The job of the translator is very challenging and faces the professionals with thousands of different situations that require specific linguistic and cultural knowledge. As a language service provider, you may be wondering how to qualify your translator in the best possible way.

While there are several options concerning translators’ certification and qualification, it is also essential to start from the basic requirements for the profession and then gradually upgrade. It is important to note that both agency-employed and freelance translators can get certification and enhance their qualification if they want to.

Below, you can find the basic requirements necessary for anyone who wants to be involved in the process of translation and you will get an answer on how to qualify your translator depending on their language combination or specific expertise.

Basic requirements for translators

In order to become a translator, you need to fulfil at least some basic requirements that can guarantee that you can do your job well and keep your customers satisfied. Some of the main qualities that you need to possess in order to be good in the field of translation include:

  • Passion for words

If you find reading and writing dull, then translation is definitely not your cup of tea. On the other hand, if you feel attracted by words, this may be your dream job. Quite often, translators are also writers or at least enjoy writing tremendously and the activity makes them feel complete and happy. Translators even organize their own competitions called a translation slam where they can prove who is better in a given field and most of all have a lot of fun.

  • Love for languages

It is needless to say that a good translator loves languages and is aware that their learning is a lifelong undertaking. Note that it is ok to know even one foreign language to be a translator.

  • Cultural awareness

Translation is more than simply rendering words and sentences from one language into another. It includes transferring the feeling, the idea, the overall message of the text and quite often requires deep knowledge of the target audience culture. Hence, cultural awareness of both your native and foreign languages will help you qualify as a good translator.

  • Abundant general knowledge

It is essential to point out that it is not a strict requirement to have graduated from a translation degree in order to become a translator. In many cases, people who are engaged in the translation industry have a degree in law, medicine, economics, literature, etc., which allows them to perform their duties even better. General knowledge combined with specific expertise in a given field makes a good translator and if you want to qualify your translator, you may encourage them to take some additional courses in a specific discipline.

What are the important qualifications for translators?

Translators are required to perform a wide range of services that include, without being limited to technical document translation, software localization, education material translation, etc. They need to have some specific qualifications in order to accomplish the tasks.

A few qualifications to include are:

  • A translation or any other linguistic degree
  • Significant experience as a translator
  • Expert in a given area (law, medicine, patent translations, manufacturing, OSHA requirements, information technologies)
  • Knowledge of CAT technologies and the new developments of machine translation
  • Reliability, consistency, and flexibility at work

Any of the above-listed qualifications is a plus if you are planning to pursue a successful career in translation.

Different options to qualify your translator

The qualification of the translators it uses is one of the main factors that defines a good language service provider. If you are using native speakers, who are subject-matter experts in their field, than you have a better chance of gaining and retaining customers.

In order to be better positioned in the market, it is a good idea to be well versed in the company’s standard translation process. This is one way to qualify your translator.

If you work in the USA, the best way to be certified is to apply with ATA and pass their certification exam. This will give you high credentials and make you a more desirable translator whether you work at an agency or as a freelancer. Credentials are awarded to translators by other bodies as well, such as the Department of Social & Health Services, the Translators and Interpreters Guild depending on your language pairs.

There are different associations around the world, their certification processes differ, and if you want to work in another country, you may want to apply with them. Note that your ATA certification may not be good enough in Europe, for example, so check the list of associations you can contact in order to qualify your translator if in a country different from the USA.

What about medical translators and interpreters?

When it comes to medicine, no matter if we are talking about clinical translation or hospital interpretation services, it is critical to have the proper qualification of the experts working on the given project. While the above given options can be useful for medical translators and interpreters, it is necessary to know that there are specific requirements for the people working in this field.

One of the most sought-after services in the healthcare system involves medical interpretation. If you want to become a qualified medical interpreter, you need more than knowledge of two different languages and passion for interpreting. You need to complete a special accredited medical interpreter training course, which should cover a minimum of 40 hours. The training programs is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies and by the Commission for Medical Interpreter Education. In addition to being socially aware, medical interpreters should adhere to a national code of ethics for interpreters in healthcare and to national standards of practice for interpreters in health care.

As you can see, there are various step to take in order to qualify your translator but they are all worthwhile, as it is a clear sign of the high quality of the service that you provide.

Here at ICD Translation we offer a full range of translation and localization services provided by highly qualified and experienced translators. No matter what your translation project is, we have you covered.

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