To be an official certified translator or translator you have to invest time and money. Time to complete the necessary paperwork and money for the relevant tests and certifications. Here are the steps you must follow to become an official translator or translator.
Part 1 of 3: Make the Preliminary Considerations
Step 1. Consider whether you have knowledge of the language of which you aspire to be a translator
If you consider that you have very basic knowledge, it is necessary that you study the language well before taking the relevant exams that certify your knowledge
Step 2. Determine where you got your knowledge of the language of which you want to be an official translator
- You must be clear if you have obtained this knowledge in a self-taught way, or through courses in private private entities, or if it was through university studies.
- Remember that university degrees that guarantee your knowledge of a language are not enough to be an official certified translator or translator.
Step 3. Find out about the specific work of a certified translator or official translator
Undoubtedly, an official certified translator or translator can translate any text in the language of which they have knowledge. However, the translations that usually require an official translator certification are those related to documents of a legal or administrative nature (diplomas, marriage certificates, deeds, bank documents) that must be valid in a country other than the one that issued them
Step 4. Prepare to take the certification exam
- You can help yourself by viewing model tests. In the tips section you will find the links.
- There are certain universities and other institutions that offer preparation courses for this exam.
Part 2 of 3: Take the Exam for the Official Translator and Interpreter Certificate of Suitability and License
Step 1. According to your location, choose the location that best suits you to take the exam
- In Colombia, there are two universities that facilitate this exam: the National University, in Bogotá, through the Department of Foreign Languages; and the University of Antioquia, in Medellín, through the School of Languages.
- Depending on the language, there may be other duly accredited entities or institutions capable of taking the certification exam in your language. In this case, the information should be consulted with an embassy or consulate of the country where the language in question is spoken.
Step 2. According to your choice, investigate the date on which the venue administers the exam
Step 3. Make the pre-registration by filling out the form that the headquarters must make available to you
This pre-registration can be done online or in the respective departments of the universities that apply the exam
Step 4. Register for the exam
To formalize the registration, you must make a deposit.
In the case of the National University, for the year 2015, an amount of 902,090.00 pesos must be consigned in the account No. 01272006-6 of the Banco Popular, collection code No. 20142023, in the name of the Special Fund of the Faculty of Human Sciences. Similarly, on the back of the deposit receipt you must indicate your information (name, surname, type and number of identity document, telephone number, email and the language for which you will take the exam)
Step 5. Take the official translator exam
Part 3 of 3: Complete the formalities for certification
Step 1. Go to the Superior Court of the Judicial District that seems most convenient to you
- Process a certificate of possession as a sworn translator.
- Request a resolution issued by the Ministry of Justice and Law, where you are established and recognized as an official translator or sworn interpreter.
- To do this, you must present all those documents that serve as proof of your knowledge of the language in question and where your professional activity as a translator of said language is recognized (if applicable).
Step 2. Submit the resolution to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- In the ministry you must be given the registration record as an official translator.
- You must register attaching a copy of the certificate of possession and the resolution issued by the Ministry of Justice and Law.
- Similarly, this will be the entity in charge of validating the work you do as a translator.
Step 3. Register in the lists of the embassies or consulates where the language of which you are a translator is spoken
This helps you to be considerate should they require your services
Step 4. Register with the Colombian Association of Translators and Interpreters
- Given the time and money that it implies to be certified as an official translator or translator, think about the advantages and disadvantages that having this certification would have for you, according to your current situation.
- The certification exam will assess your skills as a translator and interpreter. The translation evaluation will be written (direct translation and reverse translation) and the interpretation evaluation will be oral (sight interpretation and alternate interpretation). The evaluations will be based on technical-scientific texts and institutional texts. The test will be evaluated by a jury and all 4 parts must be passed to pass the test.
- If you want to see sample exams for an official translator and interpreter, click here.
- Although there are only two universities in Colombia where you can take the certification exam, there is the possibility of taking them in other countries, as long as they can be certified and legalized before the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Education. In the embassies of the countries that interest you the most, you can obtain more information about it.
- To verify information about the exam applied by the National University, you can click here.
- For detailed information about the exam at the University of Antioquia, contact the Language School through the numbers: (3) 2195794 / (3) 2195795