How to Become a Certified Translator in Canada

Last Updated on August 12, 2023 by Oluwajuwon Alvina

Canada is one of the most diverse nations in the world. The population is over 30 million people, and many speak more than one language. However, while some translate for living, it is so much more than just speaking more than one language. This has created a need for certified translators in Canada that are professional, precise, and can pass stringent tests for certain fields. The article below brings you the most-up-to-date information on how to become a freelance translator in Canada and much more. Lookout for how to become a translator? Read on and find out more.

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The Canadian government has many certifications and licenses that allow individuals to work in specific industries, such as medicine and engineering. If you are interested in becoming a certified translator, it is important that you understand what is required of you.

Becoming a certified translator in Canada requires that you meet certain requirements and complete a specific process. This article will provide information on how to become a certified translator in Canada.

What is a Certified Translator?

There are many different types of translators, including freelance translators, interpreters, and localization experts. A certified translator works with both written text as well as spoken words. The translated material may be in any language or dialect and include technical or professional documents as well as everyday text or conversations between people who speak different languages.

In Canada, those who translate documents for use in court must be accredited by the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI). This organization ensures that translators have met certain standards before they can work on any cases involving legal matters such as immigration proceedings or criminal investigations where accurate translation is essential to ensuring justice is done.

Why Translation Matters in Our Society - Niki's Int'l Ltd.

How do they get their certifications

All certified translators, interpreters and terminologists have their title granted by provincial or territorial regulatory bodies. Each has its own evaluation methods and works independently.
However, there is a national regulatory council responsible for the application of uniform standards for the professional certification to ensure translation quality and protect the public. The Canadian Translators, Terminologists and Interpreters Council (CTTIC) represents all certified translators, interpreters and terminologists in Canada. Most provincial or territorial regulatory associations in Canada are members of this council.
In order to be eligible for certification, all translators have to be accepted as members of their respective provincial or territorial associations. Each provincial or territorial association uses different processes to select its members. These processes are well described on their websites but here are the most important requirements that you may want to know.

Steps to follow for becoming a certified translator

These are the steps required in order to become a certified translator in Canada:

  1. You need to be eligible for a certification examination. This requires that you are the possessor of a degree in translation and that you have a one year full-time professional experience, or four years full-time experience in translation.
  2. Register for the examination and pay the fee.
  3. Get the passing mark on your examination.

In case you fail the examination, you may appeal the result within one month period following the notification of results. You will be required to pay the fee for such appeal and in case the appeal is successful, the fee you paid will be refunded. The appeal decision is final.

Requirements to apply for a certified translator

In order to become a Certified Member, you need to pass several examinations, which differ in number, modality and complexity, depending on the category for which you wish to become a certified translator. Prior to trying to become a certified professional translator, you need to become an Associate Member, which you can do by passing the Associate-level examination. After you achieve this title, you have six years in which you can pass your certification process. If you fail to pass the certification process, you lose your Associate status. However, in case you pass the certification, you are eligible to become a Certified Member.

How To Become A Certified Translator In Canada

Translation is used for many purposes and most companies spanning across all industries in our culturally diverse communities use translation services on a regular basis. Literary works, legal documents, medical records, forms, and advertisements are all items that are commonly translated. According to the Ethnologue catalogue of world languages, there are 6,909 distinct languages in the world, that fact alone makes the art of translation vital to individuals all over the globe. It is actually quite impossible to ignore how important the service is and just how much of an effect it has on the population as a whole. Professional translation services are continually utilized and preferred, despite the advancement of machine translation technology, which is notoriously known for it’s common errors and inaccuracies. Translation not only transfers language, words and text from one language to another it also allows cultural aspects and differences to be shared with people everywhere.

Translation is responsible for allowing various nations to interact, businesses to thrive overseas and for the impact of concepts and ideas to be transferred from nation to nation. Our daily lives are very much intertwined with the art of translation whether we are aware of it or not, the entire world is connected with one another through the sharing of information that has been translated from language to language.

