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.
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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