United Nations Translation Accreditation

United Nations Translation Accreditation

ASTA-USA’s professional translators are UN-certified. Internationally considered the most prestigious authorization, the United Nations certification process for translators consists of a language competitive examination (LCE). Prospective translators are assessed on their “main language” knowledge. The UN considers the main language to be the language of an internal candidate’s post-secondary education. For external linguists, this generally means the “target language” into which an individual works. Each of the six official United Nations languages – Arabic, English, French, Mandarin-Chinese, Russian and Spanish – are tested.


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The United Nations Translation Accreditation process is stringent.

  • At minimum, a Bachelor’s degree in the relevant area is required, but an advanced degree is preferred.

  • Most candidates have additionally earned a degree from an accredited translation school.

  • All candidates usually must be able to translate into their main language from at least two of the other official UN languages.

The UN advises all test candidates:

Having good writing skills will make a difference in the examination. Reading extensively will support your writing skills by strengthening your substantive knowledge in relevant fields, broadening your vocabulary, refining your style and giving you a feel for the structures and expressions used in the languages from and into which you work.

Candidates who pass the written assessments move on to a competency-based interview, which is a core facet of the evaluation. Upon successful completion of all aspects of the translation accreditation process, an individual joins the ranks of all ASTA-USA translators who are recognized around the globe as the most qualified and trustworthy translators.

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