How to Become a Certified Translator Online

Becoming a certified translator is a lucrative option. We have written on many of the aspects of working as a translator in various posts. This page will explain, in detail, how to become a certified translator online. There are three ways to becoming a certified translator, and Universal Translation Services took the most important one and explained in detail for your understanding. The three ways of becoming certified as a translator are as follows:

  • Getting Certified by the American Translators Association (ATA)
  • Getting Certified by the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators
  • Getting Certified by the National Board of Certified Medical Interpreters (CMI)

There are many benefits if you can get certified as a translator and the best way to go remains the first option. The other two associations in the list are more referring to becoming certified as an interpreter.

Although we also offer telephone interpreting services, we do not offer certified interpreters and since this page is only a guide for translators, we will concentrate on how to become a certified translator online by becoming a member of the American Translators Association or the ATA.

While becoming a member of the ATA is a good idea for a translator, it is a rather complicated procedure where 3 tests are involved and proven record of at least 5 years of previous experience as a translator is required. What you get is the ATA certification as a translator, your own member id and a listing on their website, which is well-worth the effort in the long run.

become certified by the ATA

A point worth noting: if you intend to provide USCIS translation for people looking to immigrate to the US, you don’t have to be certified. Since certified translation is not regulated in the US, any translator can provide certified translation, considering he knows how to do the actual translation and the certificate of accuracy.

If you’re working with us as a freelance translator, you only need to translate, we will take care of the certificate of accuracy and we will sign and stamp it as a company which is member of the ATA.

become a certified translator

Become a certified translator

If you intend to get some certification in the US, here it is how to become a certified translator online with the ATA. It won’t be easy, but we are here to explain the whole process of getting certified by the ATA.

advantages in getting certified

Advantages in getting certified

Less than 20% of the translators taking the test pass it and become ATA certified and therefore the certification will look great into your portfolio, opening new possibilities for you and enhancing your career.

why work with us

Why work with us

We are easy to work with and we are probably the fastest to pay our translators every month. We also have plenty of projects coming in every day so you will have the chance to get numerous translation jobs with us.

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How to become a certified translator online with the American Translators Association (ATA)

ATA offers certification training for translators and is entirely credible for working as a translator in the United States. It is also a valid certification to have if you are working with international clients. The certification gives you validity for translating between English and one language of your choice and vice versa.

There are rather limited possibilities in terms of languages with the ATA. Before knowing how to become a certified translator online, you will want to know if it’s even possible for your language combination. Right now, the certification can be taken for the following languages to English; Arabic, Croatian, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Swedish. The languages you can get a certification for translating from English are: Chinese, Croatian, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, and Ukrainian.

qualification requirements

Requirements for Qualification

So, how to become a certified translator online? ATA has its requirements for qualifying for a certification exam. These qualifications are as follows:

ATA Membership: The translators naturally become a member when they pass the certification tests.

ACTFL Proficiency Test: You need to pass the language proficiency exam of American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages for the language that you need the certification in.

Accreditation Eligibility: Following is the criteria for eligibility to get accreditation from ATA:

Certification from Fédération Internationale des Traducteurs, or, bachelor’s degree in translation and Interpretation from an institution that is approved by the ATA Education and Pedagogy Committee, or bachelor’s degree and two years of proven work experience as a translator; or five years of proven work experience as a translator.

The Test Taking: The exam covers source language comprehension, translation techniques and writing in the target language. The grading will focus on grammar, vocabulary, quality of the translation and accurate translation of the content.

Advice: If you want to complete your ATA certification exam successfully, make sure that you pass your ACTFL exam with at least ‘Advanced-Low.’

Practice: ATA provides sample tests on their website that translators can take.  The test will be based on three passages. The first passage is a non- fiction; it could an essay of some kind. The second part will be a technical translation; it will be scientific, technical or medical. The third passage will be either financial, business related or legal content. You have to choose any of the two last passages, while the first passage is mandatory.

Prospect: The test is taken, and the accreditation is cleared for a specific enhancement in the career. You will be given an ATA certified seal. Your credentials will also be listed in the ATA directory of translation services. You will be able to present yourself as a professional translator who has been validated to the industry standards. The ATA seal will have your certification number. Your certification number will show when you stamp documents.

The benefits of being certified by the ATA

Now that you know how to become a certified translator online, you may be interested in what benefits you get from becoming a member of the ATA. Benefits are simple enough. You will be allowed to charge much higher rates per word for your translations. It costs around two hundred to three hundred dollars to pass the test. The test has to be frequently taken like around every year or two years to keep your certification alive. But the truth is; if you have passed the test once, you do not need to pass it again. Just passing the test once makes you an adequately vetted and robust translator.

What do they mean by five years of proven experience?

This is a question that rotates around a lot. You need to be either a proper employee in an office as a translator for three years or work as a freelancer. Being an employee is much more preferable because it is irrefutable proof that you were adequately translating for all of that time.

Freelance Translator

Showing proof of experience as a freelance translator is harder. You will need to show numerous monetary transactions as a freelancer and many recommendation letters from clients who used your services as a freelance translator.

Training with a translation agency

When you are working towards your certification, it is highly recommended that you attach yourself to a proper translation agency. Many translation agencies hire freelance translators and then train them in the field. Once you have become an active member of their agency, they will provide you with regular work. They will also take care of client feedback. When the time comes, you can show your validation as a professional translator, and you will be able to show that the translation experience you have is valid and credible.

Helps with the exam!

Your exam preparation is practice made perfect! The more you translate, the better you will perform. Working with a translation agency will genuinely hone your skills and will make you a good translator. This is also an excellent way to learn the trade and understand the industry.

benefits of becoming a certified translator

We hope this page answers your question on how to become a certified translator online with the ATA. Universal Translation Services is a translation company in the US which is always looking to work with more and more translators. We are the fastest paying translation agency on the planet, and working with us would provide the experience needed with the ATA. If you’d like to work with us, get in touch.

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