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As individuals and companies continue to take up residency in a foreign country, they may be required to present several documents to a local government body. A translation can be used to support them in such endeavours, and effectively communicate the right set of information to the foreign national. One of the most requested types of translation services out there, is the certified translation of foreign documents. But why is this particular service so sough-after? Here, we reiterate the importance of certified translations in various formal procedures, and the discrepancies that exist between differing countries.

What is a certified translation?

There are some misconceptions that arise when discussing the topic of certified translations. More often than not, individuals will commonly mistake a notarization for a certification, or even use the terms interchangeably. Simply put, a certified translation can be defined as the process of performing a translation that fulfills the requirements of its intended country, and ultimately render it suitable for use towards various formal procedures. It is important to understand that how a certified translation service is carried out will vary greatly from country to country. In the case of many English-speaking countries, either a professional translator or language service provider will be expected to sign a statement that declares the translation to be a complete and accurate representation of the source text. Whereas, the European standard is much stricter with regards to who is eligible to perform the certified translation service for a client. In this instance, a sworn translator who meets the qualifications of the local state will be appointed to execute the certified translation.

What is a notarization and why does it accompany a certified translation?

As mentioned previously, many individuals will often mistake a notarization for a certified translation. Oftentimes, a notarization will be required to validate the translator’s statement, declaration, or signature to be true. However, if a certified translation is to be used in a foreign setting, an additional Apostille will be required to authenticate the contents of the translated document to be true and valid. An Apostille will authenticate the Notary’s claims, so that the translation can be accepted by a foreign country, official government, or legal body. It is important to understand that only documents used to fulfill various official matters must be required to provide an Apostille, as well as, a notarization. Similarly to a certified translation service, only a qualified notary public will be permitted to carry out a notary service for the client.

When are certified translations required?

Unlike a regular translation, a certified translation will be required for instances where an individual is required to submit a legal piece of document for official matters concerning criminal record checks, attaining temporary visas, and even applications for acquiring a patent. More specifically, immigration is one area where a certified translation is considered a necessity. This complex process requires an abundance of personal documents to be submitted in the official language of the respective country. In almost every instance, the documents will be expected to undergo a certified translation to be acceptable for use by the local national. This will ensure that the recipient is aware of the validity of the contents of the document to be an accurate representation of the source text.

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