When you request legal translation services or medical translation services, just getting the text translated into a new language may not be enough. In some cases, you’ll also need to have the resulting translation certified. There are several different kinds of translation certifications, depending on the country where you’ll use the translation and the purpose of the document. Here’s a rundown of the main types of certifications that can be provided by a legal translation agency or other professional translation provider.

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  1. Certified Translation

A certified translation includes a signed statement from your translation services provider confirming that the translation is complete and accurate. It’s a confirmation that they’ve taken the proper quality assurance steps to check that nothing is missing from the translation or translated incorrectly. You may need a certified translation for legal documents such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, or court documents, or for official academic documents such as transcripts and diplomas.

  1. Notarized Translation

A notarized translation is similar to a certified one, but has an extra step. In addition to certifying that the translation is free of errors, the certificate is signed in front of a notary to verify the identity of the person signing. It will include a notary statement and a seal to make it official. Keep in mind that the notary isn’t certifying the translation itself, just the identity of the person signing the statement. Depending on where you’ll use the translation, a notary seal may be required for translations of legal documents.

  1. Apostilles

An apostille is a document used for authentication when a translation will be used in another country. For example, if a document will be used to apply for a visa or patent, it will likely require an apostille to verify that the seals and signatures on a certification are valid. An apostille generally isn’t necessary for documents that won’t be used abroad.

What About Certified Translators?

When you get a certified translation, it’s meant to verify that the translation itself is of sufficient quality. But sometimes, you’ll also want the translator who’s doing the work to be certified.

In the United States, translators can get certified by the ATA (American Translators Association) as an extra step to demonstrate their proficiency as a translator, and there are equivalent organizations around the world. However, a translator does not have to be certified for most kinds of translation, even certified ones — they simply need to demonstrate that they speak the source and target language and can provide an accurate translation.

Find Certified Translation Services

Babel Translations is able to provide all kinds of translation certifications to accompany our high-quality legal translation services . When you’re requesting a translation, just let us know what type of certification is required and we’ll deliver it along with the translation.