What are the best "credentials" for translators?
Thread poster: shstephaniepark

shstephaniepark
South Korea
English to Korean
+ ...
Feb 27, 2007

Hi,

In order to develop my career, I would like to prepare myself to get "licenses", "credentials" and "accreditations".

I wish to hear your experiences.
What kind of "credentials" do you have? How and where did you achieve them? After obtaining them, did you raise your rates? What is the best credential for translator according to you (in terms of qualification)?

Thanks in advance,

Sunghee

[Edited at 2007-02-27 19:36]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Amy Duncan  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 19:26
Portuguese to English
+ ...
I have never found credentials necessary Feb 27, 2007

Hi Sunghee,
I know my experience may not be the same as others, but I have never found credentials to be necessary. I think the best "credential" is to do excellent work, the best you can, until your name starts to get around. I don't even have a college degree.

Good luck!

Amy


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Jackie Bowman

Local time: 17:26
Spanish to English
+ ...
Knowing how to put together an excellent written sentence … Feb 27, 2007

… in the target language is the single most important credential for a translator, along with a good command of the language from which you propose to translate. Additionally, it helps a lot if you have a good knowledge of the subject matter of the texts you translate.

Everything else is at best secondary and at worst irrelevant. My own highest academic qualification is a doctorate in history. And in my country, at least, only a tiny minority of journalists have any formal ‘credential’ in journalism, and only a negligible minority of novelists have a formal ‘credential’ in creative writing. Why should translation be different?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Sarah Downing  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:26
German to English
+ ...
I second that Amy Feb 27, 2007

I totally agree with you Amy. Here in Germany, everything seems to be based around credentials and qualifications, which I find incredibly short-sighted. A college degree only helps to a certain extent; it's what you do with it that is more important, and it also helps to have a talent in your chosen field, which a college degree can't necessarily give you. I incidentally am a university graduate in languages, and although certain things like formal grammar learning and writing of my foreign languages have helped me, I happen to know quite a few people who aren't language graduates and still bloody good translators. Some of them even learned German by coming here and soaking it up.

A lot of people here seem to think that if you are a member of the BDÜ (German translators' association) you are automatically a good translator. I have even heard comments such as, "if you are a not a memberof a professional organisation, then you don't take your profession seriously". Excuse my French, but in my opinion that is utter bull. I choose not to be a member because you have to pay a rather hefty annual fee and, from what I have heard from a lot of people, the benefits are minimal. It is of course up to everyone to decide this for themselves, but even if you're not a member, it doesn't mean that you aren't a good translator. I have also heard of many cases of members who were very bad translators - it goes both ways.

Sometimes I wish people would just be more prepared to give people a chance without expecting ten thousand years of professional experience and millions of qualifications, but so often these seem to be the first things that are asked in an application.

Cheers,


Sarah


Direct link Reply with quote
 

shstephaniepark
South Korea
English to Korean
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Some jobs are limited to freelancers who have credentials. Feb 27, 2007

Thanks for your replies. I do agree with you.

That's what I have been so along my 12 years experience. And I believe that "Work talks itself".

But, at some stage, I felt my chances are limited and some new incentives needed for myself.

One of the reasons is some jobs I found interesting at Proz.com are limited to freelancers who have credentials.

So I decided to get credentials.

Cheers,

SH

[Edited at 2007-02-27 19:33]

[Edited at 2007-02-27 19:35]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Jackie Bowman

Local time: 17:26
Spanish to English
+ ...
A minor digression Feb 27, 2007

Sunghee Park wrote:

... I believe that "Work talks itself".


I’d never heard that before. Is that Korean? I think I understand what it means and I think it’s brilliant. As a native English-speaker and a translator, I’d shorten it slightly to ‘Work Talks’. And I will pin it to the board beside my desk. In all sincerity, thanks for that. To me, it sounds like a tremendous motto for freelance translators.

All best wishes to you.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:26
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
I did Institute of Linguists exams Feb 27, 2007

And prior to doing them, I regularly seemed to have the experience of agencies rejecting me because I did not have a translation qualification.

