Translation qualifications in different countries
Thread poster: Wendy Cummings

Wendy Cummings  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:07
Member (2006)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Apr 16, 2005

I am interested in finding out the different 'qualification' levels for being a translator across the globe.

1)Is anyone aware of any country where you cannot practice as a translator without a certain qualification?

2)What are the various qualifications in place across the globe? In the UK we have the DipTrans, and various translation degrees; the US has ATA Accreditation, and some translation degrees, but that is as far as my knowledge goes. Could you let me know what its like in your country. And what 'value' do these qualifications have.

Thanks.


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:07
English to Spanish
+ ...
USA Apr 16, 2005

There are no official qualifications at all required for translators in the USA. There is of course the ATA, plus many certifications through state and federal agencies for specific purposes and usually covering only the most popular laguages such as Spanish and perhaps a few others. Most if not all of these, except for the ATA (not governmental), emphasize interpreting rather than translating and are only required for matters involving the issuing agencies temselves.

I am certified as an interpreter for the U.S. Federal Courts but do not practice as such. However, in my role as a translator it is quite valuable everywhere in establishing credentials and credibility. Any credentials one can acquire do help even though they are not required.

Translating is an unregulated profession in the USA.


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Wendy Cummings  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:07
Member (2006)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
USA Apr 16, 2005

Thanks, Henry. That is much what I had thought the situation was in the US.

[Edited at 2005-04-16 15:49]


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:07
Flemish to English
+ ...
Canada and Europe. Apr 16, 2005

On the other hand, it is a regulated profession in Canada. About the only country on earth where it is regulated.
On the European continent, you had a degree like "licencié traducteur/interprète". It used to be a four years general training focussing on the mother-tongue, two foreign languages and about 20 courses ranging from economics to sociolinguistics. To graduate you had to present a dissertation.
In the 90-ies, these courses became more market-oriented.
This "licencié"-degree is now being replaced by the BAMA-structure: bachelor/master structure (Bologna agreement) which will become valid all over Europe.
You also have postgraduate programmes in conference interpreting.



[Edited at 2005-04-16 18:00]


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chica nueva
Local time: 19:07
Chinese to English
New Zealand Apr 17, 2005

New Zealand has graduate qualifications in translation (diploma/masters/PhD) available at the University of Auckland. So far that is the only tertiary programme in the country as far as I know.

The NZSTI (New Zealand Society of Translators and Interpreters) recognises the Australian Naati qualification and other similar qualifications for their full member status. People with less than this may become NZSTI associate members. (See the NZSTI website).

No qualifications are required to practice.Some government agencies require translations to be done by Naati-accredited (= Naati-qualified) translators or full members of NZSTI, I believe.

Naati has several levels of qualification (Para-professional, Professional, Senior) and there are eligibility criteria you must meet before you can take the exams at each level, such as level of education. Roughly speaking, you need a university degree to take the professional-level exams. The Naati exams are offered at several New Zealand locations.You can find out more about Naati and the qualifications at their website.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 09:07
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
South Africa Apr 18, 2005

Wendy Leech wrote:
What are the various qualifications in place across the globe? In the UK we have the DipTrans, and various translation degrees; the US has ATA Accreditation, and some translation degrees, but that is as far as my knowledge goes.


In South African anyone can be a translator. Some translators have only a teaching qualification, others only have a basic three-year Bachelors degree, still others simply do it without any training.

There are some specific translator diplomas, though. You can do a post-graduate diploma (3 years for the degree and 1 year for the diploma) or a three-year national diploma (without having to do a three-year degree first).

The South African Translators' Institute (SATI) has a system of accreditation, which consists of an exam which anyone may take. The exam is quite difficult but there is also an element of luck involved since the examining standards used are not public knowledge. The existence of the accreditation system is not widely known among the general public, though, and some translators and/or employees attach no value to it.

