You’ve visited or lived in the native country, spent years speaking the language and now you want to put years of practice to work by being a translator. A question a lot of professional translators ask themselves is whether to become a certified translator. A certified translator is a translator who has passed the requisite certification exam administered by a professional translation organization such as the American Translator Association (“ATA”).
Pros and Cons of Becoming a Certified Translator
How to Become a Certified Translator
In the U.S., the American Translator Association is the prominent nationally-recognized professional translation organization. The ATA requires the following three steps to become certified:
Another U.S. certification program is offered by the Global Translation Institute. Translators can also become certified in other countries. Organizations include: the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (Australia), Canadian Translators, Terminologists and Interpreters Council and the Chartered Institute of Linguists (United Kingdom).
If I need a Certified Translation, can it only be done by Certified Translators?
While being a certified translator helps validate expertise in a translation, certified translators are not the only ones who can perform certified translations. U.S. law does not require accreditation in order to be a translator. In fact, U.S. authorities such as the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services define a certified translation as a translation where a translator attests to being competent to translate and that the translation is accurate, making no mention of being a certified translator.