ATIA Translators

Ways to Engage with your ATIA

As members of the ATIA, we are all accountable for the development of our profession – both through our own professional practice and through the public-facing aspects of our field. There are many ways you can engage with your ATIA to forward your own career and the sector as a whole, and every contribution elevates all of us. 

With Title Protection in the works, there has never been a better time to get involved in spreading the word about the ATIA in your professional and social communities!

Ways to engage with your ATIA:

  • Like, Share, and Follow us on social media to support and promote the visibility of the ATIA and its members:

Facebook: @ATIAlberta

Twitter: @ATIAinfo

LinkedIn: Association of Translators and Interpreters of Alberta  

Instagram: @translatorsinterpretersab 


  • Know of a job posting that would be best filled by an ATIA member? How about a great professional development or volunteer opportunity? If you know of any opportunities relevant to the translation and interpretation professions, please forward them to to share them with your fellow ATIA members.


  • Contribute to the development of the language sector by sharing your insight with the community through our Blog or Member Interview Series.


  • Join our Outreach Team!

An important step in the Title Protection process involves a survey of businesses, organizations, and government departments that require or may require translation and interpretation services. If you are interested in supporting ATIA outreach activities, please contact development@atia.ab.cato get started! Each outreach engagement can be done remotely, and takes around 15 minutes.


For more information on Title Protection, engaging with the ATIA, or how you can contribute to the development of the language sector in Alberta, please contact

Partners in translation: why you need a translation buddy¬ and how to find one


Even though you might love flying solo, you need a flock of like-minded translators to support you through your journey. Forming strong professional bonds is an investment in your growth. Not only that, a safe space where you can be frank about your struggles and successes is beneficial for your mental health and can lead to a greater job satisfaction.

And every flock begins with one bird, one reliable translation buddy you entrust with sharing your path. Just like any successful partnership hinges on respect and shared values, a strong professional union is grounded in honesty and compatibility. While it’s easy to fall victim to the fiercely competitive job market dominated by the individual rather than the collective, a work confidante you respect, get along with, and can trust with work projects can accelerate your success and improve well-being.

Here’s why every translator needs a buddy, and how you can find one:

1. Because you will need a change at some point.

Your freelance translation business might be at its nascency, or you might be handling your full-time workload with ease. Chances are, your client base will keep expanding as you get established in your field. With economic volatility, unforeseen shifts in translation trends, and your ever-evolving values and priorities, a professional safety net can provide the much needed sense of security and internal peace. No matter where you see yourself in five years—at the helm of a global translation firm, supporting a few select clients, or exploring a completely new territory—you will need a trusted partner to help you navigate change.  

2. Two minds are better than one. Imagine if you could tackle many of your translation hurdles with a reliable partner. Or have a trusted buddy to offer advice and a fresh set of eyes to review your work. In a creative, often monotonous field such as translation, you almost can’t do without an outside perspective to get out of translator’s blocks.

4. Learning from others is just as valuable (if not more) as reading professional development books. Experience and failure, when shared with others, can offer just as much insight into the profession as workshops and textbooks. If you find someone you can open up to without any fears of being judged, they can help you overcome from any career impasses.

5. Do it for your social and mental well-being. Translation can be an isolating profession, especially if you work from home with little to no contact with the outside world. Even if you hold an office job, most likely you spend your days communicating with a computer rather than humans. Forming strong relationships with a work partner will enhance your feeling of connection and belonging.

6. You will learn to work in a team environment. Collaboration and team work are currently in high demand in the workplace. As translators, we are often surrounded by professionals who have a very vague idea of how we operate. In many cases, you might be the sole translator on a team. Working with a buddy might help brush up your team work and project management skills.

One of the best ways to form a trusting and lasting professional partnership is by investing your time and effort into finding your people. Many diverse people co-exist under the unifying umbrella of translation and interpreting—by attending as many professional development events, conferences, and workshops, you will increase your chances of finding a true translation buddy.

Picking sides in translation: foreignization or localization?

The relationship between the source text, reader, and the target culture has always been at the forefront of the minds of the greatest translation scholars. How integrated into the receiving culture should the source text be? Does translation entail cutting all ties with the language and culture that produced it? Can two cultures meet halfway in a text that is foreign yet local?

There are volumes written on the topic; nonetheless, today’s translation studies courses have not yet let go of the intricate balance between foreignization and localization. The debate remains open: in the linguistic context of today, which is the preferred direction for practicing translators?

Foreignization is a translation approach that relies on preserving the source language features – such as sentence structure, vocabulary, certain grammatical features – in the target language. Although rendered into a different language, a foreignized text celebrates its foreignness by letting it permeate the fabric of the new translated product.

