Working as sworn interpreter/translator in the US
Thread poster: patriciabr

patriciabr  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:48
English to Spanish
Dec 8, 2011

Hello. My husband is "intérprete/traductor jurado" in Spain. I have looked around and I see that there's no equivalent here in the US for that title. People suggest to take the ATA exam. But really? Who translates and certifies contracts and other types of legal documentation. Isn't it necessary to have a "seal of certification" in the US when you do so?

We'd appreciate if someone would give us some insight about this.

Thank you in advance for your help.

Patricia


 

Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:48
English to Spanish
+ ...
You're right Dec 8, 2011

There is no equivalent to "intérprete/traductor jurado" in the USA. There are certifications issued by various governmental agencies, mostly state, for the specific purposes of those agencies, for instance the state court system, state employment service, etc. This is normally done through an examination, and limited to Spanish and at times a few other languages. But it must be noted that virtually all such certifications are for INTERPRETERS, not TRANSLATORS. Now the ATA has no official status, but it is widely recognized, so it can be worthwhile. But there are actually no official qualifications at all required for TRANSLATORS. In the US the translation industry is totally unregulated.

In my own case I am certified by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Federal Courts as a Court Interpreter, a job I do not do. I work as a freelance translator and conference interpreter, but the certification I hold has high prestige (the exam is very difficult), so it evidences a command of the knowledge base required. Plus the job duties of a working Court Interpreter also include some translation. Suffice to say that the fact that I have this certification has helped me land a large amount of work I could have never gotten without it. It's the best one to have.


 

gad
United States
Local time: 06:48
Member
French to English
No seal of certification Dec 8, 2011

In some places in the U.S., the translator prepares and signs a Certification page - which s/he has notarized by a notary (which is also not quite the same in the U.S.) - simply attesting to the fact that s/he has translated the document from source to target language to the best of his/her ability...I can send you a sample document that I use sometimes, if you'd like.

And you are correct, there is no such thing as a "sworn translator" (or interpreter) in the U.S. There is the Certification exam through the ATA, but that's not the same thing - nor is it necessarily required in order to do translation work.


 

patriciabr  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:48
English to Spanish
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you gad Dec 8, 2011

Thanks for the info, and yes please send your sample document to: translapro@yahoo.com

Muchas gracias,

Patricia


 

Benno Groeneveld  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:48
English to Dutch
+ ...
State and federal courts Dec 9, 2011

have certification procedures for a number of languages. Definitely for Spanish, often also for languages like Vietnamese, Lao/Khmer and other languages spoken by large groups of refugees in that area.

Check with the translation/interpretation service of your local court. Their certification exams are free.

There is no court certification for my language (Dutch), but they've often taken my word for it that I can do this. (Impostors are usually found out very quickly).

When it comes to documents, notarized short statements ("I [name] state that I am fluent in [language] and [language] and that the attached document [name of document] is a full, faithful, and correct translation of [name of document] to the best of my ability" or some such wording). Your bank has people on staff who are also notaries and will perform that service for free for customers.



[Edited at 2011-12-09 03:17 GMT]


 

Benno Groeneveld  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:48
English to Dutch
+ ...
Dec 9, 2011



[Edited at 2011-12-09 03:19 GMT]


 

patriciabr  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:48
English to Spanish
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you for the information Dec 9, 2011

Very useful information. Thanks for sharing.

Patricia


 

D. B. Slavenskoj
Russian to English
+ ...
sworn in by a judge Feb 7, 2012

And you are correct, there is no such thing as a "sworn translator" (or interpreter) in the U.S. There is the Certification exam through the ATA, but that's not the same thing - nor is it necessarily required in order to do translation work.


Some state court systems do in fact require interpreters (who have passed the required exams) to be sworn in by a judge to become certified court interpreters in that state.

Many states belong to the Consortium for Language Access in the Courts which develops the exams. You can find more information here: http://www.ncsconline.org/D_Research/CourtInterp/CICourtConsort.html


 

D. B. Slavenskoj
Russian to English
+ ...
rate of passing exams Feb 8, 2012

PS: About 90% of those who attempt these court interpreting exams, fail them.

 


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