What Is A Certified Translation – A Complete Guide


February 14, 2023

13 min. to read

In today’s globalized world, accurate and reliable translations are more critical than ever. Whether you’re in the legal, immigration, medical field, or something else, it’s likely that at some point, a well-done, certified translation may be necessary. But what is a certified translation?

Knowing how to find the right translation services for your organization can help you ensure that the documents you produce or utilize are as accurate, well-written, and personalized to your needs as possible.

That said, seeking out translations that get the job done can be easier said than done. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to avoid wasting time, energy, or money on translations that don’t fit the bill. In this post, we’ll discuss all the details you’ll need to know to find certified translation services, including:

What is a Certified Translation? 

A certified translation is a document that has been translated from one language to another by a professional translator with a signed translation certificate.

A Certificate of Translation is a document issued by a professional translator or professional  translation agency, attesting that the translation is an accurate and authentic representation of the original document. This certificate typically includes the following:

  • The translator’s signature
  • A stamp
  • Contact information
  • The date of the translation

Additionally, the certificate of translation includes the translator’s qualifications, such as experience with the language in question, professional accreditations, or membership in a professional translation organization. These details can provide additional assurance of the translator’s expertise and capabilities.

A translation certificate is required along with the translated document, primarily when it is used for official or legal purposes. Projects like immigration papers, educational transcripts, or legal contracts are just a few examples of when a translation from a certified professional may be necessary.

Certified Translation Sample

Below is a sample of a translation certificate issued by Languex, a professional certified translation service company. You may notice that signatures from both the individual translator and their company’s agent are present to verify the accuracy of the document.

Sample of a certified translation certificate signed & stamped by a professional translator and a professional translation company

To take a closer look, check out this example of an official statement, as per the American Translators Association, certifying the document:

This is to certify that I, [translator’s name], have translated the attached document, [name of document], from [the original language] to [target language].

I certify that the translation is accurate and complete to the best of my knowledge and ability.

Signed: [translator’s signature] Date: [Date of Translation]

Individual translators not affiliated with a professional certified translation company can use this template, too. Click here to download the translator statement template for certified translators in Word or PDF format for free.

Certified Translation Requirements

The requirements for certified translation services vary depending on the country, organization, or context in which the translated documents are used. However, some general requirements include the following:

  1. Accreditation: The translator or translation agency should be accredited or member of by relevant authorities, such as the American Translators Association (ATA), the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI), or another professional translation organization. The accreditation serves as a guarantee of the translator or translation agency’s professionalism and quality of work.
  2. Language expertise: The translator should be a native speaker of the target language and proficient in the source language. This language expertise ensures that the translations are accurate and organic.
  3. Area of expertise: The translator should have experience and knowledge in the appropriate field, such as legal, medical, technical, etc.
  4. Quality assurance: The translation agency should have a thorough quality assurance process that ensures all projects meet the same standards.
  5. Certificate of Translation: The translator should sign and stamp an affidavit of accuracy (certificate of translation) and attach it to the final document.
  6. Privacy policy: The translation company should have a confidentiality policy and secure methods of sending and receiving your documents. This privacy policy ensures that personal and sensitive information is protected.
  7. Formatting: The translated document should be formatted as per the original document, which the translator should also provide a copy of.

It is always best to check with relevant authorities or organizations to identify any additional requirements for certified translations in your field.

How to Get a Certified Translation

Once you have your needs and expectations in mind, your next step will likely be to put your plans into action. But how do you go about doing that efficiently? Below are a few tips to get you started.

Pick the right translation services

Finding a qualified professional or translation agency who can produce a certified translation is key. Remember, a professional certified translation company must have a recognized certification or accreditation. They should also be able to demonstrate extensive experience in the relevant language and subject matter. Languex is an online certified translation agency with thousands of five-star reviews. We also offer affordable translations catered to your specific needs.

Come equipped with the right information

Once you have found a qualified translation agency, you’ll need to provide them with the documents in question. These documents should be original or certified copies in their original language. In some cases, you may need to provide additional documentation, such as a passport or ID card, depending on the specific requirements of the country or requesting organization.

Take time to review the translation

Once the translation agency has completed the translation, they provide you with a copy for review. It is essential to carefully review the translation to ensure its translation is accurate and complete. This is also a great time to make sure the final product meets other standards, like format or style, as necessary.

Get official confirmation of the translation’s accuracy

Make sure you seal the deal by obtaining the official certificate for your translation. This is usually done by the translator or translation agency. This step is important because it makes the translation official and legally recognized. Do note that some countries or organizations require additional steps, such as notarization or legalization, to make the translation valid.

Certified Translation Use Cases

There are many reasons you might need a certified translation, but most of them relate to the necessity of having well-written, clear, and accurate documents for official purposes. A contract, for instance, must be translated properly to ensure that all parties involved understand its contents and implications. Other certified translation use cases include:

  1. Certified translation for immigration documents: Many countries require that all documents submitted during the immigration process are written in the official language of said nation. Things like a birth certificate translation, marriage certificate translation, diploma translation, or educational transcript translation may be necessary parts of a complete application.
  2. Certified translation for educational transcripts: Students who have completed their education in a foreign country may need to have their transcripts and diplomas translated and certified to apply to universities or colleges in another country.
  3. Certified translation for legal documents: In the event of a civil or criminal lawsuit involving parties from different countries, all relevant documents must be translated and certified to ensure that everyone has a clear understanding of the case.
  4. Certified translation for  business documents: Many businesses require certified translations for various documents, such as contracts, patents, and financial statements.
  5. Certified translation for medical documents: It’s often necessary to have medical reports, prescriptions, or documents translated and certified for treatment in a foreign country.
  6. Certified translation for technical documents: Patent applications, technical manuals, and other technical documents may require certified translations to ensure that they are accurate and meet the standards of the country where they will be used.
  7. Certified translation for  official documents: Birth certificate translations, marriage certificate translations, and other official government documents may require certification for official use.

