A certified translation is a specific type of professional translation that meets specific requirements. The requirements of a certified translation are a signed statement by the translator attesting to the accuracy and completeness of the translation, and that the translator is competent to translate the source material into the target language.
Certified translation vs. standard translation
One aspect of a certified translation is that the document must be a literal translation — word-for-word. A certified translation cannot be interpretive or alter any content of the source document, even if such content is incorrect. The translator cannot add any material to the source document either, as they must accurately represent the source material. This allows the receiver of the translation to have confidence that the translation is entirely accurate of the original document.
Certified translation use cases
The most common use-cases for certified translations are for legal, medical, academic, and financial purposes. Translated documents presented to government agencies, federal and state courts, and local municipalities often require a certified translation as a way to ensure that the translation is valid.
A common use-case for certified translations is immigration to the United States and submission to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services — the US immigration agency designated to handle immigration benefits. ImmiTranslate specializes in the type of certified translations that are submitted to USCIS. More information can be found on our USCIS translations page.
Certified translation requirements
- Signature of the translator. A certified translation must contain the signature of the translator who is certifying the accuracy of the translation. Without a signature, the translation lacks a key component of certification.
- A statement attesting to the accuracy of the translation. This statement can vary, but it typically must include an affidavit that the translator is competent to translate both languages and that the translation is both complete and accurate to the best of their abilities.
Optional certified translation requirements
The list of optional requirements is not exhaustive, but represents common requests that are made of our translations. Each item is included in our certified translation service.
- Contact information for the translator. Some government agencies require contact information to be included in the event that further verification is necessary.
- Stamp bearing a certification statement. While a stamp is used in some countries to signify the authenticity of a certified translation, it cannot replace the signature of the translator in most cases.
- Notarization of the certification statement. A 3rd-party notary public may also sign and stamp the certification statement, adding a vital layer of authenticity to the translation.
USD / page
up to 250 words per page
- Signed & stamped certification of translation accuracy
- Certified by a professional translator
- Digital delivery via PDF
- Review and approve final translation
- 100% Guaranteed Acceptance
- Standard turnaround starting at 24 hours
- Expedited turnaround starting at 1-2 hours
- Physical copy, notarization, and apostille options available