Certified translation is not a term many people should expect to use daily. However, you may come across this term when planning to migrate to a country like the United States. Certified translations may also be an admission requirement into a foreign university. As an admission requirement, institutions require non-English speakers or non-English taught students to translate their documents to English for better assessment.
What Is A Certified Translation Service?
Certified Document Translations or certified translation services in the United States are meant to convert a foreign language to English. The major difference between this and any other translation service or translation document is the Certificate of Accuracy. The translator of the document, in this case, issues a Certificate of Accuracy, which states that the content of the original document has been translated accurately for further usage.
In essence, a certified translation is a translation that has been stamped, signed, and approved by a registered authority. To render a certified translation service in the United States, the translator does not need to be ‘certified’ or pass through any state or federal licensing examinations. However, you need to seek out established and registered translators, preferably companies and agencies, to get the job done.
When Do You Need a Certified Translator or Certified Translation Services?
There are many instances where you may require the services of a certified translator or a certified translated document. If you are a foreigner with documents written in a foreign language other than the English language, you may require this service to facilitate your immigration process. Other times you may require this service or document, including when facing a regulatory agency, an educational institution, and a court of law.
In some cases, your certified translation may be required to be notarized. You may also be asked to include other specific documents, including the original and untranslated copy of the document, your resume, as well as the qualification of the professional translator hired to do the job.
When Can I Use a Certified Translated Document?
The most common instance that requires a certified translated document is the legal field. When you are involved in any legal process, including immigration, you may be required to obtain this document. If you are also looking to expand your business across borders, you may also need this service. Documents that are mostly required to be translated and certified include;
- Diplomas and transcripts for educational institutions
- Patent Filings
- Driver’s license, travel passports, and visas
- Criminal record checks for HR, visa applications, and recruitment purposes
- Birth, Marriage, Divorce, and Death certificates
- Legal documents required in a court case
- Official visa application and processing documents
- Medical records
- Bank Statements and Financial reports
How Does the Certification Work?
Certified translations require that the original document be translated directly and in its entirety. This means that you must use all punctuations like dash, commas, apostrophes, periods, and symbols accurately as in the original document. The translated document should also carry all seals and signatures contained in the original document. For areas of the original document that are not clear, the translator is not allowed to assume. These areas can be marked with “not legible” to ensure the complete accuracy of the translated document.
For complete accuracy, the visual format of the translated document should match the original document. This means that you must replicate the positions of stamps, seals, and other characters. A complete certified translation consists of these documents;
- The original copy of the document to be translated
- The translated document in the target language
- The Certificate of Accuracy issued by the translator or translation agency to back the translated document. The Certificate of Accuracy should contain the name of the translator or translation agency, the date of translation, a signature certifying the certificate, as well as the translator or translation agency’s seal.
How Much Does Certified Translation Cost?
The cost of this service varies. The factors affecting the service cost include your location, the person you have hired to get the job done, the size of the document to be translated, and more. Individuals and agencies may charge per word or page. It is important to understand what a page means to these service providers. Most translators, however, define a page as containing 250 words.
How to Identify a Certified Translated Document
The major difference between any translated document and a certified translated document is the Certificate of Accuracy. In addition, certified translations are focused on replicating the format and visuals of the original document.