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Don’t Get Lost in Translation, Get Certified

The American Translators Association Acknowledges Translation Expertise
The American Translators Association (ATA) is a professional association founded to advance the translation and interpreting professions and aid in the professional development of members. With over 10,000 members in 90 countries around the world, the ATA represents individuals employed with translation services, software development, hospitals, universities, and many others. The ATA offers a certification exam to translators in 24 language combinations.
Passing the Certification Exam&It"s Open Book!
Translators can be certified by the ATA in a specific language pair and direction (i.e. from or into English). Certification offers objective evidence to both the translator and customer that the translator is professionally competent in a specific language combination. Certified translators list their certification credentials on resumes and other materials, and must get continuing education credits after the initial certification.
The languages available for your confirmation include certification into English from Arabic, Croatian, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. Conversely, the certification is available from English into Chinese, Croatian, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Ukrainian.
The examination is not impossibly long; it is a three-hour, open-book proctored exam in your chosen language pair. Three passages are presented for your translation. One is a general passage and is compulsory for all participants. The other passage is your choice between the two remaining options. One passage covers science-related subject matter, while the other passage covers matters related to law, business, or finance.
The exam must be written by hand; no electronics are allowed. Two graders score the examination, and a third scorer is asked to assist if the original two scorers disagree on the final grade.
The Bad News: Not Many People Can Do It
Candidates who fail the exam may request that an exam review be performed. Unfortunately, the certification exam has an overall pass rate below 20 percent. While this is not a reassuring number, candidates can improve their chances by taking a practice test first.
If you are up for the challenge, go to for application information.

By Rita Henry
Get Bilingual Jobs, Contributing Editor

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