If you are suffering from an unknown ailment or affliction, you are likely going to seek out a qualified doctor, not some guy who says he knows a little about medicine. When it comes to matters of money, a person typically wants to discuss options with a certified accountant or tax adviser, not some girl who took an accounting class in high school. Much like reputation, today’s word, certification, can go a long way in guaranteeing quality and ensuring a good experience.
Essentially meaning ‘the act of certifying something,’ the word certification comes, naturally, from the verb to certify, meaning ‘to declare the truth of something’. Originating in the early 15th century from the Medieval Latin certificationem, the base of the word comes from the Latin certus (sure/fixed) and facere (to make). Logically, this makes sense: using the doctor’s visit analogy, when we see the degree and certification papers hanging on the wall, we are essentially being made sure that the physician is qualified and experienced enough to treat us.
The first known usage of the word comes from a copy of the Gesta Romanorum around 1440, which writes that: “Of the which [were] riding, that other knight had certificacion,” thus implying proof of rank. A century later, in a published letter from Sir Thomas More to Friar Barnes from 1532, we can see the word now meaning a sort of attestation that we would understand from certificates that we see on a professional’s wall: “The tradition of the fathers..is for the certification of a truth a sure undoubted authority.” Finally, in the more basic and modern understanding of the term, we have the 1577 work of the Swiss reformer Heinrich Bullinger, who, in 50 Godly Sermons, states (in translation) that: “They call that πληροϕόρημα, which we call a certification, as when a thing by persuasions is so beaten into our minds, that after that we neuer doubt any more.” In other words, we trust the certificates to an extent that we don’t feel the need to contact the university/organisation in order to check their validity.
While we have mentioned the most obvious examples (doctors and accountants) on an individual level, there are many certified areas that are just as vital to a business, such as law, quality/safety procedure, and, especially with international business, translation. Though conversational translation can easily be attained, the intricate and specialised business or industry-specific translation that international companies require often takes years of study. For a business that cannot spend the time sorting through the individual qualifications of numerous translators, it’s important to choose a translation company that prides itself in the specialised certification of its employees and processes. And there is the
DIN ISO 17100:2015 quality standard developed especially for language translation service providers to provides both TSPs and their clients with clear criteria for achieving and evaluating the highest quality in language translation services.