Thinking about Taking the ATA Translation Certification Exam?

What a major achievement for OSTI to bring the ATA certification exam to Portland in October this year! Translators of the 26 language combinations offered will have the opportunity to take the exam in their own backyard, so to speak!

Two of our OSTI members, Lotte and Susanne, have formed a study group for English to German translators. Their approach is to select a current newspaper article from a renowned newspaper like the New York Times, Financial Times or Reuters and adapt it to exam length (225 to 275 words).

Both translate the text passage under exam conditions, i.e. handwritten and without the use of online resources in 1½ hours (the exam requires the translation of two passages in 3 hours). They submit their translation to each other for editing and then meet in person to discuss their mistakes, possible alternative translations, the general quality of the translation and the possible grading according to the flow chart for error point decisions published by the ATA.

To learn more about the eligibility requirements as well as the application process for the exam, you can check out the ATA website which offers a plethora of information on the subject. There is a free webinar available that answers just about any question you might have – you can find it by clicking this link.

A more personal account on the certification process that is worth looking into can be found on ATA-certified French to English translator Corinne McKay’s blog “Thoughts on Translation”.

Are you thinking about forming a study group for your language pair and looking for partners yourself? Just get in touch with membership at or write an email to the listserv (a member benefit)! Good luck with your exam!

When you are ready to register for the exam, you have to register with the ATA, not with OSTI. Click here to register! There are prerequisites, such as being an ATA member, so be sure to register with plenty of time!

Post by Susanne Kraetschmer
Translator English > German
ATA Member
Membership Coordinator – Oregon Society of Translators and Interpreters