In areas where the quality of a job is harder for customers to determine, many consumers rely on certifying and governing bodies. Memberships in these organizations are meant to indicate a certain standard of quality and good practice in that field. Translation and Interpretation are great examples of one these fields. Customers usually cannot tell when a translation is well done or not as they likely don’t know the target language. Because of this a poor translation is not discovered until it is too late and this can result in some serious embarrassment, see our previous posts on some notable mistranslations.
To get around this problem there exist organizations like the Society of Translators & Interpreters of British Columbia (STIBC) and the Canadian Translators, Terminologists and Interpreters Council (CTTIC). These non-governmental bodies certify members who pass their exams and agree to their codes of ethics and standards.
However what consumers need to be aware of is that translators and interpreters can be members of these organizations without being certified by them. These people are known as associate members and you can become one just by applying online and paying the fee. They may be in the process of becoming certified but they have not yet passed any of the STIBC or CTTIC certification exams and cannot be considered certified by those organizations.
So if you are looking for a translator or interpreter and someone tells you they are a member of the STIBC or CTTIC make sure they are certified by those organizations as well. It’s not fraud for them to say that they are members, it’s just misleading. Caveat Emptor.
Of course here at AZ World we only use certified translators and interpreters.