The Canadian Translators, Terminologists and Interpreters Council (CTTIC), the umbrella organization for all the provincial and territorial associations of translators, terminologists, and interpreters, administers a certification exam in written translation several times a year. In addition to the translation exam, exams in community interpreting, conference interpreting, court interpreting, medical interpreting and terminology are held from time to time according to demand. This article deals mainly with the translation exam. However, all CTINB members are notified of all certification exams about one month prior to the registration deadline and can obtain more information from the CTINB certification exam coordinator (email@example.com). Please note that the Act governing the CTINB does not include a court interpreter category and therefore the CTINB does not organize court interpretation exams. The translation exam is offered in a wide variety of language combinations, although the two official language combinations are by far the most popular. The CTTIC cannot guarantee a certification exam in every desired language combination. It must first determine whether qualified markers are available.
Eligibility for Registration
In New Brunswick, only CTINB members in good standing (i.e., those who have paid their dues) are eligible to register for the certification exam. In addition, article 10(b.1) of the CTINB Bylaws stipulates that in order to register for the exam, new candidates for certification must have applied for this membership status at least six months prior to the exam registration deadline established by the CTINB. The reason for this requirement is to allow time to organize an admission exam if necessary.
As well, candidates for certification wishing to register for the certification exam must have either:
a. university degree in translation or a related field and at least two years of relevant full-time experience or the equivalent of 200,000 words translated in the past two years;
b. at least four years of proven, relevant full-time experience or the equivalent of 400,000 words translated within the last four years.
The reason for this requirement is to preserve the portability of the title of certified translator, certified terminologist, or certified interpreter from one province to another across Canada.
Also according to the CTINB Bylaws, the names of candidates for certification who have not become certified after five years are removed from the register of members, unless the CTINB Board decides otherwise. Those whose names have been removed must wait at least one year before re-applying for membership as candidates for certification.
The registration fee is $367.25 (CTTIC taxes and CTINB management fees included) for the on-site certification exam and $423.75 (CTTIC taxes and CTINB management fees included) for the on-line certification exam
Candidates write the exam using their own computer. The candidates’ names are not disclosed to the CTTIC and the exam markers. It is up to each provincial exam coordinator to match the numbers with the candidates' names and send them the results after marking. This system guarantees the candidates' anonymity.
The exam lasts three hours. Each candidate is required to translate two texts of about 200 words each. The first text is compulsory for all candidates, whereas for the second one, they have a choice between two texts. All three source texts are general in nature, but deal with different topics. Candidates may bring any dictionaries or written reference materials they wish. If the source texts contain specialized terminology not found in a standard dictionary, this will be taken into account during the marking process. The pass mark is 70.
The CTINB offers at several exam sessions each year, in Fredericton and in Moncton. Sessions may also be organized in other communities if warranted by the number of candidates registered.
Preparing for the Exam
In recent years, the CTINB has organized a preparation workshop for candidates writing the exam in the two official-language combinations. The workshop is offered free of charge. Using texts from previous exams, the facilitator gives candidates the opportunity to translate short passages and points out problem areas.
Also, candidates can obtain past exam texts from the certification exam coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org) to help them prepare for the exam.
After the exam, the candidates' papers are returned to the CTTIC office, where the process of organizing marking centres begins. Each exam is evaluated by a team of at least two markers, using a pre-established marking guide. The markers must agree on the candidate's final score.
Candidates can expect to receive the results two to three months after the exam. Those who do not pass will receive a marking sheet containing a few general comments on their performance and some examples of the weaknesses in their translations. They will also be informed of their actual mark to help them decide whether it is worthwhile to appeal the result. The deadline for appeals and the required fee will be specified in the letter informing the candidates of their marks. Candidates may ask to see their corrected exam before deciding whether or not to appeal.
Successful candidates will receive a certified member's certificate issued by the CTINB.
In the event of an appeal, the candidate's translations are submitted to an independent third marker (fees apply), who may either re-mark the paper or uphold the original markers' decision. The appeal decision is final.