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What is a certified translator?

A certified translator produces translations according to certain quality criteria. Unlike the certified translation, which is based on the expertise of a translator, a certified translation requires proofreading by a second qualified reader. Certification for the translation service can be applied for from an independent testing agency.

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Role of a certified translator

When official documents are translated, it is often mandatory to have them notarised. In some cases, this step is not sufficient, which is when a certified translator is called in. The quality of their work is certified by a certificate issued by an independent inspection body and is only valid for a certain period of time. In order to exclude errors in the translation, the text is proofread by another qualified person.

Requirements for the profession

Certified translators have a comprehensive knowledge of linguistics, specialist terminology and legislation. It is necessary for the translator to have a native level of proficiency in the source language and target language in order to eliminate errors in the translation. As far as the formatting of the written translation is concerned, a special quality charter must be applied. Before a service provider is allowed to offer certified translations, the quality of their work must be assessed by an independent testing authority.

Role of the translator certificate

Anyone wishing to work as a translator in the business sector should ideally have the quality of their services voluntarily certified by an independent testing body. This inspection authority may be TÜV, DEKRA or the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK). Those responsible check at set intervals whether the translator complies with certain standards and then issue a temporary translator’s certificate. The certificate forms a voluntary seal of quality in various sectors.

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FAQ: More questions about certified translators

How does one become a certified translator?

There are several ways to become a translator or interpreter. You can either undertake a three-year training programme at a specialised academy or complete a linguistics degree. The basis for the vocational qualification is the state examination. Prerequisites are a sound knowledge of at least two languages, a high level of intercultural competence and communication skills. Anyone wishing to work as a certified translator must then have themselves tested by an independent testing body.

What is the difference between a certified translator and a sworn translator?

A sworn translator is accredited by the Court of Appeal and produces translations of documents, which he or she then authenticates. Certified translators, on the other hand, are certified by an independent testing authority. The quality of their translations is enhanced by proofreading by a qualified second person.

What certifications can I obtain as a translator?

Common certifications for translators are the European Translator Standard 15038, the ISO 9001 standard for quality management or the ISO 17100 standard for translation services. They constitute a voluntary seal of quality, i.e. they are not obligatory.

How much does a certified translation cost?

Translation agencies usually charge bt.etween £22 and £50 per page for a certified translation. The exact price depends on the provider, type of document, number of words and language combination.

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