The growth in demand for certified translation services amongst both private clients as well as businesses over the last decade or so is truly astounding. International travel, globalisation, widely available foreign products and services – all equally contribute to more and more people needing (or wanting) to translate and certify their documents for official use.
Nonetheless, a certified translation is a rather specific service. It requires avery particular skillset and knowledge, but also an in-depth understanding of what is actually required in order to make the document ‘officially translated’ and therefore accepted by formal bodies such as for example passport office, the Home Office or any other Government institution in the United Kingdom.
In this article, we’ll try to take a closer look at what the different levels of certified translations are, who can actually provide the service and where to find the best providers should you need to translate any of your documents or papers in the future.
The meaning of ‘Certified’ Translations in the UK
Understandably, many people aren’t aware of what actually constitutes as a ‘certified translation’. They may be asked to provide an officially translated version of their documents, however, that says nothing or very little to majority of people.
As a result, documents are often mistranslated and certified in the wrong way – and consequently not accepted by the official party requiring the document to be in English, for example, the Home Office.
In the UK we canrecognise two main types of a certified translation levels, and these are:
- A Certified Translation
- Notarized Translation
In most cases, the standard ‘Certified Translation’ is sufficient enough to be accepted by the official body in question. It consists of the original document, the translated copy and a statement of truth, which is essentially a stamped and signed cover letter, stating that the translation was completed by a professional and authorised translator, who takes full responsibility for the document’s accuracy.
A notarized translation on the other hand, goes a little further. All the steps of a ‘standard’ certification are also completed; however, the notarized translation requires signatures from both – the translator and a notary public. The notary public (or a solicitor) checks and confirms the translator’s identity before signing the statement.
On a side note, A certified translation is also often referred to as ‘sworn’. Although the term only exists in some European countries rather than the United Kingdom, people are often confused by the two terms. In general they tend to work interchangeably, however, the sworn translation must be provided by a translator or linguist who is officially registered with the country’s government body, rather than any official third party.
Who can offer a certified translation service in the United Kingdom?
Once you better understand the main differences between certification levels, it’s time to find the right provider who will be able to convert your documents accurately and professionally into another language. Unfortunately, a friend or a family member won’t be able to do it for you even if they speak both languages fluently.
In order to have your documents legally translated and certified, you’ll have to approach either a registered linguist or an agency that specialises in providing certified translation services. In the United Kingdom, we recognise several suppliers who work with all sorts of documents and who are able to translate your content at very affordable rates. More about them below.
Certified translation services – bestresources available online
One of the best places to start your search for a certified translator is CIOL (Chartered Institute of Linguists). This is an official UK organisation which associates professional linguists and language professionals. In order to become a member of the CIOL, the translator will have to undergo several checks and meet their high-quality standards, which consequently guarantees accuracy and reliability of your translated documents.
Another excellent place to visit when looking for a certified translator in the UK istheTS24’s official website. TS24 is a London based supplier and offers certified translation service in over 200 different languages and dialects. All of their translated documents are authorised and recognised by UK’s bodies, for example, the Home Office, Gov.uk or Courts of Law, as the company follows their formal guidelines in order to produce the translated papers.
When choosing a supplier for translating your documents, it’s essential to ensure that the quality of their work and customer service are impeccable, or very good at the very least. This can save you time, money and stress in the long run. Before approaching a provider, visit websites such as Google Reviews or Trustpilot, where you will be able to easily read unbiased feedback from previous customers and decide on whether the supplier you found is in fact a trustworthy translator.
What type of documents can be translated and certified?
If you’re looking for a quick answer to that question – here it is: all document types can be officially translated and certified.
Often, you might be asked to provide your documents in English (or another language if you’re abroad) for a variety of reasons – from applying for a mortgage, a visa, an educational institution or even when looking for a new job. Documents such as passport, ID cards, educational transcripts, bank statements or other legal letters are amongst the most frequently translated documents in the United Kingdom.
Certified Translation Service – let’s talk about the price
Many people believe that obtaining an officially certified translation of their documents is an expensive matter which takes a long time to complete. Nonetheless, due to advancements in technology, professional translators have nowadays been able to significantly lower their prices and so as a rule of thumb, you should expect the service to cost around £40 and take anywhere between 1-3 days, depending on your particular documents.
Of course, the price might vary slightly based on several factors. For example, the languages required, type of documents you need to translate or the urgency. Another aspect to consider, is whether you decide to work with a freelance certified translator, or a professional translation agency, such as the previously mentioned TS24 UK. Generally speaking, freelance translators charge slightly lower rates compared to larger companies, however, when working with a translation company, you can expect faster turnaround times, a much wider variety of languages covered and quicker communication.
If this article helped you in better understanding the meaning behind what certified translation actually means and how to go about acquiring it, obtaining the service shouldn’t be a complicated process at all. Whether you decide to work with a freelance linguist or a professional translation agency, the procedure is fairly similar from start to finish. If you did find our article helpful, make sure to share it on social media to help others in understand the different types of certified translations.