Certification and Translation Quality

What Is A Certified Translation?

In the United States, a certified translation consists of the original text and a statement signed by the translator or translation company representative. This statement includes a signature notarized by a Notary Public, attesting that the translator or company representative believes the translation to be an accurate and complete interpretation of the original text. This statement is often called “Certificate of Accuracy.”

Any individual translator and any translation company representative, regardless of credentials, may “certify” a translation. A translator does not need to be “certified” in order to provide a “certified translation.” The Notary Public seal does not certify the accuracy of the interpretation, but it confirms that the signature is that of the person who presented him or herself to the notary with the Certificate of Accuracy.

What Is A Certified Translator?

In contrast to other countries in Europe or Asia, there is no federal or state licensing or certification for translators in the United States. There are some credentials available to translators or interpreters working in some language pairs in this country, but they do not carry the same weight as federal licensing or certification in other countries.

The American Translators Association (ATA) offers certification in various language pairs. ATA-certified translators are required to specify the language pairs in which they are certified. Courts in certain States also offer certification in specific language pairs to interpreters. In the United States, it is not necessary to be certified or licensed in order to provide a certified translation for official use, unless the entity receiving the translation specifies that the translation must be done by an ATA-certified translator.

Not all translators are certified – how do I know the translation is good? Despite the fact that there are many languages for which there is no certification or screening in the United States, there are many excellent, experienced translators and interpreters who are not certified. In order to guarantee top quality translation, TransLingua has developed a linguist vetting system and a quality control process.

Linguist Selection
All of TransLingua’s linguists are native speakers of their respective target language(s). They have completed formal studies in linguistics and/or translation, and have selected a specialized field based on their formal education or professional experience.

Our linguists have worked with us over many years and thus have extensive experience in their fields and with our practices and standards. The majority of our linguists are based in the US and therefore have a familiarity with the American culture, common language terms and usage which makes them uniquely qualified as language consultants in the United States.

In the case that TransLingua needs to recruit new linguists, we reach out to our established resources for appropriately qualified referrals or we research through professional channels. We collect resumes, conduct interviews, check references and sample translations. Once new linguists pass this first step, they are tested and closely monitored by our existing linguists and our project managers. During this process the quality of their output is verified and, if approved, TransLingua will add them to its linguist pool.

Quality Control
Every completed translation is checked for cultural appropriateness, reading level, tone, accuracy and correct usage of language by a second linguist, the proofreader/editor. The translator and proofreader/editor interact and discuss options, and agree on a final translation. The project manager monitors the interaction of the team throughout, addressing any questions or concerns regarding the translation and liaising with the client when necessary.

Prior to delivery, all translations undergo an additional and final in-house quality control step conducted by the senior project manager, ensuring that all translations are ISO 9001 compliant. If possible, translations are reviewed and approved by the client. Final client feedback and preferences are implemented in translations and glossaries for future reference.