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What Is An Official Translation of Documents?

Documents usually need to be translated into other languages for many different reasons. Some of them are required to be “official”, and it’s most of the time required by a government body for a variety of reasons. An official translation is a legally valid translation that is done by a qualified translator - certified that the translated version reflects the information in the source document. An official document translation usually includes some form of proof, a stamp for example, or accompanied by a certification or a statement by the translator. If a student wants to study in a graduate school abroad, the university may require the student’s undergraduate transcript to be translated by an official translator since the university staff may not be familiar with the student’s language. The purpose here is to make sure that the transcript is translated correctly and reflects reality.

Our research indicates that there are a couple of important features of the official translation. These features usually revolve around the translation being accurate, clear and sounding natural to be acceptable. Accuracy here for an official translation seems to be the most important feature as it usually serves some government-required purpose.

Who is an Official Translator?

Almost eight billion people live in the world today and can you guess how many of them know another language besides their mother tongue? We can talk about billions again. There is a common sense that claims if you understand a language also you can translate it which is undeniably wrong. Primarily, translation requires the sense of approaching the translation with highly developed grammatical and linguistic expertise and also proficiency in both language’s cultures. Just like its name, an official translation is necessitated by official organizations to distinguish the professional translation in important legal matters. Official translators are the people who have scored successfully on the test provided by the competent authorities and fulfilled the expected educational standards while also specializing in a field of choice. After these processes, translators assume the title of official language translator given by judicial authorities. Their special stamp and legal signature allow them to translate the documents that are meant to be used in formal and legal matters.

Types of Official Translation

There are four types of the official translation. Let’s go through each of them one by one:

1. Certified Translation

So, what does certified translation mean? A certificate is required for a translation when the receiving party needs to ensure that the translation of your document is accurate and easily understandable for the officials who will read and confirm them. The certification acts as a formal statement in which the translator shows that they have translated the content according to the best of their knowledge and makes the document an official translation.

2. Apostille Translation

An apostille acts as a confirmation of the signature on the document and is given by the government. If the translation is going to be used in a country that is a part of the Hague Convention, the apostille shows the foreign government receiving the official translation that the signatures of the translator and the notary are valid. The process ensures the authenticity of the document and eases the way for the foreign party to confirm the document. In most cases, an apostille translation is not required since it’s already internationally recognized by the countries that have joined the Hague Convention. In rare cases though, the receiving country may have local laws that require apostilles to be translated as well.

3. Notarized Translation

A notarized translation is a certified translation that is sealed by a notary public. A notarized translation is required on documents like college application documents, government documents, legal documents, and as well as documents that need to be presented in a court setting. A notarization makes the translated document an official translation.

4. Sworn Translation

A sworn translation is a document that is signed and sealed by a sworn translator. A sworn translator is a translator who is authorized to translate official documents by the Foreign Office. By signing and sealing documents, the translator ensures accuracy and takes the responsibility for the official translation.

Do You Need Official Translation?

Here at MotaWord, with our revolutionary cloud-based collaborative translation platform, we’ll be glad to help you with official translation needs. For all official translation services you might need, legal, immigration, or in any category, feel free to contact us by emailing or come chat with us through our 24/7 live chat.

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