ATA Supports Colorado Legislation to Use ATA-Certified Translators

ATA’s mission not only includes promoting the recognition of professional translators and interpreters, but also working to establish standards of competence and ethics. In this capacity, the Association wrote to the Colorado House Committee on Business Affairs & Labor to suggest changes to Colorado HB23-1004. The bill, which will amend state statutes that ensure meaningful language access in insurance documents, requires that translation be provided by a certified translator, specifically citing ATA as the certifying organization. The following are the key points ATA proposed in its letter to create a stronger, more inclusive bill that will help ensure meaningful language access for Coloradans with limited English proficiency.

  • While ATA commends the state on recognizing the use of ATA-certified translators as a best practice, it points out in its letter that certification does not exist for many languages of lesser diffusion spoken in Colorado.
  • ATA proposes a change in wording to recommend the use of “qualified translators” rather than “professional translators” when a certified translator is not available. The letter notes that receiving remuneration or being otherwise professionally engaged as a translator does not necessarily guarantee that the individual has the skills or qualifications needed to provide an accurate translation, particularly in a highly specialized field like insurance. ATA’s letter also suggests a definition for “qualified translator” to serve as a guideline for assessing translator knowledge, skill, and aptitude.
  • Finally, the letter proposes a few amendments to the language regarding the role ATA plays as a professional association of language professionals in the United States. For example, ATA only offers certification for translators. Interpreters have other pathways to certification, which, while recognized by ATA, are not administered by ATA.

Read ATA’s letter to the Colorado House Committee on Business Affairs & Labor.

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