What is a Certified Translation and Do I Need One?

If you need a document translated, you can choose to receive a standard translation or a “certified” translation. You may have questions about which option is right for you, and whether you really need your translation certified. Read on to clear up the confusion about certified translations.

What is a certified translation?

A certified translation is a standard translation (which is perfectly valid) that includes an added level of authentication, via a letter. A certified translation is not always necessary, but it is sometimes required for immigration or academic purposes, or for other legal or official uses.

What does the certification process consist of?

If you order a certified translation, the original document is first translated, and then the translation is certified by adding a cover letter. This cover letter simply states that the translation is complete and accurate to the best of the translator’s knowledge, and that the translator is bilingual and competent to do the translation. This letter is first signed by the project manager, and then signed and stamped by an official Notary Public (an official appointed by state government to act as an impartial witness in the signing of important documents).

What if I’m using the certified translation outside the U.S.?

If you are using a certified translation outside the U.S., it’s recommended that you add one more layer of authentication to your certified translation: the Apostille. An Apostille is a document issued by the Secretary of State (for Bridge, this would be the Colorado Secretary of State). The Apostille is accepted in certain foreign countries to certify the validity of the Notary Public who signed the certified translation. (To learn more about the Apostille, you can visit the U.S. Department of State website.)

BridgeLanguages is Denver’s premier translation company. We provide meticulous document and website translation, including certified translations, in 80+ languages.

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