Literary Translation (The Spreading of Culture and Ideas):

Literary translation helps to feed our curiosity and allows us to explore various cultures and concepts through books, articles, letters, and poems that are written in another language. Thoughts, feelings, ideas, places and people from other societies or time periods can be understood and learned from thanks to translation. Writers from all over the world can spread their stories, experiences, knowledge and creativity with people who speak any language. The translation of books, poems and novels has deepened our understanding of things other than ourselves and has allowed great works and innovative ideas to spread amongst people around the world.

Translation in a sense can be viewed as a sort of peace treaty amidst nations of people who culturally differ, allowing people to be joined under a common idea or belief. Major books such as the Bible h ave been translated into 636 languages, allowing all types of people who speak many different languages to all be joined together under a shared belief. The goal of a writer is to affect as many people as possible through their words, and translation opens many doors for readers to enjoy all types of literature regardless of the language in which it was originally written in. For low demand languages or small cultures who don’t have many members speaking the language, translation is even more important because it gives them a voice to be heard, when they may not have been heard otherwise. Translation has helped to shape and mold people, culture and history, the main religions of the world can be grasped by all due to translations of the Bible, Quran and Torah.

Medical and Legal Document Translation:

Medical and legal document translation is a must in our culturally diverse communities. Legal and medical matters will always come up regardless of the country you live in or the language you speak. Perhaps two people are married and decide to move to a new country and need to have their their marriage license and certificate translated or maybe someone just moved to America from Switzerland with a preexisting heart condition and they need to have their medical records translated in order for the new doctor to know the patient’s medical history. Documents such as these are in need of translation on a regular basis, access to services such as medical and legal documentation translation enables individuals the ability to operate a business in a foreign country or sue a person for copyright infringement of their brand in a foreign land.

Localization and Transcreation:

The translation of language aims to bridge communication gaps between people and can allow the foreign to become familiar. Businesses from all industries are gravitating towards setting up shop (literally or online) in other countries, and without translation their products and services would never sell in an overseas market. Creative translation services such as localization and transcreation are aimed to help businesses with global expansion. These specialized services allow your company’s website and marketing materials to be translated linguistically as well as culturally in order to give your product or service a fighting chance in an international market. These services are a vital part of doing business around the world, if people are not able to understand your marketing message and what you’re offering, then they will not make the purchase, this includes packaging, tags, labels, instructions, the list goes on…

Without “creative translation,” many of the products and services that we know and enjoy today would not be available to us or perhaps we would have never even known of them in the first place if they had never gone through the process of creative translation. Transcreation and localization services allow your business an opportunity to be seen and accepted by an international audience, thus resulting in higher brand recognition and increased sales. These services are vital in today’s society where we are always looking for the next big thing or something new to entertain us, they allow business from all around the world to offer people in various countries accessibility to unique products, services and methods that are used around the world.

Niki’s Int’l Ltd. is a WBENC-Certified Women Business Enterprise with 20 years of language service experience. A global network of highly skilled interpreters and translators are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for on-site, telephonic and video remote interpretation services. Our linguists are available in over 350 languages and dialects, and our network includes certified interpreters and translators. Our work is guaranteed with a $1 Million Errors & Omissions policy, so that you can be confident that your project will be completed with the highest level of quality and professionalism within the field. For more information contact us at 1-877-567-8449 or visit our website at www.nilservices.com.


What is a certified translator

Certified translators are language professionals who have passed all the requirements of a certifying body and are considered to be experts in their field. They are often specialised in one or two fields, but can also be generalists.

These translators comply with provincial and/or territorial translation associations’ standards, which grants them this title according to several criteria.

