What is NAATI Accreditation and Recognition?

NAATI Accreditation and Recognition

Not all countries have strict rules for translators and interpreters, but Australia does. The organisation that sets and monitors standards in this field is called the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI). It is the body that provides the national standard and accreditation for translators and interpreters. Its aim is to seek to maintain high national standards in translating and interpreting to ensure there is a pool of talented and accredited translators and interpreters available to meet the demands for language translation in a multilingual country. The primary aim of NAATI is to issue credentials or accreditations that recognise the skills of translators and interpreters so that they can be employed in the community and those who employ them know that they will do a good job.

How to Get NAATI Accreditation?

There are several ways of getting NAATI accreditation

  • Sitting and passing a NAATI assessment test
  • Passing a course that has been NAATI approved
  • Providing proof an overseas qualification in translating and interpreting at tertiary level
  • Providing proof of membership of a translating professional body overseas.

NAATI recognition isn’t offered in all languages, particularly those that aren’t in high demand.  Once you have been granted NAATI recognition it is an acknowledgement that you have recent experience as a successful translator and/or interpreter.

There are a number of NAATI approved translation and interpreting courses that are qualifications of at least a diploma level or higher. The courses are offered by certain Vocational Education and Training (VET) and Higher Education campuses that have been approved by NAATI as having the credentials to teach and assess the knowledge and skills needed in the translation environment. Anyone who gains a qualification at a NAATI approved educational institution may file an application for NAATI accreditation without the necessity to undergo any more testing.

NAATI certified

Revalidating your Translating Credentials is a Requirement of NAATI

Accreditation from NAATI does have an expiry date. Every now and again if you have NAATI accreditation you are required to produce evidence that you have been working as a translator and have been involved in professional development. This evidence is sufficient to revalidate your credentials for the following 3 years.

Why NAATI Accreditation is Useful for Immigration

NAATI accreditation isn’t just there to prove you can translate. It can help those wishing to migrate to Australia in a number of ways, including the following.

  • It is part of a skills assessment for those migrants or workers who are sponsored by an employer or who have been nominated for employment by a territory or state government.
  • The accreditation is a qualification that points can be claimed for in the skill category as a translator or interpreter, which is particularly useful for a migration visa that is accessible on gaining a certain number of points.
  • NAATI accreditation can also be used for the migration visa that’s based on points called the Credentialled Community Language (CCL) points.

The 1994 Migration Regulations has allocated NAATI as the assessment authority for the interpreter and translator occupations. If you file an application for your skills to be assessed, NAATI will offer to provide an assessment of your skills in two categories, which are either as “suitable” or “unsuitable” for your specific occupation as either a translator or interpreter, i.e. NAATI professional-level accreditation or higher.

Benefits of NAATI Test Clearance

It’s not too difficult to understand that if you have NAATI accreditation it will help with your migration application by accumulating much needed points.

Why do I Need my Documents Translated by a NAATI Accredited Translator?

NAATI Certified Document

It is a requirement of most Australiam government departments including the Department of Immigration and Border protection, which handles visa applications,  that all documents that are not in English must be  translated by a NAATI translator for anyone who wishes to apply in one of the migration categories to reside in Australia (assuming the translation is getting done in Australia). That means if you have important documents like birth and marriage certificates which are not in English they must be translated by a NAATI translator before they are presented as part of your migration documentation. There are other documents that might fall into this category, including degree and diploma certificates, past employer references and medical examination documents completed in another language that’s not English.

Types of NAATI Accreditation

Under NAATI’s present system, there are 10 different kinds of accreditation, which are listed below.

Conference Interpreter (Senior)

This is the highest level of accreditation for NAATI accreditation. It shows the person has an excellent level in conference interpreting which has been recognised by extensive experience and success in this area.

Advanced Translator

This is NAATI translating accreditation at the highest level. It shows an excellent level in specialised translation, gained through not only extensive experience but international leadership in translation too. 

