Organising Certified Translations Over Christmas

If you have ever tried to post or receive anything important at this time of year, you’ll probably know just how much of a nightmare it can be.  Suffice to say therefore, this is absolutely not the time to be taking chances when it comes to the most important documents and translations of all.  Nevertheless, there will always be a wide variety of situations that call for urgent certified translations, which simply cannot wait for the dust to settle in the New Year.

As such, if you are planning to use any certified translation services over the Christmas period, there are a few things you need to both take into account and discuss with your chosen service provider.  Given the fact that you cannot always rely on translation agencies to tell you everything you need to know outright, it’s up to you to ask the right questions before going ahead.

  1. Postal Problems

For obvious reasons, postal problems could significantly delay the transmission of documents in either or both directions.  As such, think carefully about your chosen method of delivery – perhaps insisting on private courier services as the only acceptable solution. Or if it is a realistic possibility, delivering and collecting the documents yourself in-person.

  1. Office Closures

Be sure to ask any translation service providers you are interested in working with exactly which days and hours they intended to close over the Christmas period.  Once again, this may not be made immediately obvious, but can nonetheless be several days or even weeks during which you will not be able to contact them.  Ask in advance and do not take anything for granted.

  1. Document Protection

Given the likelihood of rather unpleasant weather at this time of year, it’s also important to ensure that you yourself and your chosen service provider sufficiently protect your documents and certified translations, prior to posting them.  Don’t run the risk of adverse weather damaging or destroying your important documents.

  1. Timely Results

Last but not least, the key to facilitating timely results is of course placing your order as early as possible.  Despite the fact that the chaos of Christmas is just around the corner, there is still plenty of time to organize urgent certified translation jobs when and where required.  It’s simply a case of ensuring you work only with those you can trust to deliver on their word.

For more information on anything to do with certified translations or to discuss an order, get in touch with the Semiotic Transfer team today.

Native Speakers for Certified Translations – The Only Standard to Demand

One of the most common misconceptions made by those sourcing certified translations is that of assuming that all certified translation services on the market are of equal quality and value.

In reality, the truth is actually quite to the contrary.

For one thing, working with a certified translation agency does not necessarily mean that each and every translator and assistant working for the agency is certified.  It could instead be that the majority of those working for the agency are lower-level translators of limited ability, headed by one or two certified translators who simply scan over their work and sign them off.

Suffice to say, this does not necessarily bode well for accuracy and completeness.

But even in instances where the service provider is indeed highly skilled and 100% certified, there’s one key consideration that must be factored in before going ahead.  That being, whether or not the translator is a native speaker in the target language.

Depending on the specifics of the documents being translated, certified translations have the potential to be extremely difficult.  They may contain a lot of legal or technical jargon, the likes of which may not be fully understood by those who do not have native speaker status in the target language.  They may be able to produce a legible and understandable translated version of the original, but at the same time there is every possibility that this will not be deemed acceptable by the recipient.

It is for this reason that it is essential to insist on native speakers for certified translations, in the target language of the translation.  If you are looking for a Polish birth certificate translation, work with a Polish certified translator.  If you are looking for a German legal document translation, with a certified translator who is also a German native speaker.

It is simply a way of covering your own back, given the way in which even the slightest mistakes in a certified translation have the potential to render the whole document unviable.

For more information on the industry’s most outstanding certified translation services, get in touch with the Semiotic Transfer team today.

Certified Translation FAQ: More Key Questions Answered

Here’s another roundup of just a few important questions on certified translations, along with their respective answers:

  1. What’s the deal with certified translations in the United States?

Contrary to popular belief, translators based in the US do not have to be in any way qualified or certified, in order to provide certified translations.  The system is entirely different in the United States, meaning it’s a good idea to be careful with who you work with if you plan to use an American translator for certified document to be used elsewhere.

  1. Can a certified translator simply certify an existing translation?

Generally speaking, if you present a document to a certified translator that has already been translated in full, you may be able to ask them to simply check the accuracy of the document and certify it if appropriate.  However, other certified translators insist on translating all documents from scratch themselves, so don’t be surprised if your request is turned down.

  1. Is impossible to organize certified translations via email?

In a word, no.  First of all, those carrying out the translations need to be provided with original documents, in order for the translation to go ahead.  Scanned and emailed copies simply will not suffice.  Likewise, in order for a certified translation to be accepted by the relevant authority, it needs to have the stamp and signature of the certified translator present.  Once again, a printed copy or scan of the stamped final document will not be accepted.

  1. What if there is unclear information on the original document?

Last up, it’s extremely common for original documents like birth certificates to degrade over time and become difficult to read.  When this is the case, your certified translator may ask if you can clarify the information they are struggling to read.  In all such instances, it is of critical important that you do not guess or fabricate any information that is illegible, as doing so could render the entire document invalid.  If necessary, contact the relevant authority and/or request a new copy at your earliest convenience.

Certified Translations for Overseas Education

Studying overseas at any age can be a fantastic experience.  Along with gaining access to the most outstanding educational standards in the world, studying abroad also means opening yourself up to an entirely new culture.  Not only this, but also the incredible career prospects and heightened employability that come with this kind of experience on your CV.

