Right here. I have been a certified English translator since 1999. I was sworn in directly after passing the state exam for Dutch-English translator, solemnly taking the oath before the subdistrict court judge in Utrecht, together with other qualified translators. A friend even brought flowers. Well, it was a big first step in my career as a professional English translator.
Working or studying abroad?
A certified translation is not an everyday request. You will normally only need one for formal documents, such as a birth certificate, marriage certificate or diploma. Often Dutch people need a certified translation when they are going to live, study or get married abroad. That was something I could relate to, because in 1990 I had come over to the Netherlands from the UK to work and study. Wedding bells are also in the air, because of Brexit. I now have to have UK documents legalised myself to be able to stay here. But that’s another story.
A certified translation must be printed on weighty paper and duly stamped. That was a second proud moment for me, the delivery of my very own stamp from the one supplier in the Netherlands. Packaged in a smart-looking box.
Referral to colleagues
There is still a lot of demand for certified translations. But for years now, my stamp has sat unused in a drawer. I use the heavy paper to make name cards for my language courses. In my first year as a freelance translator I discovered that certified translations were not really my thing. Translating diplomas did not inspire me. Well, except for the personal stories.
But I have many colleagues who do like making certified translations and who do it well. I’ll gladly refer my clients to them. Just as they in turn refer clients who need a more creative translator and copywriter. But that is another story, as well.