Certified translation

There are many different reasons why you may need to get a certified translation. Unfortunately, there are different rules and regulations for certified translations in almost every country. To help you find the perfect translation services, we would like to share with you some important information on both certified translations and how to find the right certified translation services provider.


What is a certified translation?

Most federal and state authorities like the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) will ask you to submit a certified translation of foreign-language documents. If you received a diploma abroad, it most likely also needs to be translated for employment or education in Great Britain, the United States or other English-speaking countries. This is true for documents such as:

  • Birth certificates
  • Marriage certificates
  • Death certificates
  • Diplomas & transcripts

Please consult with the relevant authorities or services in order to find out about any specific regulations concerning the style and formatting of the certified translation you have to submit. An experienced translation agency can help you with this task and make sure that the certified translation you receive meets all the standards necessary in order to be accepted by organisations like the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

What types of certifications are there?

Almost every country has its own regulations when it comes to certified translations. However, there are some general terms you will most likely come across in every jurisdiction:

  • Certificate of Accuracy: As the name suggests, this is a signed statement by the translator confirming that the translated text is a complete and accurate translation of the original text and that it was conducted by a professional and skilled translator.
  • Notarized translation: A notarization of the certified translation is needed to confirm the identity of the person signing the statement. You may need to submit a notarized translation of certain legal documents and contracts.
  • Apostille: In some cases, a certified translation needs to be legalized in a foreign country. This happens by adding a so-called apostille to the translation. An apostille is therefore an additional step of certification.

You are not able to create a certified translation yourself, even if you have the necessary language skills. Only a professional translator is qualified to do so. To help you find the translation services you need, we have gathered some information on the different types of certifications from different countries:

United States

In the United States, a certified translation consists of both the translation of the source file and a signed statement by the translator. However, this certificate does not verify that the translation is actually correct as there is no official certification of translators by either state or federal authorities in the United States.

Nevertheless, there are associations like the American Translators Association (ATA) that provide certifications for translators. But remember that this is not an official certification. So before hiring a translator to handle your certified translation, you want to make sure that he or she is a member of the ATA or a similar organisation to ensure the quality of the translation.

Great Britain

In the United Kingdom, there is also no official body that professional translators can register with. Therefore, there is no such thing as a “sworn translator” or a “certified translator” in Great Britain.

Instead, translators have to make a declaration stating that they are a professional translator who is qualified to make the translation. By adding such a statement to the translation, translators declare that they believe the translated text to be an accurate translation of the original text.

Be aware that anyone can in fact proclaim themselves to be a translator since the translation industry in the United Kingdom is unregulated. This is why you are strongly advised to make sure that the translator you want to hire is a member of an official organisation.

Certified translation: What to look out for

Finding a reliable translation agency for your certified translation can take some time and many things need to be taken into consideration. This checklist can help you find the right translation company for your needs:

  • Knowledge: Does the translation agency have sufficient expertise and knowledge surrounding the sort of document you need to have translated? This is very important because there are often small differences between countries that a translator has to be aware of.
  • Experience: Does the translation agency handle certified translations on a regular basis? More experience means faster turnaround times and higher quality results.
  • Certified translators: Are the translators certified by the relevant body? Can the translation agency provide you with a certified translation of your document or certificate if needed?
  • Privacy: Your certifications are confidential personal documents. It is therefore important that the privacy of your information is guaranteed.
  • Membership: Are the translators members of organisations such as the American Translators Association (ATA)? Membership is an indicator for a high standard of work.
  • Pricing: Does the translation agency have up-front pricing? Are there any extra costs for additional services? Is the certification of the translation included?
  • Additional services: Is the translation agency able to provide you with additional services such as an interpreter if needed?

Take your time when choosing the right certified translations services. A thorough decision making process will make sure that you receive a certified translation that will be accepted by organisations such as the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Summary: Certified translations

If you are asked to submit a certified translation of one of your documents, you want to make sure that it will be accepted by the relevant organisation. It is therefore very important to find a translation company that can guarantee to provide you with a certified translation that follows all the relevant regulations and rules. A professional translation agency like lingoking can guarantee the creation of a certified translation that authorities will accept.

Contact us today for help and advice with all your translation and interpreting needs, no matter how large or small. We are here to offer a professional service with no hidden costs that is second to none.

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