ATA Certification (A note from the ILD Administrator)

What is ATA membership all about?

Dear friends and colleagues, we are very pleased to see that more and more people visit our blog and Facebook page every day, and appreciate the content we share with you. Thank you very much for your interest.

Our communication efforts are directed primarily to ILD members, although the very nature of blogs and FB pages implies that everybody can follow us and benefit from the information we post. Many of may not be members of ATA yet, and perhaps others are new members who are not yet familiar with all the benefits and obligations attached to the membership. If you are interested in getting to know ATA a little better, please read on.

As you can read here, the ATA has about 11,000 members in over 90 countries, and pursues the mission “to advance the translation and interpreting professions and foster the professional development of individual translators and interpreters”. It does so through various initiatives and events, above all the Annual Conference ( and the Certification Program (

This initial post will focus on the Certification Program.

The possibility of earning the ATA certification is one of the most important membership-related benefits. A growing number of agencies and LSPs, especially in the US, list the ATA certification among the required qualifications for their freelancers, implying that they attach great value to it.

The Certification Exam is offered in 26 language combinations, including English into Italian, and ATA is working to offer Italian into English. The link to the certification page above provides a huge amount of information about how the exam works, including a description of error categories and grading criteria. If you are interested in becoming certified, that should be your starting point.

Once you are certified, you can use the “ATA Certified Translator” (or “ATA CT”) designation in your cv and business card, as well as in your email signature, LinkedIn profile, etc. However, remember that certification is a benefit associated with membership. If you decide not to renew your membership after passing the Certification Exam, you lose the right to present yourself as an ATA Certified Translator.

If you have questions about the certification program or the certification exam, please feel free to contact me at
I will be back soon with a post on the ATA Annual Conference. Thank you for reading!

Francesca Marchei
ILD Administrator

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