How To Become a Certified Arabic Translator

The concept of “certified translation” refers globally to the official translation of various documents for submission to official authorities, and governmental and judicial departments such as courts, embassies, consulates, and foreign missions. They accept only certified translations according to certain criteria. The procedures and rules governing the practice of the certified translation profession vary greatly from one country to another.

If you’re living in the Arab region and looking to start a certified Arabic translation agency, this blog post is for you. I’ll delve into the regulations that govern the certification of translators and agencies in some Arab countries.

Certified Translation in Egypt

Egypt has recently witnessed an unprecedented demand for immigration and visa applications. This has led to a rise in people seeking to get their Arabic documents translated into foreign languages.

Although some local associations do claim that they regulate the certification process of translation providers, there is no official or recognized entity that regulates certified translation practice or represents translators in Egypt so far. Thus, Egypt falls on the more relaxed end of the spectrum, where the certified translation requires only a statement from the translator or the translation agency stating the accuracy and truthfulness of the translation and its conformity with the original document attached. The translated document must further be stamped and signed by the translator or the translation office with the translation date stated.

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Certified Translation in Saudi Arabia

To be a certified translator in Saudi Arabia, you must get a translation license, which is the main requirement for any translator seeking to launch a translation business. After getting the license, the translator can provide certified translations of any documents for official purposes. The certified translator/translation agency gains the confidence of customers in terms of the quality and reliability of the translation provided. The Saudi Ministry of Commerce and Investment is the authority that grants the professional licenses necessary to practice the certified translation profession. The following are the most important requirements:

  • The applicant must be holding a bachelor’s degree from a recognized university where the language of instruction is the foreign language specified in the license as well as three years of experience in this field after obtaining the degree
  • OR a bachelor’s degree in a foreign language with three years of experience in translation after obtaining the degree
  • OR an intermediate degree and a translation diploma with five years of experience in the field of translation after obtaining the degree and passing the examination set by the ministry
  • A bachelor’s degree from a recognized university with at least five years of experience in translation after obtaining the degree and passing the examination set by the Ministry
  • OR an intermediate degree and seven years of experience and passing the examination set by the ministry
  • OR have ten years of experience in translation and passing the examination set by the ministry

Certified Translation in UAE

In accordance with the decision of the Council of Ministers No. 7/2014 in the Executive Regulation of Federal Law No. 6 of 2012 on the regulation of the translation profession, it is prohibited to practice the translation profession in the country unless registered in the list of translators in the Ministry of Justice, and holding a license to do so from the competent authority in the Emirate concerned.

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The regulations set out several conditions for getting listed, including the following:

  • To be of good manners and conduct and have never been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor that is against honor or honesty, even if redressed.
  • To be fluent in reading, writing, and speaking Arabic if the translation is to and from Arabic.
  • Holding a degree from one of the recognized universities or institutes stating his specialization in the source and target languages
  • His working experience in the field of translation shall not be less than five years after graduation, and the UAE citizen shall be excluded from the period of experience.
  • Pass the procedures and examinations set by a resolution from the Minister.
  • Be fit and healthy to perform the duties of his/her profession, and pay the prescribed fee.
  • And have an insurance contract against liability for professional errors.
  • After being listed, the translator shall take an oath before a competent circle of the Appeal Court, provided that a swear transcript shall be placed in the translator’s file.

Certified Translation in Kuwait

There is no law regulating the translation profession in Kuwait till the moment. The translator is certified by the Kuwaiti Ministry of Justice, which requires the submission of a university degree in the field of translation or linguistics, as well as the usual procedures for licenses and commercial registration.

Certified Translation in Palestine

In accordance with Law No. 15 of 1995 on Translation and Translators, and its executive regulation No. 1 of 1996, legal translators shall be certified after passing a test in legal translation and taking an oath before the Minister of Justice. According to Minister Ali Abu Diak, “a sworn translator is entrusted with the documents he/she translates and the authenticity and accuracy of the legal translation approved before the official departments and courts, stressing that translators are partners in the justice sector and judiciary.”

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Certified Translation in Tunisia

The department of sworn translators is one of the oldest departments in the Tunisian Ministry of Justice and was updated in 1994 in order for the translator to practice the translation in only one language in which he/she is to specialize. Sworn translators are appointed by a resolution from the Minister of Justice and their names and addresses are published in the official gazette, distributed throughout the Republic of Tunisia, and follow the courts of appeal.

For the rest of the Arab countries, there are no established laws or rules governing the translation profession or the certification of translators or translation agencies. The matter is all about the issuance of the applicable licenses in the country, as well as the standard requirements that are recognized worldwide. The translation accuracy statement should contain the following information.

  • A statement confirming the completeness and accuracy of the document.
  • The original document details and source language.
  • Name and signature of the translator.
  • Date of translation

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