What is certified translation

Last month I was awarded the Chartered Linguist status for Translation. Since then, we’ve experienced a considerable increase in enquiries about our certified translation service. However, many of our clients are still unsure of what certified translation is. They also don’t know if they need it in their particular circumstances. We appreciate there is no one-size-fits-all answer. I hope with my advice you’ll be able to choose the translation service that matches your individual needs and objectives.

Unlike in Poland, in the UK there is no sworn translation system in place. Instead, UK authorities may require what is called certified or notarised translation.

What is certified translation

A certified translation is a translation accompanied by a signed and dated certificate. A professional translator who has prepared the translation (or has verified it) issues the certificate to confirm it’s a true and accurate translation of the original document. Most UK authorities, including courts and tribunals, accept certified translations as official translations.

Because we specialise in medical translation, our clients often ask us to provide certified translation of documents containing medical information. These include, for example:

  • medico-legal reports (in connection with a personal injury claim, a clinical negligence claim or a coroner’s inquest),
  • psychiatric reports (for childcare or criminal proceedings),
  • and informed consent forms (for medical procedures).

Generally, our clients need us to translate these documents for the benefit of the speaker involved in legal proceedings or receiving medical treatment in the UK.

What is notarised translation

This is a certified translation with an additional level of verification. The translator needs to swear on oath and sign an affidavit in the presence of a notary public or a solicitor. This is to state the translation is a true representation of the original. In our experience, a notarised translation is typically required when a speaker wishes to arrange power of attorney in the UK.

What is sworn translation

A sworn translation is when it needs to be legally valid for use in Poland. In principle, the Foreign Commonwealth Office can legalise any translation that has been previously certified and notarised. However, a more practical and cost-effective solution is to use a sworn translator. In Poland, the sworn translator status is regulated by the law. The title is awarded to professional translators who have successfully passed the state examination at the Ministry of Justice. Sworn translators have an official round seal which they use to certify their translations.

If you require a sworn translation service, please visit the official database of sworn translators. The database is available on the Ministry of Justice’s website. In addition, the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Manchester has a list of all sworn translators residing in the UK.

The Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI), the UK body representing professional translators and interpreters, provides further information on certified and sworn translation.

What type of official translation do you need?

If you’ve been asked to provide a official translation, it’s crucial you clarify what type of translation is required. Most UK authorities will accept a certified translation. However, in some circumstances, you may need to provide a notarised translation. authorities generally request official translations to be prepared by a sworn translator.

Have you got any questions about certified translation? Please post them below.

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