Certification or Certified Translation: What is the Difference?

In order to constantly adapt to a country’s ever-changing laws, the translation of legal or administrative documents follows a rigorous procedure. What is the difference between a certified translation and certification?

A legal value that is equal to that of official documents

A certified translation is recognised as equivalent to the original document, which is revised by a translation expert accredited by the Court of Appeal. This is known as a certified translation, which, in the eyes of the Ministry of Justice and foreign administrative authorities, has the same legal value as an official document once the translation has been completed.

In order to be regarded a translation certified to correspond to the original, a certified translation must always bear the unique registration number, stamp, date and signature of the qualified translator. A certified translation can be requested for various types of documents: civil documents, transport certificates, as well as academic, legal, administrative, professional, commercial and technical documents.

Certification: one step closer to authentication

In certain countries, further steps beyond certified translation are required. These may include apostille or legal certification by the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK). Certification should not be confused with the technical term “certified translation”. In this case, certification means the verification of the translator by a legal authority.

Unlike a certified translation, which is based solely on the expertise of a translator, certification requires the quality of a translation to be verified by a third party. Once it has been validated by a notary at a town hall, certification confirms that the certified translation of a document corresponds to the original text.

Authorised translation experts and interpreters

Certified translations require a comprehensive knowledge of linguistics, terminology and legislation. These translations follow a prescribed ethical code and precise guidelines. They use and respect a quality charter for the page formatting of a translated text. Recognised as translation and interpreting experts, translators of such certified translations also become legal experts, working either for translation agencies or as freelancers.

For any request for a certified translation into a foreign language, you can find information on the laws of the country of translation at the embassy, consulate or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. To find certified translators in your area, simply contact us. You can even request a free quote.

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