Official Translation: What Exactly Is It?


If you have been looking for translation services, you may have come across the term “official translation”.

But, what exactly is it?

An official translation is recognised by a legal authority and they are usually used for public entities.

In some countries, the document should also have been translated by a sworn translator.

An official translation receives additional attention to assure accuracy because of the importance of the document being translated.

The translator also verifies that the translation is as legally binding as the original.

Official Translation: When Is It Used?

There are several reasons why an official translation would be used.

One example would be when switching from an English to a Spanish school or university. In this case, any official documents would have to be translated by a sworn translator.

Some schools or universities may not accept documents without them being officially translated by a sworn professional translator.

An official translation is also often used for Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) Translation. This is used for travel and immigration purposes.

Documents used for these purposes are extremely valuable, some examples would include:

  • Work clearance
  • Court documents
  • Police clearance
  • Driving licenses

All of these documents have to be translated by a sworn professional translator.

What are the Features of Official Translation?

Usually, official translation documents carry a stamp and/or a statement by the sworn translator.

This stamp or statement will help authorities recognize the validity of the document. It will also allow them to ensure that the document has been translated by a professional translator.

Official Translation vs Certified Translation: What’s The Difference?

You may have also come across the term certified translation which is similar to an official translation.

With a certified translation, the document also receives a stamp. However, it also comes with an additional certification letter.

A certified translation is often used by legal authorities in countries where sworn translations don’t exist, the UK for example.

Additionally, a certified translation will also include the details of the translation company, as well as their credentials and a statement of certification.

If you are not quite sure which type of translations you need, you can also ask us when using our service to advise you on your needs.

Looking For Translation Services?

Whether you are looking for an official or certified translation, we are ready to help.

We offer custom document translation solutions to suit your translation needs. You can contact us or request a free quote.

Our professional translators can also be very quick and get documents translated within a day if you are in a hurry.

Frequently Asked Questions

Lastly, we also wanted to cover some frequently asked questions about official and certified translations.

How do you translate a document officially?

If you would like to get a document translated officially, you will have to find a certified translation agency or company.

They have to have the right certifications to be able to translate official documents and are usually part of a translators association.

We offer certified translation services in over 150 different languages. But, if your language is not listed, we may still be able to help.

How much does it cost to translate a legal document?

The costs to translate a document varies, as it depends on the file and the language.

In the united states, translations often cost around $0.10-$0.15 per word.

With legal documents, you may need a certified translation where the costs will usually be a little higher.

Make sure to request a free quote from us, as we are a certified translation agency and will be ready to assist you no matter the language.

What is the most accurate language translation site?

There are many online translation sites like Google translate for example. However, the problem with non-human translations is that they can often be inaccurate or grammatically incorrect.

Additionally, if you are looking for certified translations, these sites won’t be enough, as you might expect.

Do I always need a Certified Translation?

No, a certified professional translation is only required when the body checking the document requires it.

This is often the case for academic translations, as well as sometimes for specialist industry translations.

When you are using your translations for personal reasons, you should not need any types of certifications.

However, when you do need them, it’s important that you get the right type of certifications. Please ask to a professional certified translator.