In today’s increasingly globalised world, governments and organisations have started to take matters of translation seriously. The result of this is “certified translation”.
This is a translated document which is accompanied by a signed statement from the translator confirming that it is accurate and complete.
So, problem solved?
Not exactly. Unfortunately, countries around the world each have their own regulations and procedures for verifying translators and interpreters:
Some states provide certification themselves. Others rely on credible organisations and associations to do it for them. Some have very different ideas of what “certified” means as opposed to what others think it does.
This means that knowing which countries have which laws and which organisations set up to certify translators and interpreters is vital if you want your translated document to be accepted.What types of certified translation are there?Let’s start with some basics. There are three main types of certified translation:
- Certified – a certified translation comes with a signed statement attesting that the translator is a professional who swears it is “complete and accurate” to the best of their knowledge. They also provide their name and contact details and sign and date the statement.
- Notarised – a notarised translation is essentially a certified translation in which the statement is signed in front of a particular kind of official called a “notary” or “notary public”. It’s important to remember that though it’s part of the notary’s job to approve the translation, they’re not actually judging its quality.
- Legalised – legalisation is another extra, though different step in the certified translation process. If both your home and target countries are in the Hague Convention, you may not need diplomatic or consular approval of the translation of your public documents. Instead, you can get a legalising document called an “Apostille”, which all countries in the Convention accept. If one country is not in the Hague Convention, you’ll need the Apostille to be sent to the consul at the relevant embassy.
It’s worth continuing to bear in mind that the required type of certification – and even what the precise accepted definition of what that type of certification is – will vary from country to country. What type of certified translation do you need? Learn more about our services. What types of certified translation are there? The circumstances when you will almost certainly need your translation to be certified include:
For immigration purposes
Translated immigration documents are probably the most likely candidate to be in need of certification. This will be the case whether you are intending a temporary or permanent stay in your destination country.
The documents required might include:
- Government records from your home country
- Birth certificates
- Marriage certificates
- Police records or criminal record checks
- Health certificates
- Your driver’s license
It’s almost guaranteed that any legal documents you need to have translated will have to have their accuracy certified in some way. This might include:
- Documents that will be used in a trial or hearing
- Interview transcriptions
- Trial transcripts
- Evidence which has been submitted in another language
Job and college applications
Most educational organisations in other countries will require that you acquire quality-attested translations of a variety of important documents:
- Your diploma and transcripts
- Application essays
- Passports and visas
- Criminal record checks
Business and corporate purposes
Some of the most common reasons why international corporations and businesses require certified translation will include:
- Financial statements and reports
- Evidence documents for international disputes or court cases
What type of certified translation do you need? See how we can help youtext_align:centercolor:%23ffffff” When do you not need your translation to be certified?There is also a range of situations where you will almost certainly not need certified translation:
- Marketing communications
- CVs and job applications
- Restaurant menus
- Product manuals and labels
- Branding guidelines
- Employee handbooks and information
A non-certified translation by no means implies that the quality of work is poor. It’s simply not required for most purposes.
The only thing you should always do when organising language services is to ensure your translation agency has a good reputation for quality. This is important whether you need certification or not.
Relying on tools like Google Translate for any important purpose is always a bad idea.Certified translation around the world. Whatever your situation, it is always worth checking with an expert to find out what is required by the specific situation you are facing in any given country.
You can ask:
- Your language service provider, if they have local expertise
- The institution or body you’re applying to
- The company you’re submitting documents to
Here are a couple of examples which show how translation certification is dealt with in two different English-speaking parts of the world:
The United Kingdom
In the United Kingdom, a translation can only be officially accepted if it is completed by a translator who is recognised by a body such as the Chartered Institute Of Linguists (CIOL) and who works for a translation agency which has been accredited by the Association of Translation Companies (ATC).
The translator will then need to visit a notary public in order to be notarised.
The UK recognises three types of translations for official purposes – the aforementioned certified, notarised and legalised translations.
The United States
According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics in the United States, “there is currently no universal certification required of interpreters and translators beyond passing the required court interpreting exams offered by most states.”
That said, the US Department of State called the Office of Language Services provides translations for the U.S. Federal Government. This agency requires translators and interpreters to pass a three-test series. Although it does not provide a direct certification, successful completion indicates an adequate level of skill.
Plus, there are many legitimate organisations in the United States which can provide verification of skilled translators by certification. One of the most highly recognised organisations in the US is the American Translators Association. The ATA provides a certified translator seal to all those who pass their challenging, three-hour exam.Learn more about verifying translators and interpretersBefore engaging a translator directly it’s advisable to ensure that the individual has been certified and has credible experience in the relevant field. Alternatively, you can engage a reputable translation agency and rely on them to screen and select the most appropriate linguist for you.
At Asian Absolute, we understand the importance of quality communication. We only work with the most qualified translators in the world to ensure that our clients lose nothing in the translation and interpretation of their message.
Comment below and we’ll be able to let you know whether you need certified translation.