What are certified translations?

What is a certified translation of documents?

Generally, an officially certified translation fulfils the language requirements in the country of your application. With a deeply globalized corporate world and the general ease of travel, professional translation services in the United Kingdom have been an important aspect of our everyday lives, both professional as well as personal, and a mainstream service for at least a few decades.

Nonetheless, as world has come to almost a full standstill over the last few months, the necessity for translating materials such as passports, visas or business documents has also declined. With schools, shops and restaurants closed, businesses allowing people to work from home and international travel halted, there simply wasn’t much need for converting documents, especially for private use.

Different types of certified translation

However, with the economy slowly going back to normal and more countries opening their borders for tourists, certified translations have once again become a crucial aspect for many people.

Generally speaking, an ‘official’ or ‘certified’ translation is defined as a translation which has been formally stamped and signed by a registered authority. Unfortunately, the term ‘official’ isn’t particularly unified, and so it can vary from country to country and depend on the specific country’s legal system. As a result, understandably so, in many cases people can be a little confused as to what constitutes as a ‘certified translation’.

In the United Kingdom, we can recognize formal translation authorities, such as the Institute of Translation & Interpreting (ITI) or Association of Translation Companies (ATC). Members of such organizations can rightfully issue ‘certified’ translations, which will then be legally accepted.

Types of certified translation include:

  • Certified translation
  • Notarized translation
  • Apostilled translation

Certified Translation

In order for the translation to be officially certified, the linguist or translation agency must attest that the translation is a true and accurate reflection of the original document. The certified translation should be stamped and/or signed by a registered linguist or a representative of the translation company, which ensures avoiding any misuse of the document.

Notarized translation

Typically, a notarized translation is used abroad, as it proves accountability in terms of the linguist’s details. Generally, a notarized translation means, that the translated documents have either been signed by a Notary or that it carries a statement by the Notary Public concerning the original document and the translation. It’s important to bear in mind however, that the Notary’s signature does not endorse the quality of a translation.

Apostilled translation

A Legalised document, which has been issued with the apostille certificate may also need translating. According to the Institute of Translation and Interpreting, “The competent authority for issuing Apostilles in the UK is the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). An Apostille verifies the authenticity of the signature and ensures that the document is recognised in all States that signed the Hague Convention of 1961; it does not endorse the content of the document.”


Types of documents which you can translate and certify

Depending on your individual circumstances there are several different documents, which you might need to officially translate and certify. Some of these include:

  • Birth Certificate
  • Marriage Certificate
  • Death Certificate
  • Divorce Certificate
  • Academic Certificate
  • Legal translations
  • Driver’s License
  • Insurance Documents
  • Adoption Papers
  • Medical Report
  • Immigration Documents
  • Passport Translations


How to obtain a certified translation?

As a translation agency officially registered with the Association of Translation Companies (ATC) we are able to provide legally certified translations. Regardless of the type of your document or language pair required. If you’d like an accurate quote for translating your documents, simply send a scan copy (or even a good quality picture) using one of the contact forms on our website, and we will get back to you with an official quote shortly!

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