Unsurprisingly, the process of securing a spot with an overseas educator and relocating yourself for the duration of your studies involves a number of administrative challenges.  Not least of which is that of ensuring that you organize for certified translated copies of all key document to be produced and returned back to you, long before your departure date.

For obvious reasons, you will most likely need certified translations of your current educational documents, qualifications, accreditations and so on.  These are usually required during the application process itself, though may also be asked for at a later time.  In addition, the fact that you will be spending significant time in another country means you may also want to think about of taking certified translations of other important documents.  For example, most countries require fully certified translated birth certificates as a form of identification, while others may ask you to produce a translation of your driving licence, passport or other form of ID.

Another important document to consider having translated professionally is your CV.  Not only will doing so make it considerably easier for the recipient overseas to use and evaluate, but the fact that you have gone to the effort to have it translated in the first place will speak volumes for you personally.

It may also be wise to think about taking translated copies of your most recent (or most relevant) medical records, as you will need to set yourself up with a new doctor upon your arrival.  It may not be 100% necessary to source certified translations, but it is nonetheless preferable given the importance of the documents.  And of course, any references or recommendations you intend to use at any time to boost your profile must also be accurately translated.

Get in touch with Semiotic Transfer team today, for more information on certified translations of any kind.

Certified Translations for United States Immigration

It’s no secret that legally migrating to the United States isn’t what you’d call a straightforward process. But one element of the process that’s often overlooked in terms of complexity and its time-consuming nature is that of document translations. Quite simply, it is an official requirement to ensure you have certified translations of every document required alongside your immigration application. If there’s the slightest error or oversight, your application could be delayed or rejected altogether.

Supporting Documents

In terms of what documents you’ll need to use official translation services to produce, it varies to some extent on your own unique case. However, in almost every instance you will need your birth certificate, photocopy of valid passport biographic data page, and when applicable, your marriage certificate, marriage termination documentation, adoption documentation, military records, police certificates and any court/prison records as applicable. Of all of these documents, it tends to be the birth certificate that’s the most important of all, along with the relevant information from your current passport.

Plan in Advance

What’s important to remember is that depending on the number, the complexity and the language of the documents you wish to have translated, it has the potential to be a relatively lengthy process. The certified translation company you choose may need to ask you any number of questions to clarify details, while sending and waiting for documents to be returned by post can also eat up a fair amount of time.

As such, the two most important tips when it comes to certified translations are to work only with reputable service providers and to ensure you start the process in advance. The more time you have, the lower the likelihood of running into problems at a highly inconvenient or critical moment.

Moving Abroad? Seek Certified Translations Before You Go

Generally speaking, certified translation services aren’t something you tend to think about until you really need them. But for those that are in the process of moving abroad for any given reason, it’s largely inevitable that they will become necessary sooner or later. And when they do, you may find yourself in a position where you’re short on time, not to mention options.

This is why it is generally advisable to think carefully about the documents you may need translating, before you actually make your move. The reason being that not only can it be easier to go about the process in your home country, but you’ll save yourself plenty of time and stress further down the line. Exactly what you’ll be needing will vary in accordance with where you’re moving and the reasons for you move, but you should nonetheless consider taking certified copies of the following translations with you:

  • Birth Certificate – Essential when it comes to things like marriage and adoption, though also often called for by employers, lenders and for general identification purposes.
  • Education Certificates – Important if you intend to apply for work in the country you’re moving to, as your credential in their native text may have zero value abroad.
  • Medical Records – If there’s anything of significance in your medical history, you might want to consider obtaining and translating the relevant records.
  • Criminal Background Check – Certain processes like adoption and even recruitment in some areas call for certified criminal background check translations.
  • Written References – The references you bring from previous employers/referees may only be accepted if they have been translated in an official capacity.
  • Business Documents – If you are setting up any kind of business abroad, you may need to translate things like patents, certificates, contracts, licensing and so on before you go.

It may come across as a little complex, but can actually be quite simple when tackled with experts in-tow. So for more information on certified translation services of any kind, get in touch with the Semiotic Transfer team today.

Certified Translations – A Subject of Some Confusion

If you’ve ever found yourself confused by the idea of certified translations, you’re certainly not in the minority. In fact, pound for pound they’re just about the single most misunderstood concept in the entire industry. Suffice to say, it doesn’t help that they have a habit of differing hugely from one country to the next…assuming they even exist in the territory you’re talking about!

Across much of Europe, there’s a relatively standard process whereby a translator must take an exam to demonstrate they’re competent and skilled enough to carry out certified translations. It’s the same in the UK, France, Germany and Poland for example, along with a fair few others. A certified translation means that the person carrying out (or checking the translation) is legally entitled to give it an official ‘stamp’ of approval, stating that it is accurate, complete and translated with flawless quality. This differs from a notarised translation in that anyone can swear in front of a notary that a translation is accurate, even if 99% of it makes no sense at all.

