Exactly When Do You Need a Certified Translation?

To know what a certified translation is isn’t quite the same as knowing when exactly you might need one. After all, importance is something that’s largely subjective and has a very different definition from one individual to the next.

There are certain instances in which translation certification is of the utmost importance, while in others it’s somewhat more optional. In terms of drawing the line, it’s essentially a case of establishing/considering the purpose and importance of the document, along with the potential consequences of a substandard translation.

When Certified Translations are Essential

For example, in any instance where legal paperwork is involved, certified translations are mandatory. Trial transcripts, witness statements or anything that may be used in a hearing would for obvious reasons only be permissible if the translation was certified.

Another area in which certified translation services are routinely called for is immigration. From permanent residency applications to temporary work permits and largely anything else to do with gaining access to a foreign nation, translation certification is mandatory. More often than not, non-certified document translations will render the entire application null and void.

The same also goes for college and university applications, where international diplomas, certificates and letters of recommendation may only be accepted if translated and certified. This will usually be determined by the academic institute in question and the applicant’s intended subject/level.

When Certified Translation Isn’t Necessary

There are however more instances in which certified translations are not mandatory – largely any instance where the document in question isn’t of critical importance. Common examples include website translation services, marketing text translations, certain technical translations and so on.

If in any doubt whatsoever, it’s important to check with a professional service as to overlook the importance of certified translations at the wrong time can breed catastrophic consequences.

For more information on translation certification, give the Semiotic Transfer team a call today.

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