certified translation

Certified Translation Explained with Checklist

(Last Updated On: March 25, 2024)

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 need to be fulfilled before you can apply for a visa. One of them is translating your original document if they are in any language other than English, like certified translation explained with a checklist.

But even in this matter, you will find different translations a translator offers. 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 encountered 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 explaining all about certified translation. So, let’s dig in!

What is a Certified Translation?

The definition of a certified translation differs from country to country. Each state presents its rules and regulations and lists the criteria the certified translation has to fulfill. But in many countries, a certified translation is the translation of official documents that a professional translator or a translation company will certify 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 to the native or English language for your purpose.

what is certified translation
certified translation explained

The relevant government agency appoints sworn translators in civil law countries such as Germany, France, and Spain. Professional translation services allow many people to earn money from home. You can select 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 must be in English because it is the only language that all government bodies can comprehend for official purposes.

Difference between Notarized and Certified Translations

Some people find it hard to spot differences between notarized and certified translations. When asked to provide official documents in translation, they may get lost in figuring out which one they need. The main difference is that the certified translation aims to show that the document is translated correctly. In contrast, the notarized translation proves the translation copy is true and adheres to the law.

In exploring the difference between notarized and certified translations, the translation class provides a wide-ranging view with numerous examples, making it an invaluable reference for understanding various legal genres. Individual chapters delve into the intricacies of legislative texts, offering insights that are particularly beneficial for legal translators grappling with language challenges in European languages. Document translation services, emphasizing the convenience of human translations, navigate the art of translation while considering the spoken language nuances and target language structures within the context of notarized and certified translations.

It is crucial to understand that a reputable translation agency employs qualified translators who meet specific certification standards, ensuring accurate and reliable translations for vital records, school transcripts, and common documents, in contrast to the potential limitations and lack of precision associated with machine translation in a translation project.

First, notarized and certified translations differ according to requirements. Certified USCIS translation services are necessary to get USCIS document acceptance, but you do not need a notarized translation.

While notarized translation is common for educational and similar documents, only legal translations can be notarized, attested, and legalized by the notary public of the UAE, Ministry of Justice of UAE. The oath of a notary public is 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 documents to ensure everything is correct. When the translation is notarized, the specialist does not translate your document but briefly compares it to the original one and puts a stamp. The point here is not to check the quality but to show that the documents can be used in official agencies.

Certified Translation Explained with Checklist

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

Explaining certified translation with a checklist involves verifying the translator’s status as a native speaker, assessing their proficiency in the required language combination, and considering their experience in the translation industry to ensure the quality of translations, especially for sensitive documents like medical records and legal proceedings.

Whether hiring a freelance translator or a translation firm, it’s crucial to prioritize high-quality translation and confirm their expertise in different types of translation to overcome potential language barriers. Additionally, ensure that the translation includes an official seal and a certificate of accuracy for authenticity.

In certified translation explained with a checklist, the source language plays a pivotal role, and understanding the terms of translation theory is essential for effective communication. Methods of translation, particularly in the legal field, require a nuanced approach for professional purposes, with legal translation practice emphasizing the intricacies of legal language and the language of judges.

Experienced translators navigate the complexities of individual languages and genres in translation, addressing figurative language with language tools and resources. A comprehensive certified translation checklist involves mastering basic and common terms and incorporating legal dictionaries to ensure accuracy and fidelity in translating legal terms within the spoken language context.

Certified translation, explained with a checklist, offers comprehensive guidance on special concepts, product details, and purchase options, serving as an invaluable resource for translators and clients seeking a specialized translation partner. Covering basic terms, grammar structures, and linguistic examples, this digital product ensures translation accuracy and clarity while highlighting linguistic features. Additionally, it provides excellent book recommendations to enhance understanding and proficiency in certified translation further.

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

Selecting a translator

The first step in getting your translation is to look for an agency or a professional translator to provide an accurate translation. This is the most essential step because it depends on your translator and 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.

Considerations related to the indeterminacy of translation and equivalence in translation studies are vital when selecting a translator to ensure accurate and meaningful outcomes, especially when dealing with legal texts. For documents used for translation purposes, online textbooks play a crucial role as students’ readers, offering pragmatic ways for translators to navigate the nuances of legal language. This type of translation contributes to a carbon-neutral learning experience, fostering a connection between the selection of a translator and positive outcomes for many students in understanding and interpreting legal texts.

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 whether your translator can fulfill the commitment. The translation costs are also important to decide before to avoid any confusion.

In the case of Legal Documents

If you get a simple document translation, you can send the originals. But send a copy if you get a translation of legal and official documents like a birth certificate. Don’t send the originals because these documents are quite sensitive.


In business, maintaining clients’ confidentiality should be every person’s priority, whether he is a marketer, translator, or worker in any other profession. If a translator and a client can build a relationship based on trust and honesty, then there is a chance that it will remain long-lasting.

Communication Ethics

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


The translator will probably show you the translated document before the certification to ensure no mistakes in words and quality. Then, your legal document will be certified. The translator will use a sworn statement, stamp, and seal to certify it. In addition, there can be some other requirements, depending on the country you live in.


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

Project Delivery 

The last step is to deliver the project. Once everything is done, including the review, the certified translated document is submitted to the client. Delivering the project before the deadline portrays a positive image of the translator. 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
Contact us now for any questions
No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

payment icon
Request quote
Google Rating
Based on 50 reviews