, parking, and e-mail.

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Terra Cares Program

Just as diversity and inclusion are important to us, so is Terra’s commitment to the community. That’s why last year we launched the Terra Cares program. Terra Cares provides pro-bono translation services to select non-profit organizations in underserved areas. We also partner with local companies such as legal firms that support Hispanic populations. We donate time and talent toward translating brochures, newsletters, and websites all in an effort of enhancing access for Spanish speakers who seek help from these partner organizations. With many of these groups serving up to an 85 percent Hispanic clientele, the translated educational material has been vital for proper communication.

Organizations we support through this program include Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers, Aurora Walkers Point Community Clinic, and CORE El Centro.

Located in the heart of Milwaukee, WI, Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers offer family resources, behavior health services, and many more community health programs. Their mission of Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers lies in addressing the roots of poverty beyond the exam room in order to improve the health of patients any way they can.

“As the Director of Communications at a non-profit, I wear many hats and have many competing responsibilities, before even taking into account that all our communications and materials must be bilingual,” explained Alison True, Director of Communications at Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers. “Having Terra Translations’ help has been invaluable, freeing up much of my time previously spent on translations. But the truly critical part is the complete trust I have in every translation they produce. They are extremely professional and intelligent, picking up on nuances to continually learn, adjust and put out on-point translations without ever missing or delaying a deadline.”

Rooted in compassion and convenience, Aurora Walkers Point Community Clinic is a fully benevolent health clinic serving inner-city families who do not have insurance and cannot afford health care. Walker’s Point Community Clinic is the first state association-coordinated volunteer clinic in the country with specialty care that includes obstetrics and gynecology, family medicine, internal medicine, orthopedics, general surgery, diagnostic testing, imaging, and lab work.

“We have so appreciated the help that the folks at Terra Translations have provided,” said Steve Ohly, Aurora Clinic Manager. “We are a clinic that does not generate income as we see only low-income uninsured, with the exception of some Refugees with BadgerCare.  Much of our care is provided by volunteers from the community. Terra Translations has allowed us to improve the quality of our written materials tremendously and helped us to steer our limited resources toward access to medication and direct care of the underserved.”

Lastly, CORE El Centro is a non-profit organization offering affordable natural healing and wellness services in both Spanish and English. Stationed in Walker’s Point on Milwaukee’s south side, CORE El Centro serves adults and children of all income levels with a goal to inspire individuals, families, and communities to achieve optimal health.

“Terra Translations has been amazing since day one,” explained Samantha Sanchez, Fund Development and Communications Manager at CORE El Centro. “CORE El Centro has long dreamt of having our website in both Spanish and English. Our mission includes “creating access” for our clients, many of whom speak Spanish as a first language. Thanks to Terra Cares, that dream has started to become a reality! About a third of our website (our most visited pages) has been translated and can be accessed in Spanish or English by our clients.”

The Terra team was deeply inspired by these organizations and believe in supporting their missions of improving the lives of the community.

“Our heart goes into every translated piece of content that we produce through our Terra Cares program,” explained Marina Ilari, Terra CEO. “We understand that many non-profits have budget restrictions and struggle to offer bilingual communication material. We want to help change this.”

At Terra, we are driven to build the bridge over language barriers that can divide us or prevent individuals from receiving the help they need. If your non-profit organization is interested in extending its reach with the Terra Cares program, please send an email to info@terratranslations.com.