A certified translation is accompanied by an affidavit or a sworn statement from the translator, attesting to the accuracy of the translation. Generally, these statements are on a separate sheet of paper that includes the name of the translation company, its address and phone number and other pertinent contact details. A typical certification provides a simple statement of the translator’s qualifications along with a statement that the translation is accurate to the best of the translator’s knowledge and skills. Translators must be able to prove that they have enough knowledge and training to complete the translation.
For many official purposes, a certified translation isn’t enough. For legal purposes, it is best to have a translation that is both certified for accuracy. For international matters, special formatting and an apostille from the secretary of state where the translation is notarized may also be required. In some cases, authentication at the federal level, which is available from the Secretary of State’s office in Washington, D.C., may also be necessary.
Shopping the internet for a certified translation can be a very confusing experience. Undoubtedly, you will run into advertisements that offer certified translations for as little as $20, $25 and $30. Just be careful to read the fine print on those websites. Most of the time, companies charge much more for documents that contain more than 200 or 250 words. Often you won’t know the exact amount until after you enter your credit card details and provide other sensitive information. While some birth certificates contain fewer than 250 words, most contain a minimum of 300-400 words. In addition to the flat charge, you may also be charged for the certification, mailing costs, processing fees and an additional charge if you need a certified translation. In the end, the advertised $25 certified translation ends up costing closer to $50.
Certified translations of documents such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, divorce decrees, death certificates, adoption certificates and other personal and legal documents are often needed for a variety of purposes. Initially, you may need only a certified translation for immigration purposes. However, you will likely be asked to provide a certified translation of these documents when you begin work, switch insurance providers, get married, change your name or something else. That’s why it’s important to get your documents certified.
In today’s business world, you need to worry whenever you share identifying documents, such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, divorce decrees, adoption certificates and other personal and legal documents, with others. As a warning, many companies that list local addresses are neither located in the United States nor have employees here. If they aren’t honest about where they are located, you might want to look elsewhere. Further, many companies hire very low-paid translators who rely on automated translation systems or work from unsecured computers in coffee shops and internet cafes on compromised systems.
24 Hour Translation is a Texas-based company that has locations in Houston and Dallas and has serviced the needs of Texans for more than a decade. We take such great care in handling your sensitive files that we are trusted by some of the largest law firms in the United States. We carefully recruit, background screen and thoroughly test our translators before they work for us.