Translation and interpreting certification study resources

New courses for 2023-2024! – Gaucha Translations

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.

What is a translation?

Helpful resources for study

From the ATA Certification program

ATA expectations

Gaucha Translations version

Practice test

Exam registration and pass rates

ATA Computerized exam

Not allowed in the exam, but very useful in daily work:

From the WA DSHS Certification program

Steps for terminology research

  1. Research the meaning of the term in the source language in a monolingual dictionary,
  2. Think independently of a term that would fit in the target language,
  3. Look the potential target term up in a monolingual dictionary in the target language.
  4. Make sure that the dictionaries in question are up to date, online, and give examples of usage in context.
  5. If you use a bilingual dictionary, follow the steps above anyway.

English resources


Style guides

Other writing resources

Spanish Resources


Style guides

Other resources

Bilingual references

  • Word Reference
  • Linguee
  • 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.

Plain Language

Copy Editing Resources


Canada (includes certification)

Medical (AMWA has a certification program)


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

Tools to produce clean documents

Note: These tools may not be used at the ATA exam.

Resources from other translation certification programs

UN Resources

See the information on the 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.

Other training on translation, technology, and other issues

Resources for state court interpreting certification

From the National Center for State Courts

ACEBO: Interpreting training materials by Holly Mikkelson

By Eta Trabing