Translation Certification Study Resources
Please note that many links are external. They were verified in February 2018, but I, Helen Eby, am not responsible for the maintenance of external sites. Please email me if any of these links are not accurate.
From the ATA Certification program:
- Framework for Standardized Error Marking of Translations
- Flowchart for error point decisions (PDF)
- ATA Tips for Candidates
- ATA Style Guide for Translation Exams (Into-English Grading Standards) updated in 2017
- ATA Practice Test Instructions 2017
- Guidelines for ATA Exam Candidates (Computerized)
- ATA Certification Exam Overview
- ATA Certification Registration Form
- Practice Test for the ATA Certification Exam
- Online Ethics course – required for ATA certified translators within the first year of certification
- ATA Certification Pass Rates 2003-2013, 2004-2014, and Statistical Trends, by Geoffrey S. Koby, reblogged on ATA Savvy Newcomer
- ATA error rubric used by graders for practice tests, copied by Helen
Helpful documents for homework assignments:
- Rubric for grading by dimensions – no longer in use by ATA graders
- Process for working on homework in teams
- Translation checklist – Helen’s view of what makes a good translation
- Helen’s ATA translation into Spanish style guide
- Terminology database worksheet
- Readability score: text – how to measure how readable your text is. This is just a starting point!
- Programa INFLESZ – a Creative Commons Spanish readability score program
- Analizador de legibilidad de texto: legible.es
Este incluye el Inflesz y varios otros. Es un punto de partida.
- How to set up a document as a table.
From the WA DSHS Certification program
- Professional Language Certification Examination Manual – State of Washington Department of Social and Health Services. Full details on the certification program are on this page.
ATA Computerized exam
- Online resource list
- Upcoming Changes to ATA’s Certification Program – from Sept-Oct 2016 ATA Chronicle
- Differences between ATA written and keyboarded exams – a personal account by Helen Eby, published on The Savvy Newcomer on January 10, 2017
Not allowed in the exam, but very useful in daily work:
What is translation?
- Translator and Interpreter Descriptions – 2016-03-05
- ILR SKILL LEVEL DESCRIPTIONS FOR TRANSLATION PERFORMANCE
- Canadian definitions of the professions by the Canadian Translators, Terminologists and Interpreters Council
Articles on how to approach translation
- Death by 1000 Cuts – how to pass the exam
- Analyzing the Message – a book review on Eugene Nida
- Take the Message and Jump! by Christiane Nord, posted on ATA Savvy Newcomer
- Thoughts on translation history and translation teaching, from a review Helen Eby wrote on a book by Edgar Moros, published in the ATA Spanish Language Division Intercambios Online blog and reblogged on The Savvy Newcomer
- Merriam-Webster Dictionary and Thesaurus Online
- Merriam-Webster Visual Dictionary Online
- American Heritage Dictionary
- Synonym, a lexical database for the English language
- Corpus of contemporary English – COCA. Please note that you can’t register with a .com website. You are also highly encouraged to pay a $25 annual donation for individual use for unlimited access.
- Wordnet – a lexical database for English by Princeton University. Free.
- Chicago Manual of Style – one month free trial, subscription after that
- CMOS Shop Talk for Students
- Chicago Manual of Style proofreaders’ marks
- Chicago Manual of Style Guidelines Bar Chart – link verified December 8, 2017.
- AP Stylebook – for purchase, has online access tools
- Copy-Editors’ Knowledge Base, by Katherine O’Moore-Klopf
- Guide to Grammar and Writing
- The Punctuation Guide
- Daily writing tips
- Grant writing resources – in case you ever have to translate a grant.
- Google NGram Viewer. Good for comparing how much something is used, and even at what time in history it was used. You can even do this at the ATA exam. What you can’t do is use Google Translate.
- Diagramming sentences – an intro from Capital Community College
- Principales novedades de la última edición de la Ortografía de la lengua española (2010) (artículo de la RAE)
- Últimos cambios en las normas académicas de la ortografía y su repercusión en el aula (artículo del Instituto Cervantes)
- Cambios de la ortografía de la RAE del 2010 – por Helen Eby, publicado en ¡Al rescate del español!
- Corpus del español del Siglo XXI (CORPES)
- Diccionario de la Lengua Española – the latest update of the Diccionario de la Real Academia Española
- Diccionario panhispánico de dudas
- Diccionario Clave
- Diccionario del español de México – includes links to spelling, punctuation, and other topics.
