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Certified Translation

What is a certified translation?

A certified translation is one which fulfills the requirements in the country in question, enabling it to be used in formal procedures, with the translator accepting responsibility for its accuracy. These requirements vary widely from country to country. While some countries allow only state-appointed translators to produce such translations, others will accept those carried out by any competent bilingual individual. Between these two extremes are countries where a certified translation can be carried out by any professional translator with the correct credentials (which may include membership of specific translation associations or the holding of certain qualifications).


English speaking countries such as the United Kingdom, the USA, Australia and New Zealand fall on the more relaxed end of the spectrum, and simply require certified translations to include a statement made by the translator attesting to its accuracy, along with the date, the translator's credentials and contact details. This is the type of certification that is required by UK government bodies such as the Home Office and the UK Border Agency, as well as by universities and most foreign embassies.

European countries other than the UK tend to have much stricter laws regarding who can produce a certified translation, with most appointing official certified translators based on them having obtained the local state-regulated qualification.


What is a certified translation?

A word-for-word human translation of documents delivered on COT letterhead including a signed and stamped Certificate of Translation Accuracy for official use as required by Immigration, universities, courts, and many local, state, and federal governments.


Can I certify my own translation?

Typically you cannot certify your own translation, but it depends on the specific requirements of your receiver. You should always verify your receiver's requirements before ordering a translation to ensure you make the correct selections.



What is the difference between notarized and certified?

The translation certification attests to the thoroughness and accuracy of the translation and the qualifications of the translator. It is signed either by the translator or an authorized signer from the translation agency representing the translator.

Notarization authenticates the identity of the signer of the certification. This adds an additional layer of validation to the translation and the receiver can be confident that the certification is authentic.

What will you deliver to me?

Certified translations are delivered as a non-editable PDF file and include a signed and stamped English language Certificate of Translation Accuracy, which attests to the thoroughness and accuracy of the translation and the qualifications of the translator. In addition, our certified translations:

•          Are on company letterhead, phone number, and address.

•          Include the page number on each page.

•          Are formatted similar to, but not exactly like, the source document.

•          Are word-for-word translations of the source, which means some phrases might not be ideal, but we cannot interpret the meaning of a phrase, only provide an exact translation per certified translation standards.

•          Do not include a copy of your source files in the same PDF unless specifically requested.


How are pages counted for certified translation?

Pages for certified translations are calculated based on the total word count of the document. A page is defined as 200 words, including numbers.


How long does certified translation take?

Standard turnaround starts at 24 hours for up to 10 pages (2000 words), while expedited turnaround reduces the turnaround to 12 hours. Turnaround times are based on the total page count of your order and are calculated during the checkout process. Learn more about turnaround times.