|Headquarters||Alexandria, Virginia, United States|
|translators, interpreters, educators, educational institutions, language services companies|
President of the Board of Directors
|Corinne L. McKay|
|Affiliations||International Federation of Translators|
The American Translators Association (ATA) was founded in 1959 and is now the largest professional association of translators and interpreters in the United States with nearly 10,000 members in more than 100 countries.
Membership is open to anyone with an interest in translation and interpreting as a profession or as a scholarly pursuit. Members include translators, interpreters, educators, project managers, web and software developers, language services companies, hospitals, universities, and government agencies.
ATA offers certification examinations for its members in some language combinations and is affiliated with the International Federation of Translators (FIT). The association is headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia.
Unlike a trade union, the ATA represents both "labor" and "management"--that is, both the independent contractors who produce translation and interpreting services and the agencies who purchase them. The ATA likewise does not provide union-type benefits, such as collective bargaining or health insurance, to its freelance members.
ATA's primary goals are to foster and support the professional development of translators and interpreters and to promote the translation and interpreting professions. The Association offers a variety of programs and services in support of these goals, including webinars and one-day workshops throughout the year and an ATA Annual Conference every fall—all of which feature translation and interpreting education in diverse specialties and languages.
After passing the ATA certification examination, translators are required to complete a certain number of "continuing education" points in order to retain their certification.
ATA is a member of the Joint National Committee for Languages, a nonprofit education policy association that works to raise grassroots awareness of the importance of languages to national security, economic growth, and social justice. ATA has also advocated for translators and interpreters on specific issues affecting the translation and interpreting professions. See ATA Statement Opposing Discontinuing Immigration Interpreting Services, ATA Opposes Lower Interpreter Exam Scores in Texas, and ATA Position Statement Regarding California Assembly Bill 5 and Request for Exemption.
Since 2018, ATA has celebrated International Translation Day (September 30) by publishing a series of social media posts intended to educate the public about the role of professional translators and interpreters. ATA's 2018 ITD celebration centered on six infographics highlighting "need to know" facts about translation and interpreting services. On September 30, the Association will release a "Day in the Life of a Translator or Interpreter," a short animated video showing how translators and interpreters help power the global economy.
ATA is governed by its Bylaws, and has a President, a President-Elect, a Secretary, a Treasurer, and a nine-member Board of Directors. An Executive Director is in charge of operations.
ATA divisions provide members with common interests a way to network and receive career updates. The divisions offer newsletters, online forums, seminars, conference presentations, and networking sessions. ATA offers 22 special interest groups or divisions , based on language or subject-area specialty. Any member of the ATA can belong to any division(s).
ATA chapters and affiliates provide regional information, marketing, networking, and support services to local translators and interpreters.
The American Translators Association presents a number of awards and scholarships to members of the translation and interpreting professions. These include: