Crucial to a successful association is the creation of a sense of community. Associations can hold regular talks, readings and events at which new translators can meet existing members and talk about their challenges and achievements. Things don’t have to be too serious – the Catalan Association AELC organises public ‘Group Therapy sessions’ for translators at which they can air grievances and frustrations without being too serious or heavy-handed.
Once you have recruited members, you have to motivate them.
The Internet is a great instrument of communication and exchange (social media, forum…), but it is much better to meet the people in person, organizing events and moments of aggregation.
Members should feel a sense of community, a sense of belonging to a group, this would encourage them to participate to the life of the association, to come to events and courses, but also for a chat with a drink, a quiz night or a yoga session.
It’s vital to bring new translators into the mix – the UK Translators Association has received a massive boost from the energy of the Emerging Translators Network, which provides an email discussion group for early-career translators, swapping tips and resources and posting details of translation-related events.
For larger associations it’s important to move out of the centre – in Poland, SDL has set up three regional branches which hold regular events and meetings as a way of bringing in new members. In 2018 Italian AITI organised a Open door national day in the twelve regional branches. This was the first time that this kind of event was held nationally on the same day and it was very successful.