Becoming a Certified Translator/Interpreter
Thread poster: AbeerAzzyadi

AbeerAzzyadi
Saudi Arabia
Arabic to English
+ ...
Apr 13, 2016

Hello

I am new here so I hope I'm posting this in the right forum.

I am a very good translator&interpreter and I've been working for almost 3 years now. I want to become a certified translator but I don't know how to do so. I live in Saudi Arabia and here they require 5 years of full-time job experience in a certain field to become a certified translator in one field only even if you have a bachelor degree in translation! It's just impossible.

Is there any way I can get this certification online? Since ,unfortunately, I can't travel to take this examicon_frown.gif I'm a new mom and it's just impossible for me to travel to any country for this test.

Please if you know any reliable body that provides this certification let me know.

Thank you in advance


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:07
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
What do you mean by certification? Apr 15, 2016

I don't have an answer for you, but plenty of us do very well without translation-specific diplomas. Are you missing out on a lot of opportunities because you don't have the right papers?

 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 02:07
English to Portuguese
+ ...
On sworn/certified translators Apr 16, 2016

Sworn/certified translators rely on a LAW - or the lack thereof - to exist.

AFAIK Brazil and Spain do have laws requiring sworn translations exclusively done by the respective country's government-appointed sworn translators. I have put together as much info on how it works in Brazil here - BTW, unless you are a Brazilian living in Brazil, you don't qualify, so no point in reading all that stuff.

Most other countries empower all official-translation-using entities to determine the requirements for a translation to be officially deemed valid.

Regarding the requirements, some entities are quite liberal, like Harvard University.

Others may require the translator to have been certified by one (or more) of the many peer associations like ATA (USA), CIOL (UK), NAATI (Australia), Abrates (Brazil), etc.

In any case, the prevailing law is the one in the destination country; if there isn't any such law there, the requirements will be established by the entity receiving the document with its translation.

A few examples to illustrate the variety:

  • Brazil and Spain have laws on that. Neither country will accept a sworn translation by a translator sworn by the other.
    Brazil requires Brazilian citizenship and permanent residence within its territory for anyone to be a sworn translator. Meanwhile Spain only requires citizenship of any EU country. (Yes, of course both put candidates through examination.)
    Bottom line is that I happen to know of one translator here in Sao Paulo who is sworn by both Brazil and Spain. However she must always be wearing the right hat, depending on the destination country.

  • All Australian government web sites recommend translations by NAATI-certified translators, however they don't reject sworn translations from Brazil, and possibly some other official ones.

  • Many countries worldwide have local courts of law appoint their certified translators on any criteria they choose.



Bottom line is that you should check what would be your target entities' requirements for certified translations - IF ANY. In case you qualify, research on the required format, formalities etc.


 

AbeerAzzyadi
Saudi Arabia
Arabic to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Certification May 16, 2016

Sheila Wilson wrote:

I don't have an answer for you, but plenty of us do very well without translation-specific diplomas. Are you missing out on a lot of opportunities because you don't have the right papers?


I really do have a bachelor in translation, English-Arabic languages. However, yes I do miss a lot of good opportunities since I'm not a certified translator by an authorized body.


 

AbeerAzzyadi
Saudi Arabia
Arabic to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Certification May 16, 2016

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:

Sworn/certified translators rely on a LAW - or the lack thereof - to exist.

AFAIK Brazil and Spain do have laws requiring sworn translations exclusively done by the respective country's government-appointed sworn translators. I have put together as much info on how it works in Brazil here - BTW, unless you are a Brazilian living in Brazil, you don't qualify, so no point in reading all that stuff.

Most other countries empower all official-translation-using entities to determine the requirements for a translation to be officially deemed valid.

Regarding the requirements, some entities are quite liberal, like Harvard University.

Others may require the translator to have been certified by one (or more) of the many peer associations like ATA (USA), CIOL (UK), NAATI (Australia), Abrates (Brazil), etc.

In any case, the prevailing law is the one in the destination country; if there isn't any such law there, the requirements will be established by the entity receiving the document with its translation.

A few examples to illustrate the variety:

  • Brazil and Spain have laws on that. Neither country will accept a sworn translation by a translator sworn by the other.
    Brazil requires Brazilian citizenship and permanent residence within its territory for anyone to be a sworn translator. Meanwhile Spain only requires citizenship of any EU country. (Yes, of course both put candidates through examination.)
    Bottom line is that I happen to know of one translator here in Sao Paulo who is sworn by both Brazil and Spain. However she must always be wearing the right hat, depending on the destination country.

  • All Australian government web sites recommend translations by NAATI-certified translators, however they don't reject sworn translations from Brazil, and possibly some other official ones.

  • Many countries worldwide have local courts of law appoint their certified translators on any criteria they choose.



Bottom line is that you should check what would be your target entities' requirements for certified translations - IF ANY. In case you qualify, research on the required format, formalities etc.



Thank you Lamensdorf for this prolonged answer.
As you said, it depends on the law, and the law here, in Saudi Arabia, required you to be a certified translator from any authorized body that give a certification for Arabic-English translators and interpreter, like ATA for example.

It looks like that I don't have a choice but to travel to the US or UK to have this test done with.

Thanks again


 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 02:07
English to Portuguese
+ ...
A somewhat stupid/insane solution May 17, 2016

AbeerAzzyadi wrote:

Thank you Lamensdorf for this prolonged answer.
As you said, it depends on the law, and the law here, in Saudi Arabia, required you to be a certified translator from any authorized body that give a certification for Arabic-English translators and interpreter, like ATA for example.

It looks like that I don't have a choice but to travel to the US or UK to have this test done with.


I recall two things...

I knew a man born at the very end of the 19th Century, 1897, I guess, in an Eastern European country. He had the driver's license #10 issued there. I asked him, you are not SO old, how did people drive cars before that?, to which he replied, Before me and the other nine, if you wanted to drive a car, you'd have to build it yourself, so nobody would be qualified to determine if you were able to use your invention safely.

The second one is a joke about the king's visit to the Royal Asylum for the Mentally Insane. His Majesty approached one of the inmates, who wore a Napoleon Bonaparte costume:
"Who are you?"
"I am Napoleon Bonaparte!"
"And why do you think you are Napoleon?"
"Because God told me so!"
And then a booming voice came from another corner of the hall:
"I said nothing of the sort! That man is crazy!"

I am amazed that Saudi Arabia has a law demanding certification as a translator and, supposing you have a local BA in translation, that is not enough. Your law requires a certification for which your country has no exams. It's like the early driving license above.

So, it might be worth checking if the asylum solution works. Ask your authorities whether a CTP Certification would be acceptable for this purpose. They are SELF-accredited (sic!), i.e. no authority says that their certification is worth anything, but they can get you a certificate and a seal for under US$ 500, which should be much less that a trip to US/UK plus the ATA exam fees.


 


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