Translation vs. Evaluation

There seems to be a misconception about “translation” and “evaluation.” Some think the two are the same but that is not true. A translation is quite literally the word-for-word line-by-line interpretation of a document issued in one language into another language. An evaluation in the case of academic documents is an analysis of the learning acquired and recommending the equivalent U.S. education for that level of learning on the basis of a comprehensive review of the educational system of the country where studies were completed. In most cases, documents that are not issued in English are to be accompanied by English translations in order to have them evaluated. Translations are prepared by individuals proficient in the languages they are translating and in most cases sit for licensing examinations that qualify them as certified/licensed translators. Evaluations are prepared by individuals with experience in world education systems and knowledge of academic programs offered at various level of learning throughout the world. Here in the U.S. individuals preparing evaluations may be employed by a school, college or university or work at private credential evaluation agencies or educational organizations. For a list of professional organizations and their member credential evaluation agencies visit the U.S. Department of Education website:

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