How to Become a Certified Translator
The exponential growth of globalization has enabled nations to reach out from their geographical borders and forge meaningful connections with other countries. Today, it is easier than ever for two nations to exchange commodities and have a glimpse of each other's culture. Globalization has indeed brought people together.
Despite this continuous integration of countries, language barriers still pose some difficulties. For instance, just because the USA and Mexico are under the North American Free Trade Agreement does not mean there is no linguistic constraint. The languages used are still different. That is why translators and interpreters are essential for ensuring that cross-border transactions happen smoothly.
Translators and interpreters are commonly thought of as the same job, but they are actually different. Translators deal with written documents, whereas interpreters work with verbal communication. Professional translators and interpreters work in companies offering translation services.
If you are adept in multiple languages and passionate about writing outputs, then being a professional translator might be the job for you. Should you want to pursue this path, here are a couple of tips to help you get started in your journey as a certified translator:
Hone Your Language Skills
Certified translation does not just involve finding an equivalent word from one language to another. According to Translingua, a deeper level of understanding of languages is expected of certified translators because they have to make sure that ideas and contexts are not lost in the process of translating.
Thus, you must have excellent proficiency in the language you want to translate. Formal education is an advantage, though the practical experience is still the best teacher.
You should also brush up on your writing skills and review the cultures and traditions of the country where your target language is from. This will help you translate better.
Obtain a Certification
Most countries do not have a central regulatory body for giving certifications to professional translators. However, there may be multiple organizations in your country providing certificates that attest to your competence as a translator.
In the US, the American Translators Association (ATA) is one of these organizations. ATA conducts a battery of tests about your target language's theory and application to determine whether you are qualified for certification. Some of the ATA certificates are for translation from English to Croatian, Dutch, French, German, Italian, and Japanese, as well as the other way around.
On the other hand, one of the multiple ways to get certified in the UK is through the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI). An entry test and proof of experience are some of the strict prerequisites set by ITI for those who want to be professional translators.
The United Nations also provides prestigious international certificates for translators. The UN's guidelines are particularly stringent, such as a compulsory Bachelor's degree in translation and competitive tests to assess your competence.
Look for a Translation Job
Once you are fully certified, you can already go to any field requiring translation services. If you want to specialize, you may pursue legal or medical translation tracks. Otherwise, you may apply to a company providing certified translation services for exposure to various projects and fields. The choices are limitless!