What does a certified translation mean in the UK?

    Perhaps you have an old family document written in a language that you can’t understand. Or maybe you have legal papers from another country. You want to ensure that you’re getting the whole picture.

    You’ve been advised to look out for certified translation in UK from an official translator. But what exactly does that mean? In this post, we’ll answer that question and a few others.

    What does a certified translation in UK mean?

    This term can mean a range of different things. A certified translation is considered complete if one of the following is true:

    • A sworn translator completed it: In some parts of the world, a sworn translator is legally recognized as being able to provide an exact copy of a document. This situation is not the case in the UK; nobody swears you in as a translator.
    • A translation company or translator has certified it: This is where the validity of the translation has been declared true and correct. As anyone can call themselves a translator, so it’s essential to find out what qualifications they have.
    • Certification performed in the presence of a solicitor: In this case, the documents are witnessed by the solicitor or a notary public. They sign to attest that the translation is true and correct. It’s not much different to the point above.

    What is the Translator Certifying?

    The translator reads through the documents and translates them into English. Alternatively, they read the document and an accompanying translation to confirm that it is all correct.

    They will sign to the effect that they confirm that the translation is a true and accurate representation of the document.

    Why Go to this Trouble?

    There are many reasons that you might want to understand the content of a document. It may be purely out of interest. Say, for example, that you were going through your family papers and chanced upon an old letter written in a language you don’t understand.

    In that situation, any cheap certified translation UK will do. If no legal issues are riding on the document, you can easily track down someone with a translation certificate online.

    Actual legal contracts or documents are a different story. Let’s say that your recently deceased aunt was Polish. You need to understand her will perfectly to ensure that her wishes are carried out. In this case, it’s essential to find a suitably qualified person. This is a situation where it makes sense to have the certification done in front of your solicitor or notary public.

    What’s the Regulation of Translators Like in the United Kingdom?

    The industry is completely unregulated. Anyone can set up shop and offer translations. The problem is that this person may know little more than a few words of the language. Some individuals think they can muddle through using Google Translate.

    Since we all know how inaccurate those translations can be, it’s better to look for someone with actual qualifications. Another good place to start is to check whether they’ve got a current membership at any of the following:

    • The Institute of Linguists
    • The Institute of Translators
    • The Association of Translation Companies
    • The Association of Translation Companies London Translations

    Don’t Be Fooled by A Notary Public Seal on a Document

    A translation certification that has been witnessed and signed by a notary public can still be wrong. All that the notary public is doing is to say that the person swore that the translation was true and correct. The notary public doesn’t have to read the document.

    Final Notes

    Do your research to ensure that the person or company you hire is qualified. Read online reviews to ensure that you’re making the right choice for a certified translation in London UK.