What is ATA Certification?

Respected credential

ATA certification is one of the industry's most respected and recognized credentials for translators. It is also the only widely recognized measure of competence for translation in the U.S.

Evidence of competence

ATA Certification offers qualified and independent evidence that a translator possesses professional competence in a specific language combination. It recognizes translators with the knowledge and skills necessary to provide quality translation.

Not just a one-time test

ATA Certification requires translators to maintain their credential with ongoing continuing education. This commitment to learning should always be an integral part of every professional's career.

About the Certification Exam

To earn ATA certification, a translator must pass a challenging three-hour proctored exam. The exam assesses the language skills of a professional translator: comprehension of the source-language text, translation techniques, and writing in the target language.

%
The current pass rate is less than 20%
<
Fewer than 2,000 ATA members are certified (out of over 10,000 members)

Certification Pass Rates 2004–2014

The Certification Committee is happy to report here on certification pass rates for 2004–2014.1 Pass rates have remained relatively stable over time, and this is reflected in the 2004-2014 data as well. To describe the results effectively and avoid distortion, the information has been divided into two groups: 1) languages with 40 or more exams…

Read More

Language Combinations Available

Translators are certified by ATA in a specific language pair and direction (from or into English). Certification is currently available in the following language combinations:

English into Arabic
English into Chinese
English into Croatian
English into Dutch
English into Finnish
English into French
English into German
English into Hungarian
English into Italian
English into Japanese
English into Polish
English into Portuguese
English into Russian
English into Spanish
English into Swedish
English into Ukrainian

Arabic into English
Chinese into English
Croatian into English
Dutch into English
French into English
German into English
Italian into English
Japanese into English
Polish into English
Portuguese into English
Russian into English
Spanish into English
Swedish into English
Ukrainian into English

Don't see your language?

Learn how to establish a new language combination.

More Certification Resources

Verify a translator’s certification status

If you have an applicant’s certification number, use this tool to verify their certification and language pair(s).

Certified translation vs. Certified translator

A certified translation is a one accompanied by a signed statement affirming the completeness and accuracy of the document.

A translator does not need to be certified in order to provide a certified translation.

Are translators without ATA certification bad?

Not at all! There may not be an exam available in the translator’s language combination, or the translator may be well-established and not need the additional confirmation of skills.

Find a Professional Translator or Interpreter

When you are committed to quality, the language professional you need is an ATA member.