What is a Certified Translation?

09th Apr 2024

What is a Certified Translation?

A certified translation is a type of translation that adheres to the official requirements of the intended application. When dealing with documents issued in a language other than English, such as passports, certificates, or diplomas, you might need to enlist the services of a certified translator. These translators ensure that the translated content meets the requirements specific to the country where you’re submitting your application. In the UK, the translator or a translation agency must affirm that it is a “true and accurate translation” of the original document. This certification typically takes the form of a dated, signed, and stamped statement of truth. Visit for more details: Certified Translations UK

Who can certify a translation?

In the context of certified translations, several individuals or entities can provide certification:
  1. Professional Translators Certified translators who specialize in document translations from one language to another. In the UK, they are typically members of organisations such as the Institute of Translation & Interpreting (ITI), the Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIOL), or the Association of Translation Companies (ATC).
  2. Notaries Public In some regions, notaries can certify translations by verifying the translator’s signature and attesting to the accuracy of the translation.
  3. Embassies or Consulates For certain official documents, embassies or consulates may certify document translations. This is common for immigration-related paperwork.
  4. Courts or Legal Authorities In legal matters, court-approved translators or legal authorities can certify translations.
Remember that the specific requirements for certification may vary based on the country, type of document, and purpose of translation. Always consult relevant authorities or legal experts to ensure compliance with local regulations. Businessman Reading Documents

What are the different types of certified translations?

Standard Certified Translation

A standard certified translation is the official translation of a document by a certified translator or translation agency. This type of translation is often required if your supporting documents are not in English and you plan to submit them to government authorities, educational institutions, embassies or banks in countries like the UK, USA, Canada, and Australia. Standard certified translations come with a Certificate of Translation Accuracy on company letterhead, which states that the translated document is a “true and accurate” translation of the original document. The certificate includes the full name, signature, and contact details of a representative of the translation company, as well as a translation stamp.

Sworn Translation

Sworn translation is a type of official translation where the translator or linguist confirms that they have personally carried out the translation and that it is an accurate translation of the original document. Sworn translators typically have to take exams and are only authorised to translate the languages they have been approved for. In the UK, there is no official qualification for sworn translators, which differs from civil law countries, such as France, Spain, Germany, and Italy, where sworn translators are appointed and accredited by the relevant government authorities.

Notarised Translation

Notarised translation is a type of official translation that includes a sworn statement from a notary public. The notary public verifies the identity of the translator and certifies their statement but does not verify the accuracy of the translation since they are not usually translators themselves. Notarised translations are more formal than certified translations and are often requested for use abroad or in legal or financial matters. The certification by a notary public adds an extra layer of legal recognition to the translated document, making it more trustworthy and reliable in the eyes of foreign institutions and government authorities.

Apostilled Translation

Introduced in 1961, an apostille is a certification that takes the form of a special stamp placed on the original document itself, and it is recognised in all countries that are part of The Hague Convention. Apostilled or legalised translation is a certified translation that has been notarised by a public notary and further validated by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) with an apostille stamp, which confirms the authenticity of the notary public’s seal and signature. This process is usually required for important documents submitted abroad, such as those supporting an overseas marriage, adoption, visa, or job application. In the UK, the FCO is the competent authority for issuing apostilles. It is important to note that the requirements for certified translation of documents can differ depending on the country and the purpose of the translation. It is always advisable to verify with the relevant government department or authority the exact type and level of certification needed.

Which documents require certified translation?

Depending on your individual circumstances, there are several different documents that you might need to translate and certify officially, for example:
  • Birth Certificate
  • Marriage Certificate
  • Death Certificate
  • Divorce Certificate
  • Academic & Enic Certificates
  • Legal translations
  • Driver’s License
  • Insurance Documents
  • Adoption Papers
  • Medical Report
  • Immigration Documents
  • Passport Translations

How Do I Get a Certified Translation?

To get a certified translation of your documents, email info@ctstranslations.com or upload your documents online. Explore legal document translation services: Certified Translations UK - Legal Document.


In navigating the complexities of certified translations, it’s clear that accuracy, legal compliance, and expertise are non-negotiable. Whether you’re seeking an official translation, or need to understand how to get a certified translation, turning to professionals ensures your document translations are in safe hands, ready for whatever legal processes lie ahead.