What Are Certified Translations and When Do You Need Them?

What does it mean to have a certified translation? When is this necessary? You’ve asked, so we’ll answer.

What is a certified translation?

According to the American Translators Association (ATA), “A certified translation is a translation accompanied by a signed statement attesting that the translation is accurate and complete to the best of the translator’s knowledge and ability.” The ATA also states that “any translator or translation company may “certify” a translation. A translator does not need to be ‘certified’ in order to provide a ‘certified translation,’.” The document provided by your translation partner is known as a Certificate of Accuracy, COA for short. The COA is notarized by a notary public. A language services provider, such as LinguaLinx, can provide a certified translation with a COA along with any completed translation.

Wait, so wait does it mean to be a certified translator? 

The ATA has a certification exam that they offer in 29 language combinations. What happens if this exam is not offered in a particular language? The ATA states that a linguist without ATA certification is still qualified – they just might not have a certification available. For this reason, LinguaLinx has our own linguist vetting process known as the LinguaLinx Linguist Certification (LLC™) Program. (If you want to know more about this, please contact us!)

When do you need a certified translation?

Most of the time, certified translations are required for legal documents such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, death certificates, business contracts, criminal records or immigration documents. The United States Department of Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requires a certified translation into English when applying for a visa or residency in the Unites States. We frequently receive requests for COAs to accompany healthcare related documents as well.  Also, foreign students need to have their high school transcripts and diplomas translated when applying to colleges and universities in the United States.

Do you have any more questions about certified translation?

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