Certified Translation Services: When Do You Need Them?


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Certified translation isn’t required for every document, but it is a necessity for others. If you have important translations, such as legal, government or medical documents, you’ll likely need certification to guarantee accuracy.

What is Certified Translation?

Certified translation is 100% accurate and accepted by the agency in question. For example, if you need to provide documents to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), certified translation services will be necessary.


The USCIS requires 100% accurate translations for the documentation to be accepted by the government.

Translators can seek accreditation for certain documents by the:

  • American Translators Association (ATA)
  • National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators (NAJIT)
  • Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI)

Additional certifications may be required, depending on the document, such as ISO 17100 Certified or HIPAA compliant.

Situations Requiring Certified Translation Services

Translation service providers will work with you to better understand your translation requirements and if certification is necessary. A few of the many times when this level of translation is required are:

Official Documents that Need Certified Translation

Government-related or official documents will require certification. These documents require the highest level of accuracy and translation. You may need to have the following translated, which would require certification:

  • Birth certificates
  • Marriage or divorce documents
  • Immigration papers
  • Medical documents
  • Legal papers

Official documents require a 100% accurate translation to be accepted by their respective agencies. If the translator does not have certification, it’s possible that the docs will not be able to be submitted.

Business and Corporate Documents Requiring Certified Translation

Corporations may require certified translation. For example, if your business is in the United States and is expanding into France, you may need certain documents to be translated into French.

These documents may be required for registering the business in France and will need to be accepted by government agencies.

Without certification, your documents will not pass review and will not be accepted. Certified documents will streamline document submission and acceptance.

Academic and Educational Needs for Certified Translations

If you fall into one of the following categories, you may need to have your academic or educational documents translated:

  • You maintain a degree and want to enter a school abroad
  • You have children who will transfer to a school in a different country and need proof of the child’s education
  • You want to teach in another country that has a different language than your own and they need to verify your documents

Why Choose Certified Translation Services?

If you need to have important documents translated, it is crucial to work with professional translation services like The Language Doctors.

Certification provides you with peace of mind that your documents will be translated accurately.

Certification means:

Proof of Skills

A certified translator will have the proper qualifications to translate your target language. In order to become certified, translators must undergo rigorous testing to verify their knowledge.

Accuracy in Your Translations

When translating documents, accuracy is of the utmost importance. If an important document, such as a legal or medical document, isn’t translated properly, the ramifications could be significant.


Translation certifying bodies often require their translators to take oaths to protect their client’s confidentiality. Professional translators will take your privacy seriously and will be committed to protecting your information.

How to Find the Right Certified Translation Service Provider?

If you’ve never used a translation service before, you may not know what to look for or what to consider when comparing providers. There are a few important things to keep in mind when choosing a translator:

Subject Matter Expertise

Ideally, you should work with a translator with experience on the subject matter you wish to translate.

Technical or legal documents, such as medical transcripts or patent documents, should only be handled by a professional, experienced and certified translator.

Reputable agencies will have a network of experienced translators with subject matter expertise who will accurately translate your documents.

Native Speakers

Consider whether the service provider has native speakers on their team. Native speakers will have a level of understanding of the language that non-native speakers cannot offer. Additionally, it’s helpful to ensure that the translator is using the same language from the country the document will be used in. For example, there is a difference between Brazilian Portuguese and the Portuguese spoken in Portugal.

If the documents will be used in Portugal, then make sure you’re working with a native of Portugal.


Does the translation service provider employ certified translators? Certifications provide reassurance that your documents are translated by professionals who have undergone rigorous testing and passed exams that test their knowledge of the language.

When a service provider works only with certified translators, you can be sure that your documents will be handled by an experienced professional with knowledge of the subject matter.

In Conclusion

If you need important documents translated, such as business, immigration or court documents, it is crucial to use certified translation services. These documents must be translated with the utmost accuracy, and certification ensures that your translator will get the job done properly.

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