How to Become an ATA Certified Translator


The American Translators Association is the largest association of professional translators and interpreters based in the United States and is currently partnering with above ten thousand members from over 90 countries. The ATA welcomes anyone who displays interest in providing translation and interpretation services as a profession. Translators, interpreters, software developers, and teachers from all over the world are part of the American Translators Association. The ATA Certification Program aims to improve professional standards, augment individual performance, and recruit translators with exceptional translation skills. The ATA Certification program was founded in 1973. The headquarters of the ATA is located in Alexandria, Virginia and is associated with the International Federation of Translators.

The ATA offers certification in the following languages.

Into English from

Arabic, Croatian, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.

And from English into

Chinese, Croatian, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Macedonian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Ukrainian.

Aims and Developments

ATA aims to support and help the professional development and growth of translators and interpreters. The American Translators Association’s main objective is to provide technical assistance and certification programs for skilled translators who spend their time translating certificates and other documents for a profession. The association offers seminars and workshops to help achieve its goals of promoting the profession of translation and interpretation. The ATA Annual Conference is held each fall to verbalize their ambitions and plans about education and training of professionals skilled in translation and interpretation.

Why Should You Become ATA Certified?

The translation industry doesn’t require much of a threshold, and this is the exact same reason why the competition here is so tough. Everyone with excellent translations skills out there trying their luck in the translation industry, and when the prerequisites are next to nothing; you have to brace yourself for some tough competition. If you want to build a career in translation, get certified. Clients want certified translators to handle their documents, it makes them feel at ease, and those certifications promise them quality translations. Getting certified is evidence of your proficiency is a translator, and potential clients are desperate for reassurance. So, if you’re an ATA certified translator, the certificate alone will open doors to a lot of translation jobs. In the ATA certification exam, the failure rate is extremely high; this is why clients take it seriously and do not doubt if the ATA certified professionals know what they are doing.

Listed below are a few benefits of getting ATA certified.

Boost in Career

The ATA certification gets you a good boost in your career as a professional translator. It is the evidence of your proficient translation skills, excellent work ethic, and commitment to the profession. An ATA certification can open doors to new opportunities and job offers.

Listing in the Directory

Once you are an Ata certified translator, your certification is listed in ATA’s Directory of Translators and Interpreters. It makes you stand out from other uncertified members of the association, and you will be listed high on the client’s preference list.

“No matter where you are based out of, getting listed in local directories can play very important part in your translation business growth.” says E-Word, a very reputable provider of translation services in Budapest.

Voice in Management and Governance

After becoming an ATA certified translator, you can participate and give your valuable opinion in the governance, activities, and running of the ATA. It’s an opportunity for translators to widen their scope and become one of the most coveted and valued translators or interpreter in the translation industry.

How to Become ATA Certified?

Following are the steps you must follow to become a certified member of the American Translators Association.

  1. To Become a Member of the Association

This part is the easiest. To become a member of the association, you must visit the official ATA website, fill out the application forms, and pay using your credit card. Once you have done all of this, you membership certificate from the ATA will arrive in your mail in the next two weeks. There are no prerequisites; you only have to apply and pay the fee.

  1. Register for the Certification Exam

This step requires you to fill out a registration form and a payment of $300 at least two weeks prior to the exam. Also, there’s a condition that you must be a member of the association for a minimum of at least two weeks before you apply for the certification exam.

  1. Practice Test for the Certification Exam

Taking the exam practice test is not compulsory, and neither is it a requirement. But taking a practice test will help you understand the kind of questions you may be asked, and help you feel more confident and encouraged about the impending exam.

Certificate translation and the translation and interpretation of important documents require skilled translation techniques and expertise that ATA certified translators can provide without question. Getting ATA certified does not only open doors to translation jobs for you; it also builds your career and a reputation with your customers that bring in more clients.