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A guide to certified translation

A guide to certifying translations
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Certified translation

When a translation requires certification, the end purpose needs to be determined to ensure that the certification provided meets your needs.

Why use a professional translator?

Even if you speak the source or target language yourself, for a document to be legally binding, a professional translator needs to carry out the translation and attach a signed certificate stating that the translation is accurate and correct to the best of their knowledge. This professionally translated document can then be notarised and legalised if necessary.

Terminology explained

Notarisation

A translation sworn by a translator in front of a notary public, who will then attach an official stamp or seal confirming that the translation has been carried out by a professional translator and that the translation is true and correct. The document will also then be suitable for legalisation by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Legalisation

A translation that, normally after having been notarised, is sent to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and/or to the relevant consulate in order to be apostilled and/or stamped so that it is acceptable for use in a particular country.

Apostilled

A translation that, after being notarised, needs to be sent to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, where a ‘Hague apostille’ is attached, confirming the notary’s signature and seal.

Sworn translation

A translation certified by a sworn translator, i.e. a translator appointed by a government authority in a country* that has a system of officially appointed translators.

*Not all countries use sworn translators to provide legal translations ready for use. Sworn translators are government-approved translators who can use their signature and details on a certificate to make a document legally binding. The UK does not have government-approved translators for this purpose.

Whatever the end use of your document, you will need to find out which service you require from the final recipient prior to getting the document translated. ALM will always offer guidance, but is unable to offer legal advice.

 

 

 

 

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"I’ve reviewed the two documents and first off, I have to say that the translation was really well done - in the past I’ve seen stuff that would give a high score in Scrabble"

Legrand Canada – Marketing dept.

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