Blog – It’s All About Language

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What is a Certified Translation?

 Do you need to have your medical records translated? Are you applying for a job in another country and want your qualifications converted into a different language? If so, then you need a special type of translation known as a certified translation.

As the name suggests, a certified translation is a translated document certified by a translator or translation company that is a true and accurate representation of the original.

Different countries have different certification procedures. For example, in the UK, translators self-certify their translations in line with official government guidelines. To certify a document, the translator will be asked to confirm the following in writing:

  • The translation is “certified to be a true copy of the original seen by me.”
  • Date of the translation
  • Occupation, name and contact details

In countries such as Russia, a translation is certified by a public notary and is known as a notarized translation. However, the notary is not notarizing the translation but merely attesting to the identity of the translator.

In the case of Malta, a translation can be certified by a body registered with the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs. Such bodies undergo a rigid qualification stage in terms of the standards laid down by the Ministry. It is common practice that translated documents that require legalization, in Malta such as an Apostille based on The Hague Convention and/or a notarization, are certified. The notary and/or the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs would confirm the identity of the certifier of the translated document.

Global Translation Solutions Limited is registered with the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs and is able to offer certified translations as well as arrange for notarizations and apostillation of such documents through the Ministry.

When Do You Need Certified Translations?

In many cases, certified translations are required for numerous legal purposes, immigration, business dealings and college applications.
They include, but are not limited to:

  • Marriage, divorce, birth and death certificates
  • Patent filings
  • Contracts
  • Legal documents for court cases
  • Official documents for visa applications
  • Financial reports
  • Bank statements
  • Medical records
  • Passports
  • Driving licences
  • Utility bills
  • Letters from doctors
  • Official government documents
  • Trial transcripts

Note that translators, or translation agencies, cannot certify existing translations that you have had done elsewhere. This is because they can’t be sure of the accuracy when compared to the original. Therefore, they have to carry out the translations themselves.

When Don’t You Need A Certified Translation?

There are many instances in which a certified translation (a notarization, or even an apostille) is not needed. For example, restaurant menus, marketing materials, product labels, nutrition labels and safety manuals. Website pages also rarely need certification. If you are in any doubt as to whether your translated document needs to be certified, check with the translation agency, institution, or person you are submitting them to.

What Is The Certification Process?

When you need a certified translation, the original document will be translated in its entirety. This includes all punctuation marks, stamps, seals and signatures. If there are unclear parts, the translator will write “not legible.”

The visual format of the translated work will match the original, including the position of signatures and other markings.
A certified translation by Global Translation Solutions comprises:

  • A hard copy of the original document in the source language
  • A hard copy of the translated document in the target language
  • The Certificate of Accuracy (This will include the name and signature of the Global Translation Solutions certifier, the company details including the postal address and a contact number, the date and the company stamp).

Without this Certificate of Accuracy, a document is not certified.

At Global Translation Solutions, a certified translation is always carried out in accordance with ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 17100:2015 standards which have been in place since our inception, thus, it is first translated by a competent translator and then revised by a different and senior translator.

A Word About Quality

A certified translation does not necessarily mean that it is of higher quality than other translated documents. Rather, it is a means of officially recognising that a document has been translated to the best of a translator’s ability and that the translator is qualified. Regardless, at Global Translation Solutions, we take our profession seriously and make sure that our collaborators and in-house staff strive for accuracy in all certified and non-certified translations.

We hope the above information has been of use to you. If you require a certified translation, please do not hesitate to contact us for more information should you require customised services and we will guide you accordingly through the whole process and requirements.

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