Conference Interpreter

This shows the ability to interpret in complicated, technical and sophisticated situations. Conference interpreters work in situations where high-level negotiations are underway and at court proceedings.

Advanced Translator

This sort of competence level is necessary when handling the more complex, technical and more sophisticated translations. Often an advanced translator will work on technical manuals, will translate research papers, conference documents, and work on documents related to higher-level negotiations and on documents related to court proceedings.

Professional Interpreter

This group represents the lowest level of competence for interpreting as recommended by NAATI for working in many different environments including the areas of law, banking, health, community and social services. A professional interpreter is capable of interpreting in semi-specialised environments and is able to use the consecutive mode in order to interpret presentations and speeches.

Professional Translator

This represents the minimum level of competence for professional translating and is the minimum level recommended by NAATI for work in settings including banking, law, health, social and community services. Translators at this level work across a wide range of subjects involving documents with specialised content.

Para-professional Interpreter

This accreditation is the competence level in interpreting for general conversations. Para-professional interpreters usually participate in the interpretation of dialogues which are non-specialist. Practitioners who have been accredited at this level are generally encouraged to get professional level accreditation if they can.

Para-professional Translator

This is the competence level necessary for undertaking translations of non-specialised information such as a birth certificate. A practitioner at this level could get a more professional level accreditation when ready to do so.

Recognised Interpreter

This credential doesn’t have a specified proficiency level. All recognised interpreters should try to get a higher level of accreditation.

Recognised Translator

This is a NAATI credential that acknowledges the date of the award the translator has had regular and recent experience working as a translator with no particular proficiency level specified.

How NAATI Translator Accreditation is Awarded at a Minimum of a Professional Level

  • from a language other than English (LOTE) into English;
  • from English into a LOTE;
  • in both directions.

NAATI Exam Questions

There are kits you can buy to prepare you for the NAATI exam questions which include materials relevant for your area as follows:

For a Paraprofessional Interpreter a Test Kit Includes:

  • a complete set of dialogue and questions which are similar to replicate a NAATI test;
  • 2 extra practice dialogues;
  • suggested question answers;
  • a CD that includes a sample test with practice dialogues;
  • an interpreter’s handbook.

For a Professional Interpreter Sample Test, Each Kit:

  • is available in all languages;
  • includes a script of a complete test  with questions, sight translation, dialogues and consecutive tasks;
  • includes two extra dialogues for practicing;
  • has 2 additional practice consecutive passages for practice; I is into English while the other is into LOTE
  • has a CD that includes 2 extra practice sight translation passages
  • includes an interpreter’s handbook

The Paraprofessional Translator Practice Kit:

  • is available in certain languages only;
  • is a script of 1 set of translation passages;
  • contains ethics questions found in a NAATI test;
  • includes 2 extra practice passages in the 2 languages and in both directions;
  • includes a translator’s handbook.

The Professional Translator Sample Test Includes:

  • sample tests in most languages;
  • a script of 1 whole set of translation passages;
  • ethics questions similar to a NAATI test in both language directions;
  • sample translations and answers to ethics questions;
  • 3 extra practice passages in each language in both directions;
  • extra ethics questions.

Summary

The NAATI translator accreditation is a service that benefits all involved in the translation industry. It accredits translators and interpreters so they can prove their expertise in their field and have a better chance of employment. It helps organisations, such as the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection, ensure that potential immigrants have the required credentials to enter the country. It also ensures that NAATI translators and interpreters keep up their standards by insisting on a revalidation of NAATI status every 3 years. All in all, NAATI accreditation is the envy of countries throughout the world.

Business Opportunities for NAATI Translation Services

Professional translation services are now more in demand than ever before because of the growth in the Internet and the desire to communicate with people worldwide. It’s not just day to day communication that needs to be translated but there is a great demand for NAATI translators to translate whole books and a huge variety of advertising material so that it can be read by the global audience and its consumers. Business opportunities for NAATI translation services have seen profits grow in recent years.

