Vereniging Zelfstandige Vertalers (VZV) Translator Associations translation jobs
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Vereniging Zelfstandige Vertalers (VZV)

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The VZV is an association of translators established in the Netherlands to protect and promote the interests of full-time professional freelance translators. This year the association celebrates its 15th anniversary.

Translation is a skill that requires an impeccable command of the language and a thorough knowledge of the subject matter involved. Members of the VZV are strictly vetted on both counts. The association has full members as well as candidate and associate members. Applicants can be given candidate status for a period of two years, during which time they have the opportunity to hone their skills with the support of a mentor (a full member with the appropriate language combination and specialist field) in order to qualify for full membership. Associate members can be people with an interest in language but who are not necessarily translators or translators who meet the quality criteria but not the full-time professional freelance criteria.

The association holds two general meetings a year, in the spring and autumn, which are generally followed by a lecture on a topic of general interest, for example, or a visit to a place of interest, and then a reception and dinner. Apart from the general meeting itself, anyone interested in joining the VZV is welcome to come along to these events and find out more about the association in person. The dates of the meetings and the venues are published on our web site.

Besides the two general meetings, the association has several language sections that meet on a regular basis. In addition to the social aspect, these section meetings are found to be extremely useful as an element in continuing education. The groups discuss work, provide feedback for each other, exchange ideas and learn about the latest language-related technological developments in order to keep their skills and expertise up to scratch. Quality is the top priority for VZV translators.

The VZV publishes a quarterly newsletter and has its own web site ( On the web site we publish the Code of Conduct each member is required to adhere to, our procedure for resolving disputes between members and clients, our standard terms and conditions of business, as well as our newsletter, information on the various language sections, upcoming events, etc. The web site also contains the register of VZV members, which gives members' contact details, their language combinations and specialist fields. The register is regularly updated.

Since January 2005 the VZV has been affiliated to the Platform Zelfstandige Ondernemers (PZO), an umbrella organisation for associations of the self-employed. Through PZO our members have access to information on all manner of legislation and regulations (tax, social security, etc.) that have an impact on the self-employed, special offers (e.g. insurance), advice on all aspects of running a business, legal assistance, etc.

In connection with impending new Dutch legislation governing interpreters and translators and the establishment of an official register, the VZV has recently joined an alliance of interpreter/translator organisations (Alliantie van tolken- en vertalersorganisaties, ATVO) to establish a united front for the outside world and put forward the views of the different categories of interpreter and translator unequivocally. One of the alliance's aims is to represent the profession in the new so-called Quality Institute and associated supervisory board that are to be established, and to be involved in management of the official register. It will also organise seminars, training-courses, etc. for the members of the affiliated organisations.

Together with the Dutch standardisation body NEN and other Dutch translation organisations the VZV is also involved in discussions relating to the Dutch input for determining the structure and scope of a future European Standard for quality translation services.

If you'd like to know more about VZV translators, please contact us.

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