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Translator certification
Thread poster: yolanda Speece
yolanda Speece  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:31
English to Spanish
+ ...
Jun 26, 2005

I keep seeing these ads looking for certified translators. What does this mean? Is there a certification in the US that is government regulated or is this just another organization? Why does this have any kind of validity?

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Cultures Connection
France
Local time: 19:31
English to French
+ ...
Yes. See www.atanet.org Jun 26, 2005

yolanda Speece wrote:

I keep seeing these ads looking for certified translators. What does this mean? Is there a certification in the US that is government regulated or is this just another organization? Why does this have any kind of validity?


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Herminia Herrándiz Espuny  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:31
English to Spanish
+ ...
Is the BA on Translation and Interpreting a certification? Jun 26, 2005

I just graduated at the Universitat Autónoma of Barcelona (Spain)and now I hold a BA on Translation and Interpreting with major in Conference Interpreting, is this considered an official certification?

I have been wondering the same thing for the past months and I am not pretty sure since this BA does not exist in most of the non European countries.

Thank you


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Rafa Lombardino
United States
Local time: 11:31
Member (2005)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
There are several levels of certification... Jun 26, 2005

I depends on what the client means by "certification". You can be certified with the ATA (American Translators Association), that is, you have to become a member, send them your qualifications (translation-related degrees, resume, references...) and then look for the closest place where their exam is taking place.

There's also the court certification, which is regulared by the State government. I'm looking into the Californian one, which website is http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/programs/courtinterpreters/faq7.htm

In my case, I'll take the UCSD course for Translators and Interpreters from and into English and Spanish, which is recognized by the Californian government. I still have to check if, on top of the course, I'll still have to take the State exam, but I'm sure having a court certification with California wouldn't hurt me, uh?

Well, I hope this brief information will help you. Good luck!


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yolanda Speece  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:31
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Is this a government regulated agency or Jun 26, 2005

a non profit organization? Is it anything like the FDA or INS or NOAA?


ATA is not a government regulated agency and I have come across ATA accredited translators that do not know what they are doing so I really question that agency.

Would a degree in the language (in my case SpanishEnglish Translation) be enough to be considered a certification?

What about on a state level say for Texas?

[Edited at 2005-06-26 21:07]


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RHELLER
United States
Local time: 12:31
French to English
+ ...
you have to take a test to be ATA-certified Jun 27, 2005

http://www.atanet.org/bin/view.pl/285.html

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yolanda Speece  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:31
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
What do you mean Jun 27, 2005

"you have to pass a test to be certified by ATA"?

The ATA is not a government entity, which means this "certification" has no real significance other than the fact that you passed THEIR tests and paid THEIR membership and that when said membership expires, so does your accreditation.

If anything, you are buying your accreditation which means anybody could buy their accreditation! This cheapens the whole thing.

For example, if I am a member of the American Metorological Society, that doesn't make me a meteorologist. I get a certificate if I pass their tests and pay my dues but it has no affiliation with the National Weather Service or NOAA.

It is not a government regulated entity. So, in essence, it has no real validity. It isn't like your medical boards or the bar.

Shouldn't there be something more in place?

Is there anything that the government issues that confirms your abilities and if there isn't anything, why isn't there anything?






[Edited at 2005-06-27 02:51]


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:31
English to Spanish
+ ...
Federal Court Certification Jun 27, 2005

U.S. Federal Court Certification is available, not as a translator, but as an interpreter. However, the job description does include translation duties. I have had this since 1981 and it has gotten me much work because I can certify translations with those credentials which are highly respected. For many jobs it has been a requirement.

For me it was free, now there are some exam fees involved, but once you have it, it is good for a lifetime.

The following link should give you a good start:


www.cps.ca.gov/fcice-spanish/index.asp


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AlejandraCoon
United States
Local time: 13:31
Spanish to English
+ ...
What is "Certified" for translations Dec 16, 2010

It depends... you've heard that before. In the USA there is no national agency that regulates certifications. A standard certification is a signed statement that YOU (translator) CERTIFY that this is a true translation, and YOU are fluent in both languages (source and target). This can be decorated with a notary seal, other than the translator, to attest that the person translating is identified, but it cannot declare it to be a true translation. The notary seal is generally not needed unless specifically requested (such as school transcripts).

ATA is a recognized private organization that has a rigorous certification program. It, however does not guarantee a perfect translation, since they have their own rules to what a translation ought to look like. It truly is a challenge to pass the tests on the first try.

Interpreters may work as court interpreters in most states without having a court certification under their belt. The requirement is made when the court makes a direct motion to specifically require a Certified Court Interpreter, which is not very common according to my colleagues.

Colleges and training schools offer good courses that can build up your confidence and resume, but they cannot claim certification other than what you already possess.


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Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:31
French to English
+ ...
Who can be "the" authority Dec 16, 2010

yolanda Speece wrote:
Is there anything that the government issues that confirms your abilities and if there isn't anything, why isn't there anything?


I'd almost turn this round -- why do you expect the government to be an authority on translation ability?


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Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:31
Spanish to English
+ ...
ATA certification Dec 16, 2010

yolanda Speece wrote:

The ATA is not a government entity, which means this "certification" has no real significance other than the fact that you passed THEIR tests and paid THEIR membership and that when said membership expires, so does your accreditation.

If anything, you are buying your accreditation which means anybody could buy their accreditation! This cheapens the whole thing.



It's a three-hour written exam, and my understanding is that a large majority of the people who take the test fail. It therefore means something and is respected in this country. Some of my best clients have told me they hired me on the basis of my certifications.

It is certainly not a "bought" credential.

[Edited at 2010-12-16 04:33 GMT]


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Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:31
French to English
+ ...
Definition of "certified" Dec 16, 2010

yolanda Speece wrote:
Would a degree in the language (in my case SpanishEnglish Translation) be enough to be considered a certification?


I think this depends on what the client envisages by "certification". There are clearly cases where the answer is no, e.g. a certain body may require specifically ATA accredited translators to "certify" translations. But I've also had cases where clients say they need a "certified" translation, when in fact they don't have a clear idea of what they mean by the term-- they just need some sort of basic re-assurance about the accuracy/quality of the translation. In these cases, having a degree (possibly along with a signed statement as mentioned in another post) may well satisfy their requirements.


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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 19:31
French to German
+ ...
Foggy views Dec 16, 2010

Neil Coffey wrote:

yolanda Speece wrote:
Would a degree in the language (in my case SpanishEnglish Translation) be enough to be considered a certification?


I think this depends on what the client envisages by "certification". There are clearly cases where the answer is no, e.g. a certain body may require specifically ATA accredited translators to "certify" translations. But I've also had cases where clients say they need a "certified" translation, when in fact they don't have a clear idea of what they mean by the term-- they just need some sort of basic re-assurance about the accuracy/quality of the translation. In these cases, having a degree (possibly along with a signed statement as mentioned in another post) may well satisfy their requirements.


I have to agree with Neil on this one. But those foggy views are quite common, even among LSP intermediaries: I also saw a website offering translations by "certified" translators (i. e. "sworn" translators according to the French definition) for each and every kind of text, which is preposterous to say the least.


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larisa0001
Russian to English
+ ...
Is it worth getting the ATA certification? Feb 15, 2011

I'm just getting started as a freelance translator again after having spent a few years working in other industries. While I do have some translation experience, I am basically starting from scratch. Would it help my chances to get the ATA certification? For those of you who have passed that test, has it improved your marketability enough to make the fee worthwhile?

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