Decide Your Language Specialization

A professional translation service provider needs to be proficient in no less than two languages and as so much print media including websites is in English it is important to be fluent in English as well as a second language. Japanese, French, German and Spanish are increasingly important for all types of business translations. However, there are other important languages in demand too.

Language

Go Professional Is The Best Way

The best way to be a successful NAATI translator is to be either college qualified in your two languages or attend some professional language training courses to bring your language standards to that required to conduct an excellent NAATI translation.

The demand is of course always for professionals so you need to give your translation business a professional appearance so that you attract the best clients.

Advertising Your Business As a NAATI Translation Service

The best way to advertise is to set up a blog and start writing blog posts regularly. It should be first posted in English and then you can translate it into you second chosen language which should be posted next to your English post. Through doing this your existence becomes known and your translation abilities are being showcased at the same time. You should insert your contact details clearly in your blog post.

Finding Work

You should register with a translation agency that uses NAATI translators and you can expect to get more work than going it alone. Once you have completed a NAATI translation project don’t forget to remind the outgoing client of your contact details including your blog URL. Word of mouth is often a good way of reaching out to new clients.

Enhancing Your Professional Profile

How you market your professional profile partially relates to the demands of the current market. If, for example, there is a rush for legal document translations make sure you cash in on this event. You should advertise your abilities in this area so you can be more attractive to the market. You should bookmark your favourite translation news websites so you can keep abreast of the market and be ready when demand favours your skills. Being a NAATI translator gives you a head start when someone is looking for a good translator in their language pair.

 

8 Key Rules for Global Translation

In the competitive world of translation a NAATI translation is the highest quality you could ever expect to get and anyone choosing this translation service in Australia won’t fail to be a success.

Quality assurance (QA) is a term used in the translation industry that indicates how well a translator has been able to match a client’s requirements. QA is a guarantee offered by any company that is qualified to undertake a NAATI translation.

There are many global companies that need that QA as they sell their products to a global market. These include reputable car companies such as Volvo and Ford. There are various ways that professional translation services meet QA which include

  • Accepting jobs that suit the translation company’s specializations. This means asking the client to present a copy of the document before agreeing to undertake a job. Taking on a translation without viewing the text first could make it more difficult to guarantee QA.
  • With all translations it’s to use TM software like Wordfast, SDLX and Trados, which helps to ensure small mistakes are not made. This software breaks up the text to be translated into sentences so that it is virtually impossible to miss any text. The text should be thoroughly proofread after the NAATI translation is complete.
  • If you are unsure of any part of the text you should ask the client to clarify before going any further. Your client wants QA just as much as you do. Not all source texts are necessarily written well even in their own native language. This means you could make mistakes if you don’t check first.
  • If you think you need to, find a good second translator to go over your final translation of a text. This will be the best way to gain the QA label.
  • If your translation is to be aimed at corporate clients ensure that you use the correct terminology that fits the particular client.
  • Make sure you know the target audience for the particular translation job so that your translation will be in the language that suits that audience. This means knowing which country the target audience lives in.
  • Understand precisely what the audience expects to get from the translation. There are some texts that are expected to be informative while others may have the aim of trying to persuade the audience to buy a product. This will determine the language register that is the most suitable.
  • In some complicated translations where making a mistake could be dangerous to the audience such as a medical translation it is a good idea to test the translation on a few people who may read it and give their comments. These people are called “test readers.”In summary, NAATI translations are great because the QA is always present.

Spanish Words That Have No Literal English Translation

Every language has its own special idioms and sayings that cannot be translated literally. English is full of them, which makes the language hard for those who are learning it. Americans are used to seeing Spanish everywhere these days, especially in the Southern and Western states. Many people in the U.S. are making a serious effort to be able to speak Spanish, not just so they can communicate more easily with that country’s largest immigrant community, but so they can take advantage of the fantastic travel opportunities south of the Rio Grande and right down to the tip of South America.

