“We decided to do something special for the occasion, as five years is quite a milestone and we are proud that we are growing steadily,” says Rita Schmit, founding president of Alti. It was the first day dedicated to translators and interpreters in the Grand Duchy, and Alti is the only association of its kind here. The idea began, in 2009, among a few committed linguists disgruntled by the lack of possibilities for those in the profession to exchange ideas and experiences. They decided to meet up every couple of months and, in 2011, a group of 16 founding members established the association that exists today, now with 75 members and counting.
The association is a platform on which translators and interpreters in Luxembourg and the Greater Region can exchange ideas, train or simply meet for common activities. Schmit elaborates: “Our meetings every two months or so are varied and can involve a presentation by a member, a training session or general discussions. Interested non-members can come along, such as students who don’t yet have a degree but are interested in the association.”
Maintaining high standards demands a tough selection process. All members are highly-qualified active professionals, have a degree in translation or interpreting, and many are sworn before the Superior Court of Justice in Luxembourg. “It is important for us to become stronger. Translation and interpretation are not protected professions in Luxembourg which means that anybody can claim to be a translator, but not necessarily everyone has the same credentials,” explains Schmit.
Covering 24 languages, the association does not sell services but provides a directory of its members along with the languages they offer who can be contacted directly. Unsurprisingly, the majority of requests concern Luxembourgish, German, French and English.
Looking ahead, Schmit says Alti “hopes to offer even more training as we strongly believe in lifelong learning”.