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.

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