Spanish English translation is not so common amongst translation service providers in Australia, but one would expect that a professional NAATI translator who offers Spanish translation would be able to understand the range of Spanish idioms that are described below. Much translation work these days, especially for marketing, requires a thorough understanding and feel for the uniqueness of the languages they translate.

Take the Spanish word “sobremesa”, for instance. Literally it means “on the table,” so the amateur translator might scratch their head and think it really was all the things on the dinner table. That’s not the Spanish meaning, which is more idiomatic. It’s actually the after dinner talk that goes on after a nice meal together with friends or family.

An afternoon meal in Spanish is “merenda” and to go out and have a meal with some friends in the afternoon is the verb “merendar”. It has no literal translation in English that means anything quite like that.

Some expressions can be guessed at, but may be more specific than you think. Te quiero, for example, means “I want you” or “I like you.” Well, with the talk getting intimate like that, the translator may wonder just how much the Spanish speaker ‘wants’ the listener. The answer is that it is somewhere between liking someone’s company and really loving them. A sort of ‘sit on the fence’ or intermediate position when it comes to relationships!

The word anteayer is a little easier to grasp, although there is no single word in English to represent it. Literally it means ‘before yesterday’ and in this case, that’s what it does mean!

It’s hard to imagine exactly how often the word tuerto would come up in a translation services agency in Australia. It means “one eyed” in Spanish. Of course, it is essential to use a NAATI translator if you are contemplating immigration applications into Australia and there will be equivalent translation requirements into many other countries, so perhaps describing yourself as a tuerto may be necessary if you really are one eyed and not a pirate!

Idioms are the fun part of learning another language and if you intend polishing up your Spanish, be aware that it is full of amazing idioms waiting for your efforts and appreciation!

Why is it so Easy to Fail the NAATI Translation and Interpreting Tests?

Do you think that you are an experienced translator and have you ever had the chance to take a NAATI test in interpreting and translation? If you haven’t quite got that far you should read Dave Deck comments about what NAATI said recently about why it is some translators fail the NAATI test and therefore do not have the qualifications to complete a NAATI translation which is often required for government departments in Australia for things like work visas.

Dave did a presentation on test marking by NAATI at the annual conference of the New Zealand Society of Translators and Interpreters’, in Wellington last June.

What are NAATI tests?

First of all, NAATI stands for the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters. This authority conducts tests in New Zealand and Australia. Translators who pass the NAATI exam have the qualifications to apply for full membership of the Australian Institute of Interpreters and Translators (AUSIT) as well as the New Zealand Society of Translators and Interpreters (NZSTI). If you have taken and passed the NAATI Paraprofessional exam, you have the qualifications to apply for NZSTI affiliate status or AUSIT membership.

Translation is typically tested at the professional level only and candidates complete the examination using paper and pen. Testing using keyboards is planned for the future. Interpreting tests can be taken at both the professional and the paraprofessional levels, and pre-recorded tests are used. The tests have a section on ethics for interpreters and translators.

Two markers mark each test and if there are any wide discrepancies a third marker will be used. The tests do not have fixed responses but are marked by determining acceptable responses. Accuracy of the translation of course is the most important aspect of marking. The language quality is viewed mainly in terms of how it contributes to accuracy.

The reason translators fail the test

Dave Deck on passing NAATI translation and interpreting tests Dave explained that there are some particularly common reasons for failing the tests. The pass rate is overall very low, at around 10-15%. This is because many candidates are not well unprepared for the examination. Some only sit the test as a way of getting points for Australian migration.

In the translation examination, lacking proficiency in what is called L2, the translator’s 2nd language, is the reason why exam takers fail. Some candidates attempt to translate into their 2nd language, which means they have difficulty in expressing complex ideas. When they translate into their native language, one reason for failure is the misunderstanding the text. Some exam takers do have problems with technique meaning they either translate over-literally or, use paraphrasing that is unnecessary.