The certification procedure of translations is not the same in every country, but in many cases, if you need an official document translated, you might need to provide proof that the translation was done by a qualified professional for it to have legal value. This proof could be a certified or a notarised translation. 


Certified translations

Certified translations are accompanied by a certificate of accuracy or a signed statement attesting that the translation is a faithful, accurate and complete translation of the original document. Certified translations constitute a legal record and are usually required for legal and administrative documents for official use and submission to a country’s authorities. This includes contracts, agreements, birth, death, or marriage certificates, diplomas, and transcripts of records that are not written in the official language of the country where they will be submitted. 

The requirements for certified translations differ from country to country. In some countries like the United Kingdom and the United States, there is no state or federal certification for translators and, therefore, the translator does not need to be certified in order to provide a certified translation. In many other countries, such as France and Germany, translators must meet certain requirements, including swearing an oath and passing an official examination, in order to be certified and accredited by legal authorities such as courts. In some countries, institutions will only accept certified translations done by government-certified or sworn translators; this is the only way for a translation to have the same legal value as the original document. 

A certified or sworn translation is equivalent to the original document; this means that the translation has the same legal value as an official document in the eyes of the authorities. The translation must be accompanied by a stamp, the date and the name and signature of the translator. The translator also certifies that he or she is qualified to perform the translation. In certain cases, further steps such as an apostille might be necessary for the documents to be valid and accepted by the authorities. Since the requirements for certified and sworn translations vary from country to country, it is important to verify the requirements in your country.


Notarised translations

Sometimes a certified translation needs to be notarised, but this is an additional step that does not replace the certification of a translation. A notarised translation is more about official procedures. Any translator can take their work to a notary public (a person authorised by the government to oversee different legal formalities), swear an oath to its accuracy, and sign an affidavit, which must contain the seal and signature of the notary public. The notary public simply acknowledges, and notarises, the identity of the translator, but does not assess the quality and accuracy of the translation. It just means that the notary public attests that the signature on the translation is authentic. Therefore, certified and notarised translations are not the same, and you should always confirm what kind of translation you need.


Non-certified translations

Non-certified translations are usually required for any documents that will not be submitted to legal authorities or that will be used for internal or reference purposes only. Website content, marketing materials, manuals, product labels, etc. are examples of texts that usually do not need to be certified.

While I do not offer certified translations at the moment, I would be happy to refer you to someone from my network should you need a certified translation of your documents.


Image source: t20-2wnZYP |© TheCorgi |