certified translation

Certified Translation Explained with Checklist

(Last Updated On: August 1, 2021)

Moving abroad or traveling to foreign countries has become a hassle now. It is not the same simple procedure anymore. The USCIS presents a whole list of requirements that needs to be fulfilled before you could apply for a visa. One of them is the translation of your original document if they are in any language other than English like certified translation explained with checklist.

But even in this matter, you will find different kinds of translations offered by a translator. People do translations now to earn. It is like a profession for linguists. If you ever had to translate an official or legal document, you may have come across the term ‘certified translation’. But do you know what exactly that means?

Don’t worry if you have no clue. This article will be the perfect guide for you in explaining all about certified translation. So, let’s dig in!

What is a Certified Translation?

Well, the definition of a certified translation differs from country to country. Each state presents its own rules and regulations and lists out the criteria that the certified translation has to fulfill. But, in many countries, a certified translation is the translation of the official documents that will be certified by a professional translator or a translation company as a true and accurate translation of the original document.

They are generally necessary for legal purposes. According to USCIS, it is essentially a sworn statement with a seal affirming the translator’s ability to translate a document from the original language to the native or English language for your purpose.

what is certified translation
certified translation explained

In civil law countries, such as Germany, France, and Spain, etc., the relevant government agency appoints sworn translators. The professional translation service is a way to earn from home for many people. You can select the translators who master the language pair of your choice.

The documents like death certificates, academic records, personal documents, marriage certificates, and even immigration documents require legal translation. Your legal translation has to be in English translation because it is the only language that all the government bodies can comprehend for official purposes.

Difference between Notarized and Certified Translations

Some people find it hard to spot the difference between notarized and certified translation. When they are asked to provide official documents in translation, they may get lost in figuring out which is the one they exactly need. The main difference between both of them is that the certified translation aims to show that the document is translated correctly, while notarized translation simply proves that translation copy is true and caters to law.

First of all, notarized and certified translations differ as per requirement. Certified USCIS translation services are necessary when you plan to get USCIS document acceptance. For this purpose, you do not need a notarized translation.

Whereas, notarized translation is common for educational and similar documents. Only legal translations can be notarized, attested, & legalized from the notary public of UAE, Ministry of Justice of UAE. The oath of a notary public is very essential in the whole process.

Moreover, a certified translator is more vigilant in checking the working of your documents. They carefully compare the final and source document to make sure that everything is correct. When the translation is notarized, the specialist does not translate your document but he briefly compares it to the original one and puts a stamp. The point here is not to check out the quality but to show that the documents can be used in official agencies.

Certified Translation Explained with Checklist

Now that you know about the certified translation, you will need them at some point in your life. The requirements in the formal procedure can vary depending upon the country you live in. Most countries have official bodies that are responsible for regulating these sworn translations. In the UK, there is no particular authority that serves this purpose.

Instead, a professional translator or a translation company may self-certify their official translation per the official government guidelines. For the legal translation process, a checklist consisting of nine steps is important. If you are following this checklist to translate all the content, there will be no hassle for you later on. These include:

Selecting a translator

The first step that you need to do to get your translation is to look for an agency or a professional translator who can provide an accurate translation. It is the most essential step because it all depends on your translator how your translation comes out. Before selecting one, check their background information, profile, and experience. It is better to choose the one who is an expert in your target language.

explanation certificate translation
checklist certified translation

Placing your documents 

Once you have selected the translator, place an application for your project and then wait for the confirmation call. It is better to send your documents by email because this step looks more professional. Moreover, if there are any specific guidelines or instructions, mention them as well.

Decide the delivery time

When you have received the confirmation message from the translator, select the appropriate date and time for the project delivery. It is better to get your complete work one or two days before the deadline. Check the rating list to know if your translator is good at fulfilling the commitment or not. The translation costs are also important to decide before to avoid any confusion.

In case of Legal Documents

Although, if you are getting a translation of simple documents, you can send the original ones. But if you’re getting a translation of legal and official documents like a birth certificate, make sure to send the copy. Don’t send the original ones because these documents are quite sensitive.


In business, maintaining the confidentiality of clients should be the priority of every person no matter he is a marketer, translator, or worker in any other profession. If the relationship between a translator and a client can be built based on trust and honesty, then there are chances that it will remain long-lasting.

Communication Ethics

When you have decided on a specific time for your translation to be done, you should be careful regarding your texts. For example, if you have any query or you want something to add, just contact your translator through email. Make sure not to use slang or any words that could irritate him. And do not repeat continuously about the submission of the project on deadline.


The translator will most probably show you the translated document before the certification to ensure that there are no mistakes in words and quality. Then your legal document will be certified. A sworn statement, stamp, and seal will be used by the translator to certify it. In addition to that, there can be some other requirements as well depending upon the country you live in.


Once the certification is also done, the second last step is to proofread the whole document. It is very important because legal documents are very sensitive. Even a single word mistake could cause a lot of problems for you. Therefore, a proofreading is must to figure out the spelling mistakes, grammar errors, and any problem in the sentence structure.

Project Delivery 

The last step would be to deliver the project. Once everything is done, along with the review, the certified translated document is submitted to the client. Delivering the project before the deadline portrays a positive image of the translator. And if the translation turns out to be good, there are chances that the translator will get work again from the same client.

difference notarized and certified translation
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