The term “certified translation” sometimes causes confusion — especially when it comes to when it is and isn’t required. To understand when and why a certified translation might be necessary, it’s important to have a good grasp of the differences between certified and non-certified translations.
When a translation is certified, both it and the original document(s) are accompanied by a signed statement from the translator showing completeness of translation as well as accuracy. A certified translation could then be further notarized by a public notary if required by the recipient. This is what is meant if you see that a certified translation is required or that a translation requires a “Certificate of Accuracy”.
Reputable translation companies usually entrust certified translations to their more experienced and best-qualified translators, and most translation companies will do a double or tripple pass (checking and rechecking) before a translation is certified.
A few Examples of when Certified Translation is Required
Certified translations are almost always necessary for legal paperwork, such as documentation used in trials or hearings; a trial transcript or any evidence in another language would need to be a certified translation. Also, when it comes to any item that has to be submitted to a government body, it’s likely that certified translations will be required. Reason being, a certified translation creates a legal record, which is why legal and government bodies almost always require translations to be certified.
Immigration is also a key area, which requires certified translation. If you are applying for residency or temporary visitor’s permit in a foreign country, it will likely require that all documents be submitted in the country’s official language certified and notarized by a public notary.
Applications to universities and colleges also often require certified translations of documents, for example diplomas and transcripts.
When You might not need Certified Translation
There are many instances in which certified translation is generally not needed. Personal documents that will not be submitted for legal purposes or to government agencies. Translation of website content is another prominent example of an item that rarely demands certified translation.
When in doubt about whether you do or don’t need a translation to be certified, it’s best to check with the person, company or institution to which you are submitting. Requirements will vary based on the type and purpose of the document.
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