I’m officially now a member of the Swedish Association of Professional Translators. I had heard from a couple of clients who I had given as references that they had been contacted about me but the official confirmation, complete with a certificate and a badge, has now arrived in the post. All five of my referees must have said good things. I needed three for Swedish-English and three for Finnish-English and there was one that could vouch for both. All had to be able to state I had worked for them for five years.
This is something I should have done years ago. After all, I’ve worked with one of them for ten years. I applied for and gained ITI membership after five years of experience (references plus assessment of work) but didn’t get round to joining the Swedish one. It will be interesting to see whether I get more enquiries as a result of being in their database and what kind of enquiries. While I have gained long-standing Swedish agency clients through the ITI database, the UK agency clients that contact me through the ITI tend to be agencies who have suddenly encountered a piece of Finnish and aren’t likely to see another one for another couple of years. I’m wondering whether I’m likely to get more Swedish enquiries as a result of being in SFÖ or whether Swedes looking for English native speakers tend to look at the ITI first instead. Maybe Proz is taking over now. Well, I’m there too. I wish I’d kept records of how my clients found me initially right from day one. At some point when there’s a lull, I should go through and see if I can remember.
Membership isn’t just about new clients either. There’s also the benefit of keeping up with what’s going on in the industry in my main market, and the opportunity of attending conferences in Sweden. Do I want to go to Borås in April? Can I abandon the 18-month old for two nights again?