IAPTI’s official protest against event in the University of Córdoba

Dean: Silvia Barei
Sub-Dean: Griselda Bombelli
Extension Department Head: Guillermo Badenes

Dear Authorities,

The Board of Directors of the International Association of Professional Translators and Interpreters (IAPTI) contacts you in the wake of the announcement made by “Translation Agencies’ Open House” which will take place on August 28, in the Universidad Nacional de Córdoba (UNC), at the event Café de Traductores.

During the brief existence of our Association  -IAPTI was founded in September 2009, and ever since its creation, we have eagerly promoted all initiatives aiming to widen the professional perspective of all translators and interpreters. At all times we are alert about courses, conferences, workshops and other events so as to promote them via our calendar and to strongly advise our colleagues about the importance of this academic commitment, this “appointment” with the profession. From a leading role perspective, our vision is proven by all the events we have organized during the past few months (webinars, workshops with Dr. Zorrilla, Sergio Viaggio, free conferences about US Spanish and the forthcoming visit of Dr. Mona Baker, among others). Clearly, we are in line with the UNC as regards continuous training of translators and interpreters and, also, we know the UNC educates excellent translators and interpreters, both at graduate and postgraduate levels.

However, as another one of our main purposes is to advocate for translators and interpreters, which means, among other things, to inform the translators’ community about any event that may harm the profession, we understand it is not convenient for our profession that agencies known for paying low fees and meager salaries, should gain a place at the UNC, which allows them to explain students and young professionals “how the translation market works in Córdoba.” It should be stressed that the owner of one such agency, who will make a speech on August 28 at the UNC, has decided to leave the Colegio de Traductores Públicos de la Provincia de Córdoba a few months ago due to the pressure the translators’ community exerted over her: a person cannot belong to a professional association and, at the same time, violate the professional fees section of the ethics code. Being welcomed in a prestigious institution such as the Universidad Nacional de Córdoba gives her a favorable image among students. We intend to refusesuch distortive model. It is inappropriate to work as an in-house translator for a AR$ 2000 salary. It is inappropriate to work for barely 7 or 8 cents, which these agencies pay (fees which are a long way from the fees suggested by professional associations). Many important agencies, especially Argentinian ones, promote this model of exploitation, with a new variant: the exploitation of the weakest (due to lack of awareness): the students. When we refer to fallacy, we are precisely directing our attention to the framework in which these associations are positioned: professional associations, conferences and, now, universities.

We believe educational authorities should undertake the task of protecting students from such harmful influence.

We hope you take into consideration our opinion, which comes from an association integrated by experienced professionals, whose only purpose is to advocate for the profession and defend it from all harm that may come to it.

Should you have any doubt, we remain at your disposal.


Aurora Matilde Humarán
IAPTI President, on behalf of the Board of Directors