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Effectiveness of translator certification as a signaling device : views from the translator recruiters
Translation and Interpreting Studies : The Journal of the American Translation and Interpreting Studies Association
  • Lung Jan, Andy CHAN
Document Type
Journal article
Publication Date
John Benjamins Publishing Co.
  • translation profession,
  • signaling,
  • translator recruiters,
  • fictitious resumes,
  • translator certification

In recent years, the issue of translator certification has attracted a great deal of attention among professional translators and translation studies scholars. Using the economic theory of signaling as a framework and an experiment involving the use of fictitious resumes, this study entailed interviews with eight translator recruiters in Hong Kong. The ranking of the resumes and the critical textual analysis of the eight transcribed interviews show the importance of formal educational qualifications and relevant work experience in the screening of resumes. Most interviewees viewed translator certification as an “add-on” and preferred an academic degree to translator certification. To some extent, this is due to inadequate knowledge and misconceptions about the process of translator certification. Hence, it is suggested that translation companies and translator training institutions/professional translator associations should engage in coordinated efforts to develop multilateral signaling mechanisms.

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Additional Information
This article also published in R. Sela-Sheffy & M. Shlesinger (Eds.), Identity and status in the translational professions (pp. 31-48). Amesterdam: John Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/bct.32.04cha
Full-text Version
Publisher’s Version
Citation Information
Chan, A. L. J. (2009). Effectiveness of translator certification as a signaling device: Views from the translator recruiters. Translation and Interpreting Studies, 4(2), 155-171. doi: 10.1075/tis.4.2.06cha