What is Certified Translation and Why do you need it?

What is a Certified Translation 

A Certified Translation is a translation of an original document that is authenticated as a true, complete, and accurate translation of all its text. It must also reflect the layout of the original document. This is authenticated by a certificate which is attached to the document. 

This certification is provided by the translation agency and will include details of the translator’s credentials and qualifications to translate the said document, along with the agency’s accreditation. This must be signed and dated. Certified Translations are used for many purposes including business contracts, employment contracts, immigration documents, civil documents, education documents, court documents, and many others.

Why do you need a Certified Translation?

When a foreign language document is submitted for legal, contractual, immigration, civil, or state use, it requires a certified translation. In such scenarios, a freelance or generic translation will not be sufficient. These translations must be carried out by a Certified Translator qualified to translate the pairing in question, and the translation itself must reflect the layout of the original document.

Certified Translations vs generic translations

A Certified Translation is carried out by a linguist qualified to translate the pairing in question, and will generally be experienced in the business or legal area to which the document is referring. They will affix a certificate to the translated document detailing their credentials and their translation must reflect the layout of the original document. These requirements do not apply in the case of generic translations and for this reason, they will not be not be accepted in legal, civil, state, immigration, or contractual settings.

Common documents that require certification

Examples of documents that require Certified Translations include civil documents (for example, a Birth Certificate or Marriage Certificate), for instance, those being submitted to Immigration Services. If you’re applying for an educational course in an institution where the first language differs from your own it may be necessary to have a Certified Translation of your exam results. Documents used for court purposes will also require a legal translation. Business documents may also need a translation certification for example during international negotiations or takeovers. In all of these examples, the slightest misinterpretation or loss of nuance can lead to costly or negative outcomes, therefore such translations must be carried out by a professional experienced in not only the language pairing but the area of law to which the document applies.

Examples of documents that require a Certified translation (non-exhaustive):

  • Adoption Certificates
  • Annual reports
  • Birth Certificates
  • Business contracts
  • College transcripts
  • Court Decisions
  • Criminal Records
  • Death Certificates
  • Driver licences
  • Diplomas
  • Divorce Certificates
  • Employment Contracts
  • Exam results
  • Financial documents
  • Marriage Certificates
  • Medical records
  • Patient filings
  • Passport
  • Patents
  • Property documents
  • Wills


What do you need to certify a translation?

To certify a translation, the translator will write a certificate attesting to the translated document as a complete and accurate translation of the original document. This certificate will include such details as the date, the translator’s credentials, their name and signature, and a reference to the original document and the language it has been translated from and to. All translations provided by Certif.ie come complete with this and a stamp.

The Downsides of Not Choosing a Certified Translator

Choosing a generic translator over a Certified Translator can lead to disastrous, and legally compromising consequences for you or your business. The tiniest misstep in word choice or phrasing can place you in a compromising situation. Unfortunately, this can easily happen when the translator you choose isn’t well-versed in the area of law or business to which your document relates. Think about it. Just because you speak English, doesn’t mean you’re automatically going to be able to skillfully apply legalise to a court document if you’re not trained in that area. It follows, therefore, that just because someone is fluent in German doesn’t mean that they are going to be proficient in the use of German legalise. Indeed, the translator will need to be au fait with the intricacies of law and business documents as they pertain to the jurisdiction in question. As you can see, there is a lot to consider; things can go very wrong, very fast, if you were to entrust your document translation(s) to a generic language translator without checking their credentials first. At Certif, we have teams of qualified linguists and proofreaders specialized in given areas of law, technology, business, and other sectors, so you can rest assured we’ll assign your document a translator who is capable of providing a precise and accurate translation.

Generally, a Certified Translator will cost more than a generic one, but here the phrase ‘penny wise, pound foolish’ applies, for a poorly translated legal or business document will likely end up costing you significantly more than the difference between a Certified Translator and a generic one.

What is the difference between a Certified Translation and a Sworn Translation?

