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Contemplating becoming a member of ITI
Persoa que publicou o fío: Manuela Junghans

Manuela Junghans  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:07
Membro (2004)
English to German
+ ...
May 10, 2016

Dear UK translators

I´m currently contemplating becoming a member of ITI and would be happy to hear the thoughts of people who are members. Is it in your opinion worth the investment? Did you get many (good) jobs through the network? Or profit in any other way?

Also, the two memberships categories I would probably be eligible for are "Qualified" or "Associate" member. What exactly is the difference?

Looking forward to hearing your opinions and thoughts.... See more
Dear UK translators

I´m currently contemplating becoming a member of ITI and would be happy to hear the thoughts of people who are members. Is it in your opinion worth the investment? Did you get many (good) jobs through the network? Or profit in any other way?

Also, the two memberships categories I would probably be eligible for are "Qualified" or "Associate" member. What exactly is the difference?

Looking forward to hearing your opinions and thoughts.

Have a lovely afternoon.

Manuela
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Herbert Eppel  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:07
German to English
+ ...
ITI info May 10, 2016

Dear Manuela

Thanks for your interest in ITI.

You may find my 'agency article' of interest, which was published in the ITI Bulletin some years ago and is available from here: http://herbeppel.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/what-makes-good-translation-agency.html

Recent ITI developments are discussed at ... See more
Dear Manuela

Thanks for your interest in ITI.

You may find my 'agency article' of interest, which was published in the ITI Bulletin some years ago and is available from here: http://herbeppel.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/what-makes-good-translation-agency.html

Recent ITI developments are discussed at http://herbeppel.blogspot.co.uk/2016/04/the-ongoing-iti-retirementresignation.html

Schöne Grüße

Herbert Eppel MITI
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philgoddard
United States
Membro (2009)
German to English
+ ...
. May 10, 2016

I think Herbert may have misunderstood your question.

The membership grades are described here:

http://www.iti.org.uk/become-a-member/membership-categories/2-uncategorised/373-individual-membership

I've been a member for over twenty years, and I still consider it money well spent. ITI has been over
... See more
I think Herbert may have misunderstood your question.

The membership grades are described here:

http://www.iti.org.uk/become-a-member/membership-categories/2-uncategorised/373-individual-membership

I've been a member for over twenty years, and I still consider it money well spent. ITI has been overtaken by ProZ as my main source of new business, but I still get occasional jobs through the ITI website. It's a useful mark of quality, showing people that you're a serious translator, and if you live in the UK the events are well worth going to.
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Manuela Junghans  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:07
Membro (2004)
English to German
+ ...
INICIO DE TEMA
Many thanks.. May 10, 2016

..to both of you for taking the time to answer.

Yes, I think Herbert, you indeed misunderstood what I was actually asking. But thanks for the links regardless.

Thanks also for your link, Phil. That was exactly what I was looking for and couldn´t find.

What you say about the ITI being a mark of quality and organising worthwile events, sounds plausible enough for me as a reason to join.

But from what I gather the joining process is quite some in
... See more
..to both of you for taking the time to answer.

Yes, I think Herbert, you indeed misunderstood what I was actually asking. But thanks for the links regardless.

Thanks also for your link, Phil. That was exactly what I was looking for and couldn´t find.

What you say about the ITI being a mark of quality and organising worthwile events, sounds plausible enough for me as a reason to join.

But from what I gather the joining process is quite some investment upfront, what with the application fee, the admission test fee (not being guaranteed you will actually pass it). ... and the annual membership fee.

But thanks for your valuable input so far. Please keep it coming Dear ITI´ers
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Ines Burrell  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:07
Membro (2004)
English to Latvian
+ ...
It's not the quantity, it's the quality May 11, 2016

Although the quantity of new clients gained via ITI might differ, one of the main things I noticed was the quality. It's not only the clients who are looking for quality. Having spent years explaining to potential clients that I am not providing references since my client list is confidential and I do not wish for my clients to be hassled every time a new client might want to try my services, I was pleasantly surprised when a prospective client offered references for their company. I say - go fo... See more
Although the quantity of new clients gained via ITI might differ, one of the main things I noticed was the quality. It's not only the clients who are looking for quality. Having spent years explaining to potential clients that I am not providing references since my client list is confidential and I do not wish for my clients to be hassled every time a new client might want to try my services, I was pleasantly surprised when a prospective client offered references for their company. I say - go for it!

