What is a certified translator?
A certified translator is a person who has completed studies or perhaps gained a degree in being able to translate a different language. A language translator can be used for many different reasons. They translate documents in another language. This is helpful if you are moving to another country, going to attend a university or applying for a passport.
How do you become a certified translator?
You need to be an Australian citizen, permanent resident or a New Zealand citizen residing in Australia. You must be 18 years of age or older & have the required qualifications for the language you wish to translate in. The most important requirement is that you are fluent in at least two languages.
To become a certified translator, you need to complete studies and a test at the end to check your skill level. During the test the translator will be given different scenarios and questions to answer. These help to show how much the translator knows and how accurate they are. Being correct and accurate with their translating is very important. If there are errors in what they translate it can change the meaning of the document.
Why become certified?
You do not need to have a certification to be a translator. It does help though. If you are certified, potential clients are more likely to choose you and trust you with their translation needs. It shows that you are passionate about what you do and that being accurate and correct is important to you. If you are looking to work for an agency or office with your translation skills, then having the certification will help a lot. They are more likely to hire someone who is qualified and undertaken proper training. It is much like going to University, you are more likely to get the job if you have the qualification written on your resume.
What if I am not Certified?
You can still translate documents and be a translator if you are not certified. There will still be plenty of opportunities to translate documents and gain work as a translator without being certified. It just means that your opportunities may be limited. There will always be people who prefer to see that you have done studies and completed the tests for the certification. Certain jobs require you to be certified, which will limit your jobs. Many government departments (including the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and the NSW Public Trustee) and foreign consulates will only accept the translation of documents undertaken by NAATI-accredited or NAATI-recognised translators. At the very least to be a professional translator, a high level of English and your LOTE (Language Other Than English) is essential.
Being a translator is a very important job and requires you to be very accurate and professional. There are many words that can mean one thing in one language and something else in another. Any small errors in the translation can change the whole meaning of a sentence.