Translators Associations Europe: STF

Government authorised translators since 1913

Translators Associations Europe: STFThe Association of Government Authorised Translators in Norway (Statsautoriserte Translatørers Forening, STF) is one of the oldest translators associations in the world. It was founded on the 14th November 1913, in Oslo.

STF is organised and managed as “a non-profit association for the purpose of protecting the interests of its members”. In order to do so, STF has established a series of goals, such as “seeking greater recognition for the Government Authorized Translators as highly skilled professionals”. In addition, the Norwegian translators association wishes to promote the good practice of the profession as well as to support members with both guidance and information.

One of STF’s missions is to work with authorities and other relevant user groups towards a greater understanding about the need for quality translation services. Other than that, it is very important for this translation association to strengthen the link between colleagues and to promote the prevalence of ethics at work and of high professional standards.

At present, the STF has around 210 members, with the large majority living in the Oslo metropolitan area. They work with 18 different languages, for which they are duly authorised. Of those languages, 15 are European and there is also Chinese, Urdu and Vietnamese.

The very demanding examination candidates have to go through makes it that “only a handful of members are authorised in more than one language pair”. English is a dominating language, “naturally enough”, according to the Norwegian organisation, but “there are also a number of German translators”. Most of STF’s members are freelance professionals, yet there are some who work for translation companies as well as staff translators.

Amongst the members of STF, there are many who “have the outgoing nature and verbal skills” to make them “first class interpreters”. Moreover, some of them “are among Norway’s best conference and court interpreters”.

As far as translations are concerned, they cover a wide spectrum. From “the retelling of a poem to the exacting reproduction of a user’s manual”, “a précis containing the main points of a text” or “a precise translation of a contract, in which a single misinterpretation can have major financial consequences”.

According to the Norwegian translators association, there are many people who go through a difficult time when creating a text in their own languages “nevertheless fail to realise that translating that text will require the investment of quite as much effort”. The leading members of STF stress that not all native speakers are blessed with the ability to transform a text into a perfect translation in their mother tongue.

When a professional works on the translation of a specialised text, he / she must have an extensive knowledge not only about the two languages, but also about the subject matter and the culture surrounding both source and target languages. That may result in a strong variation in the quality of translations, which always – and inevitably – reflects on the price. If you hire the services of a translator because the final result is important, you will not pay “to go bargain-hunting”. Because of that, “government authorisation represents a sort of official guarantee that the translator meets certain requirements in terms of integrity and quality”.

There is a directory of STF members which is published every three years. However, an updated list of details of all members is available from STF.

To become a member, you must have passed a highly demanding translation examination. With written and oral parts, into and / or out of Norwegian and the foreign language concerned, this examination (“Translatøreksamen”) is the highest Norwegian qualification for written translation of specialised texts to and from Norwegian. As a result of passing the exam, successful candidates are authorised by the government to place a stamp and signature on their work, together with the words “True Translation Certified”.

Keep in mind that Norwegian is the official language of Norway. It is a North Germanic language spoken primarily in Norway, but also in some parts of Denmark. It is spoken by around 5 million people.

When you fill-in your profile details to become a Lexis member, always choose your mother tongue as your working language. Lexis – Connections with meaning

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