As you probably know, I am not only translating, interpreting and teaching (besides having a pretty full personal life), but am also active in my translators’ association here in Germany, the BDÜ (Bundesverband der Dolmetscher und Übersetzer), more specifically, I am the treasurer of the regional chapter of Bavaria (BDÜ Landesverband Bayern). As such, it is my responsibility to make sure all invoices are settled, all membership fees paid, and that the budget is being adhered to throughout the year.
Once a year, two wonderful colleagues (thank you!) audit the books to clear the way for a new year. This took place two weeks ago, clearing the way for us as the executive committee to present both the last year and the plans (including the budget) for the new year to the members who attended the annual general meeting.
We keep alternating between Munich and Erlangen, so that all members have a better chance to participate at least every two years – Bavaria is a pretty big place, after all. This past Saturday, we met in Erlangen, and a good number of our members came to see and hear what the association had been up to in 2018 and is planning for 2019 (and beyond).
I’m always thrilled when the members take an active part in their association, and that includes not only coming to the general meeting, but also getting involved in the discussions and of course deciding on what to do with the money the association has at its disposal.
There were quite a few things to discuss and vote on, such as the reaffirmation of three members of the executive committee or the introduction of a reduced membership fee for severely disabled (over 50% disability) members. Fruitful discussions also ensued over an increase of the membership fee in general, which ended in an almost unanimous vote in favor – after all, the BDÜ LV Bayern is doing quite a bit for its members, and most of them are not free of charge (e.g. advertising in magazines and with posters at rail stations, very affordable further education, and much more).
Bavaria also has the honor of being the home region of the president of the federal association, Norma Kessler, and she gave a brief overview of what is happening at the federal level. It’s always good to hear that the BDÜ is big enough to play an active role also in the shaping of the legal future of our profession.
Of course it is always very motivating when members thank us for a job well done, but aside from the praise, the best part for me personally was (as always) seeing old friends and colleagues, meeting new ones, and leaving with the overall feeling that my time (and sometimes nerves) is spent for a good cause – the promotion of both the translators and interpreters individually and of the profession as a whole!