Questions & Answers

Questions & Answers

What does a certified translation mean?

What does a certified translation mean?

What does a certified translation mean?

What is a certified copy? What do certified translation services entail? These services can sound quite complicated, so below is all you need to know.

A certified copy is a copy that certifies a document as a true copy of the original by getting it signed and dated by a professional person. This is often necessary in the case of translating legal documents like birth or marriage certificates, or documents for official use, like contracts.

How to get a translation certified? In order to add credibility to certified translations, translations are normally considered ‘certified’ if they have been produced under one of the three circumstances:

1 – Sworn Translation

In some countries, translators can register with an official body as a “sworn translator” and by doing so be recognised by authorities such as the High Court of Justice to translate and legalise documents (often referred to as producing a ‘certified translation’).

There are no sworn translators in the UK, as there is no recognised official body that grants authorisation to legalise or certify.

2 – Translations by a certified translator or translation company

Even though there is no formal route by which a translator can be authorised to certify translations in the UK, it is often acceptable to the requesting party for the translator to declare that they are a professional translator and they believe it to be a ‘true and accurate translation of the original’.

In theory, anyone who calls themselves a translator could make this claim. However, it is always best to ensure that translators state their qualifications to add gravitas to the claim.

Additionally, translation companies can also self-certify translations on behalf of their translators, again stating their credentials.

Certified Translation in the UK

Since anyone can make claims as to the accuracy of a particular translation, we strongly suggest that, if your document is translated by a freelance translator in the UK, they are a member of the Institute of Translators and Interpreters or Institute of Linguists.

If a translation agency is providing the certification, check they are a member of the Association of Translation Companies, so they only use qualified translations.

3 – Solicitor Certified Translation

Similar to the previous point, although this time the document is signed in front of a Solicitor or Notary Public as being “true to the original”. The solicitor or notary public also adds their signature and official seal to prove it has been witnessed.

Remember that the Solicitor or Notary Public cannot normally understand the translated document. Although the wax seal looks very official, all it is really doing is proving that the individual who came to the office signed the document in their presence. The wax seal does not guarantee the translation is accurate, so it is essential to check the credentials of the translator.

There is a nominal fee for certification in front of a solicitor.

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