Alternatives to Certification


  • Arle Richard Lommel DFKI LT Lab Berlin


certification, academic credentials testing, tiered pricing, signing


Certification of professionals is a common practice in many industries, but there are alternatives to address the issue that certification of translators and interpreters aims to resolve (the lack of ability of most buyers to directly assess the quality of the translation or interpreting product or to ensure quality up front). This commentary discusses four options and their relationship to certification: academic credentialing, organization-specific testing of translators, tiered pricing models based upon quality, and signing of translations. These alternatives address the same fundamental problem, and it will be seen that they may be broadly compatible even though, to some extent, they address different market needs. In addition, they can be implemented in tandem to promote development of the translation and interpreting industry and improve quality.