Certified Translation: Everything You Need to Know

October 29, 2022 March 14th, 2024 No Comments

In certain situations, a translation may not be enough – it may require a certified translation. So what exactly is a certified translation? It’s a signed statement from a translation services company stating that the translation was done in an accurate manner and it is a true representation of the source document. It provides a legal record, which may be needed for several reasons, and any translation company can certify a translation.

A Certified Translation Isn’t the Same as a Certified Translator

These terms mean two different things. A certified translator is someone who passes an exam and becomes certified by an organization that’s affiliated with translations, such as the American Translators Association. A certified translation can be done by a certified translator, but it doesn’t have to be – it can be done by any translator.

When Might a Certified Translation Be Required?

A certified translation might be required when someone needs to submit legal documents where the original documents or content are not written in the official language of the country where the documents will be submitted. This could include things like legal documents for court cases and certificates such as marriage, birth or death certificates.

It might also be needed in regulatory situations, such as the certification of medical translations, where the content has to be approved by a regulatory agency or a governing body. In these cases, documents such as research, protocols and patents may need to be certified. ISO standards may also drive the need for a certified translation. If a company requires certified translations as part of their ISO process, the company will request them from their translation company.

Is There a Special Process for a Certified Translation?

A certified translation is processed the same way that other translations are handled. Usually a professional translation company will assign certified translations to their most senior translators since high-quality translations are very important in cases where a certified translation is required. The process needs to include following a thorough review cycle before the translation is completed and sent to the client.

What Does a Certified Translation Look Like?

In addition to the actual translation, a certified translation comes with a document. As mentioned earlier, a certified translation is a signed statement. It contains a unique identification number so it can be tracked, the customer document number, the translated document number(s), the source language and target language(s), and other company and/or document information as necessary.

What Does a Certified Translation Cost?

The cost of a certified translation is estimated just like any other type of translations. It’s based on a per-word charge and desktop publishing (DTP) charges. Some translation companies charge extra to prepare a certification and others don’t.


At Geneva Worldwide, we provide certified translations, and we specialize in translation services in all of its forms including: translation, editing/proofing, desktop publishing, website localization, voice over, subtitling, and more. By employing language experts who use state-of-the-art software equipment and secure online file transfer, we can translate any type of document to over 180 languages. Please contact Geneva Worldwide today for a translation services quote or to discuss your next project.

We invite you to learn more about Geneva Worldwide by following our LinkedIn Company Page or by reaching out to our New York based offices.