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Understanding Certified Translation Services: A Comprehensive Guide

April 26, 2023
Certified translation refers to the translation of official documents that need to be recognized by government agencies or other official organizations.
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Are you in need of a translation for an official document, such as a passport, death certificate, birth certificate, or diploma? If so, you may have come across the term "certified translation." But what exactly is certified translation, and how is it different from regular translation?

This blog post will delve into the world of certified translation and provide a comprehensive guide on what it is, the different types of certified translation, the steps involved in the process, and how to select a certified translation agency.

What is a certified translation?

Certified translation refers to the translation of official documents that need to be recognized by government agencies or other official organizations. These documents are often required for legal, immigration, or academic purposes, and the translation must be accurate and reliable. Certified translations are typically stamped or signed by a professional translator or translation agency, certifying that the translation is a true and accurate representation of the original document.

The certification statement of a translation includes at least the following information:

  • A statement of the translator's qualifications.
  • A statement confirming the completeness and accuracy of the document.
  • Identification of the translated document as well as the language.
  • The translator’s name, signature, and the date.

How to understand when certified translation is not required

If you have unofficial documents to be translated, such as product labels, website content, manuals, marketing materials, and personal writing, then you do not need a certified translation. Yet, these documents still need to be translated by a translator or translation agency.

Types of certified translation

There are several types of certified translation, depending on the nature of the document and the purpose for which it is being translated. Some common types of certified translation include:

  • Legal translation: Refers to the translation of legal documents, such as contracts, court orders, and deeds. Legal translation must be accurate and precise, as it can have significant implications on the law and lead to unpleasant results if not done correctly.
  • Immigration documents: Visa applications and green card documents are some of the most commonly translated immigration documents. These translations must be accurate and reliable, as any errors or discrepancies could seriously affect the applicant. USCIS document translation is a currently sought service by many people planning a life in the USA. Getting USCIS document translation is just a click away with Hareword.
  • Medical translation: Refers to translating medical documents such as patient records, medical reports, and consent forms. Medical translation requires a high level of field expertise in terms of patient care and health regulations.
  • Academic translation: The translation of educational documents, such as transcripts, diplomas, and certificates, is considered academic translation. It is often required for students applying to study abroad or for professionals seeking to have their qualifications recognized in a different country.
  • Business translation: For companies developing a global strategy, the cornerstone of overcoming the language barrier when conducting business in foreign markets is business translation. A crucial part of ensuring that there is no misunderstanding during transactions and negotiations is getting help from professional translators and translation agencies.

What is USCIS Documents Translation?

When it comes to translating documents for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), it is essential to use professional language translators or translation services. This is because the USCIS has strict requirements for certified translations and will only accept translations done by professional translators or agencies.

To be accepted by the USCIS, the translated documents must be accompanied by a signed certificate of translation from the translator or translation agency, stating that the translation is accurate and complete. This certificate should also include the translator's name, address, and certification number.

It is important to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the translation, as any errors or discrepancies could impact the success of the immigration application. To ensure the best possible outcome, it is recommended to work with a reputable and experienced translation agency that is familiar with the specific requirements of the USCIS and can provide a high-quality, notarized translation that meets the agency's standards. Working with an ATA certified company like Hareword for USCIS and any other document translation you need will give you a bigger advantage as ATA certification fosters professional translators’ recognition, demonstrating to clients the value of translation services.

The difference between a certified translation and a notarized translation

A notarized translation, in contrast to a certified translation, carefully adheres to official procedure and does not meet the same requirements for quality assurance. Unlike a certified translation, notarized translation does not require to approve the quality of the translation before giving approval. What is expected from notaries then? To ask the translator to swear an oath to prove that the translation is accurate and sign an affidavit with all the official details. Documents that frequently require notarized translation include school transcripts and foreign diplomas. However, notarized translation is rarely needed, and certified translation will be adequate in most cases. Either way, it is essential to confirm what type of translation is required by the institutions to which you will present the related document.

Steps of certified translation services

The process of certified translation typically involves the following steps:

  1. Review of the document: The first step is to review the document and determine its content and purpose. This allows the translator to understand the context of the document and ensure that the translation is accurate and appropriate.
  2. Translation: The next step is translating the document from the source to the target language. Certified translators are fluent in both languages and can accurately convey the meaning and tone of the original document.
  3. Review and editing: After the initial translation, another professional translator reviews and edits the document to ensure accuracy and consistency.
  4. Certification: Once the translation has been reviewed and edited, it is certified by the translator or translation agency. This typically involves adding a stamp or signature to the translated document, indicating that it is a true and accurate representation of the original.
  5. Delivery: The final step is to deliver the translated document to the client. Depending on the client's needs, this may involve sending a physical or electronic copy.

How to select a certified translation agency

When looking for a certified translation agency, there are several things to consider to ensure you choose the best one for your needs:

  1. Experience and expertise: Choose an agency with a proven track record of experience and expertise in the type of translation you need. Look for agencies with experience translating similar documents and a team of professional translators fluent in relevant languages.
  2. Accuracy and reliability: Certified translation requires a high level of accuracy, as even small errors can have significant consequences. Look for agencies with a thorough review and editing process to ensure the highest level of accuracy.
  3. Turnaround time: If you have tight deadlines, choosing an agency that can meet your timeline is important. Consider the agency's past performance and capacity to deliver on time.
  4. Price: Get quotes from multiple agencies to compare prices and ensure you get the best value for your money. It's important to consider the reputation and experience of the agency, as well as the quality of the translation, rather than just the price.

Understanding the Cost of Certified Translation

The cost of certified translation can vary depending on several factors, including the length and complexity of the document, the languages involved, and the turnaround time. Here are some general guidelines for evaluating the cost of certified translation:

  • Short documents: Certified translation of short documents, such as a birth certificate or passport, may cost between $30 and $100.
  • Long documents: Certified translations of longer documents, such as a diploma or legal contract, may cost between $0.08 and $0.20 per word, depending on the languages involved and the complexity of the document. For example, a document with 10,000 words in a common language combination (such as English to Spanish) might cost between $800 and $2,000.
  • Rush fees: If you need the translation completed on a tight deadline, you may be charged a rush fee to expedite the process. Rush fees can vary depending on the agency and the turnaround time, but they may add 20-50% to the overall cost of the translation.

It's important to note that certified translation is generally more expensive than regular translation, as it requires higher accuracy and expertise. However, the cost is often justified by the document's importance and the need for it to be recognized by official organizations.

Hareword can help you with your certified translation needs

When selecting a certified translation agency, it's important to consider factors such as experience and expertise, accuracy and reliability, turnaround time, and price. It's also a good idea to get quotes from multiple agencies and consider the reputation and experience of the agency, as well as the quality of the translation.

At Hareword, we provide high-quality certified translations for various documents. Our team of experienced and professional translators is fluent in various languages, and we have a thorough review and editing process to ensure the accuracy and reliability of our translations. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you with your certified translation needs as an ATA-certified translation agency.

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