Question about certification
Thread poster: ConversaIntl

English to Spanish
+ ...
Dec 7, 2004

I'm new to proz and I am confused about certification. I have been told by some translators that there is no such thing as a certified translation--that instead there are translations that are notarized by a notary public. I have also been told that being an ATA member does not mean the translator is certified. It seems like there are so many different tests out there...
Can anyone clear this up for me? Any thoughts/suggestions would be helpful.


German to Romanian
+ ...
Trying to answer Dec 7, 2004

This is the reason I begged people to work and make How-to's for translation.
Question are continuously being asked.
Back to the question.
First of all it is a matter of the country. I don't know how it is in USA.
Certified means you have passed an examination and have been proofed to be a translator.You receive a translator certificate.
This can happen in a University or a specific institution.
On this site there is a list of institutions granting certificates in different countries including USA.
Now I am not so sure, but your translations are hereby certificated, if you sign them and also add your certificate number.
On the other hand there are sworn translators. They receive from the Court or a Ministry of Justice an authorisation to translate law documents (including notarial) and legalise them.
Having this authorisation you must also make yourself a stamp which you put on the document to legalise and which contains your name and the number of that authorisation.
I hope you understand now the different aspects.Please check these in your country and/or state.

Good luck,


GoodWords  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:59
Spanish to English
+ ...
Certification in the US Dec 7, 2004

In any discussion of document certifiction and notarization it is important to clarify which country is involved. Here is a document giving information about certification in the U.S. Perhaps some colleagues can tell us whether this information is accurate and up to date (for example, what the ATA used to call translator "accreditation" is now "certification," not to be confused with certification of a document).

What is a Certified Translation?

In the United States a certified translation consists of the following three parts:
1) The source-language (original) text
2) The target-language (translated) text
3) A statement signed by the translator or translation company representative, with his or her signature notarized by a Notary Public, attesting that the translator or translation company representative believes the target-language text to be an accurate and complete translation of the source-language text. Sometimes this statement bears the title Certificate of Accuracy or Statement that Two Documents Have the Same Meaning. Some translators will attach a Curriculum Vitae to the notarized statement.

Please note that any translator and any translation company representatives, regardless of credentials, may certify a translation in this way. A translator does not need to be certified in order to provide a certified translation. It is also important to realize that the Notary Public seal assures only that the signature is that of the person who presented him or herself to the notary. The Notary Public is not attesting to the accuracy of the translation.

What is a certified translator?

In contrast to many other countries, in the United States there is no federal or state licensing or certification for translators. There are some credentials available to translators working in some language pairs in this country, but they do not carry the same weight--in the market place or in the translation community--as federal licensing or certification in other countries.

The American Translators Association offers translator accreditation in some language pairs. ATA accredited translators are required to specify the language pairs and directions in which they are accredited. For example, a translator accredited in German to English is not necessarily accredited in English to German.

The Department of Social & Health Services in Washington State screens translators in several languages to translate DSHS materials. Translators who have passed this screening in a specific language pair may call themselves DSHS Certified Translators.

The Translators and Interpreters Guild, a national organization of independent professional language translators and interpreters, announced in September 2000 that it will be offering TTIG Certification for translators.

Please note that there are many languages for which there is no type of certification or screening available in this country. There are many excellent, experienced translators who are not accredited or certified.

In the United States it is not necessary to be certified or licensed in order to provide a certified translation for official use.

[Edited at 2004-12-07 15:34]


English to Spanish
+ ...
Thank you! Dec 7, 2004

Thank you so much for all your is much clearer to me now and now I will feel more confident explaining this to potential clients.


Heike Reagan  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:59
German to English
Thank you GoodWords Dec 8, 2004

I've been reading so much different information about certification, certified translators etc, and so far, I think your explanation about summed it all up, getting to the point and keeping it simple.


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