Why would an interpreter or translator take language proficiency testing?
Though these are not exactly translation tests, we can’t interpret or translate what we do not understand or what we can’t express accurately. These tests do not include the step of transferring meaning. However, they do cover issues of syntax, clear writing, and understanding the message. They could cover some of the gaps in verification of skills for interpreters who want to provide translation services, since interpreting certification does not test writing in the non-English language.
Verification of language proficiency skills can also be helpful for bilingual employees. The Federal Government has a chart recommending steps to verify the linguistic competency of the employees.
However, translation and interpreting require not only being proficient in two languages. They also require congruity judgment: the ability to transfer the message accurately between languages. This is an additional skill. Many bilingual people do not have congruity judgment.
How to take a test:
- Go to the Language Testing International site.
- On the top right, click on “search for your institution or school program,” in red.
- Say no to “Are you testing for State Teacher Certification?”
- The next screen says “Enter institution name.” Start to type Gaucha, and Gaucha Translations will pop up. It will say “Gaucha Translations Indv.”
- Select your language (English or Spanish).
- Select the test you need for the course you are registering for.
For interpreters, I recommend the following list:
- Live speaking in both languages
- Listening and reading CAT test in both languages
For translators, I recommend:
- Writing test (WPT) in both languages, because the translator will write letters to the client in the client’s language and will translate in the translation target language.
- Reading (RPT) in both languages, because the translator needs to understand the text in both languages.
The results from LTI come with a description of what skills are included in the level of mastery achieved, and what skills are in the next level. This helps the testees see what they are capable of and what they could work on to improve in their professional skills.
When the results come in, I receive the results and can forward them to the person who requested the results. I believe the applicant also receives the results.
This was set up before LTI provided access to individuals for testing. Individuals can now apply for tests directly.