Ines
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Herbert Eppel  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:07
German to English
+ ...
Not really a misunderstanding May 11, 2016

My previous reply with the two pertinent links (http://herbeppel.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/what-makes-good-translation-agency.html and http://herbeppel.blogspot.co.uk/2016/04/the-ongoing-iti-retirementresignation.html) ... See more
My previous reply with the two pertinent links (http://herbeppel.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/what-makes-good-translation-agency.html and http://herbeppel.blogspot.co.uk/2016/04/the-ongoing-iti-retirementresignation.html) was intended to provide 'insider' information/pointers re the value of the ITI membership 'investment' that isn't readily available on the ITI website or elsewhere, i.e. it wasn't a misunderstanding. Sorry I didn't make it clearer.

Regards

Herbert Eppel MITI
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Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:07
Membro (2014)
Japanese to English
That's the way corporates work May 11, 2016

Manuela Junghans wrote:
But from what I gather the joining process is quite some investment upfront

Yes, it is. Like many things in life - large chunks of education for example - it is less valuable for its intrinsic worth than as a signal to others that you are jumping through the right hoops, that you are the right sort of person.

Precisely because it is onerous, many people will shrug and say "it's not worth it". However, for better or for worse the corporate mentality (and most clients are corporates) is to seek out those who have more and "better" qualifications.

This is at least partly because assigning a rough value to the number and type of qualifications is much easier than directly assessing the ability of each individual. So you use filters to establish minimum requirements, which might be "Native speaker in target language", "Degree related to language" and "Membership of respected professional organisation".

It is conceivable that a translator might have no formal qualifications and still be the best in her field, but I suspect the probability of that being the case is pretty low. As Damon Runyon is supposed to have remarked, "The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but that's how the smart money bets."

Smart money whittles down the field of candidates to a manageable number and only then starts conducting interviews or tests. ITI, CIOL, or BDÜ membership might well be used for such screening. Worth it? You be the judge.

Regards
Dan


 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 12:07
Membro (2018)
French to English
as a PM May 11, 2016

Speaking as a former PM, ITI was my go-to place when I needed a good translator.

I found many highly competent professionals there, and was ever only disappointed in one, who can be classified as the exception proving the rule.

At the time I was working for a top-notch agency that paid good money promptly and cared very deeply about providing nothing but top-quality translations, so if that's the kind of client you want, and the kind of work you do, it's probably the
... See more
Speaking as a former PM, ITI was my go-to place when I needed a good translator.

I found many highly competent professionals there, and was ever only disappointed in one, who can be classified as the exception proving the rule.

At the time I was working for a top-notch agency that paid good money promptly and cared very deeply about providing nothing but top-quality translations, so if that's the kind of client you want, and the kind of work you do, it's probably the place you want to be.
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Manuela Junghans  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:07
Membro (2004)
English to German
+ ...
INICIO DE TEMA
Thanks so much for all your valuable input... May 11, 2016

...Ines and Dan...
And thanks also for clarifying your intention, Herbert.

Ines, what you say about quality as opposed to quantity and the fact that you won´t be hassled anymore about providing references (which I admit is a real nuisance), are very convincing arguments.

Dan, many many thanks for elaborating on my question so extensively. You have some very valid points there, and what you say about worthwile things costing money upfront is certainly true.
... See more
...Ines and Dan...
And thanks also for clarifying your intention, Herbert.

Ines, what you say about quality as opposed to quantity and the fact that you won´t be hassled anymore about providing references (which I admit is a real nuisance), are very convincing arguments.

Dan, many many thanks for elaborating on my question so extensively. You have some very valid points there, and what you say about worthwile things costing money upfront is certainly true.

All in all I think you have me convinced now that I will start my application to become a member of ITI...

...and hope to see some of you at one of their events someday.

Dan, I think we have met before? Could it have been during an x-mas powwow a few years back in Edinburgh?
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Diana Coada  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:07
Portuguese to English
+ ...
My 2c May 11, 2016

As an observer/outsider I think the issues below should be taken into consideration before joining:

1. The ITI Bulletin is becoming more and more a plug for MT, and censorship is ripe on various issues with members' article proposals never being published in the Bulletin;

2. The ITI accepts corporate membership and I heard some of these agencies are actually banned from posting jobs on ProZ;

3. They have an exam and certification which are worth nothing out
... See more
As an observer/outsider I think the issues below should be taken into consideration before joining:

1. The ITI Bulletin is becoming more and more a plug for MT, and censorship is ripe on various issues with members' article proposals never being published in the Bulletin;

2. The ITI accepts corporate membership and I heard some of these agencies are actually banned from posting jobs on ProZ;

3. They have an exam and certification which are worth nothing outside the ITI itself, in fact, I heard that if you ever leave you'll have to return your certificate (someone correct me if I'm wrong);

4. Sarah Griffin-Mason (new chair) works at Portsmouth Uni on the M.A. in Translation course. She is constantly promoting the ISO standards. She is a strong proponent of "feeding" agencies with M.A. students calling them "industry links". A quick Google search should bring up many results connected to these issues.

5. A couple of recent blog posts and Facebook discussions have been quite enlightening and I see many members have decided to leave. Again, Google is your friend.

I've decided long ago the ITI is a commercial enterprise and nothing more.
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philgoddard
United States
Membro (2009)
German to English
+ ...
Where do you get all this information if you're not even a member? May 11, 2016

Diana Coada wrote:


1. The ITI Bulletin is becoming more and more a plug for MT, and censorship is ripe [sic] on various issues with members' article proposals never being published in the Bulletin


Simply not true. MT is discussed sometimes, but it's not "plugged". Some people feel it has a value, and they have a right to their opinions. And in my experience, if you have something interesting to say and you can write well, they will publish it.

2. The ITI accepts corporate membership and I heard some of these agencies are actually banned from posting jobs on ProZ


Which ones?

3. They have an exam and certification which are worth nothing outside the ITI itself, in fact, I heard that if you ever leave you'll have to return your certificate (someone correct me if I'm wrong)


What certificate? I belong to the ITI, and I don't have one. If you stop paying your membership, then of course you can no longer put the relevant letters after your name.

4. Sarah Griffin-Mason (new chair) works at Portsmouth Uni on the M.A. in Translation course. She is constantly promoting the ISO standards. She is a strong proponent of "feeding" agencies with M.A. students calling them "industry links". A quick Google search should bring up many results connected to these issues.


I think ISO is a waste of time, but she is entitled to her views.

5. A couple of recent blog posts and Facebook discussions have been quite enlightening and I see many members have decided to leave. Again, Google is your friend.

How do you define "many"?



[Edited at 2016-05-11 14:48 GMT]

[Edited at 2016-05-11 14:50 GMT]


 

Diana Coada  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:07
Portuguese to English
+ ...
@philgoddard May 11, 2016

I have colleagues who are or were ITI members.

1. Constant mentions of the fact that we must get used to or accept technology/MT in order to be empowered and promoting workshops and speakers on the subject I would consider to be a plug. Any examples of them doing the opposite? You can see two examples of banned letters/articles on the blog I mention below. I'd say they're pretty well written, don't you think?

2. We cannot name agencies on ProZ but several members have b
... See more
I have colleagues who are or were ITI members.

1. Constant mentions of the fact that we must get used to or accept technology/MT in order to be empowered and promoting workshops and speakers on the subject I would consider to be a plug. Any examples of them doing the opposite? You can see two examples of banned letters/articles on the blog I mention below. I'd say they're pretty well written, don't you think?

2. We cannot name agencies on ProZ but several members have been ripped off by one agency in particular. If you search the corporate members on the BB you’ll soon find out yourself.

3. I was not referring to the use of letters after the members' name but to the exam certificate which they ask you to return when you leave. Do you return the DipTrans/DPSI if you do not join or if you leave the CIoL?

4. She may be entitled to her views but as the Chair of an Institute and formerly a Board member she has a *responsibility* to present balanced views to members, not promote worthless standards.

5. Facebook discussions can’t be linked to but I understand that the ITI LinkedIn group is full of posts that are worth looking into before making a decision. Below I also include a letter released in January by another ITI member.

As a member yourself, I find it odd that you know less about what's going on than a non-member.

http://www.decipherit.net/blog/blog.php?d=4

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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 12:07
Membro (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
I joined the CIoL and not the ITI May 12, 2016

I live in Denmark, and my situation is rather different, but I decided not to join.

I have a mixture of qualifications, but the important one is the Special Language Diploma (Erhverssproglig Diplom) from the University of Southern Denmark, which is a postgraduate diploma in translation both ways between English and Danish.

I came late to translation - in my late 40s - and tried to qualify as a State Authorized Translator (Translatør) in Denmark, but my qualifica
... See more
I live in Denmark, and my situation is rather different, but I decided not to join.

I have a mixture of qualifications, but the important one is the Special Language Diploma (Erhverssproglig Diplom) from the University of Southern Denmark, which is a postgraduate diploma in translation both ways between English and Danish.

I came late to translation - in my late 40s - and tried to qualify as a State Authorized Translator (Translatør) in Denmark, but my qualifications were not accepted. In practice, to qualify with English, you needed one particular MA from a Danish Business School. Anyone else, with or without qualifications, can set up as an oversætter, which is where I ended up.

