Effectiveness of translator certification as a signaling device : views from the translator recruiters

Lung Jan, Andy CHAN

    Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review


    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.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)155-171
    Number of pages17
    JournalTranslation and Interpreting Studies : The Journal of the American Translation and Interpreting Studies Association
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009

    Bibliographical note

    This article also published in R. Sela-Sheffy and M. Shlesinger (Eds.), Identity and status in the translational professions (pp. 31-48). Amesterdam: John Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/bct.32.04cha


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