The subject of certified translations is one we’ve explored on this translation blog before. Even in our digital world, where machines and AI are capable of more tasks than ever, the need for human translators to provide services like certified document translations remains the same.
What are Certified Translations?
A certified translation is a translated document that includes a signed statement from a professional translator that attests to the accuracy and completeness of the document. It is called the “certificate of accuracy” and is prepared by the translation company.
A certified translation comes with three parts:
- The original document (or a copy of the original document)
- The translated document with the same format as the original document.
- The certificate of accuracy
The purpose of certifying a translated document is because the translator, or the translation agency, attests to providing an accurate translation and accepting responsibility for the translation of the document. The certification of a foreign translated document is essential for a wide variety of situations, like immigration, legal, or medical records, where accuracy is of the utmost importance.
Why Would I Need a Certified Translation?
Businesses and individuals alike occasionally find themselves in need of a certified translation service. These documents are sworn to accuracy so they can be used in government processes.
Unlike many large translation projects, which don’t apply to the average individual, certified translation services are demands that any individual may need. Coming into the United States from any country can be a document-intensive process, and depending on your reason for visiting or moving, you may need translated documents. Suppose you’re coming to an English-speaking country from a different English-speaking country (like the UK to Canada or Australia to the US). In that case, you likely don’t need a certified translation. If you are coming from a country that doesn’t speak English, like Mexico, Germany, or France, you may need certified translations. The most common need for certified translation services for individuals is when dealing with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). USCIS-certified translations are held to the highest standard of accuracy, and you must use a translation service company that can provide them.
JR Language translation agency has a 100% acceptance rate for Certified English Translations for the USCIS, the State Department, other government agencies, educational institutions, and businesses. Our translation company also provides certified translation services in 100 different languages.
In accordance with the Code of Federal Regulations,
“Any document containing foreign language submitted to USCIS shall be accompanied by a full English language translation which the translator has certified as complete and accurate, and by the translator’s certification that he or she is competent to translate from the foreign language into English.”
Many institutions require certified translations, including DMI, Universities, hospitals, banks, insurance companies, and several legal situations. Sending in a translated version of a document without certification can mean costly delays or, worse, rejected applications.
Typical documents that may need a certified translation:
- Birth certificates
- Death certificates
- Marriage certificates and divorce decrees
- Educational transcripts and diplomas
- Bank or mortgage statements
- Police or criminal records
- Legal contracts
- Vaccination and other medical records
- Tax returns and other financial documents
- Depositions and affidavits
- Articles of incorporation and other corporate documents
- Teaching credentials
- Last will and testaments
- Court orders
When You May Need Certified Translation Services
There are many situations in which a person may need to work with a language service provider to translate and certify a document from a foreign language. These include when dealing with:
- USCIS. When applying for a visa, green card, or naturalization, you need USCIS-certified translations as a requirement to initiate your process.
- Government entities. You may need a certified translation if you apply for public benefits, obtain a document like a driver’s license, or prove your vaccination status.
- Educational institutions. If you are a foreign applicant applying for higher education in the US, you may need certified translations of documents like your previous transcripts, diplomas, and medical records.
- Legal situations. Both civil and criminal legal proceedings will need a certified translation of any document not originally in English. Whether you’re filing for divorce, adopting a child, or dealing with criminal charges, a certified translation is necessary for the court system. In general most legal document translations will require a certification.
- Insurance Companies. Submitting medical papers from a foreign country to a US bas insurance company.
- Hospitals. When coming to a US hospital to receive treatment, you must have medical records and other documents in a foreign language that require translation.
- When traveling. Whether you’re traveling to or from the US, having a certified copy of your medical and citizenship records is a smart move because you never know when you’ll need them.
Of course, this is not an exhaustive list. There are many situations where businesses need these as well. Dealing with financial documents, confidentiality or other HR documents, patents, and disclaimers – the list of documents on which corporations may require certified translation services is long!
FAQs about Certified Translation Services
Check out our Certified Translation Services FAQ blog to dive deeply into common questions about certified translation services.
How long does a certified translation take?
On average, it takes 1 – 3 days to turn around a certified translation. You can also put a 24-hour rush on an order. You also have options for delivery, from electronic email or if you need it shipped faster than regular mail. So, ask questions and explain your situation to receive your certified translation on time.
Does a certified document translation require professional translation services?
No. Technically, anyone fluent in English and the source language can sign off as a certified translator. However, doing so comes with much responsibility. If the translation is wrong or inaccurate, it can result in significant problems.
Government processes are complicated, and the last thing you want is to go through all of the motions only to be denied on a translation technicality. Using a language service provider with a track record of certified translations means you know you’re getting a document that is 100% accurate. We have often dealt with clients that did not get their USCIS-certified translation right from other sources and require our services.
Why use a professional translator for a certified translation?
Professional translators have meticulous attention to detail, know the vocabulary, and understand the importance of a completely accurate document. They are also used to working under deadlines, navigating complex documents, adhering to confidentiality requirements, and having an extensive proofreading process.
Can I get a certification on a document I translated?
No. Only documents that our translation company has translated can be certified by us.
Are certified translations the same as notarized translations?
No. Although these terms are used interchangeably, there is technically no such thing as a notarized translation since translations cannot be notarized. A professional translator can certify a document without the need for a notary. However, there are times when certification is not enough, and a notary is required. A professional translation service company can also provide notarized translation when the certificate is signed before a notary public.
Working with the right language service provider is the key to making your certified document translation process run smoothly. If you don’t know where to start, the professionalism and experience of a language translation company can illuminate the path that makes it easy. At JR Language Translation Services, we go the extra mile to exceed your expectations at affordable prices with workable turnaround times. Contact us for a certified document translation quote today— we’d love to hear from you.