Professional Translators

How to become an accredited translator to get more work

Accredited translators putting their fists together

An accredited translator doesn’t stand alone. Their accreditation helps makes them a trusted member of the translation profession.

In an unregulated profession like translation, finding a reliable supplier can be hit and miss for the customer. One way to make sure you get more work is to be an accredited translator. This article will tell you how to join the ranks of certified translators.

In her article Why use accredited translation services, Lucy explains the importance of using an accredited translator. In the translation profession, most transactions take place online. Not having personal contact makes it harder for a new client to trust you. Without trust, there won’t be a sale.

One way of cultivating trust is by showing the client that you’re an accredited translator. Accreditation gives you official status as a member of the translation profession.

So, what are the options for getting translation accreditation?

Translation qualifications

The gold standard translation qualification is the Diploma in Translation from the Chartered Institute of Linguists. Only people with professional translation skills are able to pass this exam. If someone has the DipTrans, then a certain amount of quality assurance comes guaranteed.

The other leading translation qualification is the MA in Translation Studies. A translator with this qualification has trained extensively in translation theory. They may also have trained in a specialisation, like law, literature or videogame localization.

If you want to find out more about these two qualifications, you may find my qualifications webinar on ProZ.com helpful. Besides that, I’ve written a guest blog for Nikki Graham about the DipTrans. While you’re visiting Nikki’s website, check out her series of guest posts reviewing different MA courses.

Is it better to get a #translation MA, the DipTrans, or both? #xl8 Click To Tweet

Once you get your certificate, it’s worth supplementing it by joining a professional translator’s association.

Professional Translator Association Memberships

There are numerous associations for translators all over the world. Membership fees can go from tens to hundreds. So, it’s worth shopping around and seeing what you’ll get for your money. It’s also important to consider if and how your customer will differentiate between them.

Bigger associations, like the CIoL, the ATA, and the ITI, have a set of requirements for their members. These may include passing entry exams, providing references, and showing relevant qualifications. This means they provide a certain level of guarantee for the buyer. Their members are meeting an established quality threshold.

Strictness and barriers to entry are different for every association. But, being a member of a translation association shows your dedication to the profession. A popular one in Spain is the MET.

Are you a member of a translators' association? #t9n Click To Tweet

Becoming a government-approved translator

The process for this will depend on the country. You may be required to pass government exams or have certain qualifications. Sometimes the system is flawed, like in Spain, where the rules to become an official translator are illogical. For instance, officially approving translators to work into their second language, even though it is well known in the industry that this normally reduces quality. Or, forcing translators to qualify as interpreters, two different jobs. In any case, a government-accredited translator always looks good to the customer.

The best way of becoming an accredited translator will depend on your existing qualifications. But, it’s an important move towards getting ongoing work as a freelance translator. Beyond financial considerations, translator accreditation is an essential part of making sure our profession is taken seriously.

Are you an accredited translator? What certification do you offer customers? What do you think about the different types of accreditation? Which is best?

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