The First National Convention of Translators and Interpreters sets the end of a stage and the beginning of another. We could say that this Convention jointly with the creation of the provincial professional body mark the end or the beginning of a process.
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The 1st Argentine Congress of Translators and Interpreters, which took place at the Law School of the University of Buenos Aires in 1988, gave way to many concerns and brought about fruitful meetings among us, as colleagues; then we realized that we shared not only a residential area but a lot of dreams and projects for the profession as well.
The first project achieved was the creation of the Association of Certified Translators of the Northern Area in 1991, with its venue at the Bar Association of San Isidro. The Association arose from the necessity for a place of professional exchange and support.
Being the first association of certified translators in the province of Buenos Aires, we have been pioneers in delivering courses for professional initiation and reinsertion, in providing training to translators acting as expert witnesses before courts, and in offering mentoring services to new translators. We have been the first professional association of certified translators in taking part in the Book Fair (invited by the Bar Association of San Isidro).
Later on, other Associations of Certified Translators and Interpreters were created, namely: that of the Western Area, in 1995, that of Bahía Blanca, in 1988, and that of La Plata, in 2000. The family extended.
Fourteen years elapsed before the Professional Body Creation Act was passed: one that could fit our professional reality in the wide and diverse province of Buenos Aires. Several governments, different political parties, many legislators, and lots of translators were involved in this difficult path which sometimes seemed to be endless. Setbacks allowed us to grow, to be trained in exercising our citizenship, to be involved as professionals, to politically divulge the profession of certified translators. Our image grew before ourselves and before others. We won the respect of others thanks to our fervor, coherence and cohesion, as the four associations made up a unique front, a block that did not accept a monolithic provincial professional organization if not formed by regional bodies (Colegios Regionales). This small detail delayed the creation of our professional body for 10 years.
Along those years we gradually achieved our goals, which were governed by quality and ethics in our professional practice. Many colleagues joined our associations but only those who identified themselves with our project remained. Our project was based on team work, fruitful exchange among colleagues working in different languages and generous sharing of experiences through athenaeums, forums, and so on.
All this was reflected in multilingual working groups which gathered spontaneously, in continuing education courses for members and non-members, discussions, seminars, workshops, regional and provincial meetings to exchange experiences. We have gained recognition from organized bodies of other professions which always supported our activities.
Today we have reached adulthood. We have attained our goal: our brand-new Provincial Professional Body Creation Act, the registration process and election of the first authorities being our next step.
The Act that creates the Provincial Professional Body provides a legal framework for legally exercising our profession within the province of Buenos Aires. Four regional bodies of certified translators cover this area, namely: those of San Isidro, the Western Area, the Southern Area and La Plata. Each shall keep control over registration of translators in their jurisdiction. The Professional Body will take care of protecting the rights of translators and their clients, will ensure that proper fees are observed, will offer training to its members and will favor an environment of cultural, personal and professional exchange.
The goal of the Professional Body for Certified Translators and Interpreters of the Province of Buenos Aires is not to defend the profession but to promote it, based on professional responsibility and dignity principles.
We wish to share the First National Convention of Certified Translators and Interpreters with our colleagues throughout the country and with those living in neighboring countries, since, as we mentioned at the beginning, this convention will mark the closure of a stage which spread over 20 years and, at the same time, will become the starting point of a new stage full of challenges, opportunities to grow and to engage in constructive dialogue as professionals.