For nontechnical translation needs, apps. the internet, and general translations work fine. However, there are times when you might need a certified translation from a professional document translation service. These professionals can handle more complex requests and regulated documents.
What Are Certified Translations?
Laws vary from country to country, but generally, a certified translation is one that fulfills certain requirements and is used in some type of formal procedure. Legal documents; court transcripts; business contracts; birth, marriage, and death certificates; driver’s licenses; and immigration papers are some examples of documents that would require a certified translation.
Who Can Provide Certified Translations?
A professional translation service is normally licensed to provide certified translations. In any event, the translator must provide a certification letter declaring that they are competent in the languages they are translating. This letter should confirm the accuracy of the translation and include the provider’s credentials. The certification letter, original document, and translation are required to complete the certification process.
The certification letter is signed by the translator and presented to a notary public who will then notarize the translation. Notaries can only notarize and cannot certify translations.
What Are General Translations?
General translations do not require that the translator have any specific experience or knowledge in the area being translated. Things that fall into this category include magazine and newspaper articles, job and other types of applications, letters, invitations, and unofficial documents. The translator will still need to be competent in the languages being translated.
A general translation is normally for personal use and is nontechnical. The individual does not need to be a professional certified translator.
If you’re unsure of the type of translation you need, a translation service can advise you. Most translation services are able to handle both certified and general translations, as well as more specialized work such as medical, financial, scientific, and literary translations.