More Benefits of Certified Translations

Aside from making sure that the documents you use are accurately-translated and able to be officially recognized, why should you choose to pursue a certified translation service? You’re much more likely to end up with a final copy that’s well-written, comprehensive, and able to stand the test of time. Below are a few additional perks you may want to consider:

  • Legal Recognition: One of the most significant benefits of certified translations is that authorities and organizations legally recognize them. This is particularly important for visa and immigration processes, as well as for legal proceedings.
  • Quality of Translation: Because the professionals who produce certified translations must meet certain educational and personal requirements, they are generally better equipped than others to create high-quality documents.
  • Save Time and Hassle: Obtaining certified translations can save time and hassle. They are a one-time investment for long-term use, so you don’t have to worry about the translation being rejected later on.

What Is the Difference Between Certified and Standard (Non-Certified) Translations?

A certified translation is a word-for-word translation of a source document accompanied by a signed statement from a certified translator, which attests to the translation’s accuracy but not the original document’s validity.

The accompanying certification letter attests to the translator’s qualifications as well as the completeness and accuracy of the translation. It also provides the translator’s name, signature, and date so that future inquiry about the documents is possible.

In other words, a translated document becomes certified when the translator attaches a signed declaration (certification statement) detailing the:

  • Type of document has been translated
  • Document’s original language and target language
  • Translator’s affirmation that they are proficient in the origin and translation language
  • Accuracy and reliability of the translated document
  • Certifier’s official details, such as their name, address, signature, and the date of their certification

A standard (non-certified) translation is used for day-to-day content where no translation certificate is required. These translations are typically still word-for-word recreations of source documents, but they may not fit the standards necessary for official use.

Standard translations may be useful for things like letters, employee manuals, website content, product descriptions, and business communications, among other examples.

What is a Certified Translation for Immigration or USCIS Certified Translation?

A certified translation for immigration or USCIS is a translation of a document that is typically required when submitting immigration or naturalization applications to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

An official certification proves that the translation is accurate and can be relied upon by the USCIS in their application review.

What Is a Notarized Translation, and When Is it Needed?

A notarized translation is a translation signed and stamped by a notary public in addition to the translator. The notary public also includes their seal and the date of the notarization on the document.

These types of translations are often required for documents that need to be authenticated by a government official, such as court documents and contracts.

Take a look at this notarized translation sample to see the difference:

Sample of a notarized translation certificate signed by Translator and notary public

Languex offers notarized translation services for all your documents. We recommend using professional translation service companies like Languex when ordering notarized translation services.

What is the Difference Between an Official Translation and a Certified Translation?

The terms “official translation” and “certified translation” are often used interchangeably, but they can have slightly different meanings depending on the context.

An official translation is done by an official translator or translation agency authorized by the government or another institution to provide translation services.

A certified translation, on the other hand, is a translation of a document that has been stamped and signed by a professional translator to certify that it is an accurate and true translation of the original document.

So, while an official translation is reliable in the sense that it’s created by a government-approved professional, it’s distinct from a certified translation, which has the unique perk of confirming that a translation accurately represents the content of the original document.


How Much Does a Certified Translation Cost?

Typically, certified translation services cost between $24 to $50 per page, sometimes more. The final cost can be higher or lower depending on these factors:

  • The length of the document
  • The complexity of the content
  • The language combination (e.g., English to Spanish)
  • The turnaround time
  • The type of certification required

Languex is the most affordable certified translation service in the industry. Languex online certified translation services cost $24.50 per page; one page amounts to 250 words (including numbers).

Likewise, Languex is an industry leader in offering its customers certified translations. Languex has years of experience translating banking, financial, legal, USCIS, business, academic, and medical documents. Their translators are bilingual and stringently vetted. Languex does not employ machine technology, which is known not to be flawless, for any of its translations, unlike many of its competitors.

How To Choose a Professional Certified Translation Company

When choosing certified translation services, selecting a company with a proven track record of accuracy and reliability is vital to avoid any potential delays or unnecessary hiccups.

When you use Languex Translation Services, you can rest assured that your translation orders are accurate, prompt, and professional enough to be accepted by official institutions and organizations.

Our bilingual translators are experienced in all document types and 65+ languages.

All translations include an ink-signed certificate with optional notarization and a two-day mailing service.

We’ve worked hard to perfect a secure, easy online ordering process to make getting the services you need even more straightforward and stress-free. Plus, we offer some of the most affordable services in the industry.

Languex delivers certified document translation services to many law firms, businesses, and individuals. We are the top online certified translation service company nationwide with thousands of five-star ratings from customers in a variety of fields.


Certified translations, both with and without notarization, are designed to verify that the documents you produce and use are accurate. They can demonstrate that no meaning or factual information has been lost during the translation process. No matter what your organization’s needs may be, Languex has the tools and expertise required to produce error-free, high-quality, and authentic translations so that you can focus on what matters most: pursuing your goals and getting things done.

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