In 2010, the first meeting was held in Bangkok where Thailand as the host country (Maneeratana Sawasdiwat), Vietnam (Dinh Khac Tuan), India (Ravi Kumar), Japan (Yoshiki Matsuoka), Cambodia (Saeng Sopagna), Philippines (Lawrence Honkiss, Sammuel Ceazar S Porcalla and Hong Kong (Chan Thak Leo) joined in person while Judy Zhangnk (China), Benny H. Hoed (Indonesia), Hong Jiang (Hong Kong) Shital Bhandary (Nepal), and Kyaw Swa Win (Myanmar) were unable to attend. The AATI charter was the result of the first meeting and established a road map for later expeditions.
During the early years, online meetings and emails were the means of communication for AATI. Thailand has celebrated Translator’s Day since 2007 and in 2012 AATI joined Thailand Translators’ Day as its first public activity and collaborated with an international conference in India where Thailand’s representative participated in person.
In 2013, AATI celebrated Translator’s Day consecutively in 3 countries starting in Bangkok then moving to Vietnam and finally to Cambodia. The Internet, PSI Cable TV as well as the studio audience made sure that AATI Translator’s Day was known worldwide. In 2015-2016, two Translator’s Day were organized successfully in Hanoi, Vietnam where more than 300 participants attended, the most well attended in the history of the worlds’ Translator’s day. The year 2017 will be the first online Translator’s Day hosted by Vietnam.
An important event in 2013 was the fruitful meeting with Mr. Marco Benedetti (European Commission’s Directorate-General for Interpretation) and Mr. Piet Verleysen (Director at the Directorate General for Translation) regarding Asian translation and interpretation development. This meeting was followed by an invitation extended to Mr. Brian Fox, DG –Interpretation to give a presentation in Bangkok on the 2013 Translators’ Day.
AATI is a longtime friend of Thailand Office of the Royal Society whose Thailand National Language Policy, Translation, Interpretation and Sign Language Interpreting is chaired by Maneeratana Sawasdiwat Na Ayutthaya. This Policy is the sole project covering language issues in Thailand from 2006 until the present day.
In 2015, AATI organized an international conference on ASEAN Best Practices on Translation, Interpreting, Sign language Interpreting and Informatics in Bangkok including the first training for translators and interpreters to upgrade their skills and to earn an international certificate by the Institute of Translation and Interpreting, ZHAW Zurich University of Applied Science and AATI trainers. The result of the 2015 conference brought about the concept of ASEAN Center for Multilingualism, Translation and Interpretation (ASEAN MTI) as AATI’s vehicle for the development of translation and interpreting in this region.
In 2016, an ASEAN MTI summit and AATI annual Board meeting was organized in Bangkok, the result of which was the formal inauguration granted by the Thai government, a great testament to the untiring effort of all the members. During the first stage of ASEAN MTI’s development the organisation will be a Thai public organization set up as a national center of excellence for multilingualism, translation and interpretation. The second stage of the Center’s development will see it become an ASEAN resource center for the entire ASEAN community. This long journey started with members from 10 founding countries and regions (Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, Cambodia, India, Nepal, Hong Kong, China, Myanmar, Philippines) under AATI and has now evolved into the AATI-ASEAN MTI with members from 23 countries and regions (Malaysia, Singapore, Laos, Taiwan, Indonesia, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Germany, Israel, Switzerland, U.K. and U.S.A.). ASEAN MTI’s objectives are to develop and certify ASEAN standards, provide training and services, host a knowledge and resources center and collaborative networking in the areas of translation, localization and interpreting. Prominent projects include the Training of standardized translators and interpreters, Terminology development for ASEAN Single Marker, Translation of the complete 1.5 million words of Tipitaka (the Pali Canon) into English, and the Establishment of Innovative Knowledge and Learning resources center.
The year 2017 heralds the beginning of official operation of ASEAN-MTI. The headquarters is located at Pathumwan Institute of Technology (www.pit.ac.th) in Bangkok with 2 sub-center units at Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University (www.mcu.ac.th) and Watkiriwiharn School, in the Trad special Economic Zone. In 2018, an international conference and an annual board meeting organized in Bangkok will mark the rise of multilingualism accessibility in this region.