The benefits of using certified translators include:

  • They are recognised by governing authorities and their translations are accepted as official documents without question or issue. This means you can use their work as part of your business and not worry about any legal complications that might arise from having non-certified translations used as legal documents.
  • Certified translators have been vetted by professional bodies that ensure they meet the necessary requirements for their field(s) of expertise. This ensures that you are getting the highest quality translation possible at all times!

Types of certification

In Canada, you can obtain the following titles:

  • Certified translator
  • Certified interpreter
  • Certified conference interpreter
  • Certified court interpreter
  • Certified terminologist

In order to obtain a certification, there are three different mechanisms used: certification on dossier, certification exam and certification by mentorship.

  • Dossier Certification: In order to be eligible with this mechanism, you need to have a recognized diploma and at least two years of work experience. In case you don’t have a recognized diploma, but you can prove that you have a minimum of five years of professional practice, you can still become a candidate for this on dossier certification.
  • Certification by Mentorship: You need to follow a mentorship program and in case you successfully complete it, you obtain the certification.
  • Certification examinations: A uniform translation exam that is administered by CTTIC and is held once a year. The Board of Certification sets the requirements for certification, as well as the procedures and methods used for assessing candidates. Additionally to the uniform translation exam, occasional exams are also held in conference interpretation, court interpretation and terminology, depending on the demand.

Becoming a certified translator in Canada has specific requirements that you need to respect and follow. Although it might take you some time to pass through all the requirements and examinations needed in order to become a certified translator, the result is worth it, since this certification is capable of offering more value to your profession and to your career, as well.

How to Become a Certified Translator in Canada - Languages in Motion

how do i become a certified translator in canada

Step 1 – Applicant

First you must submit an application for membership. At this point you are considered an Applicant while your supporting documentation is vetted and, in the case of translators, an Entrance Exam is taken.

Step 2 – Candidate

After passing the entrance criteria, you are a Candidate for Certification. As a Candidate, you have five years to pass the Certification Exam or On Dossier process.

Step 3 – Certified

Once you have passed the Certification Exam (or On Dossier equivalent) you are then considered a Certified Member.

Translation Agency and Content Services | Semantix

certificate in translation online canada Certification Exam

To write the annual CTTIC Certification Exam, you must first obtain the status of a Candidate for Certification in the relevant category. If you are not already a Candidate for Certification and a member in good standing,

CTTIC Certification Exam in Translation

The examination is intended for experienced translators who wish to have their competence recognized by their peers. It does not seek to identify aptitude or potential, but rather to attest to a candidate’s professional skills. A candidate who can produce a translation that is faithful and idiomatic and requires little or no revision is deemed capable of practising independently. The candidate will translate one compulsory general text of approximately 200 words, and another text that is a choice between two somewhat specialized texts of about 200 words each. This is an open book examination: dictionaries and reference works are permitted, but may not be exchanged with other candidates. All technological aids are prohibited, with the exception of those required on valid medical grounds.

On Dossier Certification

To submit a request for certification by dossier, you must first obtain the status of a Candidate for Certification in the relevant category.

On-dossier certification is for experienced translators/interpreters/terminologists. You are encouraged to apply for on-dossier certification if you are a:

  • candidate for certification with extensive background in translation and/or interpretation and/or terminology (many books or large documents translated, several hundred thousands of words in translation, over several thousands of hours of interpretation, or production of a great number of records or elaboration of lexicons or vocabularies);
  • candidate for certification who has reasonable/credible reason(s) not to sit for the examination;
  • candidate for certification in whose profession or language combination there is no certification examination offered.

Congratulations! You’ve made it this far, and you’re one step closer to becoming a certified translator in Canada.

Here are some tips to help you along the way:

  1. Check out the official website of the [certifying body] for more information on their certification process, including the application requirements and exam dates.
  2. Make sure you have all the required documents on hand before you start studying for your exam, so that you can focus on learning instead of scrambling around trying to find them at the last minute.
  3. Study up and take practice tests until you feel confident in your abilities (and don’t forget to have fun!).

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