The fundamental difference between a Sworn Translation and a Certified Translation is that a Certified Translation does not undergo external authentication or notarisation by an authoritative figure, such as a judge, notary, solicitor, Commissioner for Oaths, etc., in contrast to a Sworn Translation. In essence, Certified Translations lack a regulatory framework, which sets them apart from Sworn Translations. Nevertheless, specific Certified Translation Service providers, such as Certif.ie, do provide Sworn Translations upon customer request.

How to Choose the Best Translation Services

When it comes to translating legal, civil, or business documents (among others) it is vital to choose the best translation service for that type of document. As mentioned elsewhere in this article, neglecting to do so can have major legal and financial consequences. There are a few factors that you need to consider:

Does the document require a specialised translation?

In cases where a document relates to a particular area of law, technology, or business, the translator must be competent and familiar with not only the language pairing itself but in the idiosyncracies and nuances of the field in question. For example, a freelance translator may not be experienced in or understand the legalese used in employment law cases, and as such, this could lead to a negative outcome should they misinterpret some of the phrasing involved. You should only use a translator familiar with this area of law. Certif.ie have translators experienced in various different areas of law and other fields, so when choosing us you can have confidence that your document will be translated by a linguist with the credentials to do so.

Does the translation need to be notarised?

In cases where a translation needs to be notarised for use in another jurisdiction, then you will certainly need to choose a translation agency capable of providing this. Certif.ie can arrange for your translation to be notarised and for an Apostille to be affixed. An Apostille is a stamp from a given country’s embassy to show that the translation is an official one.

How urgent is the document translation required?

When choosing a document translation agency, you should bear in mind how quickly you require it. Not every agency may have the resources to expedite the delivery of your translation in the time you require. Certif.ie can provide a faster-than-normal turnaround for your translation for an additional fee. Regardless of whether you choose our regular turnaround time or our express service, we guarantee you that we will never go over the time promised.

Does your document contain sensitive information?

Legal documents often contain commercially or personally sensitive information. Such documents must be handled with due respect and discretion. For this reason, it is best to choose a translation agency that guarantees you this confidentiality. Certif.ie promises this, and all our translation staff must sign a confidentiality agreement. We are also compliant with GDPR so you can be assured that all data and information contained in your translated document is handled with the utmost care and respect.

Why Choose Certif for Your Translation Needs 

Certif.ie takes pride in our role as the foremost provider of Certified Translation Services in the industry, from the standard of translation right through to the cost-effective and efficient translation service we provide: Certif.ie’s reputation is founded on several pivotal elements:

  1. Transparent Pricing

    Our translation fees are based on page count, not word count, ensuring our clients receive exceptional value compared to competing translation agencies.

  2. Expert Translators

    Our team is comprised of highly qualified and experienced translators, proofreaders, and editors who specialise in the specific fields of the documents they translate. This specialisation guarantees translations of unparalleled accuracy, surpassing those offered by generic translation services.

  3. Confidentiality

    Safeguarding the security of your sensitive documents is our top priority. All staff involved sign confidentiality agreements, and we strictly adhere to GDPR regulations, ensuring that your documents are treated with the utmost respect and diligence.

  4. Reliability

    When you choose Certif to translate your document, you can rest assured that your translated document will arrive within the promised timeframe, without any unnecessary delays.

  5. Flexible Payment Options

    Certif.ie provides a range of payment methods for your translation service; these include PayPal, Credit Card, Revolut, and Bank Transfer.

  6. User-Friendly Service

    Our translation process is structured with user convenience in mind. We value your time, so you can submit your documents or clear photographs of them through various channels, such as WhatsApp, Email, Messenger, our website, and more, eliminating the need for in-person visits. 

  7. Qualified Translators

    All our translators possess at least a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Translation Studies, or a related field. Furthermore, they undergo rigorous vetting procedures to ensure their qualifications and competence.


Our unwavering commitment is to deliver top-tier Certified Translation Services that not only align with your specific requirements but consistently exceed your expectations. You won’t be disappointed, so choose Certif today for all your document translation needs.

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