What is a certified translation, and when do you need one?

19, Aug 2021

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What is a certified translation, and when do you need one?



The exact definition of “certified translation” varies a lot from country to country. Even the term itself is not always the same. In some countries, that kind of translation is called a “sworn translation”, while in others, both terms (and other terms as well) are used interchangeably. 

Sounds confusing? Read on to discover the few elements common to certified translations everywhere, and to find out when you will need one.

The essential characteristics of certified translations

1. They must fulfill legal requirements. In every country, what constitutes a certified translation, and who is qualified to produce one, are defined by law. 

2. The translator has special credentials. Not every translator can produce a certified translation. Depending on the country, they may need to pass an official exam, take an oath, have a certain amount of experience, a specific qualification, belong to an accredited professional association, etc.

3. The translation is necessary for certain procedures. If certified translations exist, it’s because in some cases, normal translations are not enough — there has to be someone taking responsibility before the law for the fidelity of the translated text.  

When does your business need a certified translation?

You need a certified translation when the law requires it. Most often, that will happen when the document you are translating is legally binding. For instance, any kind of business contract which you are going to translate must be translated by someone who accepts legal responsibility for the translation. The same goes for all documents used in official business procedures in a foreign country.

But you may also need certified translations in situations where the law does not require it — for instance, if your foreign prospect wants your product specifications to be translated by a certified translator, that’s probably what you should give them.

It goes without saying that a reliable certified translation service is crucial for any company doing business with foreign partners. A translation company also takes responsibility for legally binding translation in case you prefer to assure the quality of your documentation by adding a second party revision, which will allow correction of potential flaws due to lack of revision. 

How we can help

If you need a certified translation, we can help you. Our teams include certified native translators worldwide, across America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia-Pacific countries. 

Besides, we have translators who specialize in technical translation — healthcare, legal, IT, corporate etc. — so that even if your documents are highly technical, we can always provide a perfectly accurate certified translation.

Our translation process includes a revision by a second native translator, a quality check, and a final quality assessment. This ensures our certified translation services are top-quality.

Would you like to get a quote for a certified translation? Contact us. We’ll be glad to help.





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