- Diccionario de ideas afines
- Sinónimos y antónimos
- Manual de estilo AP – subscription based online tool
- Abreviaturas convencionales más comunes en español según la RAE
- Siglas, según Fundeu
- ¡Al rescate del español! (Recursos)
- ILR Spanish Roadmap
- Cursos de Cálamo y Cran – corrección de estilo, redacción, etc. Muchos en línea.
- Introducción a la corrección de estilo – MOOC de dos semanas gratuito por Mexico Digital. 11 de julio a 5 de agosto de 2016
- ATA Spanish Division resources
- Símbolos de corrección de estilo en español
- Word Reference
- Word Magic
- Google Translate and Proz are not approved resources for the ATA computerized exam. No interactive resource (where you can ask a live question on a forum) is approved. The resources listed above are OK.
- Click here to see the official ATA guidelines for computerized exams.
- 5 Steps to Plain Language, from the Center for Plain Language
- NIH Plain Language training site
- Plain Language in the Sciences – from www.plainlanguage.gov
English copy editing training and resources
- UC San Diego Extension – Copy editing certificate
- UC Berkeley Extension – Professional Sequence in Editing (Certificate program)
- Poynter News University Certificate in Editing – discount for ACES members
- Definitions of skills and roles of people involved in publications, from the EFA
- Copyeditors’ Knowledge Base: http://www.kokedit.com/ckb.php
Canada copy editing (includes certification)
- Editors Canada: Definitions of Editorial Skills
- Copy editing certification – available from Editors Canada. Courses in the United States do not issue certification. They only issue Certificates of Successful Completion.
- Editing Certificate, from Simon Fraser University
- Plain Language Certificate, from Simon Fraser University – overlaps with Editing Certificate
Medical copy editing (AMWA has a certification program)
- How to become a medical editor – a blog post with links and steps to improve your medical editing skills, which will make you a better translator of medical texts.
- Johns Hopkins Masters or Certificate in Science Writing (Online with 7 to 10 day residency)
- Medical Writing and Editing Certificate – University of Chicago Graham School (online)
- American Medical Writers Association Certificates
- AMA Manual of Style – I believe medical translators should submit documents in such a way that medical copy editors do not have to update them to meet AMA guidelines.
Legal copy editing
Check the American Bar Association blog on Legal Writing. Bryan Garner shows up a lot in this blog. He is one of the driving forces for clear writing in the legal field, and is an author of the Chicago Manual of Style. He has written the following books, among others:
- The Redbook, a Manual on Legal Style
- Black’s Law Dictionary
- HBR Guide to Better Business Writing. Engage readers. Tighten and brighten. Make your case.
- The Chicago Guide to Grammar, Usage and Punctuation
Resources from other translation certification programs
- Translation Test State Dept sample questions
- US Department of State – Translating. See tabs at the bottom on Guidance.
- US Department of State – Link to Application Form is on this page.
- How to prepare for the DipTrans test – with sample graded papers
- Canadian Translators Certification page – see the links on the translation exam: The Candidate’s Guide and the Marker’s Guide.
See the information on role of translators.
What do we mean by “main language”?
At the UN, “main language” generally refers to the language of an individual’s higher education. For linguists outside the UN, on the other hand, “main language” is usually taken to mean the “target language” into which an individual works.
Copy editing tools to produce clean documents
- Words n Sync: a set of macros to clean documents.
- PerfectIt: a set of macros by Intelligent Editing
- Grammar Checker comparison, by Serenity Software (another grammar checker)
- Macros – training and sample macros on how to use them by Archive Publications. Here is a video by the author on how to do a macro.
A newsletter on Computer Assisted Translation issues
Jost Zetzche has been writing a newsletter for quite some time, and I highly recommend it. Click on the icon below to subscribe to his journal.
Other training on translation, technology and other issues
- Rafa Lombardino teaches on translation technology and other issues.
- Intralingo online courses on Spanish to English literary translation
- Fundamentals for Translation English/Español, by Eta Trabing
- See the ATA Member-to-Member services for additional help.
- See the Education-Courses heading on the Resources page of the ATA Savvy Newcomer website
- New York University Masters in Translation and Diploma programs (online)
- There is a listing of college programs on the NAJIT resources page