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Want to make money using your language skills? If so, you probably will want to consider getting a certification in translation. Why? Well, you ll probably end up making more money and you ll get more opportunities for work. For example, a substantial amount of work is available in court interpreting. To apply for one of those positions, you will definitely want to be certified.

The ATA organization (American Translators Association) is the U.S. organization that grants certifications. Students take the (open-book) examination to show that the translator has professional competence in that particular type of translation. If you re thinking of taking this exam, be aware that there are prerequisites consisting of certain criteria of education and prerequisites. After you have taken and passed the exam you ll be asked to sign a statement saying you will abide by the ATA s Code of Professional Conduct and Business Practices.

To get certified in translation, you must first have a Bachelors degree in the language you intend to translate. Many schools that prepare you for translation not only concentrate on the language, they also offer opportunities to learn more about the culture you ll be working with. If you re thinking of becoming a certified translator, you ll want to choose the language training service that meets your specific needs.

First, consider whether you want to concentrate on medical, literary, information technology, or judicial types of translation. Most of the time, you ll find that specialized areas pay more, but they also may want a specialized certification in that particular area. 

Some bilingual workers prefer to work in interpreting. Interpreting is oral and translation is written. If you choose to be an interpreter, you must be able to speak the language fluently, (remember you won t have the chance to look up the meaning of a word every time). Translators need to be very good writers, since translation work really is simply writing in the other language.

Here are some online translation programs you may want to consider:

  • Adelphi University - This online program is specifically for English and Spanish translation certifications. Classes are taught by professionals who have worked in translation for years. Classes are conducted entirely online. After completing this course of study, you will be ready to take the American Translators Association (ATA) Certification. 
  • CTP - The Certified Translation Professional (CTP) is an online training program sponsored by the Global Translation Institute (GTI). The CTP Program was designed by translation professionals for translation professionals. It is a self-study program that offers its own exam and certification. They will also help you fine-tune your resume and help you locate a job.

Once you ve received your certification, you may want to check into a growing need for translation in this country. There is quite a bit of work for translating diplomas and transcripts; that is, students who come here from other countries with their credentials from foreign universities and they need them translated into something an American university would accept. In addition, since many U.S. citizens are adopting children from other countries, many people need to have birth certificates and even marriage certificates translated.

If you're interested in learning Spanish for a career in translation, we suggest you take a look at our online Spanish courses.

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