The TransCert Project: Ensuring That Transnational Translator Certification Meets Stakeholder Needs


  • Gerhard Budin University of Vienna
  • Zita Krajcso University of Vienna
  • Arle Lommel GALA/DFKI


TransCert, translator certification


Certification of translators is intended to play an important role as a signal to various stakeholders (including translation companies, buyers of translation services, academic institutions, translators’ association, and translators themselves) about the capabilities and training of translators. However, as not all stakeholders agree on what exactly it is that certification signals and its relevance to their requirements, current certification does not enjoy full acceptance in the marketplace. In addition, because translator certifications are currently bound to particular national geographies, they lack international acceptance. When certification does not meet stakeholder needs, they may seek alternative signaling devices from translators (e.g., custom tests, client references, or demonstrations of domain knowledge), thus limiting the value of certification in the marketplace as an economic signaling device.

This article describes the EU-funded TransCert program and the results of interviews with various stakeholders concerning their issues and concerns with present and proposed certification programs. These interviews identify a number of factors and barriers that may impact acceptance of certification programs. By addressing these concerns, the TransCert hopes to overcome barriers to adoption of certification and to promote a transnational system of certification with widespread recognition.