I recommend the Institute of Linguists diploma, Sunghee. It is well recognised in many countries of the world. You would have to check, however, whether they cover the language pair you would wish to obtain the diploma in. As for a location to take the exam, they have a centre in many different countries, usually in the most major cities of each country.

Astrid

P.S. Yes, I did raise my rates noticeably after obtaining the diploma, and it then seemed easier to get the higher rates than previously.

[Edited at 2007-02-27 22:48]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Luisa Ramos, CT  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:26
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
It made a difference Feb 27, 2007

I agree with Amy, Jackie, and Sarah. However, despite having a degree and several years of experience as a translator, my business did not take off until I obtained the ATA certification about a year ago. It really has made a difference.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 23:26
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
My credential is... my years of experience Feb 28, 2007

Sunghee Park wrote:
What kind of "credentials" do you have? How and where did you achieve them? After obtaining them, did you raise your rates? What is the best credential for translator according to you (in terms of qualification)?


Any credential is likely to be something you have achieved because you are already good enough to get it. So there really aint no advantage for existing clients if you get credentials. So why raise your rates?

The only purposes that credentials might serve are to show that you are a serious translator (for new clients) and to increase your chance of being selected from a pool of similarly qualified translators (for new and existing clients).

However, the credential will only help you get the first job for that client. The rest (repeat jobs) is up to you and your professional behaviour...

My credentials are:
* Native speaker
* Translation diploma (3 years full-time study)
* 10 years' experience
* Member of my local translation association


Direct link Reply with quote
 
inkpaduta
Local time: 23:26
Spanish to English
+ ...
Saying about Work Feb 28, 2007

"Work talks itself".

In English, the right wording is:

Work speaks for itself.

or

The work speaks for itself. (When it is a specific or mutually understood piece of work, like a painting, a project or, indeed, a translation.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:26
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Actually Feb 28, 2007

"Best" (or even "good") credentials are relative to your profile, your interests (specializations), your target language (any special Korean accreditations?) and/or your source (courses taken, etc.). Why don't you look at your own particular situation before you look at what's "best" for everybody else?

Try running an inventory of your experience to date, for example. Put it in your project history, if relevant.

Otherwise, the drive for credentialling may just turn out a meaningless (and even undesirable) paper chase. For instance, if you don't like legal translations, why get into the sworn translator market -- just because other colleagues may go for it? You might just make yourself unhappy.

two cents


Direct link Reply with quote
 
xxxSusana Onofr
Diploma in Translation Feb 28, 2007

In my opinion credentials are important.
I’m also thinking of doing the Diploma in Translation or another similar course.
I am not sure the Diploma in Translation is offered in Korean. http://www.iol.org.uk/qualifications/exams_diptrans.asp
Have you tried ATA? Or maybe you could find something in your country.
Best regards,
Susana


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Amy Duncan  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 19:26
Portuguese to English
+ ...
After reading all the posts... Feb 28, 2007

It seems to me that whether you go after credentials or not depends on the type of person you are, so either way is OK.

I've always been a "get in the back door" kind of person, with no desire for anything "official." Maybe this is because I'm a musician, I'm not sure. To give a for instance, I had a successful journalism career even though I only had a year and a half of college and no journalism courses. Go figure.

I appreciate the different way people approach things.

Amy


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Mauricio Coitiño  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 18:26
English to Spanish
+ ...
What about International House's Diploma in Translation? Mar 20, 2007

I'm about to enroll at Montevideo's International House and would like to know how good this credential could be. They offer the ATA an IoL examinations as a plus.
What's your opinion? Is this credential good at international level?
Thanks in advance.

Mauricio


Direct link Reply with quote
 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

What are the best "credentials" for translators?

Advanced search






PerfectIt consistency checker
Faster Checking, Greater Accuracy

PerfectIt helps deliver error-free documents. It improves consistency, ensures quality and helps to enforce style guides. It’s a powerful tool for pro users, and comes with the assurance of a 30-day money back guarantee.

More info »
LSP.expert
You’re a freelance translator? LSP.expert helps you manage your daily translation jobs. It’s easy, fast and secure.

How about you start tracking translation jobs and sending invoices in minutes? You can also manage your clients and generate reports about your business activities. So you always keep a clear view on your planning, AND you get a free 30 day trial period!

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search