American Translator's Association Reviews (4)
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I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID [redacted], and find that this resolution is satisfactory to me.
Thank you for the opportunity to respond.Please find below the original message that American Translators Association Certification Committee Chair David Stephenson sent the complainant. Thanks and take careWalter B[redacted], CAEExecutive DirectorAmerican Translators Association----[ATA Certification...
Program Manager]Caron M[redacted] has informed me, as chair of ATA’s Certification Committee, of your correspondence with her. I would like to address several of the points that you’ve raised in connection with your exam experience. The reason we do not return marked exams to candidates is that if we did so, we would then have to discard the respective passages, since they would become public. Passage selection is an extremely time-consuming task for graders (for which they receive no compensation), and it’s simply impractical to come up with a unique passage set for each of the approximately 500 candidates who take our exam each year.Passage security is also the reason that we do not have reviews and appeals done until the next exam year. The restriction as to one try per exam year is because a repeat candidate would receive the exact same passages on a second try in any given exam year. Our policy of not returning marked exams is not nearly as unusual in the credentialing field as you seem to believe. A large number of entities do not return exams (e.g., the [redacted] and the [redacted]), and some don’t even reveal a point score range, as we do; candidates are told simply that they passed or failed. In any event, this is the system that we have, and you were made fully aware of that before you registered for the exam. I agree with you that handwriting the exam is antiquated, and after several years of pilot testing we are rolling out a new computerized model this year (see [redacted]
You allege that ATA and its graders are deliberately failing candidates in order to collect as much money as possible. However, ATA loses money on each exam we administer, and the association loses even more on each review and appeal that is conducted. The shortfall is covered by general membership dues. If anything, ATA has a strong financial interest in passing as many candidates as possible. What prevents us from doing so is our adherence to detailed and consistent standards.The Certification Program provides rigorous training in these standards for our 100+ graders, who are themselves top professionals in their fields. Grader teams typically spend hours examining new passages and deliberating on translation challenges and on acceptable and unacceptable approaches to those challenges. I know each of the Spanish-to-English graders personally, and I have absolute confidence in their fairness and competence in applying our program’s standards in their grading.I’m truly sorry that you’re embittered by this experience. There is no conspiracy and no “shakedown” here. And no one is “at our mercy,” because certification is purely an optional credential for working in the United States.Sincerely,David--David *. S[redacted], CTLegal & Business TranslationsGerman, Dutch & Croatian into English (ATA-certified)Serbian & Bosnian into EnglishChair, ATA Certification Committee[redacted]@[redacted].com
[To assist us in bringing this matter to a close, you must give us a reason why you are rejecting the response. If no reason is received your complaint will be closed as Answered]
I am rejecting this response because:The response from ATA is not satisfactory to me or the many exam takers who are highly qualified but also aware of these tactics. In translation circles, it is well known that the ATA fails a disproportionate amount of test takers for arbitrary reasons (reported by those who paid to see a copy of their test). Their assertion that they can't return tests is false. They will return your graded test but ONLY if you pay to challenge it and then pay AGAIN to see the actual testFurthermore, if you want to retake the test, you have to wait for the next year, which then requires a renewal of the membership (more money) and then pay once again for a new test. You cannot take the test if you're not a member.The fact that they make it near impossible to see our corrected tests makes it very hard for us to see where we failed and how we can improve. However, it is also common knowledge that if you take the test another 2 or 3 times, you will most certainly pass. This is nonsensical, since our language skills do not change during that period of time, so the notion that we improve greatly the more we take the test also seems false.I particularly have taken issue because at the time of the test I felt very comfortable as a translator and considered this one of the easiest translation tests I have taken. The ATA is simply not being accountable and their secrecy concerning test results is proof of this. This is also an expensive test and a considerable strain for people that pay for themselves. They are taking advantage of people in exchange for certification. I am already certified with another company and don't intend to continue paying to take this test over and over until the ATA has extracted enough money from me. The ATA is poorly managed, antiquated and openly hostile about these issues.
Review: I am a former member of the American Translators Association. I paid through [redacted] my annual membership dues ($160) for 2013 on January 16, 2013. Because I forgot to include my membership number with the payment, the ATA's processing of the payment was delayed and my membership expired on February 28. I have contacted ATA on several occasions to find out the status of my membership, which remains expired as of May 13, 2013. ATA has not refunded me the $160 I paid in January.Desired Settlement: Full refund of the $160 I paid in January.
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rejecting this response, because I have sent the payment information
to ATA on three occasions. I provided that information most
recently on April 18, when I emailed **. [redacted] (ATA's president),
copying **. [redacted] and the Revdex.com; that email
included a previous email in which I had provided my ATA member number
and the payment information from [redacted].
The following is a
summary of all the emails I have sent to ATA about this matter (they
are all attached):
- February 13, 2013: Email to **. [redacted]
providing my ATA member number, after her request on the same date.
- February 21, 2013: Follow-up email, asking **. [redacted] whether
I needed to provide more information to resolve the matter.
March 4, 2013: Email providing my ATA number and payment information
- March 22, 2013: Email requesting reactivation of
my membership or, alternatively, a refund; this email included
previous emails, including the March 4, 2013 email.
- April 18,
2013: Email requesting reactivation of my membership or,
alternatively, a refund; this email included previous emails,
including the March 4, 2013 email.
I sent every single one
of the above emails to the same email address from which **. [redacted]
wrote her March 26, 2013 email (which she attached to her response to
my Revdex.com complaint). The claim that ATA has no "reported messages"
from me is preposterous.
ATA already has clearly received my
payment: the first communication from **. [redacted] about this matter
is an email requesting my ATA member number after ATA received my
[redacted] payment (see "Email from ATA 2013-02-13"). Moreover,
I have provided the payment details on three different occasions (see
emails to ATA dated March 4, March 22, and April 18).
no valid reason to deny me a refund.