The growth of international commerce made more people interact with one another around the world. Moreover, with faster and cheaper travel, people move quickly around the globe. But while global commerce and tourism are more accessible today, one barrier that does not go away is language. It’s good that translation services are more affordable today, a dependable partner for most people to ensure proper communication. But in some situations, you might be asked to submit certified translations of particular documents.
Some government departments and agencies require official documents written in a foreign language to have certified translation. A translation agency or a professional translator can provide certified translations.
What makes a translation certified?
A certified translation is a specific requirement by some corporations, institutions, and government agencies in case the documents they require from a company or an individual are written in another language.
When you say certified translation, this means that the document is translated in the usual way. The difference is that the translated document includes a certification from the translator or the translation agency. The certification affirms that the translator is competent in the language pair and completed the translation to the best of their knowledge and that it is correct and complete. The certification includes the name, contact information, and signature of the translator.
For example, in the United States, educational institutions and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) require foreign-born individuals to provide certified translations of their documents not written in English if they want to study or migrate to the U.S.
These individuals must let professional translators or translation service providers handle their certified translations to ensure the translation’s quality and accuracy.
What is certified translation service?
Not all translation service providers and professional translators offer certified translation services. You have to make sure that the translation provider has this service before you hire them. This means that they understand the requirements of the USCIS and other agencies requesting certified translations. Certified translations are for official use and often include birth certificates, employment records, marriage certificates, school transcripts, diplomas, payslips, professional licenses, and background checks. Aside from the USCIS and educational institutions, courts, and several local, state and federal, government agencies may require you to submit certified translations.
A certified translation service provider prepares a word-for-word (literal) translation of all the text found in the original or source document. The translator cannot delete or add text or interpret the meaning of a portion of the text. Even the position of logos, official seals, signatures, and any other markings are indicated in the translated document. This is to comply with the requirement that the translation should be complete.
The translation company or the professional translator prepares the translation certification attesting that the translation was done by a qualified translator who is fluent in the language pair, satisfying the accuracy requirement.
Most certified translation providers prepare the certified translations on their company letterhead, along with their corporate seal.
The meaning of ”certified”
In the translation industry, there are two meanings for the term ”certified.”
A certified translator completed the specific training and received the certification from an accredited organization.
They earn their certification by passing an exam given by a local or state government or by the American Translators Association (ATA) that assesses their ability to translate from a source to a target language accurately. The certification, however, is uni-directional. The translator may be certified in English to French translation, but will not be certified in French to English translation if the translator does not take a certification exam on that specific language pair.
A certification proves that the translator has the skills that set them apart from the other translators. They can join professional organizations and have more benefits than the rest.
You do not need a certified translator to get certified translations. A professional translator who has experience doing certified translations, whether the person works freelance or employed by a translation agency, can provide certified translation. The translation becomes certified when accompanied by the signed and dated certification that the translator completely and accurately rendered the translation request.
Can I translate my marriage certificate?
Although you may be fluent in English, for example, if you are going to use a document for legal purposes, you should not and cannot translate your marriage certificate or any of your supporting documents for that matter.
The requirements of USCIS for immigrants are precise. All documents that are not written in English should be certified. The professional translator or the translation agency prepares, signs, and dates the certification attesting to the accuracy and completeness of the translation. The requirement looks simple and straightforward, but the translation process is complicated.
The professional translator has experience in providing certified translations. The person can translate everything that is included in the source document. The translator should add notes for texts that are obscured by a tear, mark in the document, or if there is illegible writing. The exact spot where these errors occur should be mentioned in the notes.
If such notices are not done in the translated document, expect the document to be returned to you, with a request for re-translation. Errors and omissions can delay the processing of your application. It can even cause the rejection of your application.
So be careful about the requirements for certified translations. Not any person can do it. Hire a translator or a translation agency with proven experience in providing certified translations.
Is online certified translation service possible?
Yes, it is. It is usual for translators to provide translation services online, so it is not surprising that you can request certified translations virtually.
Call eTS for online certified translation services
Translators typically live in-country, so they conduct business online. eTranslation Services have trained translators who handle certified translations. Feel assured that you could have high quality, complete and accurate certified translations whenever you need them by either sending us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling us at (800) 882-6059.