The Upper Midwest Translators & Interpreters Association Logo

Together, We Make Our Fields Better

We provide & promote resources to improve the quality of translating & interpretation. Read about our mission »

Get to Know Us

At the Upper Midwest Translators and Interpreters Association (UMTIA), our mission is to improve the quality of interpreting, translating, and language resources in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, South Dakota and North Dakota.

We are a chapter of the American Translators Association. Our core membership is based in Minnesota, but it also represents areas of Wisconsin, Iowa, South Dakota, and North Dakota. We seek to emulate in the fields of spoken language interpreting and translating the accomplishments of the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, in education, standards, and excellence in the field of ASL interpreting.

UMTIA is dedicated to improving language access and the quality of language services by providing educational opportunities for interpreters and translators, by supporting the development of qualifications and regulatory practices for the field, by helping to create training standards and best practices, by bringing together interpreters from a variety of language backgrounds, and by engaging in language development activities in new immigrant languages, especially languages of lesser diffusion.

Our Services

In order to achieve our mission, we:

  • Hold workshops led by experts in the medical, legal, education, translation fields
  • Provide sitting of the American Translators’ Association certification exam annually
  • Help interpreters and translators connect and learn from each other through committees
  • Disseminate relevant local, national, and international information affecting our professions
  • Connect the community with training resources (e.g., prospective translators, interpreters, managers, institutions and other organizations)
  • Host a member directory
  • Provide opportunities to members to serve and give back to professions, make a difference and improve their working standards
  • Educate the community on the role of the interpreter / translator, and explain why they are necessary
  • Honor those who have contributed above and beyond and made great differences in the fields with annual Service to the Field awards
  • Award scholarships to dedicated college level interpreting and translation students
  • Hold large weekend full day conferences connecting any interested parties with a wide variety of information, enrichment, and professional improvement

Why We Provide These Services

By providing these resources, we hope to overcome these barriers to better language access and higher quality spoken language interpreting and translating in all languages:

  • Lack of training opportunities, especially in rural communities with food processing plants;
  • Insufficient knowledge of who is interpreting in order to reach them with training opportunities;
  • Lack of qualified trainers;
  • Lack of standardized training standards;
  • Lack of standardized curriculum;
  • Lack of training materials in languages of lesser diffusion, such as Somali, Hmong, Nuer, Oromo, Dinka;
  • Lack of technical glossaries in languages of lesser diffusion, such as Somali, Hmong, Nuer, Oromo, Dinka;
  • Lack of standardized exams to test proficiency of interpreters;
  • Lack of financial resources in new immigrant communities to support the education of interpreters in their languages;
  • Misconceptions on the part of employers regarding the skills needed by interpreters and the risks and consequences of misinterpretation;
  • Lack of licensing or registry requirements;
  • Lack of professional development opportunities to support a licensing system;
  • Lack of data regarding what languages are spoken in any particular geographic area;
  • Lack of data regarding what languages are being interpreted and how frequently.

You can learn more about us and how we achieve our mission by reading the UMTIA bylaws (PDF).

Interested in Joining UMTIA?

Learn about the benefits of being a member. When you’re ready for the next step, complete the online application.

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