Certified Translation – What is it? How Does it Work?

A certified translation is something everybody might need at some point in his/her life, especially people who go through immigration or legal procedures. Here is all the information you need to understand how and why to get a certified translation.

Certified translation is required for official documents such as birth certificates, driver’s licenses, diplomas, etc. Beyond the mere process of rewriting the document into another language, it also gives the new document the same legal value as the original. Therefore a certified translation cannot be completed by just anybody.

In Canada, certified (or ‘sworn’) translators have to pass an ethics exam, a translation exam and/or be assessed on their experience. After completing a translation, they must stamp it or provide a letter of accuracy asserting that they translated the document to the best of their ability.

How do you get an official translation?
1. First you have to request a quote from a translation company. They will be able to guide you through the whole process. Scan the documents and send them by email, explaining what you need the certified translation for.
2. The company will send you a quote that you will have to approve, usually by making payment, before the translation can begin.
3. The next step for the company is to find a certified translator. They will give top priority to trusted translators that they contact regularly for related work. The company may need to contact many translators in their database until they find one that is available, as they are often booked far in advance.
4. The translator will then begin the actual work. A certified translation contains official titles and set formulas that change from one country to another. Therefore such documents cannot be translated literally.
5. The certified translation will then be sent to the company for proofreading and formatting. This step is usually done by another translator.
6. This edited document is sent back to the translator for review and finalization.
7. If notarization is needed (one step further in making the document official), the translator will then take the document to a notary public to have it signed and/or sealed by him/her.
8. Usually, the translator will mail a hard copy of the certified translation to the client. This is not compulsory as the client can also pick it up at the translator’s home or office, but express mail remains a fast and safe way to deliver official documents.

Usually, the whole process for translation takes between 2 to 7 business days. Translators often sign an agreement with the language company to guarantee clients’ privacy and confidentiality.

If you are considering immigration or legal procedures, getting certified translation of your official documents will save you time and trouble!




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