A translation process that relies on localization, on the other hand, usually produces a text that seamlessly enters the target culture, reinvents itself, and claims the new literary ecosystem as its own.

Let’s take a newspaper article that needs to be translated from French into English as an example. A foreignized translation would feature words of the French origin rather than their English counterparts, longer sentences, idioms that might challenge the reader’s imagination, or French cultural phenomena. A localized translation, conversely, would follow the traditional English language newspaper style in terms of the syntax, vocabulary, and grammar.

As a translator working for one employer or a freelancer juggling multiple contracts, take some time to look into the benefits and shortfalls of the two approaches – and everything in between – and decide what technique suits you best.

1. Know thyself. Which side do you gravitate towards: localization or foreignization? Where do you stand in the debate on the approaches to translating a foreign text? Maybe you’re neither a die-hard localizer nor a devoted foreignizer but a translator who modifies their approach based on the context and audience? As you get a fuller grasp of translation studies and grow in your role, pick a side that aligns with your beliefs, experience,technical expertise and the shifting needs of your clients. Further, know the pros and cons for each approach according to the field you are working in – global business translation work tends to prefer localization whereas some literary translations can prefer to hold onto some of the original nature of the text.

2. Know your text and audience. Spend just as much time studying your contract and the audience it’s intended for as you would deciding what kind of a translator you are. After all, everything that you produce has to satisfy your client and get the message across despite the inherent linguistic and cultural barriers. Ask your clients how they envision the translated text, how it will be used, who the target audience is, and if they have a preference for a translation method.

3.  Be vocal about your preferred approach. While taking note of your employer’s instructions, inform them of your standpoint, what you’ve learned through your experiences, and if you have a better solution for their project. As much as your client might know about translation, they hired you as an informed and trusted advisor.

The age-old debate around the approaches to translating a foreign text is not only pertinent to the theoretical field of translation studies, but also every translation job that comes your way. Picking a side – or sides – is essential for professional consistency and your reputation in the field.


Sidekick to your passions: why translation should be more than a job

What drove you to become a translator? Love of languages? Passion for intercultural communication? Or maybe an inherent flair for sifting through synonyms and finding one that’s just right? For many of us, it’s the profession’s agility and vastness that are most alluring, rewarding, and unique: the ability to pair translation or interpreting up with any of your passions, vocations, hobbies, or areas of expertise.

Think of translation as a universal soldier – a multi-tool that is not only a fascinating and fast-evolving field in itself, but is also a match to your interests; a sidekick to your grand ideas; a lifetime supporter of whatever forces you out of bed in the morning.

Along with the usual pairings—technical translation, court interpreting, medical translation, and translation of fiction—what other domains could benefit from linguistic diversity? More importantly, how can translation complement and enhance your life outside work?

The path to finding how translation can serve you lies within. You have to ask yourself how the unique professional skills you’ve mastered over years translate into your life at large—and find your unique pairing.

What do you like most about translation or interpreting? Is it doing background research? Editing your first draft? Since both translation and interpreting involve multiple stages and rely on diverse skills, you might gravitate towards one facet of the profession over another. While you might not have the luxury of pushing aside your least favourite tasks in a work environment, if translation or interpreting is more than a means of bringing home the bacon, doing what you love leads to a much deeper fulfillment.

What are you passionate about outside of work? In other words, what would you do on a Saturday morning if you had nothing planned? Listen to your authentic self and take some time to ponder this question. Discovering what truly makes you happy—trends, peer pressure, and money aside—is instrumental to leading a happy life. Next step is prioritizing your hobbies to identify those you’re most keen on nurturing.

Find your unique mix. Now that you’ve taken some time to single out your biggest passions, pair them up with what you love about translation or interpreting. There can­­—and should be—an overlap between professional and personal lives, the middle ground that marries your vocation with hobbies, causes you support, ideas worth sharing. As a result of this unique mix bearing your name, you’ll be getting the best of both worlds—fueling your passions with your expertise in translation or interpreting.

Among many perks of being a translator or interpreter, your ability to spread ideas across cultures and continents, educate, and shape the way we relate to each other will always apply to anything you do outside business hours. Are you passionate about hockey? Video games? Cooking? Start a bilingual blog where you share your favourite recipes; comment on the translation of video games; teach hockey terminology in your second language. When you use your skills as a translator or interpreter to give your hobbies a kick and your ideas a voice, you will create a greater level of satisfaction in what you do all while elevating your career and advancing your interests.