Recently, the American Translators Association (ATA) reprinted a news brief from the Associated Press in its newsletter. It concerned translation for the armed forces overseas — and should serve as a cautionary tale to anyone looking for a translator or interpreter.
Recently I put a Farsi-language ad in a Facebook group that said:
If anyone needs any type of translation to and from Farsi, Please contact us at (212) 304- 4400. With over 25 years of experience in translation we have produced books, articles, and document translations to individuals and professionals all over the world. For a list of our services visit https://farsilanguagecenter.com/services/
Member of the American Translators Association (ATA)
Within 24 hours, somebody wrote a comment saying, “OR, you can use Google Translate, which is free.”
The call was about an important question relating to my mother’s account, so I joined her to make the call. The person on the other end of the phone said they had to verify my mother’s identity, and so they needed her to speak, not me, her daughter. The operator asked what language my mother speaks, and put us on hold while they found a Farsi interpreter.
The American Translators Association (ATA), a well known international organization, offers a translator certification—a distinction that puts all translators, regardless of work status, in a better position to market themselves. For Farsi translators and interpreters in particular, the ATA certification is more than just a suffix.
I am very passionate about the mission of the organization and the importance of these certifications for the following reasons:
- It distinguishes those who are qualified to translate from those who are not; and
- An increase in Farsi translators will support the Farsi-English pairing. As of now, this pair has not been established at ATA, and the ATA is not recognizing Farsi as a language.