American Translators Association Monopoly

Apparently there is a new (September 2007) California law that says when a document is translated for a court case, the translator must be either a certified interpreter or a member of the American Translators Association.

That sounds well and good except that very few translators are certified interpreters. Translators do printed words, interpreters do spoken words. Maybe legislators confused the two professions? That leaves us with ATA membership. The trouble is, ATA membership doesn’t bestow skills upon their members via osmosis. Why should translators have to pay the ATA $145/year membership fee and companies the $300/year fee in order to continue to do the job they’ve been doing perfectly adequately for the last hundred years? I think I know the answer: pork.

A local translation company is working to fight this ill-conceived law. They’re looking at going to the Institute for Justice, a legal group that fights for economic liberties.

If you are concerned about this issue as well, contact me directly at .

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