Do I Want a "Certified Translator" or Do I Need a "Certified Translation"?

For many years, it has been debated among Indonesian translators whether or not it is necessary to be certified or become sworn translators.  Having the predicate of 'sworn translator' would make it easier for a translator to get certified translation jobs.  Unfortunately, the current bureaucracy in Indonesia dictates that the certification of sworn translators be regulated by each province.  And so far, only Jakarta and East Java are putting this regulation to use.  So technically speaking, one must have a Jakarta or East Java Residence Identification Card to be eligible to take sworn translator exam.  Not to mention the irony that not all available sworn translators give good quality translations.  Meanwhile, there are a lot of translators who are competent in doing certified translations but passed over for the job simply because they are not certified.

LBI-UI (Lembaga Bahasa Internasional Universitas Indonesia or The International Language Institute of the University of Indonesia) is the appointed body to conduct examination for sworn translators in Jakarta.  The following excerpt is extracted from LBI-UI website:

For years, we have been conducting an annual qualification examination for translators in two categories of translation: translation of general texts and that of legal texts.  UI certificates are awarded to those obtaining the minimum score of 65.  Applicants of legal texts certification who reach the minimum score of 80 (grade A) are entitled to be nominated as sworn translators.  Their oaths are taken by the Governor of Jakarta Province.

This year, we are going to adopt a new exam scheme, producing only two types of results: pass or fail.  With the support of HPI (Himpunan Penerjemah Indonesia or Association of Indonesian Translators), we will disseminate to our clients the need to refer to this certification to guarantee the quality of the translators they are hiring.

Therefore, the question remains:
Are you looking for a certified/sworn translator, OR
are you looking for a translator who are competent in doing certified translations?
If you have a question on methods to certify a translation, please read the Frequently Asked Questions section.


  • HPI (Himpunan Penerjemah Indonesia / Association of Indonesian Translators)
  • (a workplace where translators and clients meet)
  • Kateglo (Indonesian Dictionary, Thesaurus, and Glossary powered by KBBI and Bahtera)