You can't perform "sworn translation" in South African unless you've been vetted by a fellow sworn translator and sworn in before the High Court. SATI also offers this vetting and unlike the SATI accreditation system, the SATI sworn tranlation exam is officially accepted.


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Rosa Maria Duenas Rios  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:07
Regulated in Canada? Apr 18, 2005

Williamson wrote:

On the other hand, it is a regulated profession in Canada. About the only country on earth where it is regulated.


Hi Williamson,

Could you elaborate more about this? I am afraid I do not understand what you mean by regulated in Canada. Thanks!


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Rossana Triaca  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 04:07
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
You may also... Apr 18, 2005

want to check this past thread:
http://www.proz.com/topic/26500?start=0


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Wendy Cummings  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:07
Member (2006)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
thanks Rossana Apr 19, 2005

Rossana Triaca wrote:

want to check this past thread:
http://www.proz.com/topic/26500?start=0[/quote]

Thank you, I hadn't seen that particular topic before, it contains much of the information I am looking for.

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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:07
Flemish to English
+ ...
Regulated: You can not become a translator overnight. Apr 21, 2005

Nobody wakes up in the morning and can call himself an M.D.,lawyer, etc overnight.
There are laws, which protect these professions.
I may be mistaken, but in Canada not everybody can call him/herself a Translator/Interpreter overnight, especially not if (s)he wants to work for the Translation Bureau (of the Canadian Government). To work for this Bureau, you need to have a degree in Translation/Conference Interpreting and be a member of one of the Canadian Associations for Translators/Interpreters. The denomination/title "Translator" is defined by law.

[Edited at 2005-04-21 20:08]


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Deschant
Local time: 08:07
Spain Apr 28, 2005

In Spain you only really need a qualification to work as a sworn translator. This qualification is delivered by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores or MAE) and can be achieved:

-Through an exam organized each year by the MAE. Applicants must have at least 3 years of undergraduate education (Diplomatura or Ingeniería Técnica).

-Graduates in Traducción e Interpretación (Translating & Interpreting, a 4-year BA) who have had a number of courses on legal and economical translation during their studies can receive this qualification without doing the exam.


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Rossitsa Iordanova
Belgium
Local time: 09:07
English to Bulgarian
+ ...
Translation qualification and certification - Bulgaria May 17, 2005

Williamson wrote:

On the other hand, it is a regulated profession in Canada. About the only country on earth where it is regulated.

On the European continent, you had a degree like "licencié traducteur/interprète". It used to be a four years general training focussing on the mother-tongue, two foreign languages and about 20 courses ranging from economics to sociolinguistics. To graduate you had to present a dissertation.
In the 90-ies, these courses became more market-oriented.
This "licencié"-degree is now being replaced by the BAMA-structure: bachelor/master structure (Bologna agreement) which will become valid all over Europe.
You also have postgraduate programmes in conference interpreting.



[Edited at 2005-04-16 18:00]


It is all very true, dear Williamson, but in my beautiful and very "dinamic" country Bulgaria, the translation business is regulated, too.
I mean, of course every and any one can claim him/her-self a "translator", but the market requires having a Licence, if one wishes to be competitive.
These Licences are Contracts we sign with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and they give to a translator / translation vendor(that is - translation agencies) the explicit right to translate official documents and other written materials, as well as to interpret for official institutions. The demand of licensed translators/interpreters has become stronger than ever lately.

Now, of course, translation/interpreting is a skill, a craft if you wish, and with or without a Licence one may be an excellent translator or not - this is for the clients to decide! Right?

Yet, the Licence impose strict responsibilities, as also binds a national translation vendor under Art.290 of our National Criminal Code, and THAT allready is truly a serious thing.

I admit that there are hundreds of non-licensed translators here as well, who provide impeccable work! And on the other hand, I know of licensed translation vendors who provide good-for-nothing translations....and ....

I realize that whatever the certification is, it can never "buy" quality of work!

Cheers!
Ross


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