Who can become a Certified or Sworn translator? | Keith Elliott

Who can become a Certified or Sworn translator?

Becoming a sworn translator.

In France becoming a certified or sworn translator may involve several steps. The general meeting of the Court of Appeals in the region where the candidate lives will make the decision as to who will be be placed on an official list.
That decision will depend on the urgency of renewing retiring translators, scarcity of certified translators in a given language, the competence of the candidate and his providing proof of a clean criminal record check.
Training through a specialised school or obtaining a Foreign Language Master’s Degree will be the usual route for applicants in those languages most in demand in a given Appeal Court jurisdiction.
Evidence of previous experience in translation and/or interpretation will equally go to supporting application.
Application forms may be obtained by contacting the Court of Appeals responsible for the District Court in his particular area; (e.g. Angoulême : the Court of Appeals of Bordeaux )
Your neighbourhood police station may contact you. This is a routine checking procedure to ascertain that you are indeed the person making the application and that nothing is standing in your way to becoming a certified translator.
The balance between qualification on paper and firm official translator experience work will be appreciated on an individual basis by the General Meeting of the Court of Appeal at the end of each year upon applications received at the beginning of that year.
If your application is accepted you will be called to take the oath at the Court of Appeals along with other judicial experts, raising their right hand in unison and swearing to uphold the code of ethics which will from then on be binding upon him or her, with the words “I swear, to contribute and lend my assistance to Justice, to fulfill my mission, to make my report, and to give my opinion upon my honor and conscience”
You will then receive the title of sworn translator, designated for a renewable five-year term and appear on the official list of certified translators.

Being a sworn translator.

The newly sworn translator acts as an independent expert. He has become a Law Official (U.K.) or Ministerial Officer (U.S.A.) as are Bailiffs, Notaries etc. His is honour bound to produce oral or written translation to the very best of his ability, without transforming or omitting any meaning. Though this allows him to translate all manner of documents, it should be mentioned that assignments coming from the State Prosecutor’s department are often of a criminal law nature, and that he may occasionally be confronted with lengthy and often unpleasant circumstances.

Statements from suspected perpetrators and witnesses must be taken in a triangular verbal mode between the enforcement agent, the translator and statement-giver. Court hearings are more formalised, with no back-tracking; the same triangular voiced format applying. This requires a temperament of incisive and imperturbable perception. Knowledge of accents and dialects will also be an advantage. English is spoken globally, and you may also be asked to translate the words of a Dutchman, a Nigerian, a Ukrainian or a Mexican.
The skilled official translator does not replace word for word: he works in larger units. There is almost no way to understand this without experiencing translation and receiving feedback. Certified translators usually have to work under pressure. Simultaneous translation requires, with or without special training, a forthright personality, a lot of energy, and a good voice. Lastly and most importantly, professional secrecy is paramount. Cases may cross-reference down the line. He has to take on each mission in total impartiality.

Keep learning more about Certified translations in France.

Certified translator, English / French, Charente

Keith Elliott ©2019
Certified translator, English / French, Charente

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