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certification for Canadians: atio or ata pros and cons
Thread poster: Sue Crocker

Sue Crocker  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 16:43
French to English
Mar 1, 2009

I'm a Canadian living in Newfoundland and I'm looking into certification. There are no provincial translators association in Newfoundland and so I have to look to Nova Scotia, Ontario or some other province. I've noticed that some Canadians who are Proz members are members of the ATA and I'm wondering if anyone has any thoughts on the pros and cons of becoming certified with a Canadiain provincial organization vs. the ATA.
Thanks,
Sue

[Edited at 2009-03-01 19:56 GMT]

[Edited at 2009-03-01 19:56 GMT]


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Alexandra Scott  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 15:13
Member (2006)
Italian to English
+ ...
Canadian certification useful for Canadian clients Mar 1, 2009

Hi Sue,

I believe that Canadian certification through the CTIIC (www.ctiic.org) is important for Canadian clients requesting certified translations of documents such as driver's licenses and birth certificates.

I don't think ATA certification is adequate for the purposes of these types of documents, and as such would be more of an extra bow in your arsenal as opposed to a fundamental qualification that is useful in Canada.

hth,

Alexandra


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Sue Crocker  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 16:43
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
Canadian and provincial government translation work Mar 1, 2009

Thanks Alexandra for your input. I hardly do any of those types of translations, so I guess for me, it's not really an important factor.
I wonder if it makes any difference with regard to being eligible to bid on Canadian and provincial government translation work - if anyone has any thoughts on that, I would love to hear them.


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Marinus Vesseur  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 12:13
English to Dutch
+ ...
CTTIC Mar 1, 2009

Hi

Don't mean to be stickler, but it's the CTTIC and its website is www.cttic.org . Just so nobody searches in vain.

Thanks for the input.

Alexandra Scott wrote:
... I believe that Canadian certification through the CTIIC (www.ctiic.org) is important for Canadian clients requesting certified translations ...

Alexandra


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xxxPRen
Canada
Local time: 16:13
French to English
+ ...
Certification Mar 2, 2009

Hi Sue, it is my understanding that certification (CTTIC) is required to work for the federal Translation Bureau, and if you look on MERX (the federal contracting Web site), you'll probably find that most RFPs for translation services posted by other goverment departments/agencies usually require certification. Certainly the latest TB posting lists CTTIC certification as a requirement. IMO, there's no downside, and your location shouldn't be a problem. I would suggest approaching ATINS about membership and possibly writing the exam in NL at Memorial with an approved invigilator, on the same day as the exam elsewhere in the country. In my experience, there is definitely no shortage of work from the federal government for skilled translators.

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Alexandra Scott  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 15:13
Member (2006)
Italian to English
+ ...
Certification advantages Mar 2, 2009

Sorry about the error identifying the national body and thanks Marinus for pointing it out.

You will definitely come across a requirement for certification in relation to certain federal and provincial jobs.

For me it has definitely been worthwhile to obtain certification, so unless you already have too great a workload I would recommend going through the process.


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Marinus Vesseur  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 12:13
English to Dutch
+ ...
STIBC membership worth its while? Mar 10, 2009

This certification thing is an issue I have been toying with for 3 years now. I'm sure that STIBC certification would create new business opportunities, but the thought of having to deal with that stuffy club of academics in Vancouver and go through another long, tedious testing process makes me recoil.

Or am I wrong? Is there anyone who would vouch for the STIBC as a service-oriented, pro-active organisation? As an associate member (not certified) the fee is around 140 CAD. What does a member get in return? The sole entry in a hard-to-find directory on STIBC's dull website would hardly be sufficient reason. Is membership a requirement for being a certified translator?

I'll ask the STIBC those questions as well. When there is a reply, I'll post it here.


In the meantime comments are welcome.


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Johanna Timm, PhD  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 12:13
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
STIBC- membership: definitely worthwhile Mar 25, 2009

Hi Marinus,
I got my certification in German > English in 1999. One year later I sat for the English into German exam, so I am certified both ways. Once I had “the stamp”, my income doubled within a year. How so? Because with the certification, you are no longer dependant on agencies. You can set your own rates and work for law firms who need “certified” work. You are also able to handle all immigration- and PR -related documents that call for a “certified translation”. Remember, the title” Certified Translator” is protected, meaning translations of personal certificates and work references are only recognized by the authorities if they carry “ the stamp” (ATIO, STIBC etc.).
The STIBC-listing is not limited to the paper directory: I receive many calls from clients who were referred to me by the German and Austrian embassies [they keep a list of STIBC-certified translators] or by private individuals who perused the STIBC online directory. And because of all those referrals, the annual membership fee has (in my case) usually paid for itself within a week!
Oh, and through the STIBC I also purchase my E&O insurance for around 100$ per year that offers coverage for C$ 1 million. Plus, I get discounted theatre tickets As you can see, I would definitely recommend STIBC-membership!

Good luck,
johanna


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Marinus Vesseur  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 12:13
English to Dutch
+ ...
Thanks! Mar 26, 2009

Thank you for your reply. That DOES sound interesting. Curiously, even in several e-mails and telephone contacts with STIBC nobody could clearly and comprehensively explain what the benefits of membership and certification really are. They do seem to have a bit of a problem with marketing their services.

Anyway, I've applied for the admission exam in April. Wish me luck.


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Sophie Oliveau-Moore  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 12:13
English to French
+ ...
STIBC membership Nov 3, 2009

Other benefits of STIBC membership: quarterly newsletter, reduced fees for professional workshops (which give Continuing Education points to maintain your certification). I agree with Marinus that it is sometimes maddening to try and wrestle a response from their office, though. Marinus, good luck with the certification exam!

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