I was at the time working full-time in-house, and decided to drop State Authorization, but I did want some kind of accredited title -- and so did my boss, for the prestige of his agency! The IoL as it was then admitted linguists with three years' of full-time experience, while the ITI asked for five. I had a bit more than three years, so I asked the IoL how I could prepare for the Dip. Trans. It is not set very often in Danish, but when they looked into it, they allowed me to join on the strength of the diploma I already had.

I was also a member of the Union of Communication and Language Professionals, Denmark (K&S), and felt at that stage that I did not need any more. By the time I started considering joining the ITI, they were demanding an exam and I was getting long in the tooth!

I followed the debate in the CIoL about Chartered Linguist status. About 18 months ago, when the scheme was reviewed and made considerably cheaper and more streamlined, I went for it and am now a Chartered Linguist.

I will probably have to relinquish that next year, as I am planning cut down and work part time. Rather sadly, I have dropped the Union of Communication and Language Professionals, Denmark, as they are strictly a trade union, and at my age the benefits are limited compared with the subscription, whether one continues to work or not.

So I am hanging on to my MCIL for as long as possible - and for better or worse, I can stay on at Proz.com as long as I behave myself.

I want to have time for other things - including the politics of the translating profession - and certainly am not ready to leave translation entirely.

You might be interested in looking into the CIoL - it is not perfect either, but I have certainly appreciated it, enjoyed activities when I could. There is now more CPD online than there used to be, and I would be more active if I lived in the UK.

But then I would probably have joined the ITI at the first opportunity too -- there's no knowing!
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Margaret Marks
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:07
German to English
ITI sends letters requesting certificate return May 16, 2016

[quote]philgoddard wrote:

3. They have an exam and certification which are worth nothing outside the ITI itself, in fact, I heard that if you ever leave you'll have to return your certificate (someone correct me if I'm wrong)

What certificate? I belong to the ITI, and I don't have one. If you stop paying your membership, then of course you can no longer put the relevant letters after your name.



A good question, Phil, but as an ITI member I can tell you that the ITI are requesting certificates be returned, irrespective of whether such a certificate exists! This is a very peculiar and distrustful thing to do. It hasn't happened to me yet, because I haven't left (yet).

Margaret Marks

[Edited at 2016-05-16 21:16 GMT]


 

James (Jim) Davis  Identity Verified
Seychelles
Local time: 15:07
Italian to English
Hi Phil May 20, 2016

philgoddard wrote:

I've been a member for over twenty years, and I still consider it money well spent. ITI has been overtaken by ProZ as my main source of new business, but I still get occasional jobs through the ITI website. It's a useful mark of quality, showing people that you're a serious translator, and if you live in the UK the events are well worth going to.


I joined just 3-4 years ago thinking I should get myelf a translation qualification before I retire.

All my clients are direct. I stopped working for agencies (I'm not sure what I'm allowed to say about agencies on Proz, but as my father told me, if you have nothing good to say about somebody, it is kindest to say nothing - I have nothing to say about Italian agencies and that is being kind) many many years ago.

All I have had from ITI is a few offers of work from British agencies. They offered no help with quality (could I have access to supporting documents from the client? No! and asked me to be lead translator and co-ordinator offering no extra fee). However, I have received very few of these offers and accepted less.

I get the distinct feeling that the ITI acts more in the interests of its corporate members than its individual members. When I brought this up with a past chair, the owner of an agency, soon after joining I was told (he phoned me, ostensibly to "welcome" me to the association) in no certain terms that it was the "institute of translation" and not the "institute of translators". I was asked if I thought he was the "enemy" and was told the institute was not a "trade union".

The Bulletin is a good read, but apart from that I feel all I am getting out of it is "MITI". The ITI supports the status quo where translators are basically agency fodder and anybody who tries to buck that trend is unwelcome.
Try for instance suggesting that quality assurance should involve traceability, in terms of where, when and crucially *who* did the translation. It is one of the basic tenets of quality control to be able to trace back to origin, which means *to the translator* not to the agency, but see how many arguments appear against that basic tenet if you suggest it. To apply it would IMHO improve standards in the industry immensely.

I really don't feel the ITI is acting in my interests or that I am getting my money's worth, but unlike you I don't work for agencies.
Jim
Ps No candidates replied to my questions on the ITI forum. One sent me an email, which answered none of the questions, except by stating that she followed existing ITI policy, without explaining exactly what that was.

[Edited at 2016-05-20 12:52 GMT]


 
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