China Accreditation Test for Translators and Interpreters (CATTI), launched in 2003 by the Ministry of Personnel of the People’s Republic of China, is the most authoritative translation and interpretation proficiency qualification accreditation test which is implemented throughout the country according to uniform standards and in compliance with the national system of professional qualification certificates. It is designed to assess the proficiency and competence of professional and would-be professional translators and interpreters in a scientific, objective and fair manner. It is an authoritative accreditation test for examinees’ bilingual translation or interpretation proficiency.
CIPG is responsible for organizing, implementing and administering the test under the guidance of the Ministry of Personnel. If an examinee passes the test, he/she is awarded the Translation and Interpretation Proficiency Qualification Certificate of the People’s Republic of China. The Certificate is valid throughout the country. According to the relevant regulations of the Ministry of Personnel, the CATTI has been incorporated into the national system of professional qualification certificates, which means that the CATTI certificates is regarded as THE qualification for being a translator or interpreter, though it does not mandatorily rule out those without the certificates
The seven languages to be tested in the CATTI are English, Japanese, French, Arabic, Russian, German and Spanish. The test includes translation and interpretation (consecutive interpretation and simultaneous interpretation). It has four levels, that is, Senior Translator and Interpreter, Level 1 Translator and Interpreter, Level 2 Translator and Interpreter and Level 3 Translator and Interpreter.
English Levels 2 and 3 translation and interpretation tests were introduced in December 2003; French and Japanese Levels 2 and 3 translation and interpretation tests in 2005; Arabic Levels 2 and 3 translation and interpretation tests in the first half of 2006; and Russian, German and Spanish Levels 2 and 3 translation and interpretation tests in November of 2006. Levels 2 and 3 translation and interpretation tests of seven languages plus English simultaneous interpreting test fall under 29 categories with 58 items. By the end of 2008, CATTI had been held 11 times. A total of 80,299 examinees registered for the test, and a total of 12,702 examinees passed the test, of whom 5,410 obtained the Translation and Interpretation Proficiency Qualification Certificate for Level 2 Translator or Interpreter; 7,292 the Translation and Interpretation Proficiency Qualification Certificate for Level 3 Translator or Interpreter.
Since its birth, the CATTI has drawn the attention from different sectors of the society. Some Chinese institutions of higher learning have incorporated the test into the syllabus and required postgraduates majoring in translation or interpretation to attain Level 2 qualification. The international community has also shown great interest in the test, and visitors from Japan, the Republic of Korea, Singapore and France have come to learn more about the test and explore ways of cooperation in this field. Visitors to the CATTI website (www. catti.net.cn) come from over 50 countries and regions.