If you have a talent for understanding and speaking languages while being fluent in one or more foreign tongues, then you may have a great future by becoming a sworn translator in South Africa. As each year, the world becomes globalized, businesses and individuals from all over the world are migrating in or trading with South Africa and need to communicate. The local talent gap for translators is real and represents a stellar opportunity for individuals looking into the South African translation industry. Becoming a sworn translator in South Africa would even present more opportunities as the specific status of sworn translators makes them the only people authorized to certify the conformity of a translated document to the original.
Basics for becoming a sworn translator in South Africa
1- Fluency in two languages & solid language skills
In order to become a language translator, you must be fluent in two languages. Suppose you are planning to become a Portuguese sworn translator, you should be well-versed in Portuguese language and a second language like English. It is recommended to always translate into your native language, it means that, for example, a translator with a Portuguese native tongue must ONLY translate INTO Portuguese. There is no specific training program or degree for sworn translators in South Africa. Although having a degree related to language and translation courses isn’t needed, it’s often recommended as it can add extra points to your application. Applicants need to be able to prove that they are capable of translating any documents that may be required by the court, police authorities, etc. to do so you need a sponsors’ letters from an already sworn translator confirming your experience and skill level.
2- Professional experience
You’ll improve your chances to become a sworn translator in South Africa by gaining experience as a professional translator. Due to the detailed nature of this work, particular soft skills, or personal characteristics, will also allow you to succeed in this occupation. It’s especially important to have the following qualities, professionalism, and integrity, obviously, as well as rigor, cultural sensitivity, an eye for details, and respect for institutions.
You’ll build up your experience by free-lancing with translation companies or volunteering for hospitals or communities. Having credentials means that you have the documentation that proves you have the experience and skills required to translate or interpret professionally, and will greatly help your application.
3- Court application for becoming a sworn translator in South Africa
In South Africa, only the Courts have the authority to accredit and swear in translators. Professional translators need to apply at the high court of their city. The application will be carefully examined and the person may also be interviewed by the high court. Once the application is successful, you will then be asked to take an oath by the high court, following which you can practice as a sworn translator and be authorized to affix a seal, signature, and unique case number on translated documents. This means that the translator takes full responsibility for the accuracy of the document. This endorsement grants the document an official, formal status and a legal value that is equivalent to the original document. Application for certification must include the following:
- Curriculum vitae or other proof of work experience
- Sponsors’ letters (letters from another sworn translator confirming your experience and skill level)
- Official transcripts (if applicable)
- Application form
- Other documents (depending on individual circumstances)
Mission of a sworn translator
After you become a sworn translator in South Africa, you’ll have a diverse, influential and important role. While many assume – and assume correctly – that translators assist the justice system (Police, Court) for criminal proceedings, they actually assist in numerous other situations and primary industries.
A sworn translator can assist with the following:
- Business and financial translations
- Helping with legal document translation
- Healthcare and medical purposes
- Technical translations
Sworn translation has become very important due to international trade, the creation of political-economic and tourism.
Your Translation partner in South Africa
Frenchside is a Pretoria-based translation agency with a track record of high-quality translation. For over 10 years, our translation services have helped our clients in South Africa build deeper relationships with their customers around the world. We work in French, Portuguese, Spanish, and German languages. We are committed to providing quality translations, exceptional service, on-time delivery, and complete customer satisfaction, so you will always receive professional results at competitive rates. For further information about document translation Services please phone us at +27 (0) 12-348- 3134 or e-mail us at email@example.com and we’ll be more than happy to talk with you or to answer any questions you may have