FAQ: What is a certified translation?

What is a “Translator’s Certification of Accuracy”?
In a certification of accuracy, the translator states her credentials and affiliations and declares, “The attached translation is, to the best of my knowledge, ability and belief, a true, accurate and complete translation.” (Wording may differ.) The statement is typically on the translator’s letterhead and signed and dated. In some cases, the translator will affix a seal or use an embosser to make an impression (literally and figuratively) — this could be a business stamp, an ATA certification seal, or another official-looking image to add heft to the document.

If the translation is required for official use, you can request that the certification page be notarized. This provides added assurance that the translator is who she says she is, because she must appear before a notary public, provide photo identification, and sign the certification in the notary’s presence. The notary then signs and dates the document and affixes her own stamp or embossed seal.

When you hire me for a translation, if you request a “Translator’s Certification of Accuracy,” the delivered translation will consist of multiple pages — the translation, a copy of the original, and my certification of accuracy, featuring the seal at left. Each page will be numbered, and my certification page will describe the document and state the number of attached pages with enough specificity that the certification cannot be mistakenly associated with a different document. If delivered as a PDF, the document will be secured and if delivered as a hard copy, the pages will be stapled together.

My standard service includes electronic delivery of the translated document. The electronic certification packet (translation, original, and certification page) is the next step up. Many institutions want “originals,” which requires hard-copy delivery; this is the service I am most often asked to provide.

When you hire me for a translation — with or without certification — you will receive a true, accurate, and complete translation. You can be sure that I will consult you if I have any questions and that I will promptly respond to all of your questions.


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