History

Käännösalan asiantuntijat KAJ ry (previous name Kääntäjien ammattijärjestö), Translation Industry Professionals, was established on 10 November 1979 when Diplomikielenkääntäjät ry (DKK ry) and Virka- ja työsopimussuhteiset kielenkääntäjät ry (VTSK ry) decided to join forces and launch a new trade association that would promote and safeguard the professional interests of translators and interpreters.

Kääntäjien ammattijärjestö was established to function as a national connective body for its members, and to safeguard the professional interests of its members in Finnish society. Its purpose was also to raise the level of translation skills in Finland and to increase the respect towards the translation profession in Finland.

Kääntäjien ammattijärjestö joined Akava Special Branches/ Akavan Erityisalat (then called Akavan Erityisalojen Keskusliitto) around New Year 1979–1980.

In 2009, the association changed its name to Käännösalan asiantuntijat KAJ. The name change was due to the new professions that had started appearing in the translation and interpretation industry and the association had grown to represent a varied pool of language and communication professionals in addition to translators and interpreters. By changing its name the association wanted to communicate that it recognises the new professional groups and wanted to represent them as well.

In 1983, the member count of KAJ was 338 and by the 20th birthday of the association it had grown to an association of 1,856 members. In the 1990s, the member count increased rapidly. A record breaking year was 1991 when the member count increased by 28%. In the 1990s, the member count increased approximately by 11% per year, but it levelled off towards the year 2000, increasing by only a few percent annually. By the end of 2013 the member count was 2,256.


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