Certified Translation Service:
What and By Whom

There is a lot of misunderstanding about a certified translation service. Translation clients are not always sure what they actually need. So I want to clarify a few points on certified translations.

certified translation service



1. What is a certified translation?

A certified translation consists of a copy of the original, a translation, and a translator’s statement where it is stipulated that the translation accurately renders the meaning of the original text in the target language. To issue such a statement, it is not obligatory for the translator to be a resident of your country. For example, I (a resident of Ukraine) provided such certified translation service for a UK-based client by email.

The client wanted me to certify translations of birth certificates and diplomas. A sample certifying statement that I issue in such cases is as follows:

Translation Certifying Statement

I, [translator's name], certify that I am fluent in the [source language] and [target language] languages, and that the attached document is an accurate translation of the document attached entitled [name of original document].

[translator's signature] [date]


There are situations, however, when a notarized signature of the translator and a notarized copy of the original are required too. If this is your situation, provide the translator with the original of the document (send by post or hand in the original in person; sending by email or fax won’t work). The translator will need to present his/her translation along with your original to a notary public or a private notary, as the case may be, to get the necessary notarization.

Here are sample wordings of affidavits certifying such translations:

No.1. (When a notarized signature of the translator is necessary)

I, [translator's name], [translator's credentials, if any], hereby certify that I am fluent in both [source language] and [target language] and that the foregoing [language] translation of a document (# pages) pertaining to:
corresponds to its original in [language]

In [city], [state], [country], on the __________ day of ____________, ______.


The foregoing translation from [source language] to [target language] was acknowledged before me this [date] by [translator's name], who is personally known to me and whose signature I certify.

In witness whereof, I have set my hand and seal.


No.2. (When a notarized signature of the translator AND a notarized copy of the original are necessary, the same wordings as above PLUS the following:)

I, the undersigned Notary Public, hereby certify that the photocopy matches the original.


2. Do you need a certified/sworn translator?

Some countries (e.g., Austria, Germany, Canada, Brazil) have official systems of translator certification. That means that translators have to pass an exam to become certified/sworn translators and be able to provide a certified translation service certifying their translations with a personal stamp. If you live in a country with the official system of translator certification, you have to use services of a certified translator to certify translations of your documents.

In other countries (e.g., Russia, Ukraine, USA), certified translations can be delivered by any translator because there is no the official certification for translators in these countries.

In addition to a certified translation service, translators can provide apostille and embassy legalization services.

Before contacting a translator, it is important for the client to determine which type of certification is necessary for the client's documents. The institution to which the documents are to be submitted is the most important/reliable source of such information. Always find out the requirements beforehand.

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_____________________________________________________________________ Website owner: Irina Lychak, self-employed freelance linguist, Russian translator, Ukrainian translator, Kiev (Kyiv), Ukraine

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