by Nemo’s great uncle

Despite the obvious necessity for translation services many people who require them feel a little trepidation about spending the money on a service where they won’t be able to gauge the quality of the translation services themselves. One way to feel added security over the quality of the translation you’re purchasing is to only hire certified translators.

Now, a few caveats. A certified translator is not necessarily superior to a translator who isn’t certified. There are plenty of great translators who never receive certification but who none-the-less provide a great service at a great price. Due to the fact that translation is an easy industry for independent contractors to enter into and treat as a small side business, it shouldn’t be surprising that there are plenty of translators who never bother to receive certification.

Also, you need to understand that a certified translator isn’t guaranteed to provide high quality work. This is due to the fact that there is no over-arching standards set in the field of translation, so there are no overarching standards required to receive and retain your certification. Translators who opt for it receive their certifications receive them from independent bodies within the field, and none of these bodies are in agreement over what a universal translation certification needs to guarantee. This is largely due to the wide range of translation services demanded within the field (legal translation is wildly different than prose translation) and partially due to the fact that translation is a highly subjective field of work.

You’ve probably read the above and are beginning to wonder why you should seek out a certified translator if a translator doesn’t need to be certified to do good work, and if certifications don’t necessarily relate to any industry-wide standards. The reason is simple- someone who has spent the time and money to earn certifications is likely to be more invested in their work and is likely to be more invested in their professionalism than an individual who hasn’t endeavored for certification.

And certification isn’t completely meaningless by any means. Each certificate holds its own standards about the quality of work they demand- there just isn’t any single overarching set of standards that spans the entire industry. Look into translation certifications and find the ones that seem to hold the highest standards which are most apropos of the work you need done and then hire translation services providers who have achieved those certifications. After all, if you value the standards set in a specific certification than the individuals who acquire it are likely to share those same values. There’s not single way to ensure you hire a great translation provider, but hiring from a certification that you believe in is a great way to tilt the process in your favor.

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