Do I need to be a certified Spanish translator to translate? What can I do to become a certified Spanish translator? These are the two most frequent questions I get asked from translators and would-be translators.
Well, it’s likely that other translators or those who would like to become translators have the same questions, and so I’d like to answer those questions here in this article.
Do I need to be a certified Spanish translator?
Many would-be translators are under the impression that in order to translate, they have to become certified. This isn’t necessarily true and there are a few reasons why this is so. First of all, merely being certified doesn’t make a translator a good translator. Certification is a method that organizations use to determine if a translator meets their standards or their idea of what a good translation should be. While these organizations usually do a good job of determining their standards, these standards universally acknowledged.
This means just because a translator is not certified by this type of organization does not mean he or she is not a good translator. Many translators choose not to take the certification tests administered by certification organizations, yet they still have a great freelance translation business and are able to find clients.
However, that being said, there are some people that only want “certified” translators for their projects, and so for that reason, it might be useful to look into becoming certified. But if you still aren’t interested in becoming certified, and want to convince your clients you are able to translate, the most important thing you can show them is a list of previous clients you have translated for. This is what really shows potential clients what kind of translator you are.
How can I become a certified translator?
This second question most often comes from would-be translators who are interested in knowing how to become certified Spanish translators. First off, there are many organizations throughout the world that offer certification various language pairs. In the United States, the most common organization for translator certification is the American Translator’s Association (ATA). This organization offers certification tests in various language pairs, but there is a process for becoming certified. According to the ATA website, you have to:
- Become an ATA member
- Satisfy the eligibility requirements by providing proof of a combination of education and work experience
- Register for an upcoming exam (a three-hour, open-book, proctored exam in a specific language pair)
Hopefully these answers will help you decide whether or not to become a certified Spanish translator and where you can go to become certified, if that is what you choose to do.
Clint Tustison is a Spanish <--> English translator interested in helping businesses and translators better understand the translation industry. If you’re interested in how to improve your translation business or your relationship with translation companies, check out his website at http://www.spanish-translation-help.com
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