Over in the United States however, certified translations don’t exist. Instead, the only comparable service available is indeed that of a notarised translation, when the translator swears under oath and “under penalty of perjury” that the translation is accurate and legit. Or at least, accurate to the best of their knowledge and ability. Which again, it might or might not be. You don’t even need to be officially registered with the American Translators Association or have any formal qualifications to carry out the job. All of which in turn means that if you do find yourself in need of a certified translation in the US, you need to be very careful who you work with.

For more information on high-quality certified translations for important, sensitive and time-critical documents, get in touch with the Semiotic Transfer team today.

The Consequences of Substandard Certified Translation Services

Contrary to popular belief, choosing any given certified translation service does not represent a 100% guarantee of quality. Nothing of the sort, as while the agency (or its owner) may have certified translator status, those they work with may not be of the same calibre.

Which is precisely why when it comes to important certified document translations, it’s crucial to know who you are working with, before you begin working with them. It may seem like a fool-proof process, but to work with a substandard service provide is to run the risk of the following unfortunate consequences:

1 – Delays

First of all, lacklustre translation services significantly increase the likelihood of deadlines being missed. More often than not, part of the service package offered by a leading name will be a 100% guarantee of timely delivery, in accordance with the initial agreement. If such guarantees are not offered, you may well encounter delays.

2 – Errors

Perhaps even worse than delayed documents, errors in the target text can lead to disastrous consequences. As you yourself will not be made aware of the mistakes until they are picked up on by the recipient, you will be unable to do anything about them until it is too late. Depending on the document type and the urgency of the matter, this could trigger a whole world of severe problems.

3 – Lost Documents

While most certified translators are not in the habit of losing important documents, those who outsource or use substandard delivery services are. Quite simply, you need to know how your documents will be handled and by who, not to mention how their transit will be safeguarded. Without this information, you run the risk of your documents vanishing into thin air without a trace.

4 – Additional Costs

Last but not least, it’s worth remembering that while a low-end translation might save you money, you’ll end up spending way more than necessary if you have to pay to have the job done a second time. It makes far more sense to spend sensibly the first time around, in order to be provided with both outstanding results and total peace of mind.


Four Sectors Where Expert Certified Translations Are Mandatory

There will always be certain instances in business where certified translations are considered preferable, though are not specifically a requirement. Quite simply, any instance where the text or its intended purpose are of real importance, certified translations come highly recommended. Despite being charged at a higher price, it’s a small price to pay for guaranteed results.

In other instances though, certified translations of the highest quality are the only permissible translation option. There are countless instances in which one-off or infrequent legal translations may be required, but some industries and sectors count on such services far more than others, including:

Law: When any kinds of translations are carried out for legal firms or legal purposes, certified translation services are mandatory. Given both the sensitive nature of the documents and the importance of flawless results being produced, legal documents and texts must only ever be translation by those who can guarantee outstanding results.

Manufacturing: The manufacturing industry may also be required to seek certified translation services on a regular basis. When dealing with things like trademarks, patents, contracts, licenses and so on, it simply isn’t enough to have them translated to a passable extent, as opposed to flawlessly.

Research: Those involved in scientific research of any kind may often find themselves in a positon where critical data or findings must be translated to one or more target languages. As even the slightest of oversights or errors could have disastrous implications, only results that are guaranteed complete and accurate are acceptable.

Finance: Last but not least, financial documents and data of a sensitive nature that needs to be relayed to a foreign-speaking recipient must be approached, handled and translated with exquisite care and attention. As with the rest of the above examples, even a minor discrepancy in an otherwise excellent translation could result in extreme consequences for both the source document provider and the recipient.

For more information on translation services where superior results are guaranteed as standard, get in touch with the Semiotic Transfer team today.

Safety and Security Tips when Sourcing Certified Translations

More often than not, the source documents required for carrying out certified translations are of a sensitive nature. From birth certificates to adoption papers to police reports to legal documents, they tend to be exactly the kinds of documents you’d prefer a) not to lose and b) not to fall into the wrong hands.

For obvious reasons therefore, those looking to obtain certified translations for any purpose may find the prospect of handing their papers over a little daunting. What’s more, this counts double if it is necessary to send the documents by post. Which is precisely why it is important to be mindful and proactive of safety and security, before providing any documents for certified translation purposes.

A few tips to be aware of:

  1. First of all, check the reputation of the translation company you’re looking to work with, before even thinking about handing your documents over. This is crucial, both for safety reasons and to ensure that the resulting translation is flawless in quality.
  2. Before handing over any original documents of any kind, be sure to make copies of them to be retained. These copies may not be acceptable as official documentation, but could make it easier for you to obtain new copies if your originals are lost in transit.
  3. Consider all postage options available to you and don’t make the mistake of cutting corners. While it may cost slightly more to send the documents with a tracked and registered courier, it’s a small price to pay for the peace of mind you’ll enjoy as a result.
  4. Be careful when it comes to sending documents online that your connection is secure and that the agency you’re working with is reputable. If it isn’t made clear that your safety is a primary concern, chances are it probably isn’t.
  5. Last but not least, if any of your documents do go missing in transit due to postal issues, ensure that the relevant issuers are contacted immediately. They will advise you on how to proceed and help ensure your data is not used by others without your authorisation.