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How to get a translator certification
Thread poster: Singachan
Singachan
Japanese to English
Nov 18, 2007

I possess JLPT 1 and has an interest in becoming a Japanese English translator.
May I get advice on how I can attain certification?
I am thinking of studying short term courses in either Japan or Australia.

Thank you.


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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:40
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
There are several approaches Nov 19, 2007

It really depends on a lot of parameters, such as where you live, what kind of translations you want to do (what is/will be your specialization), who would be your clients?

The ATA (American Translators Association) has a formal certification program, with several steps (you need to qualify for the exam, you need to become an associate member, then take the exam, and then once you get your certification, you need to do "continuing education" to keep your certification). You can find more info on their website: www.atanet.org

As far as I know, the JAT (Japan Association of Translators) doesn't have a certification program, but they have annual contests for aspiring translators.
See more at their website:
http://jat.org/

If you are thinking about getting a degree in translation, that is a different issue, there are several universities and graduate schools offering programs in Japanese. I think there was another thread about that earlier.

If you want to get certification for the technical side of translation, such as using CAT tools, SDL offers Trados certification. That is by no means a linguistic certification, it is merely a certificate of your ability of using the software. So, I am not sure that's what you want at this point in your career.

The reason I asked what specialization you are planning on, because in many areas there is no certification available, and what you really need is expertise in the subject field. For example, I am not aware of any certification for literary translators instead, a good track record with published pieces of writings may serve the purpose. As for technical specializations, if your background is in engineering, and you have a considerable amount of working experience, plus you have the language/translation skills, you may be able to build up your clientele without having any formal certification, especially if your field is very specific.

Good luck!


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tonymacg  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:40
Member (2006)
Japanese to English
+ ...
In Australia ... Nov 19, 2007

Several universities run one year Japanese interpreting and translation courses - here in Melbourne, the RMIT does (their Web site is www.rmit.edu.au). These can lead to accreditation by the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI) - see their Web site at www.naati.com.au. Of course, NAATI accreditation will only be of much use to you in Australia. (And many of us in the industry in Australia have our doubts about it, but that's another story.)

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Robert Fong  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 18:40
Member (2006)
English to Chinese
+ ...
What is your doubt? Nov 19, 2007

tonymacg wrote:

And many of us in the industry in Australia have our doubts about it, but that's another story.


I'm certainly have my doubt about NAATI accreditation. I sitted an English > Chinese NAATI test a couple of years ago. But I got only 57! (need 70 to pass) This is beyond my wild expectation. I have no faith in it any more for these reasons:

1. The test itself is quite easy for me. I was very satisfied and confident with my test as soon as I finished the it.
2. I have six years translation experience. The test is relatively simple compared with numerous other tests and translation jobs I had.
3. I never failed any English language test in school. Most of the time I got the highest score in my class in the middle school, high school and college.


[Edited at 2007-11-19 14:35]


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Shaun Yeo  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:40
English to Chinese
+ ...
If I may ask... Nov 19, 2007

Xuchun:

Hi! Haven't talked to your for quite a while. I'm just curious, did you take the Chiinese>English, English>Chinese, Japanese>English or Japanese>Chinese exam?

I'm thinking of trying the Japanese>English pair, though no concrete plan yet...


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Robert Fong  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 18:40
Member (2006)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Nice to meet you here. :-) Nov 19, 2007

Shaun Yeo wrote:

Xuchun:

Hi! Haven't talked to your for quite a while. I'm just curious, did you take the Chiinese>English, English>Chinese, Japanese>English or Japanese>Chinese exam?

I'm thinking of trying the Japanese>English pair, though no concrete plan yet...


Hi, Shaun:

I took English>Chinese. That's the easiest for me.

I think there may be something wrong with the system.

Good luck for you!


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Shaun Yeo  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:40
English to Chinese
+ ...
Thanks! Nov 20, 2007

Xuchun wrote:
Hi, Shaun:

I took English>Chinese. That's the easiest for me.

I think there may be something wrong with the system.

Good luck for you!


Thanks for the prompt reply. It's just a thought. I may not have the time to do it after all.


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Yumico Tanaka  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 20:40
Member (2008)
English to Japanese
+ ...
NAATI credibility Apr 5, 2008

I feel it is pretty university oriented (I mean if you took the courses in a university and had good raport with your teacher, you have more chances) from what I heard from those who have had test. I took the test a couple of times but am not going to waste more money or time for it as I have a good clientele now. The organization runs a lot of courses and sells a lot of texbooks and tapes, but I think they are just too little information as a resource for such a lot of money. As the final judgement depends on the panel whom we don't know, I have a feeling that they don't really know what they are doing. Whether they are for word-by-word correct translation or for the context-correct translation, I suspect the former. But of course I cannot prove it.
That said, I don't mean to put down the credibility of those who passed the exams. All I would like to see is a few examples of passed exam papers, that's what they should sell, I reckon.


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